I have clients ask me on every bathroom renovation I do, if they should really have a freestanding bath? Although they look great and shows like The Block make it look like they’re the only bath worth having, the answer is not a simple one! It’s something that you need to consider carefully, paying specific attention to what you want from the bathroom space and your lifestyle.
To help make this decision, check out my pros and cons:
Why freestanding bath tubs are amazing…
- This one might be arguable, depending on your personal aesthetic, but freestanding tubs win hands down on most occasions for the striking visual impact they offer!
- They don’t require additional framework to be built in which saves on time and costs. They also don’t require tiling of a hob around them like inset baths. This also minimises grout lines which can become dirty and stained and require more cleaning.
- Because of their all-sided finish, freestanding tubs can be placed anywhere, even in the centre of the bathroom if desired, which can have an amazing impact.
- If they become damaged or you want to replace yours, you rarely have to make structural changes or re-tile.
The drawbacks of the freestanding tub…
- In many cases there is nowhere to store things like soap, shampoo and conditioner, unless you use a bath caddy or a freestanding stool beside the bath.
- Freestanding baths (especially the amazing stone ones) can be very heavy and might require floor reinforcement or at least a check of the sub floor’s strength before installation.
- When placed close to a wall, they can be very difficult to clean around, so ideally there would be enough of a gap between the wall and bath to allow you to get in and clean the floor and wall tiles well.
- Many freestanding baths are expensive.
- Freestanding baths can have quite high sides, hence making bathing children or getting in and out more difficult.
All things considered, the decision to go for a freestanding or inset hob bath is very dependent on the space you have, your lifestyle, who will use it your the needs.
What is your preference?
Naomi Findlay is one of our resident experts, the director of Silk Home, principal of the International Institute of Home Staging and a serial renovator for profit (oh, and mum of four!).
Jennie Cadman says
We had the choice … And in the end we decided agsinst freestanding for all the reasons above (inability to clean around, get children in/out) but also kids love using the side ledges for putting their toys on and telling stories / playing games. We opted for a piece of caeserstone all across the top of the bath to minimize grout lines on top and for a cleaner, smarter look!
Jen Bishop says
That sounds great Jennie! Definitely a more practical solution but I’m sure it also looks great. Hate grout!
We are renovating to sell and given the size of our bathroom a freestanding bath was definitely an option. The issues were that it is on the second floor of the home! Luckily there is a cement slab between the floors so support was not an option but carrying the stone bath up 2 flights of stairs was definitely a challenge. With the help of some good (strong) mates we got it up there without a hitch and I’m so glad we did because the finished bathroom looks amazing. Also I was lucky enough to source my bath from an auction site and paid less than a third of what they cost retail.
I am also currently renovating a property to sell and intend on using a freestanding bath. May I please ask what state you are in and what auction site?
I have chosed a badeloft free standing tub and will have a freestanding filler. I am planning on having a wood floor throughout the open concept bed bath. will have extra ventilation. The shower will be curbless with 2 glass walls and dolomite marble on the ither 2 walls and shiwer floor. transitions are a concern as well as the wood near the shower and under tub/filler. Is this a bad idea?
Michelle Fugett says
We are thinking of remodeling bathroom this year. Are free standing tubs easy for seniors to get in/out? My husband is 60 and I will turn 59 soon. We are both healthy and active but I do not want to put in a tub that will be difficult for us to use down the road. We plan to stay in our current home for at least 10-15 more years
Jen Bishop says
They are deeper in general than their built-in versions! However, they’re not all super deep so if you really like that look it might be worth looking around for a ‘shorter’ free-standing.