A Modern Take on an Old Concept: Freestanding Bathtubs

Free-standing bathtubs — particularly claw-foot tubs — have always had a cult following, but today’s designers and homeowners are having a renewed love affair with the old-fashioned concept.  Current styles are a far cry from their ancestors, who were more likely to be made of wood or copper. As materials have advanced, so have our bathtubs, moving from porcelain-covered cast iron to stone and new composites. Whatever the material, this style of tub automatically becomes the focal point of your bathroom.

Teuco IBordiView in gallery
Teuco’s iBordi freestanding tub is exemplary of modern style. It is available in a Duralight® version as well as in Carrara marble or Grey Stone versions. Duralight® is a patented material, produced and processed by Teuco.

It’s worth pointing out that bathtubs were originally free standing because they had no connected plumbing. Someone had to heat buckets of water and haul them to the tub to fill it, so you were more likely to be bathing in the kitchen near the hearth, according to Thisoldhouse. In fact,t the aggregation of sanitary and bathroom fixtures into one room didn’t come about until the early 1900s, when the current concept of our “bathroom” emerged.

american standard tubView in gallery
American Standard slipper tub is a classic design. Insteadoif claw feet, this one has modern wooden supports instead.

Freestanding tubs were particularly popular among the wealthy population, writes Bathtubsplus. Not only could they be placed anywhere, but their style allowed servants to access all sides of the tub to assist the individual with bathing. This continues with the popularity of the victorian age claw foot tub.

Zitta half tubView in gallery
The Fratelli tub by Zitta is partially freestanding, with only one side attached to the wall. This allows for a larger tub in a smaller area, accommodating two people easily.
Zitta half shelf tubView in gallery
Zitta also has a second tub that is partially free standing. Positioned in a corner, it allows you to have a small shelf around two sides of the tub without requiring tiling.
saneux
The Lola tub is part of the The AGUA MAISON collection by Saneaux. The tubs have a bold minimalist design, softened with rounded edges.
Minimalist soaking tubView in gallery
Freestanding tubs are often deeper than the jacuzzi tubs of the 1980s, and many come with the option of spa jets. These new designs also take up less space than the older varieties, which were tiled into the bathroom.
tub edgeView in gallery
These tubs are more inviting than the standard, garden variety tub installed in most homes. It seems to call out to you for a soak!
Cape Cod TubView in gallery
Part of the Cape Cod collection by Philippe Starck is this tub, which is carried by Duravit. It features an optional shaped headrest, which enhances the comfort. They are made from a new material called durasolid, which has a warm ‘feel.’ We love the matte look. It comes in a free-standing model, back-to-wall and corner version.
CapeCodSoakingTubView in gallery
In an interview, Starck said that he originally designed Cape Cod for himself. “We all dream of a hut on the beach where we can find driftwood and enjoy a simple life in the company of a loved one,” he said.
Bette tubView in gallery
Of course, today’s freestanding tubs don’t have to be the typical oval shape. Bette has a rectangular model, called the Bettelux Shape, that sits in a frame. It gives the bath a entirely new look.
Bette closeView in gallery
Since the tub does not sit directly on the floor, a support base reinforces it tub at the bottom.
Bette blackView in gallery
You’re not confined to choosing white with this tub either. The tub itself comes in black and the enameled steel frame is available in six different shades.
Teuco IBordiView in gallery
The iBordi by Teuco comes in Duralight, stone or marble. In any finish, it’s a grand focal point for the bathroom. Think how luxurious it is placed near windows with a view.
stone tubView in gallery
Marble or stone tubs can have a more old-world or rustic feel like this one. The thicker sides give it an earthier, prehistoric feel, yet the tub is still very elegant.
stone tub closeView in gallery
The natural pattern of the stone is clearly visible and adds to the interest.
Zitta gold tub
If you’re into bling, then this is the tub is for you. Up the opulence of your bathroom with the Zitta Evora tub that is clad in a golden finish.
Teuco Accademia whiteView in gallery
Teuco also makes their Accademia white bathtub with a gold strip along the top. Extremely elegant and sophisticated, but understated, it adds a touch of gold to your bathroom decor.
Teuco Accademia2View in gallery
Not as blingy, but just as attractive, is the black version of the Accademia. It is just right for a masculine bathroom design.
shoe shaped tubView in gallery
Talk about a real slipper tub! This model adds a dose of whimsy to the bathroom by making the fixture into a real — albeit giant — slipper.
Knibb Hello Kitty BathtubView in gallery
Who says you can’t decorate your bathtub? Designer Sean Knibb created this one in celebration of the world’s very first official Hello Kitty Con. The tub was part of a Hello Kitty VIP guest room in The Line Hotel
maison valentina 3View in gallery
This free standing tub by Maison Valentina has serious glamour thanks to the interesting mirrored exterior. Even in a a subdued bathroom design, this tub is definitely the highlight.
maison valentina 2View in gallery
The black interior of the tub is in keeping with the sexy style of the exterior design.
maison valentinaView in gallery
Paired with with other luxe accessories and fixtures, this tub takes a bathroom over the top. A flute of champagne seems required for a soak in this tub.
kreo boat bathtubView in gallery
At the other end of the design spectrum is this fun, boat-shaped bathtub from Galerie Kreo. It’s rustic and cool and we think it would be perfect in a lakeside summer retreat. Or, you could out it in any bathroom to evoke memories of summertime. This is one boat you’ll want to fill with water!
Wooden tub alegnaView in gallery
Thanks to the popularity of Asian-style soaking tubs, wooden bathtubs are having a moment in home decor these days. The Laguna Pearl tub by Alegna is a spectacular example of how beautiful a tub can be. The stunning sunburst-like wood design is incomparable.
KHIS tubView in gallery
A KHIS wooden bathtub is dark brown, almost black because of the way the wood is thermally processed. Besides giving it a luxe look, the process makes it extraordinarily water-resistant and durable. Less shiny, but just as stylish.
graff soaking tubView in gallery
A bit more like a western hot tub because of the different interior, this wooden bathtub is a soaking tub by Graff.

If you’re looking for a freestanding tub, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding one that satisfies your home design style.  Opting for a freestanding tub is a fantastic way to update your bathroom and, in some cases, free up some space if you’re replacing a spa tub that’s a few decades old.