How To Tell If The Standard Bathtub Size Suits You

When designing a bathroom, many of your plumbing decisions will revolve around your bathtub. Shopping for a new tub is fun, but it’s also challenging. How to know if a standard bathtub size suits you?

standard bathtub size

A task like choosing the size of your bathtub can turn out to be tricky. Standard bathtub sizes vary according to their make and model. The shape of the tub and materials used to make it should have a connection with your bathroom. Here, we’ll check out a few bathroom designs that will inspire your next bathroom.  

History Of The Bathtub

The earliest recorded use of a bathtub was in 3300 BC. However, the modern bathtub as we know it today was invented in 1883 by John Michael Kohler. While working in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Kohler took a cast-iron horse trough and attached four feet to it so it could be elevated off the ground. After the trough was covered with an enamel finish, voila – the first modern-day bathtub was invented.

History Of The Bathtub

In 1968, Roy Jacuzzi invented the whirlpool bath. The Roman, as it was called, used integrated jets with a 50-50 air-to-water ratio. 

Standard Bathtub Size

Standard Bathtub Size

The bathtub that’s installed in most homes across the country is known as an “alcove bath.” On average, an alcove bath will be 60 inches long and 32 inches wide. Most tubs are 14 to 16 inches high. Bathtubs that are mass-produced will be a maximum of 70 inches long. Anything longer than that and you’ll have to get it custom-made.

Small Bathtub Size

A small freestanding bathtubs is 55 inches long (4.58 feet), 27 inches wide (2.25 feet) with a water depth of 15 inches (1.25 feet).

What Are The Parts Of A Modern Bathtub?

A bathtub isn’t just a container that holds water. Although it has different parts and requires some maintenance, a bathtub is easy to preserve.  

It goes without saying that you need a water supply and a tub. You’ll notice that we didn’t include it on the list because we didn’t want to insult your intelligence. Here are the essential parts of a bathtub:

What Are The Parts Of A Modern Bathtub?

Shut-off Valves 

There are two shutoff valves that control your water – fixture valves and primary valves. Homes built after 1980 have fixtures that separate the stop valve running from the supply tube. The main shut-off valve controls water flow.

If you do not have separate stop-valves, you might want to think about installing them as they’re great for emergency situations.

Diverter Pipe 

This piece allows water to flow to one area so hot and cold water can pass through the same faucet. The best way you can tell if you need to change your diverter pipe is when you have low water pressure.

Planar Cross 

This piece connects to the diverter pipe, cold and hot water supply, and the rim, so water flows from your bathroom. The four-cross pipe connection controls water flow. 

Rim

This is the upper edge of a bathtub sometimes referred to as the “lip.” The lip offers a secure base for your tub to rest on and catch any water that jumps out of the tub when it’s full.

Drain

The drain allows water to leave your bathtub. Pretty simple, right? It’s the circular hole at the base of your bathtub. Like you didn’t know that already. As soon as you notice any drainage issues, clean your drain pipe. 

Flexible Connector

This piece will cover you if you have connector issues. If your pipes aren’t connected 100 percent to each other, a connector pipe, made from braided steel, can connect your tub to your home’s water supply. If you have a freestanding bathtub, you can align your plumbing with your appliances.

Overflow Pipe

Between your connections and the drain, the overflow pipe catches excess water and routes it to your drain through a separate pipe. An overflow pipe will lighten the load or water flow to your drain.

Trap

Otherwise known as an ‘S-Bend,’ this pipe is shaped like a sideways S. The design allows for water to be trapped, protecting you from bacteria and gases. A trap allows for waste to pass from your home to the outside.

Waste Outlet

Otherwise known as. a “drain-waste-vent” you’ll find this piece around your toilet. It relies on gravity to pull waste down to the sewer, providing a clear channel for where waste will be disposed. The outlet is connected by a trap which will ultimately prevent any harmful substances from affecting your water supply.

Retaining Nut

Retaining nuts function as a locking feature that secures your tub’s fixtures to the wall. This is the reason why your bathtub stays in place and your faucets don’t fall off. Pretty important, right?  

Decorative Panel

This is the outer layer of a wall that covers the interior pipes of your bathroom. Tile or stone are two popular options, but other choices are available. The panel hides the inner workings of your bathtub from view.

Lining

The joined wall connected to your bathtub and that secures it. You know you have a problem when water leaks from the lining. This is the most common issue with bathroom lining. 

Tub Spout

Do you know the knobs that turn you water on and off? The letter “C” is written on one handle, and means “cold,” and on the other handle is an “H” which means “hot”? Well, those would be part of your tub spout. They’re part of your faucet system. 

Different Types Of Standard Bathtubs

Modern hone technology has made bathroom advances that have impacted the way humans clean their bodies. The bathtub hasn’t stopped evolving and nor will it ever. And that’s a good thing.

Freestanding Bathtubs

Freestanding Bathtubs

Freestanding tubs look modern and have smooth lines and stylish curves. A typical freestanding tub is around 60” long and 30” wide and with a water depth of 19.” Smaller sizes are available and measure 55” in length, 27” in width with 15” water depth.

For bigger bathrooms, a large freestanding tub is 72” long and 32” wide with 20” water depth.

Freestanding Acrylic Bathtub

Freestanding Acrylic BathtubView in gallery

Freestanding tubs often require larger bathrooms. Oval bathtubs are the preferred choice. Most freestanding bathtubs are acrylic. And although they may look bigger, they’re just a little wider than traditional rectangular bathtubs. However, they’re just as long and deep.

Corner Bathtub

Corner BathtubView in gallery

A drop in a standard tub is 60” long and 30” wide with a 16” water depth. Smaller and larger sizes are available. A drop-in tub does not have visible finished sides but its rim is visible, in contrast with under-mount tubs.

Rectangular bathtub style designView in gallery

The bathtub is an essential part of the bathroom. It’s important to take your time when choosing a style and size that suits your needs. The shape you prefer, the material you choose, and its weight are the most important factors to consider. 

Marble Bathtub

Marble BathtubView in gallery

Marble bathtubs are the nicest, heaviest, and most expensive bathtubs on the market today. An egg-shaped, marble freestanding bathtub is exquisite and organic. If you want an elegant, mid-century modern bathroom, you find a better option than a marble. A marble bathtub is a centerpiece for any bathroom. This style offers contemporary elegance with a traditional feel.

Today, bathtubs offer ergonomic designs that provide added physical comfort. The monolithic tub is roomy and functional. One feature that only marble can offer is its grey veins that accentuate your bathroom colors while giving the space a more natural texture.   

Before you pick a bathtub size, make sure your floor can handle the weight. This is a necessary precaution if you choose a marble or stone bathtub. Even a small or standard size tub can be too heavy for your bathroom.

Marble Whirlpool Bathtub

Marble Whirlpool BathtubView in gallery

If you want to up your bathtub marble game, you can get one with a whirlpool function. Some tubs are too special to commit to the standard bathtub size chart. This can happen if the tub has an unusual shape. Even so, you can rely on measurements. We’ve mentioned freestanding tubs but if you prefer a corner tub, for example, a standard one would measure 60” by 60” with a water depth of 20”.

Rectangular bathtub style designView in gallery

Some bathtubs are better for washing your body while others are for de-stressing, relaxation, and meditation. That’s not the sole detail that can help you determine the size and shape of the tub that you need. For example, if you have a large and spacious bathroom, chances are that the standard tub size won’t satisfy the design.

Lariana Bathtub

Rectangular bathtub style designView in gallery

A Lariana freestanding bathtub features a curved interior which contrasts with its straighter exterior. The bottom appears to be floating over the floor. Some bathtubs are deeper than standard models, making them similar to Japanese soaking tubs which are taller and shorter. While some modern freestanding units are hybrids of both styles. 

Oval Bathtub

Rectangular bathtub style designView in gallery

A large oval bathtub is the most common style of freestanding tubs on the market today. When you decide what size your tub should be based on the dimensions and layout of your bathroom, aim for visual harmony. Do not make the mistake of installing a large tub in a small bathroom.  It would make you feel claustrophobic, that is of course if you could even get it through the door.

Monolith Bathtub

Rectangular bathtub style designView in gallery

The monolith bathtub offers a spacious bathing experience. This modern-looking tub can accommodate two people, and is ideal for families with young children, making it easier to bath them simultaneously. You should note how standard bathtub sizes are the same regardless of their shape. Whether oval or rectangular, they’re both the same size. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How Many Gallons Of Water Can A Standard Bathtub Hold?

If we’re talking about standard length of five feet and the width is either 30 or 32 inches. The capacity of the tub also depends on depth and the overflow drain placement. So a 2.5 foot bathtub with 14 inches is almost 110 gallons.

The overflow drain is four inches below the tub’s surface. With a 4-inch placement, the capacity is 78 gallons. If the overflow hole is six inches below the top, the capacity is 62 gallons.

What Is A Drop In Bathtubs?

Drop in tubs do not have finished sides. They are installed in an alcove or peninsula in the middle of a bathroom. Drops are like normal standard bathtubs but have more freedom.

What's The Difference Between Building Codes And NKBA Guidelines?

Building codes are laws that cover official safety rules on construction and design. Everyone must follow the laws. It does not matter how big or small your project is.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) offers guidelines that assist interior designers when creating bathrooms.

Can You Put A Bathtub In A Tiny House?

You can put a bathtub in a tiny house, but like everything else in your tiny home, your tiny bathtub will be small. On average, the standard width of a tiny house bathtub is 22.5 inches.

What Is A Soaking Bathtub?

It’s all in the name with this one. A soaking tub is a bathtub that allows you to soak your body. The tubs are deep and shaped for a soothing and relaxing bathing experience.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Bathtub?

New bathtubs on average cost between $1,400 and $7,500. The US national average to replace a standard bathroom is $4,340.

Standard Bathtub Size Conclusion

A bathtub is the crowning jewel of any bathroom. It’s an altar of sorts – a private place where you can worship your body. Bathtubs are also good ways you can add value to your home. A home with a nice bathtub will be easier to sell than one that has an old bathtub. And not only that, but bathing is good for your body and health. A bathtub offers greater physical comfort than a shower while providing you with a place to relax and unwind after a long day.