A bathtub always adds luxury to any bathroom. A great tub is perfect not only for warm baths but also for unwinding and relaxation. Apart from this, tubs are functional too! You can easily bathe your children and pets if you have a tub.

If you are in the process of building a new bathroom or renovating an old one, choosing a bath means you have to sort through different styles, installation, shapes, and sizes. Most importantly, you need to consider whether you want a freestanding bath or a built-in fixture. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will compare these two choices to help you make a well-informed decision.

Overall look and style

Installing an alcove-style tub requires at least two backing walls. But depending on the space you have available, you can have a tub built-in to a corner so that it adjoins the shower area. This option offers both versatility and convenience.

Modern freestanding baths also come in various designs that suit any interior preference. Materials also vary. From acrylic, fibreglass, cast-iron, and stone – you can find a tub that suits your budget and style. 

Location

If you want a freestanding bath, you need enough space in the bathroom so that you can get in from either side. As such, it is not always the best choice if you have limited space. But unlike a built-in tub, a freestanding bath gives you more flexibility in choosing the location for installation. You need not worry about a water wall for plumbing. On the other hand, while you can save space with a built-in tub, you do not have as many options in planning the layout for the rest of the space.

Type of installation

Alcove-type tubs are more difficult to install. Since the process is more time-consuming, it follows that you also pay the contractor more. The water wall, where you conceal plumbing, is the first thing constructed. The next step is putting the tub in place and finishing the area. The entire process will take several hours at least.

Installing a freestanding tub is much easier to do. The biggest part of the process involves plumbing, which you typically need to bring up from the floor. Minimal finishing follows for the plumbing installation area after. Since both options require hiring a professional, labour costs will increase depending on your preferred design and features.

Required flooring

The weight of the tub is critical to ensure that it does not damage your flooring. Tubs made of cast iron and stone, for example, are much heavier and require floor reinforcement. But if you want a lighter tub even when filled with water, choose fibreglass or acrylic.

Shower option

Built-in tubs are often designed as a bath and shower combination unless you prefer to have an adjacent shower enclosure separate from the tub. If you are looking for a shower option, a built-in shower bath is easier to configure. But there are also some freestanding baths which you can easily fit with a shower provided you have the right plumbing. 

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