Do you love your freestanding bathtub? Design vs. Comfort

JulesFebruary 24, 2014

I'm ready to purchase a lovely pedestal soaking tub, and it occured to me that although I've sat in a few to sample them in showrooms, I've never actually used one and would love to get feedback from those who have.

Whether you have a pedestal or clawfoot tub, what's your review on design vs. comfort? They are so beautiful, but are they comfy in their coziness? They're much smaller than their built-in, typically oversized counterparts, so I wanted to be sure before ordering.

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I have a pedestal tub and I love it. My girls have one too. I will have two vintage clawfoot in my beachhouse.

As for comfort, it depends. They come in quite a few different lengths, with different slopes to the back and different depths.

Funnily, the longest is not always the most comfortable. You don't want to drift up and float away. To me, depth is very important.

I would try to find the model you are considering, or one with very similar dimensions and slope, to try. Sans H2O of course, although I know a retailer who had a client come in in a bathing suit to try out the various shower systems (multihead, sound, light, etc)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:07AM
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Thx, mtn. Which depth do you prefer? And BTW, do you prefer cast iron over acrylic? I think each has its benefits.

I have sat in tubs with similar dimensions to the one I'm ready to order. I *think* I like it.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Since my MBA is on a ground floor, I didn't care about weight. I went with cast iron for two reasons. One, to hold the heat. When I take a bath it's usually about an hour (with a book, and a sidetable and a bottle of water!). Two, all else equal, I just would rather not buy something plastic.

I have the bateau style. I just chose the deepest one I could find, It is a knockoff of this one:

Sounds to me like you are good to go. I hope enjoy your new tub! Make sure and get a fun soap dish that hangs over the side and great sea sponge!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:30AM
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I have an old cast iron clawfoot tub. I think it is original to the house, which was built in 1900.

I love it. It is larger than a standard, basic tub. You can take a bath and sink in to hot water up to your neck if you want.

It is also easier to clean than a regular tub. For one thing, the bottom is raised off the floor a bit, so you aren't leaning over so far. And the higher sides of the tub give you something to lean on as you are bent over scrubbing.

I have a small wooden stool next to mine, to hold a book and a glass of water, and an over-the-rim soap dish for soap and stuff. I had one of the bath tray things that goes from side to side, but my cat thought it was a place for her to sit, until she overbalanced. We are both safer without it.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:11PM
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I wish I were good to go. Something keeps holding me back. I guess it's the 13-14" water depth (to overflow) on every freestanding tub I investigate. That just seems too darn shallow.

camlan, how deep is your tub? Or anyone else reading? Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:34PM
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Hmm, you got me curious so I just measured mine. 15"

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:45PM
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Oh, you're so sweet mtn! Can I come over and take a bath in your gorgeous tub, too? Just kidding ... sort of.

I'll assume that since you love your tub, you have plenty of water coverage in those 15". The one I'm ready to purchase is a 14" deep double slipper cast iron tub.

I just need to pull the trigger. Ready, set go ...

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:26PM
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You will be fine! Let's go!

Order a bottle of this, too.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:37PM
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We have a freestanding tub from Victoria and Albert (iOS), which my husband chose because he liked the size and feel of it. The overflow is at 14-15", however, we were able to order it without an overflow and installed it in a recessed area of the bathroom with a drain in the floor underneath the tub. -result is a 19-20 inch depth. We have used it a few times - big enough for two, luxurious for one; takes a bit of time to fill.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:04AM
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ooooh, great suggestion. Looks yummy.

I was so confused about this tub business today, so I decided to take a bath (something I haven't done in months) in the standard alcove tub at the condo we're living in while we build in order to recall what I like/dislike in a tub. My last tub was an air tub, and it was mammoth. Anyway, as I lay there, I thought "I should ask GWers for bath product suggestions."

And that illustrates how whacko I've become. I can't get tubs, other house decisions or GW off my mind.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:05AM
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Thanks for that, RMS. I wish I could order without an overflow drain, but we don't have that sort of set up. It sounds smart though. I guess there's always this inexpensive solution to add a couple more inches of water ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Bottomless Bath

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:11AM
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jujubean, my tub is 16" deep.

And I have just discovered that there is no overflow! I think this is because the tub is old, but the plumbing and faucets have been redone at some point.

My tub has a sloping back and is long enough that I can recline back and be up to my neck in hot water without my knees poking out and getting cold, and there's still a couple of inches of tub wall that aren't under water.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:53AM
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Below is the tub I'm using in my MB total gut and remodel. We are not tub people so I went for design. I just realized based on comments here that I have no idea if it has an overflow or how deep the water is ... oops not very thorough research on my part, but it is going to look perfect in front of the accent tile wall that I have spent a lot of time planning! The shower, sinks and faucets/fixtures are much more important to us than the comfort of the tub, but it came well recommended so I hope it turns out comfortable too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tyrel & Laing

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:16PM
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Chispa, tubs are sculptural too, and if you aren't bath people, who cares? I actually have a glass barn door on my MBA so I can see my tub and tub hardware from the MBR. I first got that idea at Shutter in Santa Monica. Tubs, to me, are romantic and should not be sequestered.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:46PM
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Love my vintage claw tub, and actually have a spare stored in the basement I can take with me when/if I move. The slant of the backrest makes it possible to scoot down low and recline in such a way that the water is up to your neck. It's soooo comfy.... had a back injury a while back and sleeping in a hot bath was the only thing that worked for me!

Not sure what you mean by "they're much smaller" than built ins - my experience has been the opposite, typical modern plastic built in tub is usually way too shallow and then the angle of the backrest isn't right either, too steep, so it's just not as comfy, not good for prolonged soaking.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:48PM
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Mtn, funny, I hated the "open" bath concept at Shutters! We stayed there a few years ago, just before moving to LA. I don't remember any barn doors ... only just how annoying it was to have noise and light coming from the bathroom when DH got ready to go into the office way too early.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 3:13PM
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I have a double slipper tub and it is wonderful! The curve of the tub wraps around my shoulders and it makes me feel like I am wrapped in a cocoon.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 5:18PM
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Sorry for the hijack.

IIRC there were - wait for it - shutters that closed off the tub area from the bedroom and sitting area. Since I like to read a book in the tub, I liked being able to have it open, see the ocean, etc.

You could easily close them up and have just as much privacy as normal.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 5:33PM
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Yeah, the shutters I remember, not the barn doors, but those shutters were pretty worthless at blocking light and sound when DH was getting ready for a 6 am meeting at the office. DS2 and I did see Michael Keaton at the Shutters restaurant, but DS2 was too young and had no clue who he was or why I was pointing this guy out to him!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 9:19PM
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yes, I really do love my freestanding tub : )

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 3:58PM
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