As a homeowner who decided on bathroom remodeling, sooner or later you run into a quest: a freestanding tub vs. built-in tub. The two variants have merits and demerits; hence, before deciding on what bath is the best for your home, read below to know the key differences.
Manufactured or built in various colors, sizes, and shapes, bathtubs have become not a luxury but a necessity to cope with a stressful life and a tool for reviving and relaxing baths. Generally, we can categorize all bathtubs into 2 groups:
Let’s get down to business and wade through details.
Freestanding Bathtubs: Exterior, Qualities, Benefits & Downsides
As the name implies, a freestanding bath means a bathtub that stands separately. Being a popular choice globally, multiple models of freestanding-style tubs are introduced to the market yearly, from budget-friendly compact options to gold-plated and egg-shaped masterpieces.
Standing on feet or sometimes on a pedestal, a freestanding tub looks chic and grabs attention in any interior. Manufactured in diverse colors, sizes, and shapes; the greatest characteristic of a freestanding bath is that it can be relocated and installed anywhere. Whether you look for a vintage tub that stands on claws, is fancy & colorful, or an elegant one with minimal details, a bathtub adds personality to the interior.
As of now, the market offers both heavy cast iron tubs on claws and lighter-weight fiberglass and acrylic ones. Keeping in mind the flooring type, available space, and your budget, you will definitely find a tub to meet your requirements.
Pros & Cons
Despite all the beneficial features freestanding tubs offer, you’d better know several downsides prior to purchasing one. The main merits & demerits can be summarized as follows:
- Endless varieties in terms of shapes, colors, and materials. Whether you are an advocate of monochrome bathrooms or opt for color combinations, you can find an option to match the interior.
- Can be installed anywhere. You can benefit from trying several variants – let your bath be a centerpiece and remind of a 5* SPA.
- Easy to install. Basically, you’ll need only a qualified plumber to install and connect a tub to the water line.
- Easy-to-replace. A freestanding tub isn’t integrated into flooring or walls and can be replaced with no disruption to the interior.
- Higher price. Although the installation process is simple, the total expenses are higher if you compare it with a built-in bath.
- Heavy weight. If you set your eye on a heavy cast iron tub, it can require additional floor strengthening before installation.
- Bulky. This might be the main drawback if the bathroom is relatively small as a free standing bath definitely requires more room than a built-in one. Yes, you can pick out a compact tub but it can be too small for stretching limbs.
- Showerless. In case you plan to use a tub for a shower experience, you might need a wrap-around to prevent spilling water on the floor; otherwise, it’s better to give preference to a built-in variant.
- Storage space shortage. There is no comfortable ledge for smaller items when a tub stands separately. However, you can resolve the storage issue with a tub tray or a side table.
Built-In Bathtub: Exterior, Qualities, Benefits & Downsides
Ever so versatile and multi-functional, a built-in bath is a choice #1 for tighter bathrooms. Considered by some people not as exquisite as a freestanding tub, yet still, the functionality and space-saving characteristics of the built-in basin pay off over and above.
Given the existing space and the expertise of the chosen remodel company, a built-in tub can be of any size and almost any shape, let alone color. Modern tubs can include trendy exterior elements making the tub a gem of the area.
Unlike freestanding competitors, built-in baths do not always elevate from the floor but can be installed into the flooring. Tubs can also be incorporated into a low pedestal equipped with steps to facilitate getting into the basin. This is particularly advantageous for smaller kids and senior family members.
Pros & Cons
Regardless of their functionality, built-in tubs of any style, including alcove, drop-in, and undermount, also have pros and cons to be considered before making a final decision.
- Space saving. Having a shower and bath in a single tub seems a great idea, particularly if space is limited.
- Budget-friendly. With a more labor-intensive installation process, a built-in bath is still less costly.
- Storage. Built-in wall ledges provide enough space for cosmetic and hygienic essentials.
- Invisible plumbing. Properly planned and designed, a built-in bathtub favors a well-looking interior.
- Fixed position. Once you’ve built a bath, you cannot move it around.
- Time-taking installation. Yes, you’ll need trustworthy pros to design, plan, and install it properly.
- Labor-consuming to replace. If later you think of renewing the basin again, a built-in bath will be obviously time- and labor-consuming to replace.
Freestanding Bath vs. Built-In Tub: Time to Choose
To be honest, the right answer is unknown: both variants can look trendy and art up any bathroom. So, the final decision is up to you.
Whenever you are in favor of a freestanding tub, multiple varieties are offered by manufacturers; whereas a built-in bath custom design allows bringing all cherished dreams into reality even within a tight space.
At all events, it is always worth keeping in mind the benefits and downsides of both variants to select the right tub for your family.
Whichever tub you put the eye on, you have a reliable remodel company to accomplish the project; at Groysman Construction, we do have 20+ years of experience in home renovation of any complexity. If you reside in San Diego, request a free quote and don’t hesitate to ask any questions — qualified pros can guide you through all stages of home remodeling, from A to Z.