When you get home from a long day at work or wake up on the weekend ready to indulge in some much needed self-care, where do you turn to first? Probably your bathtub. If you’re considering adding any upgrades to your space, perhaps you should consider a soaking tub.
Unlike regular bathtubs, soaking tubs offer ample space for you to relax, as well as features such as jets, arcs for back support, and enough depth that you can be totally immersed in water. They’re typically designed as either a standalone basin with extended feet at the bottom that allow the tub to hover just above the ground, or curved basins with flat bottoms that can rest right on your bathroom floor, just as a regular tub would. The difference, of course, is that soaking tubs are typically much larger and aren’t attached to a wall on three sides — though, in some cases, they could be.
If you’re interested not only in a soaking tub but perhaps even a clawfoot tub, the differences will mostly be found in the design; clawfoot tubs feature intricately designed feet, historically with gold-encrusted enamel and Victorian elements. Many clawfoots are also famous for featuring beautiful hardware. This is, of course, more room in which you can play with design, color, and material.
In other cases, you can also opt for modern designs featuring whirlpools or other spa-like features, basins constructed from different materials such as copper or even wood. With so many variations on the market, it can be tricky to know where to begin. That’s why we’re ranking our favorite soaking tubs for you to consider.
Looking at the way other people have set up their bathrooms can be helpful when you’re considering how you’d like to finish yours. Notice the way they set up their tubs, what accessories they chose, or even what coordinating light fixtures or towels they used to really bring the space together. You might even want to search for spaces that look similar to your own bathroom so that you can more effectively visualize what you might want to create.
Once you’ve decided what direction you want to head, you’ll have to choose your products. That, in itself, can be a challenge, which is why we’ve outlined some of our top picks for soaking tubs. You’ll want to consider the dimensions of both the tub and the bathroom, the placement of the openings for plumbing connections, the weight of the tub, the number of people required for installation, and if the floor can handle the weight of the tub. Once you have those basics covered, it’s all about what really speaks to you and what you really want to have in your home.
Our Favorite Soaking Tubs
After Your Purchase, What's Next?
Once you’ve selected your soaking tub, ensure that you have both the space required as well as the plumbing setup necessary to make your tub installation as seamless as possible. We recommend taking the following issues into consideration:
- If you’re installing it yourself, make sure you have a team ready to do the heavy lifting. Soaking tubs are often much heavier than classic tubs, and some clawfoot tubs can clock in at a few hundred pounds.
- Prepare your plumbing. If the tub that you’ve chosen doesn’t fit into the same space as your previous one did, make sure that the drain and faucet openings are located on the correct side of the basin. You may also need to relocate or extend your existing plumbing to accommodate the new tub. Clawfoot tubs, for example, generally don’t come with faucets built in. This means you need to make sure you can either place the tub near a preexisting drain or prepare to run new pipes under the floor to the new location of your tub.
- Finally, make sure you have the right flooring. Take into consideration the height and weight of your new tub and whether or not it is suspended off the ground and therefore will require new flooring underneath. It’s a good idea to get the full weight of the tub plus the water in it to determine if the floor is strong enough or if it needs to be reinforced.
Ultimately, a soaking tub can add a welcome layer of luxury and beauty to your bathroom, and for a reasonable cost. You just want to make sure you choose the right tub for your taste, prepare your bathroom accordingly, and get ready for a truly relaxing and immersive evening routine.