Bathtub Shopping 101: 5 Materials and Types You Need to Know

Several things influence the cost of a bathtub. Before buying a bathtub, the material, location, budget, and tub usage are essential factors to consider.

Lazing in the bath is a relaxing and luxurious moment in one’s life. But shopping for a modern one needs patience and knowledge on the best freestanding bathtubs.

Bathtubs have different dimensions, materials, and shapes available in the market today. And going through these dizzying options can be overwhelming.

Are you looking to make a statement with a luxurious freestanding bathtub? Here are materials and types of tubs that you need to know:-

Bathtub Materials You Should Consider

Choosing a modern bathtub today is a bit overwhelming compared to the past years. You will come across materials that are good in keeping heat from the water for a long time, while others are stain-resistant and porous.

This article highlights the most popular materials for freestanding tubs. They range from stone composite, acrylic, cast iron, solid surface, fiberglass, copper, and stainless steel. 

Cast Iron Bathtubs

Cast iron material is one of the robust and durable materials for tubs. When you visit century-old homes, you won’t notice any difference from modern ones. This is because there’s no change in how they were made centuries ago.

Most historical homes prefer this material for traditional renovations due to its timeless beauty. 

Due to their iron nature and porcelain enamel finish, you’ll notice the material is scratch-resistant and easy to clean. If you enjoy soaking in a tub, then the cast iron tubs are ideal for you because of the heat retention rate. 

Cast iron makes one of the best freestanding bathtubs for most homes. Besides the tubs being extremely heavy, they enjoy the following advantages:


  • Classic look
  • Long-lasting
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Numerous colors to choose from
  • Easy resurface
  • It keeps heat for a long time


If you are looking to add a rustic and beautiful tub in your bathroom you should consider the wood material. It has similar characteristics to the copper bathtub. Natural wood characterizes these bathtubs and for them to remain durable and aesthetically-pleasing water-resistant wax is used to treat them. Hence these features make them expensive, costing over $2,000 each. 

You will notice that the wax on these bathtubs will last for several years, but break down with its regular usage. Therefore, as much as these tubs are beautiful and cost the same price as the copper bathtubs, they’re not a long-term investment.

Solid Surface Tubs

Solid surface tubs are often made of resin material. The tubs feature a modern design besides the high-quality composite material and a firm surface. 

Integral drain and overflow systems built into the walls characterize these tubs. Moreover, these tubs are easy to install and remove any visible drain plumbing. 

The beauty of the solid surface tubs comes in a matte and gloss finish with very minimal maintenance.

Stone Tubs

The craftsmanship and the distinctive designs make the stone tubs top of the “luxury” pyramid. The tubs are hand-carved from real granite, marble, travertine, and other great stones to achieve a natural, sophisticated, and bold look. 

Besides the bold statement that naturally comes with a stone tub, it’s durable and has high heat retention, ideal for everyday use.

Acrylic Tubs

Most homes have acrylic tubs installed in their bathrooms. The price, adaptability, durability, and various options make this tub a popular choice.

The tub is made from simple material such as vacuum-formed acrylic sheets and it’s reinforced with fiberglass. Additionally, the tubs are lightweight and easy to install.

Fiberglass Bathtubs

If you are tight on a budget, you might consider going for a fiberglass tub. Fiberglass is an affordable option for freestanding bathtubs. The tub is polyester resin, surface coat, and fiberglass reinforcement. 

As much as these tubs are affordable compared to other freestanding tub materials like acrylic, the tubs are not durable.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • You can repair the surface
  • You can have a freestanding bathtub with a shower.


  • Less durable
  • The surface can easily crack or scratch
  • The finishing can quickly fade
  • Less color option to select

Types of Tubs

Bathtubs come in a variety. You can choose from the materials, shapes, and other features. Here are types of bathtubs that you may choose from:-

Freestanding Tub With Shower

A freestanding tub can have a shower. But this type of bathroom will require a curtain or enclosure. Also, the curtains help to retain heat if the bathroom does not have enough heat. 

A simple ceiling-mounted curtain rod and showerhead will achieve the task invisibly. But ensure the curtains remain open for your tub to have maximum impact.

Clawfoot Tub 

The 19th century created a wide variety of historical tubs. And you will notice that most designs in homes today are taking after the model. 

If you want the plumbing and vintage freestanding tub faucets to be the focal point of your bathroom, you can position a floor-mounted tub in the center of the room.

Setting the tub against the wall can be ideal for individuals who want the extra piping to be a decorative addition. 

Soaking Tub

You may not like the idea of a freestanding rectangular tub, but you wouldn’t mind an oval or circular tub. The beauty of a freestanding soaking tub is deeper and comes in an oval or circular shape. 

When you go for a Japanese soaking tub, you will notice it has a smaller footprint and an integrated seat. It may be naturally short, but it compensates with content. A tub with water up to your shoulders is comfortable enough for you to soak yourself in.

Slipper Freestanding Tubs

Slipper tubs resemble the shape of a shoe, and they borrow their name from a high-heeled shoe. The slipper tub has two options (a single slipper tub and a double slipper tub). 

A single slipper tub with a raised interior makes a convenient seating space, while the double slipper tub has two raised interiors on both ends.

Final Thoughts

Finally, the goal is to purchase a freestanding bathtub that will spruce up your bathroom. It needs to be warm, relaxing, and easy to clean. This guide highlights the materials and types of bathtubs that can help transform your bathroom.

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