Installing a Freestanding Tub: 3 Critical Things to Know

Installing a Freestanding Tub: 3 Critical Things to Know
Monday, June 25, 2018

Freestanding bath tubs are growing in popularity and it is easy to see why! In many of our master bath remodels we are replacing either an old cultured marble bathtub or a sunken garden tub that frankly are just ugly or not functional. We started to see a comeback of the vintage cast-iron bathtubs initially, and now there are many different shapes, sizes, styles and finishes available in the free-standing bathtub marketplace!

Is Your Tub Intended to be Functional or Decorative?

When considering adding a free-standing bathtub to your master bathroom remodel, you should first consider whether it will be a fixture that you will use or if it is really going be ornamental. Either way, you should ask around and do some research online as to which bathtub you should go with. Best case scenario is that you go sit in some bathtubs and test how they feel! You will be surprised in the difference between different models and manufacturers. With some research, you can find a beautiful bathtub that can be both the focal point of your bathroom and the luxurious tub you have always dreamed of!

Standing Bath Installation
Leveling a Standing Bath

Slik Portfolio's luxurious bath products line, shown in the remodel of this before-and-after comparison, are carried locally at Central Arizona Supply in Scottsdale and Phoenix.

 

Tub Compatibility with Bathroom Layout

Layout is critical when designing your new construction or bathroom remodel. You need to work closely with your designer to make sure you have the available space around the bathtub. A few points you should consider:

  • Tub Filler: Make sure the tub filler you select pairs nicely with the bathtub. When determining layout think about access to the tub. Is it going to be in the way when getting into the bathtub? Can you reach it easily from outside the tub? Would you like a handheld shower attached to the filler?
  • During the rough-in stage of the bathroom remodel, we have our installers create a template (if one isn’t provided from the manufacturer) and place it on the floor to verify dimensions that were called out during the design phase. Now is the time to make final adjustments (many times we will adjust the tub filler a little closer or further away from the tub to make sure it doesn’t drip on the edge of the tub and provides enough clearance away from the wall to fully turn on and off). In one of our prior master bathroom remodels in Paradise Valley Arizona we had very close tolerances and did not plan the location of the tub filler properly. After final install, we found out that the tub filler handle when in the fully on position did not clear the wall, and we had to make an adjustment after the fact. Learn this lesson from us: plan properly at the rough-in stage!
Standing Bath Installation

 

Is the floor level?

One final item to consider is the levelness of your bathroom floor. We have found in our remodels that most floors are not perfectly level. In this Scottsdale Arizona bathroom remodel, we found after we installed the tub that the floor was over ½” out of level! We ended up removing all the floor tile and grinding the concrete down in order to get this floor level. Freestanding bathtubs have zero tolerances for adjustments on out of level floors. This is an item to check as soon as all the demo work is complete, and before the plumbing rough-in stage.

Leveling a Standing Bath

 

We have found that although freestanding bathtubs do have a few critical items to consider when planning and installing, they are a very beautiful addition to your master bathroom. Make sure the general contractor you hire has experience in the installation, and you will be very happy with the end product!