A combination shower/tub is the traditional choice when it comes to family households. The shower option offers adults with hectic, busy lives a quick bathing option, while the bathtub is great for families who need to bathe children.
It also maximizes bathroom space by not requiring the need to install a shower and bathtub separately.
Freestanding tub styles
Soaking tubs come in different lengths and widths so the user can pick the best one for his or her body type. (Photo by Summer Galyan)
When choosing a tub style, examine the space you have to work with. Measure your bathroom floor space, but also make sure you measure door frames, stairwells and hallways that the bathtub needs to pass through.
Also consider what purpose the bathtub will serve. Is it going to be for long, luxurious soaks, or a quick bath? If you're tall, should your tub be extra long? Should it be extra wide or deep?
Here are some examples of freestanding tub styles:
• Soaking tub — Soaking tubs are great for long, relaxing baths. They come in different lengths and widths to make the bather as comfortable as possible.
• Japanese soaking tub — Japanese soaking tubs are deeper than traditional soaking tubs and allow you to get your whole body under water.
• Slipper tub — Slipper tubs stand taller on one end to support your back, making them more comfortable to sit in for longer periods of time.
• Double slipper tub — A double slipper tub features added height on both ends so two people can use the tub at once.
• Clawfoot tub — You can get a clawfoot tub in any of the above styles. In a clawfoot tub, the body of the tub sits above the floor because of the four "feet" on each corner.
• Walk-in tub — Walk-in tubs are a great option for those with limited mobility. A sealed door opens into these seated tubs so you don't have to climb in.
Freestanding tub materials
Consider what you want in a bathtub. Do you want something long lasting, or easy to clean? Something to make a statement, or something inexpensive that gets the job done? Choose from the following bathtub materials:
• Acrylic — An acrylic bathtub is one of the most popular choices for bathrooms. It's lightweight and easy to clean.
• Cast iron — A cast iron bathtub is sturdier than an acrylic bathtub. The enamel finish resists most chemicals, chips and scratches, making them extremely durable.
• Copper — Copper is extremely durable, resisting most scratches. However, if the tub somehow gets scratched, copper is healing and the scratches will disappear over time.
• Resin - Resin tubs offer the look of stone in a lightweight form.
• Stainless steel — Stainless steel is easy to clean and keeps its glossy finish for a long time.
• Stone — Stone bathtubs are cut from natural materials like marble and granite, so they're very heavy, but the natural stone makes a statement. Make sure your bathroom floor can hold its weight — up to 2,000 pounds.
After time, bathtub finishings can wear or crack. When that time comes, you have a choice: Refinish your bathtub, or replace it.
Learn more about bathtub refinishing in the Angie's List Guide to Bathtub Liners and Refinishing.
Sectional showers come in two, three or four pieces. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
Want a freestanding shower? There are several options from which you can choose:
• Seamless shower — Seamless showers provide a clean look, because the shower enclosure is all one piece.
• Sectional shower — Sectional showers are made from two, three or four pieces.
• Low threshold shower — Low threshold showers have less of a step in the entrance, making it easier to use for people with limited mobility.
• Curbless shower — A curbless shower has no threshold, making it ideal for those who are wheelchair-bound.
• Steam shower — A steam shower adds a spa-like feel to your bathroom.
• Walk-in shower — Walk-in showers don't have glass shower doors, making the shower easier to clean. They also make the bathroom seem larger because the floor space is more open.
Types of shower doors
Pivot, bypass, neo-angle, round, bifold: Several types of shower doors exist for you to choose from. And it doesn't stop there: You can also choose a framed or frameless model.
To learn more about the differences in cost and appearance between shower doors, check out Which Shower Door Is Right for Your Bathroom?
Types of shower heads
Are you a fan of the traditional single sprayer shower head? Or do you prefer your shower to feel like you're out in the rain? Whatever your shower style, you have options. Learn about Types of Shower Heads.