Our Bathtub Buying Guide

If you’re overwhelmed by all the options, don’t worry. We’ve boiled down the process of picking a tub to this concise guide.


Bathtub Types


A flexible and easy-to-install option, freestanding tubs are attached with an exterior faucet to the wall or floor.



This raised, freestanding-style tub has supporting feet and is available with traditional or modern legs. For a high-back option, clawfoot slipper tubs are popular, and additional features such as a decorative tub lip or special faucet hole drilling are common.


Also known as Skirted Tubs, Alcove Tubs are usually rectangular with three unfinished sides and one finished side (the tub skirt or apron). Tub-shower combinations are common with this type. A left or right tub orientation indicates that drain and faucet placement will be on that side, and these tubs often have flanges to help prevent water from leaking into your walls. The 3 wall alcove tub is considered a standard bathtub and is a good choice for smaller bathrooms where space needs to be maximized.

Drop In:


This wide-rim tub shell is designed to sit inside a separately built enclosure or frame. This requires more intricate installation, but when the enclosure or frame is built to the appropriate size, your tub will be flush with the surrounding surface when you drop the tub in.


Also designed to fit inside an enclosure, this type of bathtub has a rim that’s covered by a surrounding deck made of stone or tile. More intricate installation may be required.


This triangular-shaped tub is installed in the corner of a bathroom and is most often an alcove or drop-in style.


A higher-sided tub with greater depth for full submersion..


This spa-like tub propels jets of water for a soothing massage and hydrotherapy. Installation commonly includes a pump, air switch, electric timer, and access panel for adjustments and maintenance.

Air Tub:

This type of bathtub propels jets of air bubbles for a gentler massage than a whirlpool tub. Installation commonly includes a pump, air switch, electric timer, and access panel for adjustments and maintenance.

Walk In:

These tubs include a side-panel door and are ideal for those with limited mobility. Many come with additional safety features, like slip-resistant floors and grab bars.




Lightweight, easy to repair, and available in many colors and shapes, acrylic tubs can be more moderately priced.


These types of tubs are lightweight, reparable, and often more affordable than acrylic options.

Cast Iron:

Enameled cast iron is durable, solid, excellent at retaining heat, and available in many colors.


Usually made with a cast iron or steel base, porcelain-enameled tubs have an affordable, luxurious look that’s resistant to scratching and will retain its glossy finish for years.


This artisan option, often constructed with hammered recycled copper, is a costlier but one-of-a-kind finish that grows richer with time.


With a one-of-a-kind natural look, stone tubs are often hand-carved and excellent at retaining heat.




For Chromatherapy, underwater LED lights change color to suit your mood.


Built-in waterproof speaker panels can output sound and connect to other devices through bluetooth.


A built-in heating panel can be adjusted to add extra warmth to your back and shoulders.


Step 1: Measure Wall to Wall.

If buying an alcove tub, measure from wall to wall to find the length of available space.

For undermount or drop-in tubs, allow for one extra inch between the bathtub and each wall. This ensures that the lip of the tub will fit.

If your bathtub space isn’t constrained by walls, find out where your existing plumbing is and this will determine where your bathtub goes. The most common bathtub length is 60".


Step 2: Measure the run (length) of your bathroom.

Remember to account not only for the swing of any doors and space to access plumbing, but for room to get in and out of your tub comfortably. The most common bathtub width is 30".


Step 3: Measure the height of your bathroom. 

Find out how high your bathtub will be relative to the floor, bathtub height relative to the floor. Consider the height of your faucet off the ground and existing features like window ledges or electrical outlets. The most common bathtub height is 15" - 16".


Step 4: Basin size.

A tub’s basin is measured from the two farthest points, side to side, for both length and width.

If your current tub fits you well, these measurements will be helpful in deciding your new tub’s basin size. The most common basin size is 60” x 30”.


Step 5: Soaking depth.

This determines how submerged you are in your tub. Measure from the overflow drain to the base of the tub. The most common soaking depth is 14” - 17”.


Step 6: Tub capacity.

Each tub on our site lists its gallon capacity. Make sure your water heater can accommodate the capacity in gallons and make sure your floors can support the weight of the water with your tub.

A water heater tank should be two thirds (⅔) the size of the bathtub, meaning an 80 gallon capacity tub (the most common) needs a ~53 gallon capacity water heater.


Step 7: Delivery

Find out which entrance in your home your bathtub can fit through when it’s being delivered, and make sure your doorways and hallways all accommodate the delivery of your tub.


That’s it!

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, our line is always open: +1 (503) 208-4658. Give us a call or text us and we’ll be more than happy to help answer any questions.