Rub a Dub, Dub: What Size Tub Is the One for You?

So it’s time for a new tub.  This is a fun process, but there are a few things to keep in mind when picking out the perfect tub for your spa like soaking experience.  Tubs generally come in a few standard lengths and a small variety of widths.

Let’s talk about tub lengths for a moment. The standard lengths are 60”, 66” and 72”. A common builder’s tub space size space is 72” and so you might naturally assume a 72” tub is the best size to get.  Bigger is better, right? Well, with tubs, not really.

If you are sitting in a tub, full of water, that is too long for you, you are in a state of constantly trying not to drown. You must be able to plant your feet at the end of the tub in order to relax in the tub. Even a 66” tub is sufficient for most men!

You should sit in different size tubs, to see for yourself.  Find a showroom where you can sit in tubs to see what is best for you.  Remember, the back rests on tubs will also vary, what is the most comfortable for one person, is the worst position for someone else.  Armrests are another consideration.  Some people love them, others don’t need them.  With our aging population, sometimes they aid in getting our feet back under ourselves when it is time to get out.  If you don’t have armrests, you are using the rim of the tub to haul yourself up.  A long way to reach with your hands if your tub is quite deep.

Then there is the width option.  Many older homes only have space for a 30” wide tub.  These generally are not bad as a tub, for most people.  However, if the client requires armrests, these narrow down the amount of hip width that is available to sit in, which can be problematic for some people.  A 30” wide tub also makes for a very narrow shower space, particularly with doors, which are very unforgiving when elbows hit them.

The next width is 32”.  Some manufacturers actually charge less for this slightly larger tub, than they do for the 30”.  There is more call for the 32” size now, as they are, in so many ways, a more comfortable size, both for bathing and for showering.

Then there are the 34” and 36” widths; much less commonly used, but available in some models.

Tub depths also vary from shallow excuses for tubs (9” – 11”), and soakers (17” and up.).  Keep in mind that when you are looking at the depth of the tub, you should also look at the water depth.  The water depth is dictated by the height of the overflow inside the tub.  And the height of these holes will vary.  In fact, some very ingenious manufacturers have come up with ways to give us even more depth by installing horizontal overflows in some of their tubs.

Keep in mind, the larger the tub you have, the more water that will be required to fill it – so check your hot water tank size.