To Tub or Not to Tub? That is the Question.

It can be tempting to forgo a tub altogether when building or remodeling a home, but it may not be the best move.

They take up too much space. No one has used it in at least a year. Who has the time these days? An oversized walk-in shower would be so much better.

All valid reasons for ditching a tub entirely if you’re building or renovating a home, aren’t they? If you agree, you’re not alone. According to an article on, people are in fact moving away from tubs and, given that the story ran nearly three years ago, opting for a tub-less home is clearly not a new trend. But unless you have no plans to sell your home before your next remodel, and are certain you’ll never have children or grandchildren – or friends with children staying – having a home with no tub may not be the best move.

Questions posted by homeowners about to build or remodel on both Apartment Therapy and Houzz sparked lengthy conversations about the pros and cons of going tub-less. The overall consensus was that if a home had only one bathroom, keep a tub. In most cases people cited young children as the reason to have one. But if a home has more than one full bath, ditching the tub – generally in the master bath – is considerably more practical.

If you do enjoy the occasional long, relaxing soak, freestanding tubs and slipper tubs can offer a best-of-both-worlds scenario. Not only do they take up far less floor space than a drop-in whirlpool style tub, many styles are actually deeper – perfect for soothing sore shoulders – and there are countless designs that include jets.

With the popularity of freestanding tubs exploding in recent years, manufacturers have been responding by creating more and more styles. From classic clawfoot style to ultra-contemporary, there is a design to complement any décor.

Some of our recent projects that have included freestanding tubs:

ABOVE: In this home we set the freestanding tub and glass-enclosed shower in opposite corners of the master bath which proved a space-efficient layout.

ABOVE: In this bathroom, a classic clawfoot tub was placed adjacent to a walk-in shower. We centered the tub below the window, with wall-mounted fillers directly beneath it, to create a sense of symmetry.

ABOVE: Kohler’s “Escale” tub with bubble massage offers a contemporary take on a freestanding tub.