When many people think of freestanding bathtubs, they picture a home in times long past, filled with dark antiques, with servants in white aprons scurrying up the back stairs. Fortunately, the freestanding bathtub is not a thing of the past. Not only are these tubs convenient, but they lend an air of elegance to your bathroom and your home.
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Freestanding bathtubs have been around for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans were fond of taking baths. While this activity usually took place in large, public baths, an ancient, personal bathtub has been excavated on the island of Crete. Baths fell out of style for several hundred years after the fall of the Roman Empire, but they became common again during the late 1700s. At first it was primarily the homes of the wealthy that had freestanding bathtubs, but eventually the practice of bathing became popular at all levels of society. At first most bathtubs were filled with pails of water, until indoor plumbing became more common in the 1800s.
Today many people are installing freestanding bathtubs in their homes. Some are remodelling Victorian-era houses and are seeking bathtubs that fit the traditional look of the home. Some want a bathtub that's unusual and different from the norm. Others are attracted to the sense of luxury and elegance freestanding bathtubs give their homes.
Anyone interested in installing a freestanding bathtub must choose a type of tub. The clawfoot tub, which is a bathtub standing on legs shaped like animal claws, was a popular style during the 1800s and remains a top choice today. Tubs that rest on pedestals or sit on the floor are also common. While there are plenty of vintage-looking tubs on the market, there are also sleek, contemporary styles perfect for a modern home.
Materials & Shape
Homeowners must also choose the materials and shape of the bathtub to best complement their home's decor. Freestanding bathtubs are made of a variety of materials, such as marble, cast iron and acrylic. The most common shapes are oval and oblong, but they can also be found in square and circular shapes, which can be an unexpected and attractive design feature.
Since a freestanding tub is not attached to a wall, the pipes leading to it will be visible, so homeowners will probably want to use high-quality, attractive, metal pipes, such as bronze. Measure the bathroom to make sure the tub will fit. While freestanding tubs can be placed anywhere, you may need a plumber to reroute the water pipes to the right spot and to hook up the tub.