Clawfoot to Whirlpool: Find the Best Bathtub for Your Family

Bathtubs serve as both design assets and personal retreats. Whether you’re looking to replace your current bathtub, or renovate your bathroom to include one, these tips will help you to determine how to choose a bathtub that best fits your home and lifestyle.

Tub Styles


The clawfoot tub has been extremely popular since the 1800s, and for good reason: this classic style is elegant and trendproof. The design is such that the tub’s base is supported by four legs, and the faucet and hardware are mounted to the side of the basin. Slipper-type clawfoot tubs have a higher back to support the head and neck for more comfortable bathing. Note that these tubs may require more space than other designs.


A freestanding tub is a popular choice for homeowners who want a tub with a modern look that delivers a luxurious, spa-like bathing experience. Like the clawfoot, the freestanding tub is a standalone model. This contemporary tub style comes in a variety of shapes and aesthetics, and can be fashioned from many materials, including porcelain, acrylic, and cast iron.


Recessed bathtubs (also known as alcove tubs) are most commonly found in homes built in the past 50 years. This style features a three-walled enclosure and one finished side that faces out into the bathroom. This style also usually incorporates a shower, making it ideal for homeowners who desire the functionality of both a shower and tub without taking up too much space.


Homeowners who love a lengthy bath are apt to gravitate towards the soaking tub. This style is deeper and wider than typical tubs, which also makes it an excellent choice for taller people. This option is also gaining popularity with families who have small children, as the tubs provide more room for kids and toys, and a deeper basin ensures that water isn’t splashed onto the floor.


Baths were once difficult, and even off-limits, for handicapped or mobility-impaired individuals. However, new handicap bathtub models are ADA-compliant and make bathing safe and fun again. These tubs include non-slip floors, grab bars for safety and stability, wide edges for easing into the tub, and sometimes built-in seat benches. Handicap bathtubs can also include a hinged door that easily opens and closes, and seals shut after it’s been filled. This model is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners who look after aging parents, as the tubs help prevent falls and injuries.


For ultimate relaxation, consider a Whirlpool bathtub. These modelsuse jets to circulate water in such a way that promotes improved circulation, muscle pain relief, and more. Still, Whirlpool models tend to be quite a bit larger than traditional bathtubs, so keep in mind that they won’t work with every space.

Bathtub Materials


Copper is known for its antimicrobial properties, as well as its luxurious look. Still, copper models come with the heftiest price tag.


The most affordable and popular option is acrylic. The material is extremely durable, resistant to scratches, and easily moldable into a variety of sizes and shapes. Acrylic’s high-gloss finish ensures that it looks clean and beautiful long after the installation.

Cast Iron

A cast iron tub is excellent for homeowners who enjoy long baths in cold winters, as it’s able to retain heat far better than other materials. Cast iron often includes an enamel finish which allows homeowners to customize the color and finish of their tub.


Also known as Enameled Steel, steel is lighter than cast iron, which can makes it easier to install without structural worries. Porcelain enamel is durable and easy to clean, and many are drawn to its classic look.
There are many types of bathtubs on the market, all with their own advantages. Whether you choose to keep things classic with a cast-iron clawfoot tub or add a modern touch with a soaking tub, you’re sure to make an investment you’ll enjoy for years to come.