Soaking in a traditional tub can be a serious letdown because the water is not deep enough. Many homeowners are turning to soaker tubs to bask in the luxury of a long, hot soak at the end of a trying day. But how much more space does a soaker tub require than a traditional bathtub?
The dimensions of a soaker tub range from 54 to 90 inches in length, 19 to 76 inches in width, and 14 to 30 inches in soaking depth. The dimensions vary based on the style and shape of the tub chosen. Additionally, you can choose different dimensions based on your size requirements.
This article will discuss the different types of soaker tubs, their average dimensions, and how they differ from the standard tub. I will also discuss choosing the perfect soaking depth and the importance of accounting for the filled weight of the tub when making your final selection.
|Type of Soaker Tub||Average Dimensions (length x width x soaking depth) in inches|
|Alcove||60 x 32 x 15|
|Freestanding||67 x 32 x 15|
|Japanese||35 x 27 x 27|
|Walk-In||60 x 30 x 30|
|Jetted||60 x 34 x 20.5|
|Corner||60 x 60 x 19|
Soaker Tub vs. Standard Tub
Most homes today have at least one tub. Deciding on the type of tub can be difficult for various reasons, including family needs, daily bathroom rituals, and comfort.
The standard tub is excellent if you have small children and tend to shower more often than soak in the bath. It’s typically 60 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 14 inches deep, which doesn’t allow much soaking space for the average adult.
On the other hand, soaker tubs are the ultimate in soaking luxury. They’re ideal for situations where your shower is separate from your tub and come in many different sizes and styles. Unlike with the standard model tub, you can easily submerge your entire body with an average depth of 20 inches.
While the typical bathtub comes in one rectangular shape, soaker tubs come in various styles that you can choose from depending on your needs.
Styles of Soaker Tubs
Several styles of soaker tubs are on the market, making it easy to find one that best meets the needs of your bathroom space and design. The different types will have varying space requirements, so it’s essential to know the effect you are looking for and the area you have to work with. These are some of the most commonly installed soaker tub types.
Often the style selected when you don’t have room for a separate shower, an alcove soaker tub is nestled amid three walls. It is frequently part of a shower combination because of its convenient location next to the wall.
For bathrooms with generous amounts of space available, the freestanding soaker tub is a great addition. As its name implies, it is free-standing from all objects, including all walls. The clawfoot tub is one of the most common freestanding soaker tubs.
This style of soaker tub can really make a statement as the centralized piece of your bathroom. You’ll also have to consider ensuring there is adequate room to move around the tub to get the most out of its use.
The Japanese soaker tub is typically much deeper than other models and is usually freestanding. One unique characteristic of this style is that bathers sit in an almost upright position while soaking.
This tub style is generally square or round, with a seat inside for the occupant to rest on. In addition to being seated on the floor, they can easily be sunken but may require steps for easy access. The Japanese-style tub is significantly deeper than a regular soaking tub, making it more challenging for those with mobility issues or for bathing small children.
Decreased mobility is not a problem with a walk-in soaker tub. You’ll still be able to enjoy the tub without the hassles or risks of trying to step over. Remember, if you choose this style, you must accommodate the door when it swings open.
If soaking isn’t luxurious enough, you could add jets to your tub. This style of soaker tub increases the therapeutic benefits of a deep soak. In addition to considering where your plumbing is located in relation to the tub, you’ll have to ensure there is electricity to power the jets.
If you have a corner that would be ideal for a soaker tub, there are specially designed-tubs just for this situation. Corner soaker tubs are molded to fit in these angled spaces, saving you room.
While it’s clear that these soaker tub styles come in different shapes, we need to know what sizes are offered. Let’s explore the general dimensions of each type of soaker tub.
General Dimensions of Soaker Tubs
Soaker tub dimensions will vary based on several factors. First, the style you pick will affect how much space the tub commands. For example, a Japanese soaker tub is more compact and takes up less space than the other models.
Second, you can get a larger tub based on the size of potential occupants. A 6’2” person will need more space than a 5’6” person.
Third, the shape you select will also affect the dimensions. Soaker tubs come in various shapes, including:
Many bathrooms feature an alcove-style tub area that needs a specific size soaker tub to fit the available dimensions. The soaker tubs designed for this type of space come in a range of sizes from 54 to 72 inches long, 30 to 36 inches wide, and an average of 15 inches of soaking depth.
A freestanding soaker tub has a length range of 35 to 80 inches, a width range of 20 to 59 inches, and a soaking depth range of 14 to 25 inches.
Compared to a standard bathtub which takes up approximately 13 square feet of space, your freestanding soaker tub may require more space because you have to allow for maneuvering around the tub.
The Japanese style soaker tub is designed to be smaller than a traditional soaker tub because of the position of the bather. Because of this, you can fit one in a much more compact bathroom. The average dimensions of a Japanese soaker tub are 35 x 27 x 27 inches.
Walk-in soaking tubs feature all the comfort of soaking that a person with decreased mobility may not be able to enjoy without the added feature of the door. The average dimensions are 60 x 30 x 30 inches, but the depth can be increased up to 46 inches depending on the height of the person you are trying to accommodate.
While jetted tubs used to take up a lot more space, the industry has advanced to allow for much sleeker designs. If you’re interested in adding this luxury to your soaker tub, you can expect to find the tub in sizes averaging 60 inches in length, with some extending as far as 72 inches, 32 to 36 inches wide, and 18 to 23 inches deep.
If you have a corner perfect for a soaker tub, there are various sizes available. The length and width can be as small as 48 inches or as large as 72 inches, with a soaking depth ranging between 18 and 20 inches.
Now that we’ve explored the average dimensions for each style of soaker tub let’s look at finding the perfect depth.
The Perfect Depth for a Soaker Tub
The ultimate goal in choosing a soaker tub is the relaxation you will get from basking in the luxuriousness of the hot water. That being said, you will need to decide on the ideal water depth. A soaker tub’s average depth is approximately 24 inches.
But that’s the average, not necessarily what you want. If you’re exceptionally tall, you may need an even deeper tub, or if you’re shorter, you could do with less.
Once you’ve decided on the style of soaker tub you want, you should heavily consider the ideal depth. You will need to choose where you want your water level to sit in the range of 14 to 30 inches. Ideally, it will come to your shoulders for the most comfort so that you are fully submerged.
Choosing the perfect depth can mean a lot of water, but what is the average water capacity for a soaker tub?
Soaker Tubs: The Average Water Capacity
When considering the size of the soaker tub you want for your home, you also need to determine what water capacity you can accommodate. A standard walk-in soaker tub can hold an average of 50 gallons of water, while a Japanese-style tub can hold up to 132 gallons. There are even soaker tubs that hold up to 250 gallons of water.
To put things in perspective, the standard bathtub’s average water capacity is only 42 gallons. So, as you can see, larger soaker tubs can take more than three times as much water to fill.
While you may think more is better, you need to know if your water heater can keep up with supplying that scale of hot water. If the heater is not big enough to fill a tub that size, there is little point in purchasing the one with the biggest water capacity that you can find.
In addition to the capacity of your water heater, you need to consider how much your soaker tub will weigh, both empty and full.
Calculating the Weight of Your Soaker Tub
Soaker tubs come in various materials, some weighing a lot more than others. Choices include the following:
- Cast iron
Consider, for example, a cast iron soaker tub. These tubs can weigh anywhere from 350 to over 1,000 pounds empty. Now factor in the addition of the water and the weight of an occupant.
This tub could weigh almost 3,000 pounds full, depending on its maximum water capacity. The weight of the full tub needs to be carefully considered during your search because if it exceeds the maximum capacity of your floor, you could be in a world of trouble. Cast iron tubs are recommended for first-floor installations due to their weight.
Installing on higher levels could require the addition of increased supports to the floor to sustain the weight of the full tub. This addition will add to the overall cost of the installation.
So, when considering how much water your new tub will hold, don’t forget to consider how much that water weighs – roughly 8 pounds per gallon – and whether your bathroom floor can support it.
Building codes generally specify that rooms not meant for sleeping should have a minimum load capacity of 40 pounds per square foot. So, you can multiply the square footage of your bathroom by 40 pounds to verify if the floor can support the weight of your desired bathtub when it is full.
Suppose you suspect you have any structural damage, such as in the floor joists. In that case, you should consult with a professional to identify any additional support needs you will require before installing a new soaker tub.
Getting rid of your traditional bathtub in honor of a soaker tub can be a significant step toward true luxury. Being able to submerge yourself in hot water fully can soothe those aches and pains.
Before you buy a soaker tub, you need to establish what size tub you have room to accommodate. Start with measuring the available space and decide which style of tub fits it the best. Then, you can start shopping for your ideal soaker tub.
You’ll also need to consider the weight of a filled tub. If your floor is not strong enough to support the tub you’re looking at, you will need to have modifications made or choose another tub.
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