What Size Bathtub Do You Need? | The Complete Bathtub Size Guide


Choosing the right size bathtub and measuring for it correctly can be daunting. In the past, it was easier. Most bathtubs were made from tin, wood, or porcelain and were a standard style, shape, and color.  Today’s bathtubs are designed to fit your space and lifestyle and so there is a wider range of choices.

A standard alcove-type bathtub measures 60″ L (152.4cm), 30 – 32″ W (76.2 – 81.2cm), and 14 – 34″ D (35.5 – 86.3cm).

Newer bathtub types including free standing tubs can range in size from 35 – 80″ L (88.9 – 203.2cm), 20 – 72″ W(50.8 – 182.8cm), and 14 – 30″ D (35.5 – 76.2cm). 

You’ll need to measure your space carefully and consider the sizes of all bathroom fixtures before deciding on a bathtub. Read on for the complete guide to how to measure for the tub and other bathroom fixtures.

The Most Common Bathtub Sizes

Not all bathtubs are alike. Bathtubs are made from a variety of materials and are available in different styles and shapes to suit different purposes. So, it stands to reason that bathtubs are not all the same size.

Most contractors leave space for an average-sized tub when planning a bathroom remodel. If the new tub you want to install is not standard-sized, speak to your contractor during the planning stages to avoid unnecessary surprises.

Although tubs are available in different sizes and styles, the Alcove-type tub is the most common as it takes up the least space in a regular bathroom and generally suits any décor.

The overall external measurements for a standard wall-wall tub with a front apron are:

·         60″ Long (152.4cm), 30″ wide (76.2cm), and 14 – 16″ deep (35.5 – 40.6cm)

The overall basin or inside measurements of the tub will vary depending on the materials used on the surround as well as the bathtub material. All tubs have a slant, making them slightly wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. Standard basin or inner tub measurements are:

·         55″ Long x 24″ Wide (139.7 x 60.9cm) at the top of the tub

·         45″ Long x 22″ Wide (114.3 x 55.9cm) at the bottom of the tub

Tub types have different dimensions according to shape and style.

Bathtub Size Guide

This chart will give you an idea of what sizes are available.

Note: Common or standard sizes for built-in alcove and freestanding tubs will differ.

Bathtub TypeOverall LengthOverall WidthOverall Height
Alcove Tub54" (137.1cm) 60" (152.4cm) 72" (182.8cm)30" (76.2cm) 32" (81.2cm) 36" (91.4cm)14" (35.5cm) 16” (40.6cm) 18" (45.7cm) 20" (50.8cm)
Corner Tub48 - 72" (121.9 – 182.8cm)48 - 72" (121.9 – 182.8cm)18 - 22" (45.7 – 55.8cm)
Drop-in Tub45 – 72" (114.3 – 182.8cm)30 - 32" (76.2 – 81.2cm)14 – 20" (35.5 – 50.8cm)
Freestanding Tub35 - 80" (88.9 – 203.2cm)20 - 59" (50.8 – 149.8cm)14 – 25" (35.5 – 63.5cm)
Hammock Tub8.5 – 9.8 feet (259 – 298cm)39 – 50”(99 – 127cm)25.6” (65cm)
Oval Tub60" (152.4cm)41" (104.1cm)24" (60.96cm)
Soaking tub40" (101.6cm)32" (81.2cm)34" (86.36cm)
Undermount tub45 -72" (114.3 – 182.8cm)30 – 32" (76.2 – 81.2cm)14 – 20”(35.5 – 50.8cm)
Whirlpool Tub60" (152.4cm)32 – 36”(76.2 – 91.4cm)18 – 23-1/4" (45.72 – 58.4cm)
Walk in tub48 – 60" (121.9 – 152.4cm)28 – 36" (71.1 – 91.4cm)30" (76.2cm)

How to Measure a Bathtub

Trying to figure out the dimensions of a bathtub can be like learning a new language – there are so many different aspects involved! We have compiled a quick guide to take all the guesswork out of measuring your tub.

Watch this video for instructions on how to measure a bathtub

Bathtub measurementsArea
Overall lengthfrom end to end on the outside edge of the tub
Overall heightfrom the floor to the top rim of the tub
Basin lengththe inside area of the tub from end to end
Basin heightthe inside area of the tub from the bottom to the top of the rim
Overall widthfrom side to side on the outside edge of the tub
Basin widthfrom side to side on the inside of the tub
Soaking deptha full tub from the bottom to below the overflow drain

How to Measure the Space when Replacing a Bathtub

Remodeling your bathtub could involve time, effort, and money, so before you start, you should measure the available area and decide which route is best for you. The size and style of your perfect tub should fit comfortably into the space without damaging or encroaching on the area around it.

Before deciding where you’ll put your tub, figure out the space you’ll need for other bathroom fixtures that I discuss below. 

The International Building Codes (IBC) regulate the placement of bathroom fixtures. Always the IBC and your local building code requirements before you begin. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) provides a suggested list of parameters to follow regarding the amount of space you need to comfortably fit all your fixtures into the bathroom area:

Toilets and Bidets

Do you want a bidet attachment?

Space around the toilets and bidets should allow enough room for the user to take care of business without blocking access to the sink, tub, shower, and doorway.

IBC code requirements allow for 15″ (38.1cm) from the center of the toilet or bidet to the nearest  wall or fixture, but 18″ (45.7cm) is recommended by the NKBA.

Clearance from the front of the toilet or bidet is 21″ (53.3cm) according to IBC code, but the recommended clearance by the NKBA is 30″ (76.2cm)with 48″ (121.9cm) for disabled access.

24″ (70 cm) of clear space should always be to the front of the toilet or bidet, so install this fixture opposite a door or open wall to provide the room required.

Bathroom Sinks

bathroom vanity with vessel sinks

The guidelines are different for single or double sinks. Always measure from the center line of the sink.

The IBC code requires a distance of 15″ (38.1cm) from the back wall, with a recommended distance by the NKBA of 20″ (50.8cm). This provides room for under-sink plumbing.

The minimum IBC code requirement from a wall is 15″  (38.1cm)from the front of the sink, with a NKBA recommended distance of 20″ (50.8cm).·         Double sinks should be at least 36″ (91.4cm) apart, so include these measurements in your plans. This allows sufficient space for people to use the sinks at the same time.

Bathroom Vanities

Vanities provide storage space in the bathroom as well as a container for the sink. Ensure that your vanity will be the correct size for the room. Measure the vanity from the edge of the countertop to the fixture.

The IBC code requirement is a minimum distance of 21″ (53.3cm) from the front of the vanity to the nearest wall or fixture. A space of 30″ (76.2cm) is recommended by the NKBA.

Bathtubs

Wherever you place the tub in the bathroom, always allow space for easy access to plumbing.

The minimum requirements for a tub are clear floor space alongside the length of the tub and a clear area of at least 30″ (76.2cm) next to the tub.

Enclosed Showers

Height of Bathroom Sconces
Frameless shower door

No rules apply to in-tub showers, but it goes without saying that if you are installing a shower head over your tub, there should be enough space for the tallest family member to stand comfortably under the shower!

These are the requirement for enclosed showers:

The NKBA recommends wall-to-wall interior dimensions of 34″ (86.36cm), but 32″ (81.2cm) is allowed by the IBC.

The IBC requires a minimum finished interior of 1024 sq inches (2600cm) with a circular diameter of 30″ (76.2cm). Add the space needed for an opening door to these measurements.

What is the Best Bathtub Size for a Small Bathroom?

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to bathrooms, and a tiny tub can be mighty! Alcove, drop-in, and undermount tubs would probably fit better into a smaller space, but freestanding and soaking tubs could add a nice feature in a small area.

What is the Best Bathtub Size for a Large Bathroom?

With a large bathroom area, you have options! Depending on the size of the bathroom space, you could choose from any shape or sized tub.

The beauty of large bathroom space is that you could have any tub, from a regular alcove type to a Japanese soaking tub or even a swim spa!

What Is The Best Bathtub Size For A Person 6 Ft Tall?

While many small tubs are available for small areas and to fit smaller people, is there a comfortable-sized tub for a tall person?

Yes, and you don’t necessarily need a large bathroom space! If you have space in your bathroom for an oversized tub, choose one that measures 72″ (182.88cm) or 80″ (203.2cm) in length, like the alcove or freestanding type tubs. This tub size will provide the length that a taller person needs.

A soaking tub like the Hammock tub  can be especially comfortable for a taller bather.

How to Choose a Bathtub

A bathtub is generally an expensive item, and once installed, it is not easy to move or replace – in fact, your bathtub may last longer than you do! So make sure you get a tub that you can live with for years.

Choosing the perfect bathtub for you can be daunting as there are so many stunning designs, shapes, styles, and colors, so take your time and find a tub that suits you!

In certain markets, a bathtub can even make a  house worth more money.

So What is the Best Tub Size For You?

The best tub size for you will be one that suits your needs and that will fit in with your bathroom space and décor. As modern tubs are available in many shapes, styles, and sizes, you should find the perfect tub for your sanctuary. Click the button below to start shopping the very best tubs currently  on the market:

Shana

Shana Burg is a bath enthusiast, content strategist, and award-winning writer. She is the founder of bathtubber.com.

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