Is a Copper Bathtub Worth It? | 11 Pros & Cons + Alternatives


A copper bathtub can mean many things to different people. From rustic charm to classic fixtures, a copper bathtub is the ultimate in luxury bathing and a great way to soak at the end of the day!

With a starting price of around $2,500 USD, a copper bathtub is durable, anti-bacterial, hygienic, beautiful, and almost indestructible.

A copper tub is the ultimate in luxury tubs. Let’s explore whether a copper bathtub is worth the price for you, and if not, what are some great alternatives.

Is a Copper Bathtub Worth It?

This type of luxury tub makes a statement in any space, indoors or outdoors. This is the bathtub you need if you are looking for a great investment and a beautiful, artistic, leave-an-impression, but still functional piece.

Not only does a copper bathtub look beautiful, but it also has some health benefits too! However, as much as you want one, the price could be a factor as they don’t come cheap.

High-Quality vs Low-Quality Copper: Know the Difference

 

COPPER TYPEDESCRIPTION
Lower quality recycled copperBathtubs made from lower-quality recycled copper are deemed unsafe as they could contain lead or mercury, which could leach into the tub water and make it toxic. Check the content of the metal before you buy your bathtub.
Pure recycled copperHigh-quality pure copper is judged by the percentage of copper in the metal mix. The metal mix should contain at least 97% pure copper to be deemed safe for bathing.

The thickness of the metal is a factor – the lower the gauge number or thickness, the better the quality of the copper: 14- to 16- gauge copper is best. A thinner or higher number gauge will, over time, dent and warp.

Knowing the difference between the two types of copper tubs is critical for your purchase.  

Most of the copper in circulation today is recycled. When an old copper item is discarded, it is melted down and combined with different alloys to form recycled copper, which is used to create new items.

And most copper tubs are made from recycled copper. There is low-quality recycled copper, which is not safe for your tub, and there is high-quality recycled copper that is the type of metal you want.

 

Copper Bathtub Prices

free standing copper bathtub with center drain and faucet

The price of a tub forged of copper depends on the size, shape, style, and type of copper used to manufacture the tub.

High-quality tubs without any additional extras (jets, faucets, etc.) can range from $2,500.00 to $10,000.00 or more!

 

Installation Costs

 A copper bathtub is extremely heavy, and installation costs can run as much as the tub itself. More than one person will be needed to move the tub into your home.

 You also might need added floor supports to carry the tub’s weight and an upgraded water heater to cater to the additional volume if your new tub is larger than the old one. You might also need a faucet upgrade for your new tub. 

The average cost to install a bathtub is $4,370.00 but could range between $1,448.00 and $7,292.00. Removing your old tub could cost roughly $62.00 to $133.00. Contractors will charge between $490.00 and $590.00 for a basic installation. (Source)

You may need to install extra floor supports because of the weight of the tub. Ask your contractor.

 

 

11 Pros and Cons of Copper Bathtubs

freestanding 
copper bathtub

Although a copper tub can bring a touch of luxury to any home, these bathtubs are not for everyone. Let’s have a look at a few pros and cons that you should be aware of before you make a purchase.

 

Pros

A copper bathtub has many advantages:

 

1. Long-Lasting and Almost Indestructible

Copper is ageless and could outlive you and your children! Plus, it’s almost impossible to distinguish old copper from new. Copper is long-lasting, durable, resilient, and extremely strong, qualities not found in any other material.

 

2. Aesthetically Appealing

A copper bathtub offers classic beauty and an air of old-world charm. Copper bathtubs are available in different shapes and designs and can be custom-ordered to fit into any space. Some tubs are lined in nickel or acrylic, while others have a hammered or smooth finish.

These finishes allow you to create the ambiance of your choice in your space, whether it be a rustic, outdoors feel, or a more luxurious, upmarket look.

 

3. Copper Has a “Living-Finish”

Copper has a range of colors and shades from new-penny shiny to deep brown. The surface will tarnish over time, creating a unique “living -finish” or patina. 

A “living-finish” is a characteristic unique to copper, distinguishing it from other metals. Oxygen reacts with the metal causing the color to deepen with time and eventually stabilizing as a deep, rich shade. 

Because of the “living-finish,” copper is capable of healing itself—another wonderful benefit! So, if your copper bathtub is scraped or scratched, these cuts will, over time, disappear and become a part of the overall finish of the tub. 

The effects of the “living-finish” and patina on your copper bathtub will create a unique, one-of-kind tub in your bathroom. 

 

4. Easy to Maintain, Natural Finish

Rinsing the bathtub with clean water after each use and patting dry surfaces will prevent mineral deposits in your tub. Occasional cleaning with a soft cloth and mild soap will help keep your copper tub at its best. But be sure to avoid abrasive cleaning agents, which could damage the copper surface.

The patina is the rusting on the surface of the tub produced by oxidation. To preserve the patina, you can regularly rub the surface of your tub with furniture polish, beeswax, or copper wax. And when you are happy with it, apply a coat of clear lacquer to keep it in that state.

You can also use a copper polishing cream twice a year to strip off the patina. However, using this type of polish more often could damage the finish.

A word of caution – never use salt in your copper bathtub as this will damage the patina. There are certain additives you can add to the water to customize your soak, but do your research first.

 

5. Naturally Hygienic and Anti-Bacterial

Copper bathtubs are well known for their hygienic surfaces. They are naturally anti-bacterial and mold-resistant, meaning that they will never corrode or rust and are always sanitary.  

The water in a copper bathtub is cleaner and more hygienic than regular bathwater, and bacteria can only survive for a few hours on copper as opposed to stainless steel and other bathtub materials.

 

6. Fantastic Heat Retention

Copper bathtubs retain heat for longer than tubs made from many other materials. This allows you to soak for longer without having to top up with warm water, saving you water and energy costs. 

In fact, the copper in the bathtub will remain warm for about an hour after the water is drained from the tub, proving that copper has excellent thermal properties.

 

7. Eco-Friendly and Recyclable

All copper can be recycled and used again and again in different forms. Copper has the highest recycling rate of all metals, and it is estimated that of the 550 million tons mined since 1900, two-thirds are still in use!

 

8. Add Value to Your Home      

As copper bathtubs are so long-lasting and beautiful, many people consider them a worthwhile investment in their homes, often listing them as a feature when placing the house on the market.  

 

 

Cons

copper bathtub

Like any bathtub material, copper has some disadvantages too:

 

1. The Price of a Copper Bathtub

A Copper Bathtub can be very expensive due to the metal it is made from, and the time it takes to make the tub. Most copper bathtubs are handmade.

As this type of tub is expensive and could cost quite a bit to install, make sure that the tub you buy is the one you like as you won’t be able to replace it in a hurry.

 

2. Difficult to Find

A copper bathtub is not generally found in your local retail store. Most tubs are found online, adding to the costs of the tub with shipping and handling. 

You can order a Copper Bathtub directly from the manufacturer, which could result in a one-of-a-kind, unique tub, but you would need to provide all the measurements and arrange everything online.

 

3. Low-Quality Copper Can Be Toxic

 

Low-quality recycled copper could contain toxic metals like mercury and lead. Always check the content of the metal before purchase and buy from a reputable manufacturer.

 

 

Copper Bathtub Styles

 
 

For an idea of what copper bathtub styles are available and how stunning they will look in your bathroom, watch the video above.

 

My Picks: Best Copper Bathtubs

These are my favorite copper bathtub styles and some of my favorite luxury copper bathtubs! These tubs range in price from about $3,500-$7,000.

Bateau Double Slipper Copper Bathtub

 

picture of double slippered bateau copper bathtub available on Etsy

The hammerhead bathtub is distinguishable by its rough finish, created by using a hammer. The hammer creates indentations on the surface of the tub. If the tub does not have a hammered look, it has a smooth finish. 

The stylish and unique Bateau Double Slipper Copper Bathtub has a hammered antique copper finish. Handmade and weighing 110lbs (50kgs), this tub can be customized to suit your needs.

This freestanding slipper-shaped tub is designed for two bathers at a time. 

The tub sports decorative rings on the outside and is covered in a protective lacquer.


 

Soluna Copper Japenese Soaking Tub

 

soluna japanese style soaking bathtub available on Amazon

Japanese soaking Copper Bathtubs have the benefit of being smaller and taller, allowing you to sit upright in the tub as opposed to the traditional style of lying down to soak. They are available in many sizes and shapes for the full Ofuro experience.

This bathtub style is great for stress relief and will add value to your home.

The Soluna Copper Japanese Soaking Tub is a Japanese-inspired Ofuru-style bathtub is a freestanding tub designed for the smaller bathroom.

Handmade by 3rd generation Coppersmiths, this tub has all the benefits of a standard soaking tub with a built-in seat. 

The hammered patina finish on this Copper Bathtub is available in four unique colors – Matte Copper, Café Natural, Rio Grande, and Dark Smoke. 


 

Pure Copper Claw Foot Copper Bathtub

This is it if you are looking for one of the best copper bathtubs! This claw foot freestanding tub is designed to be the center of attention in your bathroom. 

Beautiful and elegant, the Pure Copper Claw Foot Luxury Bathtub is a flashback to the pomp and ceremony of yesteryear with its classic vintage style. 

With 4 decorative claw foot legs, this elegant, freestanding bathtub is customizable to suit any space. 


Alternatives to Copper Tubs

If a Copper Bathtub is out of your price range, don’t despair, there are plenty of other bathtub materials available to turn your bathroom into the space of your dreams! 

Faux Copper Clawfoot Bathtub

Faux Copper is a great alternative to real copper. To create the copper finish, all it takes is a bathtub made from any paintable material, not necessarily metal. Glazes and paints are used to create a copper look and finish to the bathtub that has an acrylic liner inside the tub. 

This Faux Copper Clawfoot Bathtub has a lovely Copper bronze exterior with a long-lasting Acrylic interior. This lightweight tub measures 30″ x 61″ (76.2 x 154.94 cm) with a 46 gallon (209 litre) capacity.

If you are looking for a stylish, comfortable, affordable Copper Bathtub look-alike, this tub ticks all the boxes! 


More Copper Bath Alternatives

Kohler-Stillness-Bath
Kohler Stillness Infinity Bath

If you’re looking for luxury bathtubs but don’t think copper is right for you, check out my posts on these other tub types:

Infinity Bathtubs

Marble Bathtubs

Japanese Soaking Tubs


Copper Bathtub Trivia

Throughout the centuries, kings, queens, aristocrats, and emperors have chosen to bathe in the luxury of a copper tub, proving that while trends come and go, taking a dip in this sort of bathtub is timeless! 

Eighteenth-Century French monarchs were big fans of these tubs. Servants even rolled them tubs into bed chambers on castors and filled the tubs up with water heated over an open flame. 

The outrageously extravagant homes of Marie-Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte housed copper bathtubs, adding to their air of grandeur. 

 

 

So Is a Copper Bathtub Worth It?

A copper bathtub in your bathroom looks striking! So many of the available designs and styles are breathtaking. 

If you have the budget and are looking for a great, high-quality bathtub that will last a lifetime and only become more beautiful with age, a copper bathtub may be right for you.

Note: If you’re about to embark on a bathroom remodel, sign up for my newsletter using the form below. I’ll send you my Save Big $$$ Cheat Sheet. It contains designer hacks that can literally help you save you thousands of dollars.

Shana

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

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