Is a Wood Bathtub Worth It? Pros, Cons, and Alternatives


Wood Bathtub

While a good old standard bathtub made of acrylic or fiberglass is great for relaxing at the end of the day, nothing beats the splendor of a wooden tub! A wooden tub is designed to bring a comforting and relaxing atmosphere into the bathroom while adding a touch of sophistication and class.

A wood bathtub is considered a work of art and an investment worthy of the hefty price tag. A standard wooden bathtub costs around $1,500.00, while high-end tubs could cost $30,000.00. Bathing in a wood bathtub makes the experience feel both exotic and closer to nature.

If owning a wood bathtub appeals to you, read on to discover more about costs, pros and cons, and some of my favorite models and alternatives.

Is a Wood Bathtub Worth it?

bathtub that is made of wood

There are many wood bathtub styles available, and they all have the same purpose – to provide a quiet, peaceful space for the bather to relax and meditate at the end of a long day.

Many tub lovers would say that a wood bathtub is worth the investment. Nothing else can compare to relaxing in a luxury tub crafted from wood, breathing in the wonderful scents released by the hot water in the tub.

Tubs made from wood are elegant and luxurious, constructed from solid wood in any size or shape. Most wood bathtubs are wider and deeper than regular bathtubs, while the wood tub’s beautiful finishes can match your home’s décor and style.

Most wood bathtubs will last for around 20 years, making them more long-lasting and durable than tubs made from other materials.

 

What Does a Wood Bathtub Cost?

wooden bathtub with pink yukata

Most wood bathtubs are handmade, so if you do buy one of these tubs, it will be a one-of-a-kind work of art. Let’s look at what a wood tub will cost and how much it will cost to install.

 

 

The Cost of a Wood Bathtub

A wood bathtub comes with a hefty price. Smaller, simpler tubs made using a cheaper quality wood can cost around $1,500.00, while high-end tubs can start at $30,000.00. (Source)

A word of caution when choosing a cheaper wood bathtub – cheaper could mean that the wood has not received the correct coating, which could result in the tub cracking and leaking. Invest in the very best tub that you can afford, and it could last a lifetime with the correct care.

The price of a wood bathtub depends on the bathtub style, the size of the tub, the type of wood used, and the additional extras, such as:

  • Headrest
  • Built-in seating
  • Wrap-around backsplash
  • Whirlpool jets 

 

 

The Installation Costs of a Wood Bathtub

Installing a bathtub is tricky and will require the services of a professional contractor. You’ll also need to pay extra to remove your existing tub first.

According to Angi.com, to install a new tub you can expect to pay:

  • $300-$800 to prepare the surface for a new tub after the old tub is removed.
  • $400-$1,900 for plumbing
  • $500-$2000 for sealing, painting and tiling once the new wood tub is put in place.

Additionally, you may need to pay for extra floor supports and to haul away the old tub.

 

Faucets

If you are going to invest in a wood bathtub, an elegant and stylish faucet should be another investment. 

Read about bathtub faucet types here and get my recommendations for the best freestanding waterfall tub fillers. Be aware that the most durable tub fillers have a ceramic cartridge inside rather than plastic. 

 

Water Heaters

If your new tub is bigger than your old tub, you may need to upgrade your existing water heater. Consider a tankless water heater which can provide hot water on-demand and is more energy-efficient than a traditional water tank.

 

 

 

Petrified Wood Bathtubs

wood bathtub

A petrified wood bathtub is the Rolls-Royce of wood bathtubs. Petrified wood is a very rare type of fossilized wood from Indonesia. Million-years old trees that were turned to stone in volcanic ash are now used to create modern works of art.

One piece of stone is used to create a handmade bespoke bathtub. While the outside of the tub is left as is, the inside is polished to perfection.

Recently a petrified wood bathtub named “The Jewel” was auctioned for a staggering $2,000,000.00! (Source) This prehistoric bathtub was carved from a gigantic 14-ton piece of petrified wood that’s roughly 18 million years old.

 

 

7 Pros and Cons of Wood Bathtubs

Adding a wood bathtub to your bathroom might sound like a wonderful idea as, let’s face it, the look and smell of a wood tub does tick a few boxes on the romance and fantasy list! But, before buying one, consider all the pros and cons.

Pros of a Wood Bathtub

These are some of the wonderful benefits of owning a luxurious wooden bathtub:

 

 

1. Naturally Beautiful

Each wood bathtub is naturally beautiful and unique. The grain of the wood can be stained to present a dark, rich color to the wood, or it can simply be sealed with a varnish, allowing the natural color of the grain to shine.

 

 

2. Customizable

A custom-built bathtub means you get what you want as the tub is made to your specifications to fit the space in your bathroom.

As most wood bathtubs are handmade, no two  are ever exactly alike. Owning a wood bathtub is owning your very own piece of functional, bespoke art.

A customized tub is great for bathers requiring a longer or wider tub. For some, a bathtub big enough for two is the best way to relax or bring on the romance at the end of the day.

 

 

3. Perfect For Outdoor Use

Wood bathtubs are perfect for use in the great outdoors. They have a rustic feel, emphasizing the natural beauty of the outdoors, and they can be made to fit any space.

 

 

4. Retains Heat

Wood retains heat for much longer than most other bathtub materials. This allows you to relax and soak in the tub for a while longer without needing to top up the tub with warm water. 

Unlike porcelain or steel, wood is warm to the touch, so your bathing experience begins while you sit on the side and run water into the tub.

 

 

5. Lasts Decades

If you take proper care of your wood tub, it should last you 20 years or more. This is much longer than the expected lifespan of bathtubs made from other materials.  

 

 

Cons of Wooden Bathtubs

These are some of the problems that you should be aware of when owning a wood bathtub:

 

1. Expensive

Wood bathtubs come with a hefty price tag, but many people feel they are worth the investment. They are costly to purchase and install, often requiring extra floor supports to hold the weight of the full tub. 

 

 

2. Need More Maintenance

Wood and water are incompatible, so to ensure that a wood bathtub lasts a long time, maintenance is required to keep it in tip-top condition. You’ll need to fill your tub once a week and keep it away from direct sunlight to prevent it from drying out. Also, take care not to use abrasive cleaners.

 

 

Why Choose a Wood Bathtub?

The primary function of a wood bathtub is for bathing, but it is so much more than that! A wood bathtub is a piece of art designed to complement the bathroom’s décor or even the outdoor area. Check out this video for an idea of what your wood bathtub could look like.

 

 

Best Wood Bathtubs

These are some of my favorite, unique wood bathtub styles:

1. Ofuru Wooden Soaking Tub

 

Traditionally handmade from cedar wood and an important part of the Japanese culture, the customizable Ofuru is an elegant, classic Japanese-styled soaking tub. This means bathers can sit upright in water neck high.

The standard square tub measures 51.18 x 28.3 x 27.2-inches (130 x 69.1 x 72cm), but as the tub is handmade, the manufacturer are able to customize the tub to fit your bathroom plan.

This tub does not have a built-in bench or seat, but a bottom waste drain is included. Treat the wood with oil every 6 months to keep the tub in tip-top condition.

 

 

 

2. Alfi Free Standing Cedar Wood Bathtub

 

This Freestanding Cedar wood bathtub comes complete with all the fixtures and instructions required for an easy installation. Simply place the tub in the perfect location and connect the drain!

Built for 2 people, this oval-shaped tub includes two seats and two headrests. Three electroplated iron wraps provide durability, providing an old-fashioned, rustic look and feel to this classic tub.

Only 159 pounds, this lightweight tub may not require the extra installation costs associated with heavier wood tubs.

A free wooden hanging basket is included to keep your toiletries (And your glass of wine) handy while you bathe.

 

 

 

3. Rosewood Bathtub

 

How gorgeous is this? Handmade from stacked elliptical rings of rosewood. The tub holds 92 gallons (or 350 liters). The bath does not have an overflow drain and the bottom base is a flat surface with a rubber mat beneath.

The artisan uses fractal wood-burning and crushed malachite to give this tub its exquisite appearance. 

Delivery after order is 12-16 weeks. Comes with a rosewood bath caddy.

 

 

 

Alternatives to Wood Bathtubs

Wood bathtubs are not for everyone, and there are some fantastic alternatives if you love the idea of a luxury tub but not necessarily one made from wood. 

Freestanding tubs are designed to be the focal point in any bathroom or outdoor space, but if you prefer sitting in the bathtub rather than lying down, try this tub for an option:

 

 

Soluna Copper Japanese Style Soaking Tub

 

soluna japanese style soaking bathtub available on Amazon

The Soluna Copper Japanese Style Soaking Copper Bathtub is an excellent alternative for those wanting a more Ofuro experience. The elegant, clean copper design is perfect for smaller bathrooms without sacrificing depth and comfort.

The 158-gallon soaking tub comes in four finishes: cafe natural, dark smoke, matte copper, and Rio Grande. 

 

 

Vanity Art Freestanding Bathtub

The Vanity Art 70.5-inch bathtub can be placed anywhere in your bathroom. Easy to clean, stain, and scratch-resistant, this tub is manufactured from high-quality materials

4 leveling legs and a flexible drain hose are included in the price. The manufacturer offers a 1-year parts warranty against any manufacturing defects.

This freestanding Bathtub is stylish and sophisticated and will change the look of your space while adding value to your home.

 

 

 

So, Is a Wood Bathtub Worth It?

Japanese bathtub that is made of wood

Owning a wood bathtub is owning a wonderful piece of art—a piece of art that you can soak inside.

Although a wood tub can be pricey compared to a tub made from acrylic or porcelain. However, compared to other luxury bathtub materials such as marble, a wood bathtub can seem reasonably priced.

So if you don’t mind spending the money and time on maintenance, a wood tub can truly give you a showstopping focal point for your bathroom or outdoor space.

 

Note: If you’re about to embark on a bathroom remodel, fill out the form below. I’ll send you my free PDF Save Big $$$ Cheat Sheet when you sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get designer hacks that can literally help you save 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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