Choosing a bath tub big enough to soak in: I change my Kohler recommendation

If you need to buy a new bath tub, read this post for information about how to ensure the one you buy is truly deep enough to soak in. Cynthia, a reader, asked about the soaking depth of my Kohler bath tub… and the great PR team from Kohler was quick to provide advice.

Cynthia writes:

Hi, Pam,

I saw that you have a Kohler Dynametric bathtub (maybe more than one…?) and I have a few questions. We are adding a new master bedroom and bath on our 1958 tri-level house. We are trying to keep it looking like original construction as much as possible, both inside and out.

We have a Kohler Villager tub in our kids’ bathroom; I had thought I would go with that for the new master bathroom, but after taking a bath in it (I had actually never bathed in it before; we also have a jet tub in the basement that previous owners installed, so I use that) — I found the Villager was shallow and uncomfortable. So I want something deeper…just something I can have a nice full bath in, without worrying that the tub will overflow.

So my question is — do you bathe in your Dynametric, and if so, how is it? And if it’s not too personal — how tall are you? I am 5’1″ and average weight, so I’m not a large person — but even with my fairly small size, I found the Villager too small for me.

The Dynametric is significantly more expensive, however, so I want to make sure it’s something I’ll be happy with before we invest that kind of money in it.

If you or any of your readers have a review of what the bathing experience is like in a Dynametric, I would really appreciate hearing about it!


I respond to Cynthia that, sure enough, that while I love the looks and quality of my Dynametric, in my experience the water does not fill up high enough for a luxurious soak — about 8.5 inches til it hits the overflow — the same as Cynthia’s Villager.  This was not something I thought about before buying the tub — my goof. Fortunately, no one in my house– except Astro — takes too many baths, so it’s not a big deal.

So, I then ask my contact Vicki Hafenstein at Kohler — who is always snap-to-it helpful — and she quickly responds with this advice:

Hi Pam,

I spoke with one of our product managers in bathing this morning about the baths. The Villager and Dynametric baths are great for bathing children, but because of their shallow depths, they are not best suited for adult soaking baths. It is important to think about a number of criteria when finding the right bath:

  • the use and user of a bath
  • the application/installation of a bath (stand-alone, bath/shower)
  • overall depth as well as water depth to overflow (this second portion will indicate the soaking capacity more clearly)

If it is a stand-alone bath (no shower involved), and an adult is looking for a great soaking experience, we recommend the Tea for Two or Parity bath. Both are very deep baths, and their overflow drain systems allow for a higher water level in the bath. Tea for Two and Parity will give you just under 14” of water depth.

If the application is in a bath/shower environment (which requires flanges), we suggest the Highbridge bath. This bathing depth still offers a great soaking experience while accounting for a shower as well. The Highbridge bath will give you right around 13” of water depth. On a personal note, our product manager added that at 5’3”, she finds her Highbridge bath to be very comfortable.

Tea for Two 5’ bath list price is $1,946.60 and Parity $1,785.00. Highbridge cast iron bath list price is $1,703.40.

I hope this helps your reader! Let me know if you have any questions.


Kohler Mendota cast iron tub. Depth to overflow: Just under 11″

Readers, Vicki spotlighted true soaker tubs — and these are all tile-in tubs. If you just want a regular “integral apron tub,” I think the Mendota bath tub appears to be the best choice in their lineup — its depth to overflow is 11″ and it holds 45 gallons — that’s a whopping 10 more gallons that my Dynametric — and the tubs still seems to have a kind of traditional, vintage look. Online prices from the big box home stores appears to be around $800.

Anyway… all these Kohler tubs mentioned are cast iron, which I personally like. There other makers out there to look at — remember, the key is to look at the technical specifications / measurements and dimensions and look for water depth to overflow… in fact, it might be good to put all your potential choices on a spreadsheet to compare the water depth to overflow, gallons held, various measurements, and of course — price.

Some of my initial research found:

  • American-Standard: 66″ Spectra cast iron tub is 11″ deep. 53 gallons. No 60″ cast iron tub available.
  • Toto: Has a nice looking offering — their spec sheet does not indicate depth to overflow. I will try to get this from their PR dept. and add it. Looks to be about $1,000 online.
  • Eljer: Does not offer cast iron.
  • Briggs: Porcelain on steel, I could not see depth to overflow; doesn’t look promising.

Finally, and I cannot believe my life has come to this: You can get a Slip-X Bottomless Bath… and Deep Water Bath… hoodies promise to cover that overflow altogether when you take a bath. I guess I need one of these. And maybe — if you only take a rare bath and want to save mucho dinero, you could just go with the Villager ($300-$400 at big box stores and still cast iron) and use the Slip-X or Deep Water when you’re ready for that me-time. Hey, Cynthia: You can test drive one or both of these in your kids’ bath — and report back! I’ll do the same with the Dynametric. Precautionary Pam notes: Don’t flub up, though, and let your drain accidently overflow. *Disclosure”: Buy a Slip-X or Deep Water from Amazon after clicking on the widget below and I get a teensy commission. Hey, if every reader buys one here, I bet I make like $20! woo hoo!

  1. Ann Marie Eisele says:

    Ralph, after looking at so many bathtubs, I purchased the Kohler “Bancroft” alcove tub instead of the Mirabelle. I love my Bancroft tub. The soaking depth is amazing at 17 3/4″ high! The lumbar support is very comfortable and supportive. When I get in the tub, the construction is very solid and there are no squeaks or movement. We made sure the tub has good support underneath. I chose the Kohler because of reviews indicating how solid the “Bancroft” was. I’d like to mention that I also purchased a Kohler cast iron kitchen sink. They have a lifetime warranty against chips. My sink developed a chip and Kohler was quick to provide a replacement sink. They honor their warranties. Good luck with your tub search.

  2. Ann Marie says:

    I’ve been looking for a nice deep alcove soaker tub to replace a 70’s tub that has only 8″ height to overflow depth. My husband and I tried out the Kohler Archer and found it to be cramped and narrow. We are average height and a bit on the heavy side. The Mirabelle “Provincetown” acrylic alcove tub is very comfortable and roomy. Water height to overflow is 17 1/2 inches. This is one of the deepest out there. Acrylic is okay (rather cast iron but none available for alcove). Do not ever buy fiberglass because it yellows with age.

    1. Ralph says:

      Thanks for the info. Sounds like what I am looking for. Would you mind saying how much I should expect to pay for this tub? Is it a shower combo or soaking tub only? Thanks in advance.

      1. pam kueber says:

        Hi Ralph, for detail information including specifications and pricing, you should contact the manufacturer or retailer directly. Good luck!

  3. Sheri says:

    I renovated my bathroom several years ago and wanted the deepest soaking tub I could get in my 60″ X 32″ alcove of my 100 year old Victorian house. I didn’t want a modern looking tub as I was going for a vintage look in the bathroom. I got (and love) my American Standard tub. It’s made of Americast which is porcelain over steel, feels like cast iron at half the weight and best of all has a soaking depth of almost 18″. You can sit on the side, too. I’m still in love with it! https://www.americanstandard-us.com/bathroom/bathtubs/cambridge-60-inch-by-32-inch-integral-apron-bathtub-16556

    1. Steve says:

      Per American Standard’s spec sheet this tub has a soaking depth of 14″. Total tub height is 17-3/4″.

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