This issue — which I’ve run into personally before — came up when Elishia commented with a question on my 2010 story Choosing a bath tub big enough to soak in — I change my Kohler recommendation.
Elishia asked another reader, Patti, about the American Evolution bath tub (shown above – update: link now gone) she was considering. Elishia asked:
Patti, how are you enjoying the Evolution bathtub? I’m just about to buy the same one. I’m debating between the 72 and 60″ at the moment. The 72″ says it takes 110 gallons to fill up! That seems like A LOT Of water and might make me way less likely to take a bath. So I’m heading towards the 60″ which fills at 87 gallons. That is still a lot of water, but I’m guessing it’s at least 10 gallons less since I don’t need to fill it all the way up. I was also thinking that the 72″ might be too long for me at 5 7″ and that I’d slip down into it without my feet touching the end.
It will be in our second bathroom with a shower over. I’m guessing it would feel too deep to want to shower in there daily, but on occasion wouldn’t be a big deal. Are you showering in yours too? How is the depth for stepping over?
Sounds like Elishia has a normal-sized tub in her other bathroom.
That said, I wanted to spotlight this subject because I have two good friends who installed deep soaker tubs in bathrooms where daily showering was the norm — and they deeply regretted it.
Install a soaker tub — or a “normal” tub?
Disclaimer: I am not a professionally trained bathroom designer. But here are my thoughts based on my personal experience with this issue:
- I have two friends who have used soaker tubs in their bathrooms. Each of the two bathrooms were used daily by two people — but almost always to shower, rarely to soak. These friends both reported that the tub was a real hassle to get in and out of for showering. They both told me they would never ever do it again. About 10 years later, one of my friends actually gutted the bathroom and started over again because installing that soaker tub had been such a mistake.
- One of the two bathrooms was initially installed for two children, when the children were young. This also became a regret. The soaker tub was too big, too deep, too difficult for the parents to reach in and out to help their young children bathed. So instead, the family hauled the kids two stories down — to the basement bathroom, where there was a normal-sized tub to bath them in. Later, when the children were old enough and wanted to shower on their own — well, see the first bullet in this list, wrong product for this use.
- I definitely think it’s good to have one tub in the house — specifically, for children to use or, if you don’t have children, in case you ever sell your house to someone who does. But as per the bullet above, for children, you want normal-sized tubs, not soakers.
- All that said: Heck, soaker tubs are great — if you (1) already have one normal-sized tub in the house and (2) have one bathroom large enough for both a walk-in shower and nearby, a stand-alone soaker tub. My aunt Mary Anne has a soaker tub in the corner of her master bathroom. When I was staying with her a few years ago, I used it. It had jets even. It was heavenly.
Finally: Important safety advice to consider: Consult with your own professional about installing safety grab bars. This is an important piece of advice for all tubs and showers, but I would surmise, all the more so the deeper the tub.
Room for only one “normal” sized bathtub — but want to make the water fill deeper for occasional adult soak time? Try one of these thingies; I have a similar brand and it helps: