The Pros and Cons of 2023’s Top Bathtub Trends

Bathroom remodels are projected as the second most popular home improvement project of 2023. 32.2% of home improvement projects are interior painting jobs with bathroom remodels close behind at 27.7%

A small bathroom remodel often costs anywhere from $4,000 to $9,000 for products alone, with the national average for small bathroom remodels being around $6,500. The bathtub alone makes up at least $1,390 of that cost. This is why when selecting the ideal bathtub for your bathroom space you want to ensure you choose one you love, despite what may be trending. 

The bathtub is the most significant bathroom appliance. It can make or break the entire space. If you like modern spaces, a trendy bathtub can be a beautiful focal point for your bathroom. This post will help you decide which tub will complement your bathroom space the best.  We'll go over the types of tubs, colors, and materials that are currently the most popular choices of 2023. Then, we'll provide you with the pros and cons of each so you can make a confident decision on which bathtub will suit your bathroom remodel. 

Types of Bathtubs

From the tiled tubs of the 1960s to the minimalist tubs of the 2010s, we’ve come a long way when it comes to bathtub trends. Over the past few years, we’ve found ourselves in the midst of a new bathtub era, one that involves a range of vintage, ethnic, and minimalistic designs. The three most popular options are the freestanding tub, the clawfoot tub, and the Japanese soaking tub. 

Freestanding Tubs

A freestanding tub is a bathtub with all four sides exposed. It appears to sit on the bathroom floor as its own appliance, not attached to the wall. It often serves as a beautiful focal point of the bathrooms it is featured in. 


  • Variety: Without the worry of attaching the freestanding tub to a wall, it allows a lot more creative freedom concerning the shape, look and placement of the bathtub. A freestanding bathtub can be installed anywhere you’d like it to.
  • Ease of Installation: In most instances, the most important contact for installing a freestanding tub is the plumber. A contractor or a decorator may not always be needed. 
  • Luxurious Look: The most obvious, a freestanding tub is synonymous with gorgeous luxury appeal. If you’d like to set the tone for a more elegant-looking bathroom, a freestanding tub makes a perfect choice. 


  • Heavy: While there are some materials that weigh less than others, all freestanding bathtubs are typically quite heavy. As a result, some freestanding tubs will require floor reinforcement due to their weight. 
  • Expensive: Freestanding tubs are more expensive than traditional built-in tubs because they’re more manufacturing intensive, many of which include intricate designs or details.
  • No Shower: As luxurious as freestanding tubs are, you’ll have to forgo most combined shower options.. 
  • No Storage: Unlike built-in bathtubs, there is typically no designed storage in a freestanding tub. This means planning your storage options for soap, body washing tools or beauty products. 

Clawfoot Tubs

Clawfoot tubs got their origin in the mid-18th century and reached the height of their popularity in the mid-1900’s. Today, they offer a vintage-looking option that gives a more classic appeal to bathroom design. 


  • Appearance: Clawfoot tubs have a timeless appeal and work perfectly for bathroom aesthetics that want a more vintage look. 
  • Finish Options: While authentic clawfoot tubs are made of cast iron, there are a wide variety of materials available for clawfoot tubs, including acrylic, copper, and stainless steel.
  • Size of Tub: Clawfoot tubs are usually larger and deeper, holding more water than a built-in for an amazing bathing experience.Its raised design gives the illusion of a more spacious-looking bathroom. 
  • Placement: Like freestanding tubs, there is more flexibility in terms of where they can be placed in a bathroom.


  • Not Kid or Senior Friendly: Clawfoot tubs are not the most kid or senior-friendly option. There are no railings to hold on going in and out of the tub which can create problems for those who have limited mobility or are more prone to losing balance.  
  • No Shower: These bathtubs are designed for those who prefer to soak and enjoy the suds. Shower attachments can be an option, though they could limit where the tub can be located.
  • Expensive: The clawfoot tub adds character to a bathroom. It is unique, making it one of the more expensive options out there.
  • Limited Storage:. Similar to freestanding tubs, the feature is the tub and nothing else.  There are storage options, but those are an additional cost and not always from the tub manufacturer.

Japenese Soaking Tubs

The Japanese soaking tub provides a unique bathing experience compared to other tubs. Rather than a style that enables the person bathing to lay back, the Japanese soaking tub promotes sitting down with the shoulders and chest wholly submerged under water. This creates a one-of-a-kind experience and has excellent therapeutic benefits as well. 


  • Deep Soak: Because of its steep-sided, small, and deep design, bathers are able to submerge completely or as partially as needed to provide an incredible soaking experience.
  • Warmer for Longer: A deeper, smaller tub means less surface area. What does that mean for bathers? Warm baths remain warm for a longer period of time!  
  • Space Saver: Japanese soaking tubs can be an ideal choice for those designing a small bathroom. With their upright design, they fit in almost any space without taking up the entire room.
  • Therapeutic: A Japanese soaking tub allows for a more subversive bathing experience, creating wonderful therapeutic benefits. These include relieving stiff muscle pain or aches, cleaning and exfoliating the skin, detoxifying the body, and even improving digestion and cardiovascular function. 
  • Eco-Friendly: The materials that these soaking tubs are available in are often eco-friendly and recyclable materials such as copper or stone resin, a composite made of acrylic polymer and natural minerals. 
  • Adds Value: Japanese soaking tubs are the recommended tub in upscale retail markets. creating a luxurious feel and focal point in any bathroom. 


  • Expensive: Japanese soaking tubs are an investment, with an average starting price of about $5,000.
  • Purpose: Japanese soaking tubs are not designed for cleaning the body; they are designed for submerging the body. In some cases, the tub materials do not support soap. If a Japanese soaking tub will be used for cleaning the body, you'll need to consider one made from acrylic material.
  • Upright Soaking: The Japanese soaking tub only supports soaking in an upright position. While it certainly serves a great purpose, it's not ideal for those who prefer laying back in their tub to relax.

Popular Bathtub Colors

In addition to bathtub types, another key aspect of a tub is its color! Color is a huge influence on the design of any room, with the ability to influence mood and emotions. These are some of the most popular choices in color. 


The most traditional and popular color choice for a bathtub is white. There's more to this color than it being the go-to bathtub color, though. The color white is known to be the color for purity, innocence, and cleanliness.


Another popular bathtub color option is black. Not only does the color black give the bathroom a certain elegance, it is a staple for embodying luxury, sophistication, and even mystery. For the bathtub, this color can add a sultry element to a bathroom space. 


The color gray is among one of the most unique bathtub color choices. This seemingly dull color has a way of bringing a certain maturity to a bathroom. The color gray is known to display professionalism, seriousness, and conservatism. 

Navy Blue

Navy blue remains one of the least traditional color choices for a bathtub, yet it adds a simple and valuable element to the bathroom. The color blue is known to be the color of the sky and of water. In a bathroom space, a navy blue bathtub can create a serene aesthetic. It can invoke a range of feelings, from calmness and spirituality to security.

Top Bathtub Materials

It's important to select the right color and type of tub for the bathroom aesthetic you're going for. This also includes selecting the right kind of material. Selecting the wrong kind of bathtub material can lead to consequences such as a shorter tub lifespan, issues with heat retention or increased installation costs. Here are the pros and cons of the most popular bathtub materials to help you determine what type of material works best for you.  


The more traditional tub is usually made out of acrylic. It is one of the most low-maintenance tub materials and it offers a great set of benefits, which is why it is often the go-to choice material for a bathtub. 


  • Affordable: The costs of an acrylic tub are very affordable compared to other tub materials.
  • Great for Heat Retention: Those that enjoy long, warm baths will enjoy the lasting heat retention of an acrylic tub.
  • Durable: Acrylic bathtubs are reinforced with fiberglass, making them fairly durable.  
  • Easy to Maintain: While acrylic bathtubs are not protected from damage completely, they're very easy to maintain and repair.  
  • Size and Shape options: Acrylic bathtubs can come in any shape or size, which is great for those that prefer to customize a bit more.


  • Prone to staining and scratching upon lack of proper care: Acrylic tubs are nonporous, but that doesn't mean that they aren't prone to staining or scratching. These tubs are sensitive to abrasive cleaners, so it’s important to be careful about the products used to maintain them.

Cast Iron

The cast iron tub has been around for quite some time. In fact, the very first bathtub ever invented was made out of cast iron. Not only does this material carry a vintage quality, but it is steadily considered a classic tub material option. 


  • Durability: Cast iron tubs are so durable they sometimes outlive the very homes they were built for. When properly cared for, cast iron has the ability to last a lifetime.
  • Aesthetic: These tubs have a certain reputation for their timeless and classic aesthetic, making them an especially popular choice.
  • Heat Retention: As the tub starts to fill with water, much of the heat is transferred to the cast iron. This is excellent for those that love a nice warm or hot bath.


  • Weight: Cast iron tubs often require reinforcements due to their size and weight. 
  • Can Chip: The enamel on a cast iron tub can chip and scratch, but these aren't irreparable. 
  • Can Rust: If not properly maintained, a cast iron tub can rust. With the right upkeep and maintenance, this can be avoided.


Lastly, an often admired bathtub material option that surpasses all ages is stone. Natural stone bathtubs have a great variety of benefits and carry a timeless charm that fits any aesthetic bathroom choice. 


  • Design: There are a few natural stones that make for an ideal Stone bathtub options. These include marble, onyx, tavern, and even granite.
  • Sturdiness: Stone bathtubs are incredibly sturdy and can last for a lengthy period of time without chipping or scratching. 
  • Therapeutic: Stone bathtubs tend to be very deep and have a smooth interior. This is wonderful for those who enjoy baths where they can lay back comfortably and relax.  


  • Expensive: Stone tubs use all natural materials, making them expensive to purchase as well as to install.
  • Weight: A freestanding tub can weigh anywhere from 200 to 300 pounds on the low end to 900 pounds or more depending on the model and size. Regardless, it is typically not easy to lift or move.  You must review flooring weight capacity before making any purchase. 
  • Heat Retention: Natural Stone tends to be cold on the outside, which can impact the heat retention of the tub. Bathers typically have to wait longer than usual for the tub to reach the desired temperature before diving in. 

As the largest appliance in a bathroom, the bathtub has the power to make or break a space. For a stylish bathroom, the right bathtub can be a beautiful focal point. With many trendy tub options, it's best to make sure you don't settle for one that looks great but doesn't perform to your expectations. By knowing the pros and cons of 2023's top bathtub trends, you should be better able to select a tub that not only fits your bathroom beautifully but enables you to have a great bathing experience. 

When it's time to remodel your bathroom, give the experts here at Reico Kitchen & Bath a call. We have a team of design experts ready to help you design your entire bathroom and guide you to making the best decisions for the bathtub and all the products for your bathroom model. Schedule a design consultation today, and we will work together to create a bathroom you love to use just as much as you love to look at!


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