Freestanding Bath in a Small Bathroom. Here’s how.

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Small houses mean small bathrooms, but this doesn’t have to mean you miss out on creature comforts like freestanding baths. It’s important, though, that you understand how much space you need for a freestanding bath.

How much space do you need for a freestanding bath? The amount of space you need for a freestanding bath in a small bathroom depends on the size of the freestanding tub. You generally want at least six extra inches over the length of the tub. Here’s a look at tub lengths:

  • Small: 55” long
  • Standard: 60” long
  • Large: 72” long

In addition to those common measurements above,  you can find some freestanding tubs even smaller. If you want to fit a freestanding tub into your small bathroom, I am going to tell you how to do it.

How Much Space do you Need for a Freestanding Bath?

Bath manufacturers are catching onto the fact that more people are choosing to live in small houses. Since small houses mean smaller baths, manufacturers have had to figure out a way to cater to this new demographic.

The manufacturers have done this by creating smaller bathtub options. Depending on how small your bathroom is, a standard tub may still fit. Here’s another look at bath sizes:

  • Small: 55” long
  • Standard: 60” long
  • Large: 72” long

Remember to add an additional 6-inches to the length of your bath to determine how much space you need for a freestanding bath. The 6-inches is from left to right, on the side of the tub’s width; you’ll also need to consider the space from the front of your bathroom to the back.

Code regulations vary from country to country and state to state, but in general, bathroom codes require at least 21-inches in front of the tub. Here’s a look at the widths that correspond with the bath lengths above:

  • Small: 27” wide
  • Standard: 30” wide
  • Large: 32” wide

Although the depth of the tub won’t factor into the amount of space you need in your bathroom, if you’re looking for a good, relaxing soak, it’s important. The shorter and narrower your bath, most likely the less water depth you’ll have. Check out these numbers:

  • Small: 15” depth
  • Standard: 19” depth
  • Large: 20” depth

So, with all this in mind, the amount of space you’ll need for just the freestanding bath in your small bathroom is the length plus 6-inches and the width plus 21-inches. Don’t forget, though, that you’re still going to need to fit a sink and toilet into your small bathroom as well.

The good news is, with bath manufacturers recognizing the need for smaller baths, there are a few different styles to choose from.

Small Bath Style Options

One of the following three options is probably the best choice for a freestanding bath in a small bathroom. Here are the choices you should consider:

  • Pedestal bath
  • Japanese soaking bath
  • Clawfoot bath

Let’s take a look at what each of these small bath style options offers you.

Pedestal Bath

A pedestal bath gives your small bathroom a more vintage look, and there are quite a few options to choose from with this option.

Since they are freestanding, you have a lot of leeway when it comes to figuring out where to put a pedestal bath in your bathroom. Pedestal baths take up less visual space, and you can put it wherever you want as long as it’s close enough to the plumbing, which shouldn’t be too difficult in a small bathroom.

Your best bet for finding a pedestal bath is through bathroom manufacturers, either in-store or online but it’s not impossible to find some pedestal tubs on Amazon. Here’s a 57” long pedestal bath on Amazon for just under $1,500.

Japanese Soaking Bath

A Japanese soaking bath, or “ofuro”, is a great option for a freestanding bath in a small bathroom. A Japanese soaking bath will also give you what you might not find with other bath options for smaller bathrooms – depth.

This bath is a deep one, generally with a seat that allows people to soak pretty well. A Japanese soaking bath is usually about 27-inches deep but not nearly as long or wide as other bath options. If you’re looking for a good soak, though, this is definitely an option worth considering.

While there are plenty of options for Japanese soaking baths as they’ve gained popularity in the United States, they’re not quite as easy to find on most people’s one-stop-shop, Amazon.

Clawfoot Bath

A clawfoot bath is also an option for a small bathroom. This style of bath has been around since the 1800s, and it really hasn’t lost any popularity. You can usually find hundreds of styles of clawfoot baths and the good news is, you can find them as short as 48-inches in length.

It’s not 48-inches, but you can find this 54-inch clawfoot tub on Amazon for around $800. You’ll find more options through bath manufacturers.

Picking a Freestanding Bath

Obviously, the choices for a freestanding bath in a small bathroom are slimmer than those available for regular bathrooms, but as you can see above, you still have some options.

Your best bet for picking a freestanding bath for a small bathroom is to figure out which style you like first. 

Taking Measurements

Once you’ve chosen your tub style, you need to start taking measurements. Don’t just think about the space from wall to wall; you need to measure the following as well:

  • Doorways you’ll bring the bath through
  • Hallways you’ll need to transport the bath down
  • Stairwells you may have to travel up

If you have to remove any doors or walls, the budget for installing your freestanding bath is going to go way up. 

As far as installation, you’ll also need to consider your flooring. It may need additional reinforcement if you choose a heavier style bath.

Choose a Material for Your Bath

Once you know which style freestanding bath you want and the measurements you need to consider, it’s time to choose the material for your bath. Here are the options to consider:

  • Acrylic
  • Cast iron
  • Solid surface
  • Copper
  • Stainless steel
  • Stone

Price and comfort are the two factors you need to consider most when it comes to choosing the material for your freestanding bath. You need to decide how much you can afford and what material feels best to you. Take a look at each material mentioned above:


Acrylic is one of the most popular choices for material for a bath. It offers a wide variety of designs and is relatively lightweight. This means an acrylic freestanding bath is easy to maneuver, and you also won’t need floor reinforcements.

Cast Iron

Cast iron tubs are obviously very durable, but that also means they’re heavy. A cast iron tub will last forever and offers a very classic appearance. They also retain heat, so this material is a great option for those who want to soak longer.

Solid Surface

Solid surface baths are usually a good option for those who want a more contemporary design. They’re made of a resin material. Solid surface baths have an overflow system built into their walls, which eliminates the need for any exposed drain piping.


Copper baths aren’t as popular as an option but are still worth considering. A copper bath holds heat well because copper conducts heat. It is also naturally resistant to mold and bacteria, which is always a plus.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel baths are another option for those who want a more modern, contemporary look. You can generally get a stainless-steel bath with a brushed or polished finish. Stainless steel baths are easy to clean and preserve their looks well.


A stone bath obviously is very visually appealing but also very pricey. These tubs are hand carved from a material of your choice and offer a very natural look. Stone baths are durable and hold heat well.

Once you’ve figured out the style, size, and material for your freestanding bath, you’ll be well on your way to moving that bath into your small bathroom

John di Stefano

Hi, I am John di Stefano. I wanted to find out what it means to live in a small house and over the last few years, I researched this subject extensively. This website is the ultimate resource for learning everything about living in small spaces, how to get organized and what to look out for.

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