How To Choose a Master Suite Bathtub When Remodeling Your Home

A bathtub for a master suite can be a standard alcove to an elaborate slipper tub, learn what to look for.

Remodeling your master suite is an exciting project! Nothing is as luxurious as creating a personal oasis where you can prepare for work comfortably or relax after a long hard day with a glass of wine as you enjoy a long a soak in your tub.

In most master suites, the bathtub can anchor the space and set the style and tone for the entire room. Whether you're starting from scratch, or updating your existing master suite, when choosing a tub, you'll need to take several factors into account. First, you'll need to consider the space. If you're replacing your existing tub during a remodel, the type of installation will dictate the style of your tub you can use. If you're starting from scratch, or doing a “gut-to-the-studs” remodel, space and lifestyle should also be considered.

Define your bathing needs to determine what type of tub will be best for your bathroom and your needs. Whether it's replacing your old tub in a tiled alcove, or adding a luxurious stand alone whirlpool spa tub, you have a variety of options to meet your needs.

Before you start any home improvement project that may require infrastructure adjustments always consult your local building codes!

Choosing Your Master Suite Bathtub: Before You Start!

Before you run out and pick the perfect tub, take some time to prepare. The more you information you have before you start shopping can ensure that you pick the perfect bathtub for your space. Consider these factors before you shop:

• Measure Your Space - Measure before you buy! You want to make sure any tub you fall in love with, will fit your allotted space. Measure the area where the tub will reside and write down the dimensions. Don't forget to measure the door opening to make sure your new tub will fit!

• Check Your Water Heater – Determine if your existing water heater can handle the capacity of your new tub. Especially if you're planning on adding a deep soaking tub. Consult your manual to see how much hot water your heater can produce. Match this to the capacity of your tub to ensure hot relaxing baths.

Choose the Right Material – Fiberglass is inexpensive and durable, porcelain is heavy and resists abrasion, cast-iron has a long life but is expensive, and marble looks luxurious, but is expensive and can chip or crack. When shopping for materials consider the color as it relates to the rest of the space. Tubs come in a variety of materials, styles, and colors.

• Consider Your Space – When choosing a bathtub, the size and layout of the available space are important. Most bathrooms can accommodate a drop in shower/tub. Other have the floor space for a free standing tub. Determine where your tub will go and choose a free standing or drop in tub based on your area.

Bathtub Installation Styles

The type of tub installation will depend on your remodel. If you are replacing an existing tub, your choices will be limited as to what can fit into the existing setup. If you're doing a complete renovation, you will have more choices depending on the room size and space available. Here are your installation options:

Drop-in Tubs – Placed into a deck or custom surround. Drop-ins give a finished look and are relatively easy to install.

• Alcove/ Tile Surround – Installed into a tiled alcove or shower space, this type of installation works in most bathroom and is the most budget friendly. This option is also available for corner tubs.

• Freestanding – A stand alone tub with an exterior faucet can be a stunning focal point in any bathroom. This style is an easy install, especially in a complete renovation. Freestanding tubs can be heavier than other tubs so make sure the floor can support the weight.

Pedestal – Same as a freestanding tub, but with a concealed drain pipe. Pedestal tubs are slightly raised off of the floor while freestanding tubs are flush with the floor. This option is easy to install and can make a real statement piece in your master suite. There are many modern looking options for freestanding and pedestal tubs available.

• Under-mount - This style is either installed into an existing deck with a flush edge, or the deck is constructed around it. Under-mount tubs offer a clean, chic look but they require the most installation work.

Corner – Triangularly shaped tubs are available in many different design options to match and style. Installed on two walls in the corner of the bathroom, there are options to install a freestanding corner tub in the center of the room.

When choosing your tub, you not only have options when it comes to style. Bathtubs are also available with options and healthy features. Deep soaking tubs can provide a relaxing get away from the stresses of the day, while whirlpool or air tubs can offer therapy for sore muscles. Tubs are available with everything from thermostatic faucets to built-in music systems. If you're planning on aging in place, walk in tubs can provide a safe bathing experience as you get older.

The best option is to talk to your interior designer or contractor. They can help you to choose from the many features, materials, and styles of tubs available. With a little research, you can have the perfect tub in your new dream master suite bathroom! Schedule an appointment with one of our designers to discuss a master suite in your home.


Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.