Comparison between Freestanding and Built-in Bathtub

If you think of the bathtub to be simply a cleaning tool, then you may be beside the point. Best freestanding tubs have gone beyond mere utility and have grown to become luxury pieces. There are literally hundreds of different models you can choose from, but there are two specific aspects that differentiate between two major categories: freestanding bathtubs and built-in bathtubs.

Which One is Better?

The “Freestanding or built-in?” debate is still going. And we are going to look at the pros and cons for each category and establish once and for all where the truth lies.

So, what is the difference between a freestanding tub and a built-in one? And which is better than the other?


Freestanding Bathtubs

Freestanding tubs are completely finished pieces that can be installed in many different positions, including far from any supporting wall. It is, in many ways, like any other free-standing furniture piece. You can even bath your baby in the freestanding bathtubs.


Malleable design

No matter the style you are fond of; freestanding tubs are excellent in delivering the feel you are looking for. Because they are independent, without the requirement to fit within two walls, for instance, designers have more room to play with.


Compared to built-in tubs, these are extremely easy to install. You can probably do it yourself, if you possess enough knowledge. Worst case scenario, a plumber will do. No need for decorators and such.

Play with your space

Because you can place it anywhere you like, you’ll have more freedom to play with the bathroom space to your liking.


More expensive

Which is understandable, because they include more design work and because there are more benefits to be gained.


This doesn’t really matter, because, once installed, you probably won’t move it too often.

Showering problems

It is more difficult to mount showers on a freestanding tub. You can do it, but you will spoil the design and you might need a curtain to keep the water from splashing.


Built-in Bathtubs

These are the opposite of the previous ones. They are generally unfinished on at least two sides. That means you need to install them next to walls or inside a pre-built enclosure.



They are generally less expensive than the freestanding ones. Not in all cases, but most.

Save space

Because of the fact that you need to install them next to a wall, you will save plenty of space in the process.

Easy to clean

All you have to clean is the inside. There is no bottom and the outside has a limited area.



More difficult to install. You will need professional assistance with this one.


They are generally less spacious. And who wants smaller tubs, except when they don’t have much room for them?

Low diversity

There are not many models you can choose from and the design always lacks that special touch.


I hope this will help you make up your mind with ease between freestanding and built-in bathtub. If it were me, I would go for quality, no matter what type of tub I would choose.

Amy is passionate about all things 'Home'. When she is not busy with her website and writing you may catch her taking ice cream with her kids.

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