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Dress Up Your Bathroom With A Soak-Worthy Statement Bathtub

Bathtubs are one of the most basic staples of bathroom design – to the point that you can’t claim to have a “full” bathroom without one. But despite this, they’ve always been a point of debate when it comes to doing a major bathroom renovation. How big should your tub be? Should it be freestanding, or in a mount? With or without whirlpool functionality? Should you spend your money on a bathtub or a shower? Should you even have a bathtub at all? In big ways and small, attitudes are always changing about the role of bathtubs in high-end bathroom design. But one of the current trends is one of my favorites: using a bold, stylish freestanding tub as statement bathtub.

What Is A Statement Bathtub?

Bathtubs are back to being a must-have for the bathroom, but this time it's as much for looks as for funciton (by Vincent Longo Custom Builders)
Bathtubs are back to being a must-have for the bathroom, but this time it’s as much for looks as for funciton (by Vincent Longo Custom Builders)

After a few years of big, open showers getting all the attention, decorative bathtubs are making a comeback in a big way. Not only are homeowners looking for bathtubs that are more distinctive in design, they’re also placing them more prominently in their bathrooms. While a really luxurious shower is more likely to get used on a regular basis, homeowners have come back around to realize that even little-used bathtubs are an important part of bathroom design. A well-staged bathtub is a great way to create a bathroom that feels decadent… even if you don’t spend a whole lot of time soaking in it.

Staging A Statement Bathtub

Statement bathtubs should be showy in apperance, but they also need to be placed prominently in your bathroom for full effect (by Urban I.D. Interior Design)
Statement bathtubs should be showy in apperance, but they also need to be placed prominently in your bathroom for full effect (by Urban I.D. Interior Design)

There are two big factors that go into using a freestanding bathtub as a statement piece: the style of the bathtub itself (more on this in a bit), and where you place it in your bathroom. Put simply, a statement bathtub should be placed wherever it’s going to get maximum visibility, up to and including smack dab in the center of a large master bath. That said, while you want your eye to be drawn to your statement bathtub the moment you step into the bathroom, that doesn’t mean you should put it anywhere cumbersome – or that the tub itself has to draw all the attention by itself.

Accentuate Your Tub With Tile

Backing or surrounding a statement bathtub with a unique and stylish tile is another great way to help it stand out (by Northworks Architects + Planners)
Backing or surrounding a statement bathtub with a unique and stylish tile is another great way to help it stand out (by Northworks Architects + Planners)

One common way to help accentuate a statement bathtub is with tile. Now, that can mean a lot of things – from a raised platform for the tub to stand on to a simple area of accent tile to help mark the tub as important and different from the rest of the space. There’s a lot of room to get creative with tile accents, too. Pebble tile can be used around the base of a tub to give it a more natural, spa-like feel, while a bold tile accent wall can make the shape of your bathtub stand out. While right now freestanding tubs are winning out over stone or tile tub mounts, you can still use other materials to help pretty-up your statement bathtub.

Use Your Bathroom’s Architecture To Help Feature Your Bathtub

The most sure-fire way to make a statement bathtub stand out is to use the architecture of your bathroom to help draw attention to it (by SAPPHIRE SPACES)
The most sure-fire way to make a statement bathtub stand out is to use the architecture of your bathroom to help draw attention to it (by SAPPHIRE SPACES)

Another way to make a statement bathtub stand out is to build it into a tub niche. These, too, come in lots of forms, from traditional garden tubs to the currently oh-so-popular tub nooks, and typically involve some sort of architectural element. Step-up pedestals fall into this category as well, as do beams, barn doors, and just about any structural (or faux-structural) element you can use to help draw the eye to your bathtub to increase its visual impact.

Put Your Bathtub…In Your Shower?

Putting your bathtub inside your shower enclosure might seem to defeat the purpose of having a really big shower, but not only is this look striking, it also lets you double down on the luxury bathing experience (by Dotter & Solfjeld Architecture + Design)
Putting your bathtub inside your shower enclosure might seem to defeat the purpose of having a really big shower, but not only is this look striking, it also lets you double down on the luxury bathing experience (by Dotter & Solfjeld Architecture + Design)

If you’re one of the people that opted for a big, open shower during the years when bathtubs went out of vogue, you’re in luck: one of the most popular spots for a statement bathtub is actually… inside a large shower. Now, this might sound a little odd, but hear me out. With a seamless glass shower enclosure (or no enclosure at all), a statement bathtub placed inside your shower is just as visible as anywhere else in the bathroom. And in a big enough shower, there’s plenty of room for one without crowding the space where you actually stand to shower. Bonus: it also opens up the possibility for a really decadent bathing experience – multiple shower heads on, and a tub you can leave to overflow…. because it’ll drain right into your shower drain. Mm.

What Makes A Bathtub Statement-Worthy?

The best statement bathtubs are freestanding tubs that have a unique and distinctive shape - regardless of what material they're made of (photo by Andrew Snow)
The best statement bathtubs are freestanding tubs that have a unique and distinctive shape – regardless of what material they’re made of (photo by Andrew Snow)

So what puts a statement bathtub ahead of the pack? Simple: it HAS to look good. While you can argue the finer points of ideal tub size, depth, and so on, statement bathtubs are decorative first and functional second. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t think about the size of your water heater when picking a tub, but that aesthetics should be a major consideration in your decision making process. Bold, distinctive shapes are a must, whether you’re opting for a sleek modern slipper tub or a fresh take on a tall, round, Japanese style soaking tub. Most statement bathtubs are done in classic white acrylic, but changing up the color or material is a simple way to really make your tub eye-catching.

Whether or not you’re the type to spend a lot of time soaking in a big bathtub, it’s worth including a decorative freestanding tub in your renovation plans. Think of it as adding to your bathroom’s curb appeal. A statement bathtub that begs to be used can do wonders for your resale value!