Pros and Cons of Sunken Bathtubs

July 9, 2019

When it comes to the bathrooms in your custom home, you have a lot of options. Many homeowners are opting for a walk-in shower and a separate bathtub in their master bathrooms. Freestanding tubs can be a great addition to the bathroom. You can go with something more vintage, like a claw-footed bathtub, or you can go with something more integrated, like a sunken bathtub. If you’re on the fence about a sunken bathtub for your bathroom, here are some pros and cons of sunken bathtubs to help you decide:

What is a Sunken Bathtub?

A sunken tub is a bathtub design that eliminates the traditional structure of the bathtub above the floor line and essentially becomes part of the floor itself. These bathtubs are built into the bathroom floor and the basin of the tub generally sits below the floor line. They can also be built with steps leading up to them so that they are above the floor line, but still have that built-in, under-the-floor look.

Sunken tubs have a number of positive benefits, but, as with anything, they also have some drawbacks. Before deciding if one is right for your custom home design, check out some of the pros and cons of sunken bathtubs:

3 Pros of Sunken Bathtubs

1. Sunken bathtubs offer a seamless bathroom aesthetic.

One reason that sunken baths are increasing in popularity is that they offer an amazing, seamless aesthetic. They also provide opportunities for more intricate geometric designing and architecture within the bathroom.

There is a certain level of creativity that naturally incorporates itself within the design of a sunken tub. Sunken tubs also offer a level of customization that helps to avoid the potentially restrictive nature of “pre-fabbed” bathtub and shower stalls.

2. They create a sense of luxury.

Given their customizable nature, and how sunken tubs can be incorporated seamlessly into a floor-scape, these types of tubs can add a sense of luxury to any bathroom. The options and styles of sunken tubs are about as vast as your imagination, and as such, very beautiful and intricate designs can be created, which adds an amazing level of aesthetic appeal to your bathroom design.

3. Sunken tubs offer easy entry and exit.

Sunken tubs provide an added ease of access over more conventional tub styles. Depending on the amount of room available, these tubs can be made with gradually sloped access or with steps incorporated into them.

Railings can also be added that not only increase the practicality of entry and exit, but also add to the look and style of the sunken tub. Ease of entry and exit is great for everyone. The safety and convenience of this aspect of sunken tubs make them an especially great choice for the elderly or homeowners with limited mobility.

3 Cons of Sunken Bathtubs

1. Sunken bathtubs can be a tripping hazard.

Because sunken bathtubs are integrated into the bathroom floor, they can present a tripping hazard. This is especially true at night, so motion lighting options in bathrooms with sunken tubs should be a priority. Some sunken tubs may be designed with a small lip around them that serves to accent the tub. These features can present tripping hazards or places to stub toes.

It’s also important to consider the potential hazard that a sunken tub creates for small children, especially if the water is accidentally left in them after use. Regular tubs can create similar hazards for toddlers, but given their design, the sides create a barrier to keep toddlers from falling into them as easily. This barrier is not present with sunken tubs, and so it is important to consider if these types of tubs are the best option if your house will be full of young children.

2. They are built-in fixtures.

By design, sunken bathtubs are permanent fixtures. Sunken tubs are often designed and constructed with tile, cement, or other similar materials. This makes bathrooms with sunken tubs far less flexible after construction than those with a free-standing tub. Redesigning or remodeling becomes a larger and more expensive endeavor than remodeling a bathroom with a traditional bathtub or shower stall.

3. Sunken tubs generally take longer to install.

Because sunken tubs are so integrated into the overall construction and design of the bathroom, they generally take longer to plan, design, and install than conventional bathtubs. Not only do the tubs themselves require additional work in terms of their construction, but the complexity of surrounding features in the bathroom and how involved the construction process for these features becomes is also generally increased. Along with the use of a higher grade of materials, and the additional time it takes to install them, comes additional costs of construction.

Sunken tubs provide an unmatched aesthetic appeal that takes bathroom designs to the next level. The luxurious nature of these tubs and the benefits they provide make them a popular option. The first step is careful consideration in deciding whether or not a sunken bathtub is the right fit for you. Reviewing these pros and cons of sunken bathtubs is a great place to start! After that is decided, it becomes equally important to take adequate time in the planning process of the bathroom layout and the design of the sunken tub since these features are so permanent in nature. If you are ready to start designing your dream home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!