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Win the Award for the Best Bathtub With 15 Unique Soaker Tub Design Ideas

Win the Award for the Best Bathtub With 15 Unique Soaker Tub Design Ideas

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Are we at Bored Panda the only ones who get new creative ideas in a soaker tub? Finding inspiration and relaxation in the bathtub is not a myth; it’s a fact and something all humans can relate to. Discovering moments of peace is priceless in the hustle and bustle of modern life. Thus, if you’re looking for an easy-to-have spa time, consider a soaker tub one of the best investments in your well-being.

The National Kitchen + Bath Association’s (NKBA) latest report on home design trends states that there will be a considerable increase in demand for spa-like bathrooms. These forecasts for the next three years in style, design, color, and technology lead us to think that soaker tubs will be in high demand in the upcoming years. Moreover, freestanding soaking tubs are expected to make a comeback as a new trend inspired by the past.

Image credits: Vlada Karpovich.

However, the bathroom can also be a dangerous place. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every year, around 235,000 people end up in the emergency room because of bathroom injuries. Moreover, most of these injuries happen when people are in or around the tub or shower.  

Hence, with the help of the architect Endri Kiçaj, we’ve carefully picked the coolest but also the safest(!) types of soaker tubs. Endri has created 15 bathroom design ideas with a soaker tub for everyone who wants quality “me-time.” His suggestions will help you create a visually nice bathroom with a soaker tub.

What Is a Soaker Tub?

A soaker tub, also known as a soaking tub, is a deep, freestanding bathtub designed for long, relaxing baths. Its depth and width to fully immerse one person (some models can accommodate two) set it apart from standard tubs. There’s a wide variety of them, and everyone can choose based on the existing bathroom layout, material, design, and safety standards. 

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Now, why is it such a nice-to-have element in the bathroom? Because it creates the perfect spot to chill. A soaker tub offers a unique experience, a relaxing hour to ease your mind, soul, and body.  

Image credits: Mish.

Pros of Owning a Soaker Tub

If you’re still deciding whether to get a soaker tub or not, this section is for you. A soaker tub offers many benefits, from physical well-being to a “rich person treatment” in your home. Here’s what you’ll get from a soaker tub in your bathroom: 

  • Width & Depth: A soaker tub fits up to two people.
  • Deep Relaxation: It allows a complete immersion of your body.
  • Spa-Like Experience: Takes in the calming experience of a spa.
  • Adaptability: It’s easily adaptable with a shower and other bath tools. 
  • Therapeutic: Relieves stress and helps with specific health conditions.
  • Aesthetic Element: Enhances the visual appeal of your bathroom decor.
  • Variety: Available in various styles, sizes, and materials to suit any decor.
  • Blood Flow: Warm water stimulates blood flow and benefits your health.
  • Home Value: Acts as a luxurious element that can increase the home value.
  • Quality “Me-Time”: It’s a private space for self-care, away from distractions.

Cons of Placing a Soaking Tub

A soaker tub has a few potential drawbacks you might want to consider before purchasing one for your bathroom. Here are five cons of owning one:

  • Price: Soaker tubs are pricier, especially high-end models. 
  • Extra Space: Soaking tubs require more floor space and extra cleaning hours.
  • Limited Features: Some soaking tubs may not have integrated shower features.
  • Installation: Freestanding tubs need additional plumbing work and floor support.
  • Water Usage: Soaking tubs require more water to fill, leading to higher water bills.

8 Cozy and Safe Soaker Tub Designs

Choosing the proper bathtub makes all the difference when designing a functional space like the bathroom. Go for the soaking tub that fits your bathroom size and preferences.

1. Freestanding Soaking Tub

This bathtub stands alone, not attached to any walls or structures. It’s deep, flexible, and luxurious compared to standard tubs. It’s the best for large bathrooms.

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Image credits: Rene Asmussen.

2. Japanese Soaking Tub

These bathtubs are deeper and shorter than Western-style ones. They stand alone and enable an upright posture. It’s ideal for a small bathroom.

Image credits: Signature Hardware.

3. Clawfoot Soaker Tub

Clawfoot soaker tubs are freestanding tubs with raised “feet,” mostly made in materials like cast iron or acrylic. It’s ideal for cleaning the floor.

Image credits: Elina Volkova.

4. Alcove Soaking tub (Rectangular Tubs)

Alcove soaking bathtubs are space-efficient tubs that fit into a three-wall spot. They often have a clean and modern design.

Image credits: Max Rahubovskiy.

5. Corner Soaker Tub (Triangular Tubs)

These triangular tubs are perfect for optimizing corner spaces. Corner tubs can come in various styles. Hence, they fit perfectly in both traditional and modern decor.

Image credits: Curtis Adams.

6. Round or Oval Soaker Tub

Round or oval standing tubs are comfortable and excellent for those looking to make a bold design statement in their bathroom.

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Image credits: Max Rahubovskiy.

7. Walk-in Soaking Tub

These soaking tubs are designed to ease the bathing time for people with mobility issues. They feature a built-in door and a few smooth steps to get in the tub. 

Image credits: Mike Burnette.

8. Soaker Tub Shower Combo

These tub and shower combos offer the best of both worlds, ideal for smaller bathrooms and homeowners who are looking to maximize their space. They’re available in alcove-style, corner installations, and even freestanding designs.

Image credits: 100 files.

How to Choose the Right Soaker Tub for Your Bathroom?

Finding the right soaking tub for your bathroom is probably a treasure hunt to find that one piece that completes the puzzle. It’s about creating a space that speaks to your style and ticks all the safety boxes. These are the key questions you need to ask yourself before deciding on your next bathtub. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Soaker Tub

This section will list the factors you need to consider and questions to ask yourself when choosing your next bathtub. Answering the questions below will help you make the right decision.

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  • Size and Shape of the Tub: How much space do I have in my bathroom? What shape fits best with my existing bathroom layout and design?
  • Materials: What’s the material I need? Do I prefer cast iron, ceramic, copper, porcelain, marble, acrylic, stone, or wood tubs?
  • Costs: What is my budget for this investment, considering the purchase price, potential installation expenses, and maintenance costs?
  • Tub Type: Am I looking for a freestanding tub or an alcove tub that saves my space?
  • Plumbing Work: Does my bathroom have the proper space and configuration, or will additional plumbing work be required?
  • Maintenance Cost: What are the long-term maintenance requirements for the material and style of the tub I’m considering?
  • Heater Capacity: How important is having a tub with a built-in heater for long baths?
  • Bathroom Layout: How does the placement of windows, doors, and other fixtures might impact the installation of the tub?
  • Additional Features: Which extra features align with my vision of a perfect bathing experience? Would I like my bathtub to feature hydrotherapy, armrests, grab bars, mood lighting, aromatherapy, a built-in heater, or a sound system?

Image credits: Vladimir Konoplev.

Get Inspired With 15 Soaker Tubs Design Ideas by an Architect

Now that your decision to add a soaking tub to your bathroom is final, you must find your next design. Endri Kiçaj, an experienced architect designing stylish and practical interior spaces, created this list of 15 bathroom designs specifically for you. 

“We all wear our hats when walking into our private space. These ideas are 15 different hats. You only need to find out if you’re the caveman, the botanist, or maybe all of the ones I’ve mentioned,” says Endri. You can check more of Endri’s works at K5 Atelier and his online workshop

1. The Performer

For all those with a long, narrow bathroom in their homes and a secret desire for the red carpet, Endri’s idea gives you a chance to turn your bath time into a performance. 

“All you need is a white or light gray marble pedestal, maybe two or three stairs to make a stage. Have a luxurious, oval, white, resin soaking tub, and gold or copper faucets. The white walls are the key to this design. Bonus points if your floor tiles form a walkway (tiles combo), but a red carpet does the trick too. The cons of this “theatrical stage” is the challenge of adding a shower. Therefore, this design is a better fit for those with more than one bathroom in their house,” says Endri.

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Image credits: Max Rahubovskiy.

2. The Philosopher

Who was never lost in thoughts by the window on a rainy day and did not feel like Aristotle in his younger days? Well, this soaking tub setup is just about that. However, it’s best to clarify that this soaker tub design idea shouldn’t be placed in traditional bathrooms. 

Take a chance on a classic porcelain clawfoot tub with rounded corners. Add paintings to dark walls and a few dried branches in decorative baroque vases. “I’d personally go with Nietzche’s book next to the freestanding bathtub, but you can also add a cartoon book if you like. If that doesn’t set your mood right, give it a try on a rainy day lighting up scented candles,” suggests Endri.

Image credits: wirestock.

3. The Caveman

Now, each of us feels nostalgic sometimes, and for those with a strong feeling for the good old days, this might be the one for you. The keyword, in this case, is “stone.” It works best in small places, with an alcove soaker tub either built of dark stone resin, rough marble, or, even better, covered in stone tiles (preferably the same bathroom tiles you covered your walls with). A shower head on the ceiling and water streams from the sides is ideal. Add rocks, pebbles, and stones for that extra touch of nature.

“Depending on your bathroom space, the alcove soaking tub can range from small to spacious dimensions. The corners can be used for candles, food, and wine. This kind of separated bathtub spot can get better if you live with people with mobility issues. It can be adapted for elderly people, too, with walk-in tubs,” adds Endri. 

Image credits: Max Rahubovskiy.

4. The Botanist

This soaking tub design idea can work very well in spacious bathrooms. Still, you will get the best out of this if you place it in a private space outdoors. “I’d go with a Japanese soaking tub in stone tiles surrounded by white gravel or on a wooden floor. This design is the closest you can get to bathing in nature from your house (unless you decide to bathe in a pond),” says Endri.

A wooden board across the tub would make it easier to keep your phone, read this article, and maybe have some chocolate cake. If placed outside, a green wall of shrubs or dense vines and a flowery canopy is guaranteed to turn your sunny days and hot nights into a midsummer’s night dream. 

“For all those who can’t relate to a backyard from a Shakespearean verse, the wooden Japanese soaking tub works very well with artificial or indoor plants, dark green walls, and colorful tiles,” concludes Endri. 

Image credits: freepik.

5. The Blacksmith

We all dream of late nights by the fire, drinking next to the crackling sound of burning wood. Your late nights can turn into relaxing spa sessions with a cast iron soaking tub placed in a spacious bathroom. 

A countryside setting will go perfectly with your tub, stone walls, and wooden floors. In this case, the water heating system must be managed independently from other home installations. “Personally, I’d be the blacksmith of this design, placing it in the bedroom. But if you have a long bathroom, place it in the end. That’s also quite a good place for this kind of soaker tub,” explains Endri.

Image credits: Penhaglion Inc.

6. The Sculptor

As with all fine things in life, this will hurt your pockets and your friends’ egos. Class is the word of the day for this particular decor. A round or oval soaking tub made of white ceramic can be put on a pavement of white marble and look like a Renaissance fountain. For a more practical space, go for a shower and soaking tub combo. The shower curtains will surely enhance the look and give you some extra privacy. 

“Adding baroque faucets will complete the classical picture that you are looking for. For my bathroom, I’d add a bas-relief wall art, with water sliding down white sculptures, and bring the Trevi Fountain into my bathroom,” suggests Endri.

Image credits: Max Rahubovskiy.

7. The Alchemist

Interested in the world’s mysteries and the arcane arts but never had the time for it? An alchemist loves specific combinations. Try a separate copper or brass soaking tub with predominating colors of red surrounded by freestanding faucets. Add more “ingredients,” like colorful glass tiles, dried plants, simple vases, candles, and crystals. 

Image credits: Décor To Adore.

8. The Painter

This one is tricky because it needs a basic understanding of what a painter does in the studio. A white soaking tub (the shape isn’t important) will be the canvas on which you will paint away the problems of a bad day. 

“I’d go for a simple white resin soaker tub. The painter in me would cover the bathroom in tiles of different sizes and colors. Basically, a nice mess. Moreover, as someone who’s always doing something, I’d add a side table or a white porcelain board to keep my book or a glass of wine. For a clumsy person, I’d suggest double checking in getting non-slippery tiles for the bathroom floor”, explains Endri. 

Image credits: Artistic Tile.

9. The Bohemian

A combo of a wooden Japanese soaking tub with a simple shower head freestanding next to the tub will perfectly fit small bathrooms and a limited corner space. Add a few decorations on the walls (water-resistant tiles), candles or small lights all around, and a few plants if you have enough space. 

“Colors are your friends, as long as they are complementary, but don’t overdo it. If you have a colorful bathroom painted already, strive for neutral shades in minimalistic decor. My personal choice would be an artisanal carpet and wicker baskets for a chic boho touch,” suggests Endri.

10. The Tourist

For everyone with a sea view, this is your chance. Be it a balcony, a terrace, or just a bathroom with a view, use decorations that remind you of the beach, the sea, and the sun. For outdoor spaces, detached soaking tubs work best, but try to use white materials, stone, acrylic, or ceramics. 

When you are indoors, an alcove or rectangular soaking tub is the one for you. These can be paired with showers for a better experience and to save some extra space. Aside from the white soaking tub, light blue or green colors are recommended for creating beach vibes. You can use corner soaking tubs, Futari tubs, walk-in soaking tubs for the elderly, or even tubs for more than two people.

Image credits: SPARKLE IN COASTAL ELEGANCE.

11. The Pianist

A typical decor for a pianist is, of course, a black-and-white space like the piano tabs. A white porcelain soaking tub in a white corner of your bathroom is ideal. Use black for the faucets and decorations. This is a black-and-white design for a bath experience that feels elegant and modern. Now, if you really are a pianist, go for a checkered floor. 

Image credits: Rachel Pariser.

12. The Goldfinger

“If you’re a James Bond fan, you know what I’m talking about. A sparkle of gold on a white background,” says Endri. Go for a white porcelain or acrylic material with fine lines for a golden clawfoot tub. Add freestanding faucets in golden hues. These elements will look great against a white marble wall with thin veins, maybe Calacatta gold. Still, any white marble will do as long as you don’t overdo it with the patterns. 

Image credits: Vintage Tub & Bath.

13. The Businessman 

Being in the business world is always tiring, and a bath at the end of the day feels like heaven. This is why you need a high-end soaking tub and the latest bath appliances. A bathroom on the second floor with a panoramic view is a perfect fit for a businessman. 

“I’d go for a soaker tub with a built-in water stream, aromatherapy, a board to keep my stuff while relaxing, and the high-tech things a businessman can afford. As the 

Romans once said, the best place to do business is in the bathroom, so why shouldn’t you add a soaking tub for two or more people, with enough space for drinks, food, and entertainment?” suggests Endri.

Image credits: African Bush Camps.

14. The Romantic

So, you want to spice up your romantic life and add sensuality to every aspect of your bedroom? What’s more sensual than watching your partner bathe in a copper-soaking tub in front of your bed? A freestanding copper faucet complements the base of the same material. Add flowers on each side of the tub to freshen up the ambiance.

Image credits: Işıl.

15. The Explorer

The adventurer in you will love this one. You can place it in the backyard, a house in the countryside, or a remote cabin. All these places have one thing in common —the soaking tub outside, surrounded by rocks or a forest. Surround the soaking tub with seating for a softer and warmer feel. The only thing to be careful about is to clean this soaking tub before and after use. 

It isn’t limited by walls, so it can be built in various shapes and sizes, making it great for summer evenings. To complete your nature immersion, fill the surrounding space with smooth gravel, as it is better for water drainage. Being outdoors doesn’t mean going public. Keep your privacy with a few evergreen shrubs enough not to fill your soaking tub with leaves but close enough to remind you that this is, after all, an adventure.

Image credits: Roberto Nickson.

Soaker Tub Maintenance and Care

A good bath time happens in clean soaking tubs. This section will check the key aspects of maintaining and caring for your soaking tub.

Common Issues with Soaker Tubs

  • Mineral Buildup: Hard water can lead to unsightly mineral deposits.
  • Cracks or Chips: Potential damages to the tub’s surface when using it.
  • Leaking Seals: Improper sealing or wear and tear can lead to leaks.
  • Stains & Discoloration: Certain materials may be prone to staining over time.
  • Mold and Mildew Growth: Moist environments are perfect breeding spots for mold and mildew.

Image credits: Tama66.

Tips for Keeping Your Soaker Tub Clean and Save

  • Clean Regularly: Wipe down the tub after each use.
  • Check for Leaking: Ensure no water seeps through seals or caulk.
  • Talk to a Professional: Have an expert check for potential issues.
  • Don’t Let Stains Build Up: Tackle stains early with appropriate cleaners.
  • Check the Temperature: Extremely hot water can damage certain materials.
  • Dry Thoroughly: Ensure the tub is completely dry to prevent minerals buildup.
  • Take Safety Measures: Prevent slips and falls with bath mats or non-skid strips.
  • Avoid Harsh Scrubbing & Abrasive Products: Use soft cloths or sponges to clean and opt for non-abrasive, non-acidic cleaners. Harsh scrubs or bath bombs can scratch the surface.

Image credits: Max Rahubovskiy.

Is Soaker Tub Worth It?

A soaking tub promises great comfort and safety during the bathing experience. Foreseen design trends suggest an increased demand for spa-like bathrooms. Hence, there’s a bright future for soaker tubs in home design. However, homeowners must choose the one that best suits their preferences, bathroom layout, and safety standards. With the right choice, a soaker tub can become the centerpiece of a beautiful bathroom and your favorite spot to relax. 

FAQs About Soaker Tubs

Are Soaker Tubs Practical?

Yes, soaker tubs are practical with lots of benefits for homeowners. However, practicality may vary based on bathroom size and individual preferences. Choosing wisely turns the tables (in a good way) for a nice spa-themed bathroom.

Does a Soaker Tub Increase Home Value?

Yes, increasing the value of a house on sale is one of the main benefits of owning a soaking tub. That’s because a soaking tub is considered a desirable and luxurious element in the bathroom.

What is the Most Comfortable Soaking Tub Design?

The most comfortable soaking tub design is subjective and varies from person to person. It depends on individual preferences and body types. However, thanks to their depth, many find freestanding tubs exceptionally comfortable for long, immersive baths. Japanese soaking tubs with built-in seats can also provide a cozy and relaxed bathing experience. 

What is the Difference Between a Bathtub and a Soaker Tub?

The main difference between a standard bathtub and a soaker tub is its design and intended use. A bathtub is a general term for a container filled with water, typically used for bathing. It can come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. It may or may not be designed for immersive, long soaking sessions.

On the other hand, a soaker tub specifically refers to a deep bathtub designed for extended, relaxing baths. It is typically deeper than a standard bathtub, allowing for a more complete submersion of the body. Soaker tubs are crafted to provide a luxurious and immersive bathing experience. Thus, soaking tubs are pricier than standard bathtubs.

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53e55aa61befc avatar
Fora Nakit
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Actually, when it comes to water consumption, it's not too big a difference between a soaker tub and a shower. I need one full boiler of hot water to fill in my soaker. I also need one full boiler to get a shower. So as long as you are not getting a small swimming pool instead of a bathtub, there shouldn't be a big difference.

53e55aa61befc avatar
Fora Nakit
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Actually, when it comes to water consumption, it's not too big a difference between a soaker tub and a shower. I need one full boiler of hot water to fill in my soaker. I also need one full boiler to get a shower. So as long as you are not getting a small swimming pool instead of a bathtub, there shouldn't be a big difference.

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