What Is the Standard Bathtub Size and Which Is Best for Your Bathroom?

Kate Fann
Written by Kate Fann
Updated May 9, 2022
Two children in a bathtub
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Scrub-a-dub in the right size tub

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Bathrooms are usually the smallest room in your home and require strategic planning to maximize the space as best as possible. The bathtub takes up the most real estate in the bathroom and, naturally, there are many different choices for tub types and sizes. The standard bathtub size, the alcove tub, measures 60 inches in length, 30 inches in width, and 18 inches in height.

But is the alcove tub the best option for your bathroom? Before hiring a professional bathroom remodeler to install your dream bathtub, learn about the six types of bathtubs to help you determine which one is best for you.

1. Alcove Bathtub

An alcove bathtub
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Alcove bathtubs are the standard in most homes. Its name comes from the position of the tub, which is bound by three walls with a fourth wall finished with a front panel called an apron. In many cases, the alcove tub runs the length of the bathroom wall, which is typically 60 inches. 

In bathrooms that have a wall longer than 60 inches, most homeowners add a wall partisan that maintains the alcove style. Aside from space, one of the main reasons the alcove bathtubs are the standard is due to bathroom safety. 

The space in front of the tub should be, at minimum, 60 inches long by 30 inches wide. These dimensions allow safe entry and exit from the tub.

While those dimensions are typical, you can purchase a smaller or larger alcove tub depending on the space. The dimensions of small alcove tubs are 54 inches in length, 30 inches in width, and 15 inches in height. Longer alcove tubs are 72 inches in length, 36 inches in width, and 20 inches in height.

2. Drop-In Bathtub

A drop-in bathtub
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Drop-in tubs are a popular bathtub style that shares a few similarities with the standard alcove tub. Drop-in tubs fit into an alcove in the bathroom, but instead of the tub measuring the length of the wall, it sits inside a constructed deck. Most drop-in tubs have exposed sides finished off with tile, which you can install yourself or hire a contractor to tackle the job.

The deck for a drop-in tub must leave at least 6 inches of flat deck space around each side of the tub, which means the deck structure must be at least 1 foot longer and wider than the tub. Drop-in tubs vary in measurement. The standard ranges are 45 to 72 inches in length, 30 to 32 inches in width, and 14 to 20 inches in height.

3. Corner Bathtub

A corner bathtub
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Corner bathtubs are a luxurious drop-in tub option that’s the perfect addition to any ensuite bathroom. While it’s typical to think of the corner bathtub as fitting a space triangularly, you’ll instead want to think of it as a square shape to account for space for the entry and exit point and a deck.

Corner bathtubs work best in larger bathrooms. These tubs' dimensions are typically 60 inches in length, 60 inches in width, and 22 inches in height.

4. Freestanding Bathtub

A clawfoot bathtub
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Freestanding tubs, like the illustrious clawfoot bathtub, make a great focal point in your bathroom. All sides of a freestanding tub are accessible, so when you’re measuring the space, it’s best to have an extra 3 to 4 inches of space around the tub’s perimeter. 

In addition to clawfoot designs, freestanding tubs can feature pedestal or flat bottom designs. When choosing your tub design, ensure you’re taking the space into account to determine if you’ll need extra clearance. Freestanding tubs come in various sizes, but the standard sizes range from 55 to 72 inches in length, 27 to 32 inches in width, and 15 to 20 inches in height.

5. Oval Bathtub

An oval bathtub
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Oval bathtubs are versatile, and they can be either drop-in or freestanding style. While oval tubs can appear to be larger than standard tubs, they’re only wider, measuring 60 inches in length. Since oval tubs are wider, they can be more difficult to fit into small bathrooms and may not even be an option if your bathroom is medium-sized.

6. Whirlpool Bathtub

A whirlpool bathtub
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If you’re looking to upgrade your bathtub to spa-level comfort, whirlpool tubs are an excellent option. While these tubs can appear larger, the size of the tub is the same as a standard alcove tub. Some whirlpool tubs can function as drop-ins as well.

The reason whirlpool tubs look a bit wider is because of the mechanism that allows the tub to operate. A thin acrylic shell goes behind or beside the tub to hide the tubes for the jet and pump. These mechanisms will add size to the space, so be sure to account for this extra area. Standard whirlpool tubs measure 60 inches in length, 32 to 36 inches in width, and 18 to 23 1/4 inches in height.

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