Bathtub Sizes: Reference Guide to Common Tubs

Bathrooms are already so starved for space, it can be like a jigsaw puzzle trying to fit everything in. And the one element that sucks up the most space is the bathtub.  

Consider this: the average five-foot long bathtub displaces 13.35 square feet of floor space.  A comparable corner shower stall unit (36"x36") occupies only 9 square feet.  

It is not so much total square footage that makes tubs difficult to place as is the length. This is why some manufacturers have begun to offer...MORE micro-sized rectangular bathtubs at only 4.5 feet long.

Because bathrooms tend to be small, space planning is of utmost importance. Larger rooms (and rooms that have fewer services than bathrooms) have greater leeway when positioning fixtures and movables. But homeowners and designers working out bathroom plans often find themselves nudging items by inches--rather than feet--to get things just right.

  • 01 of 04

    Alcove Bathtubs: 4.5 to 6 feet Long; 15 to 20 Inches Wide

    Alcove Bathtub
    Alcove Bathtub. Getty / Neo Vision

    A bathroom alcove is a space bounded by three walls. In narrow bathrooms, a typical configuration is to situate the alcove width-wise, so that the two long walls of the room form the ends and the back wall forms one side. Walls naturally form the alcove.

    However, in larger bathrooms, not all of the walls are close enough to create the alcove. This means that the alcove may be length-wise in the room, with a non load-bearing wall built specially to form one end of the alcove.

    4.5 Feet Long:...MORE Mini-Sized For Mini Living Spaces

    While not common, it is possible to find a few of these smaller-than-average tubs made for apartments or manufactured homes.

    Few homeowners will choose a 4 1/2 foot tub willingly if they have space for a larger tub.

    If you have a very small bathroom, your best bet is to forego the tub altogether and install a shower instead. But if you insist on shoehorning a tub into your small bathroom, your only option is this size.

    • Length: 54 inches
    • Width: 30 inches
    • Height: 15 inches

    5 Feet Long: Fits Most Alcoves

    Millions of bathrooms are outfitted with this one, the standard five-footer. Most alcoves are sized at 5 feet, which means that this is your only option for a retrofit.

    • Length: 60 inches
    • Width: 32 inches
    • Height: 18 inches

    6 Feet Long: Extra Foot For the Feet

    A popular segment of the alcove tub market adds an extra foot to the length and four inches to the width, to accommodate larger sized bathers; two people; or those who simply want more room.

    The six-footer will not fit in most alcoves. It is a good option for new construction projects or for remodels that involve moving a wall for added space.

    • Length: 72 inches
    • Width: 36 inches
    • Height: 20 inches
  • 02 of 04

    Oval Bathtubs: 60 Inches Long; 41 Inches Wide

    KOHLER Proflex 6 ft. Reversible Drain Drop-in Oval Bathtub in Almond
    KOHLER Proflex 6 ft. Reversible Drain Drop-in Oval Bathtub in Almond. © Kohler

    Oval bathtubs come in either the drop-in or stand-alone variety. Even though ovals look more generously sized in all directions, in reality, they are only wider, not longer.

    In an apples-to-apples comparison with a same-sized alcove tub (60 inches), the oval is a full five to six inches wider. For the drop-in kind, this means building a wider apron for the tub to rest in.

    • Length: 60 inches
    • Width: 41 inches
    • Height: 24 inches
  • 03 of 04

    Whirlpool Tubs: 60 Inches Long; 32 Inches Wide

    American Standard Everclean Whirlpool Tub
    American Standard Everclean Whirlpool Tub. © American Standard

    "Whirlpool bathtub" means big, right?

    Not necessarily. You might be surprised to learn that these tubs typically come in standard five-foot alcove-ready sizes.

    The thin acrylic shell provides ample interior space in which to hide the tubes for the jets and the pump unit.

    Six-foot rectangular sizes are available, as well as high-sided whirlpool walk-in tubs.

    • Length: 60 inches
    • Width: 32 inches
    • Height: 18 inches
  • 04 of 04

    Corner Bathtubs:  60 Inches Long; 60 Inches Wide

    Aquatic Cavalcade 5 ft. Center Drain Soaking Tub in White
    Aquatic Cavalcade 5 ft. Center Drain Soaking Tub in White. © Aquatic

    Corner bathtubs, simply put, are fun. You do not install a corner tub when this is your only place to bathe; you put one in when this is​ the master bathroom and you love nothing better than lounging in tub with a good magazine (the kids have their own shower elsewhere).

    For placement, it helps to think of them as square-shaped, not triangle-shaped. In the image of the Aquatic Cavalcade, I have continued the lines to show you how it's a square with one corner nipped off.

    That "missing...MORE corner" barely gives you any more floor space. It is just a way to give the tub this distinctive shape and to smooth off a potential bumping point.

    Since many corner tubs are 60" long, they can fit into an alcove.

    • Length: 60 inches
    • Width: 60 inches
    • Height: 22 inches