Top Seven Bathtubs of 2014

By Alan Knight

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Someone wrote, “If Rosa Parks had taken a poll before she sat down in that bus, she would still be standing."  A poll is nothing more than the opinion of a group of people, however it does identify what issues people hold as being important to them.  The larger the polling number, the greater the evidence of something worthy of notice.  A poll from last year revealed the public’s favorite bathtub choices.  Here are the top seven: 

#7:  The Traditional Roll Top Tub

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About a 120 ago, there were quite a few foundries in the U.S. manufacturing bathtubs.  In general, these were known as Clawfoot tubs.  This was because the tubs’ removable legs were in the shape of animal feet or paws.  There were bear claws, lion claws, and even ostrich claws.  The tubs and legs were made of cast iron.  At the foundries, tubs were overlaid with thick, stylish porcelain.  This ceramic substance had a shine and feel that was extremely popular and remains so today.   These particular tubs had a rolled rim that gave them their second name of “rolled rim” tubs.  Today, these tubs are still fashionable.  Most of the modern ones, however, have the faucet holes drilled on the top rim of the tub (to enhance interior space) instead of inside the tub like the original ones.

# 6: The Pedestal Tub  

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This model sits atop a cast iron skirt or ring instead of legs.  It gives the tub more of a contemporary look, especially for those who find animal legs not to their liking.  There is usually a cut-out in the rear of the tub for plumbing purposes.  The pedestal base can be found on just about every shape and style of tub created.  It was an alternative that seemed to be favored by the aristocracy throughout the ages. For example, some of the former kings of Europe and the Middle East had their tubs mounted on to raised bases.  This “royal” preference is in vogue even today for its majestic, sophisticated look. 

# 5:  The Dual- or Double-Ended

Unlike the traditional rolled rim, this tub has a raised slope at each end of the tub.  The drain is also centered, instead of being on the end.  This allows a person to sit on either end of the tub, facing in either direction.  It also creates symmetry and balance.  If the tub is going to be placed under a window or painting, this style is perfect.  This tub comes with chrome, brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze legs, as well as the pedestal base.

# 4:  The Double Slipper  

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Imagine a 72- inch tub with a majestic slope on each end and room for two people … that’s the Double Slipper.  It requires that you have enough space in your bathroom.  While it does take up some additional space in one’s bathroom, it goes a long way in helping to glamorize the room.  Like the Dual-Ended model above, this design is another one that is perfectly symmetrical.  With its ostensibly aristocratic look, it can become the focal point of any bathroom.  Believe me, once installed, everyone will take notice.  This tub is both regal and romantic.  One version of the Double Slipper is a hybrid of the Dual-Ended, only the Double Slipper has a slope that’s not so pronounced on each end. 

# 3:  The Slight Slipper  

This tub is also 72 inches in length, but the sloped ends of the tub are not as pronounced.  Think of this model as being a cross between the Dual-Ended and Double Slipper.  The poll showed that this was the preferred model over the Double Slipper by a narrow margin, citing it was a matter of comfort.  Participants commented that when reclining, the back of this tub was more comfortable because it “fit” the body better. 

# 2:  The Slipper Tub  

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We’ve all seen them with their high, sloping backs at one end of the tub.  The traditional Slipper tub has been in movies (see our previous blogs “Famous Bathtubs in the Movies,” and “Romantic Movies That Featured a Porcelain Clawfoot or Pedestal Bathtub Scene,”) and have also been use throughout history as the baths of royalty.  The main reason people love them is their sensuous look.  One writer stated, “they are sexy and revealing.  That’s why the movie industry loves them so much.”  The tub comes in two different sizes: 57 and 67 inches.

 # 1:  The Walk-in Tub

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Now, this tub is different than the aforementioned cast iron, porcelain tubs. It’s built differently, it looks completely different, and it serves different purposes. The cast iron and porcelain tubs are predominately focused on style and aesthetics, although they are perfect for soaking in warm water and relaxing.  The more modern invention of the Walk-in Tub is more utilitarian. It serves two main purposes:

A. It’s designed for those who have trouble getting into and out of a normal bathtub.  This is where its safety features come in.  The tub is free standing with six hidden legs with levelers.  It’s a tall 40 inches from the floor, but the threshold for entering is a mere six inches from the floor, facilitating safe and easy access in and out of the tub.  It has a door that opens to the inside and is sealed to make it water tight.  The floor and seat are slip-resistant and it comes with an added interior grab bar for balance and support.  Everything about this tub addresses the issue of safety.  No high lifting of the legs required to get into or out of the tub. All controls are within easy reach, there is a specially contoured seat for sitting while bathing, and there support rails for balance and maneuverability.  

B. The other function of the Walk-in tub is hydrotherapeutic.  The tub can come with air jet hydrotherapy for treating many physical ailments and water jets for a soothing massage action.  You can also choose the inline heater, which makes the water stay warm longer for a more relaxing bathing/hydrotherapeutic experience.
The Walk-in Tub comes in different sizes to fit each person and the space where it will be placed.  The 54-inch length is perfect for those who need a little extra room inside the tub (its width is 30 inches).  The 48-inch model is perfect for smaller frames, and fits easier into smaller sized bathrooms.  

While the Walk-in Tub may not be as pleasing to the eye as the Slipper Tub, it definitely is a crowd favorite.  The poll made it the number one choice of bathtubs in 2014.

In this article, I shared the poll results and described the most popular bathtubs of 2014.  These included the Roll Top, Pedestal Dual-Ended, Double Slipper, Slight Slipper, Slipper, and Walk-in tubs. 

 Customer Testimonial for Cast Iron, Porcelain Pedestal Tub

If you found this article interesting, please share and forward it to friends and family. If you’d like to leave a comment or question, please do so in the Comments section below. 

If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, if you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.    

Have a question?  Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed below and I’ll personally get back to you. Thanks for reading; it’s my pleasure to share this information with you. 

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Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800) 409-3375, (800)843-4231 or email

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