Bathtubs Are Making a Comeback—Combining Style and Self-Care

by | Mar 29, 2023 | Signature Kitchen & Bath Blog | 0 comments

Amanda Lauren for Real Simple on the ‘comeback’ of the bathtub. SRB Signature Kitchen & Bath can help you achieve your remodeling dreams in your bath or kitchen.

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This bathroom design trend rethinks the bathtub.

Taking a nice, long bath in a soaking tub is a great way to release the stress of life at the end of the day. Just add some bubbles or bath salts and it’s almost like having a spa at home. However, for many years, soaking tubs and bathtubs were falling out of favor, with many designers removing them from primary suites and replacing them with spacious showers instead. Fortunately, times have certainly changed. Add the importance of self-care being at an all-time high and this is exactly why soaking tubs are about to make a major comeback. 

“For many years, the traditional shower-and-tub combination has been a staple of space-saving bathroom design,” says Caroline Danielson, director of showrooms at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. “But more recently, designers and homeowners alike are turning to free-standing bathtubs as a luxurious and stylish way to add indulgent self-care into their home decor.” 

Inspired by Japan

Much like the Japandi aesthetic, the popularity of soaking tubs has been influenced by Japanese culture, explains Shay Holland, interior designer and star of HGTV’s Unfinished Business. “The design is highly influenced by Japanese bath rituals, where it’s customary to wash before soaking in a communal hot tub.”

Soaking tubs from Duravit’s Zencha Collection designed by Sebastian Herkner take inspiration from Japanese onsen, or hot springs. Compared to a utilitarian shower, this bath tub is designed for leisurely relaxing.

It’s All About Self-Care

Trends change and because self-care and wellness have become cultural priorities in recent years, it’s no surprise that luxurious soaking tubs are falling back into favor. “Free-standing tubs can be a great way to combine style with self-care without compromising on space or budget,” says Danielson.

These fixtures are also an ideal way to transform an ordinary bathroom into a true relaxation space. “[Soaking tubs] also provide an opportunity for homeowners to customize their bathroom design with different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials that reflect their individual preferences and tastes. Furthermore, when paired with a separate shower unit, these tub designs offer maximum flexibility in terms of layout configuration—allowing for even greater customization options,” says Danielson.

But First, Consider Your Floor Plan

If you’re considering adding a soaking tub to your current bathroom, it’s crucial to go into this project knowing that these types of tubs aren’t always the most compatible option for American floor plans, especially in older homes. “For one of our HGTV families, we had to knock out a horrible built-in angled bathtub and part of an adjoining closet to make room for the new layout—and that highlights the issues that come with this floor plan—higher cost and more complex plumbing,” says Holland.

So, be sure to consult a pro on how best to accomplish this in your particular space before getting your heart set on Duravit’s chic soaking tub. 

Remember, these tubs generally won’t fit in small bathrooms and a separate shower is a must-have. “If you’re the type who values efficiency over pampering in the bathroom, then incorporating a separate bathtub/shower may not make sense for your lifestyle,” says Holland. But if you want to indulge in a soothing, spa-like experience at home, this bathroom design trend is for you.