Stone Bathtub Type: Long and Varied history of bathtub

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Stone Bathtub Type: Long and Varied history of bathtub

 A high-quality artisan bathtub can be a significant investment. It’s easy to look at such a thing and wonder, despite its beautiful and luxurious properties, if it’s all worth the price and the hassle.

And on top of that, the number of options and variations available can seem overwhelming.

  • What are the different kinds of tubs?
  • How do they compare to each other?
  • Which ones will suit the specific needs of a particular bathroom or mode of usage?


white marble tub with faucet

All of these natural stone bathtubs feature superior heat retention than tubs of other materials, and perhaps for this reason, they are timeless, having been enjoyed by countless bathers for generations down.

With this on top of their undeniable beauty and their versatile aesthetic, able to blend in with many different bathroom styles, it’s no wonder that stone tubs are as a big a hit today as they were ages ago.

white marble tub


Like all arts, bathtub design can be studied for a lifetime… but that’s not necessary in making a purchase for your home! Here we’ll break down some of the most popular varieties and determine which is best for your specific needs.

Clawfoot stone tub

You’ll see some stone tubs that are notable for their placement in your bathroom, and some that you may like for their mobility. There are high-tech bathtubs and bathtubs that have stood the test of time as favorited designs for hundreds of years. And there are even tubs that hail from different corners of the globe!


But does it always matter which type of bathtub you use? Sometimes, it’s the way you take your bath that makes the difference.

For instance, none of these varieties of tub designs have their own smell, but using the right bath bombs for your bubble bath, or gracing the calm darkness of your evening soak with the perfect scent of aromatic candle, can be just as vital to your experience as the tub itself that you’re bathing in.

And if you’re looking to spend a long, indulgent time in your bath, you may even want to include a sleeping mask or eye mask, and set up some gentle atmospheric music to set the scene. (And as you’ll see, one of these tubs may let you play music directly from its own chassis!)

Spa stone tubs

Throw in some Epsom salt to soothe your muscles and relax your nerves and there’s not much more you can do to improve a soothing bath.


Finally, just as important as what stone tub you choose and what you surround yourself and your stone tub with in your bathroom, is how long your bath lasts. A good, well-considered bath can serve two balanced purposes: to energize and to relax.

These two goals are as diametrically opposed as they are commonly vital. An energizing stone bath should be faster and briefer: don’t stay in the stone tub for more than five minutes, or else you may get a bit too comfortable, and lose your renewed vitality!

Modern Rectangular Stone tub

On the other hand, a bath that seeks to relax should last twice as long at ten minutes, to really let the heat of the water really sink in, as well as any other effects you’ve chosen to surround your bath with. But be sure not to soak for too much longer, or else you’ll start to prune up!

black stone tub


Whichever kind of stone bathtub you end up choosing, the most important thing to keep in mind must always be the happiness and beauty that comes from a soak in any natural stone bathtub, regardless of its shape or design. So as you read up on a few of these different varieties, remember that there really is no “wrong” answer when it comes to a good strong custom-made stone bathtub!

Free-standing tub

 When it comes to ordering a custom-made natural stone bathtub, a free-standing tub may be the first thing to pop into your mind. These kinds of tubs will certainly lend a vintage feel to your bathroom, and are easy to install on top of that, but they are only one of many different varieties of stone tubs to choose from.

 extra large black marble bathtub

They also come in a vast array of different geometric shapes, all retaining the broader functions of free-standing stone tubs, but with each claiming some added perks. For example, round stone tubs are smoothly circular, making them ergonomic and pleasant to look at; however, they are also small, often low to the ground, and may also be awkward to find a good spot for.

Oval stone baths can make for a less awkward special situation, as they can be neatly fit along one particular wall thanks to their elongated shape, however this also gives them thinner rims and decks, and makes them a bit difficult to store.

Stone bathtub have a concrete looking

Rectangular stone baths are the best-fitting of all, and like the corner and alcove baths shown below, they can be snugly fit into a nice nook, cozy and out of the way. But you lose that pleasant curvaceous aesthetic.

Rectangular stone tub


None of these stone tubs sound quite luxurious enough? Free-standing garden tubs are an aristocratic type of tub that, true to their name, were enjoyed by French nobility out in their private gardens, where they shared water with the plants that surrounded them!

Backyard stone bathtub

With a wider size and a deeper structure, these are probably the most relaxing and comfortable of the free-standing stone tubs, and they have the most noble history of all of them.


On the other hand, free-standing tubs, in all their majesty, are certainly not the best choice for anyone shopping on a budget. Not only are these natural stone tubs more difficult and complex in their construction, often with stylistic flourishes like the famous clawfoot tub (listed below!).

They also boast all-around exteriors, meaning you can’t simply set the tub against the room’s existing walls. Adding in a more difficult installation process and potentially higher maintenance costs, these incredible tubs are quite the investment!

Freestanding Sandstone bathtub

But as much as they cost to build and install, keep in mind that sandstone bathtub will also significantly add to your home’s resale value later on!


Angled free-standing tubs are also available, with the built-in perk of relaxing seats instead of deep, flat floors. They’re quite easy to spot: these reclining tubs are, true to their name, shaped at an angle, with one end curving up higher than the other, providing a back for your seating pleasure.

Drop-in tub

 These tubs may strike buyers as the most “traditional” modern Western variety of bathtub: a built-in tub with a rim that is flush with its deck, giving it the alternate moniker of “sunken tub.”

They are similar to free-standing bathtubs in that they are to be placed into a spot on the floor, rather than against a wall, giving them a wider range of placement than other types of bathtubs.

And also like free-standing tubs, that means drop-in tubs also come in a much larger variety of sizes and shapes due to the freedom of its location within the room.

These tubs are a classic choice for relaxing bubble baths, but less mobile users may find them difficult to enter or get out of, although “step-in” tubs are also available as a shallower, low-lying alternative. If you’re comfortable with your vertical mobility, however, the drop-in tub can’t be beat for a relaxing soak, except perhaps by the famous hot tub (discussed below!)

 drop in

Similarly, undermount tubs are, true to their name, secured beneath their deck, resulting in a tub rim that is fully obscured by the rim from above.

For example, the metal of a modern undermount kitchen sink would be set underneath the marble countertop, with the sink’s outer edge being the countertop itself.

So if you are particularly keen on the unobtrusive natural stone look rather than the bowl of the tub itself, this may be the style for you! However, keep in mind that, while these undermount tubs may have a clear, more uniform look to them, they are tricker to repair, and that doing work on these tubs may often require the slab deck or other surrounding material to be uprooted.

Alcove stone tub

Fitting snugly into a three-wall cranny, these conveniently placed stone tubs are ideal for smaller spaces. If you’ve ever seen a particularly nice-looking bathtub in a film or on TV, it was probably a three-wall alcove tub set into a perfect spot under a window! And even despite its luxurious look, natural stone alcove tubs are very affordably priced and practical.

Many of these kinds of tubs also come fitted with a showerhead, and more elaborate variations of the alcove design are available, mostly in conjunction with where the tub is placed (under a nice window, for instance).

 Rectangular stone tub black marble

However, alcove tubs require very precise measurements and custom placement within the room. By design, they must be built into the wall and may require a substantial amount of remodeling if your bathroom isn’t already made to accommodate such a fixture. This is in contrast with the corner tub, which can be placed into the angle between any two walls.

Don’t want to tear up your bathroom to place your tub? Free-standing alcove tubs are also an option, where the three-wall niche can simply be graced with a new tub within its space!

Stone Corner tub

 The best thing about these cozy nooks is that they are the most space-efficient of all the stone bathtub designs. Ideal for whirlpools and bubble baths, a relaxing corner tub can be a small vacation right in your home! Rectangular or triangular in shape stone tubs, they often come equipped with water jets and convenient sloping seats, and may even be wired to operate electronically or boast FM radio access! But this also means they require a great deal of electric power and will be all but useless during a power outage.

Stone Corner tubs are typically rather small, ideal for a single person, and due to their high-tech capabilities, they may also require electric cables in addition to the usual plumbing.

But due to their positions in the corner between two walls, stone corner tubs can afford a wide surface area of deck surrounding the tub, as the “bowl” may not be directly wedged into the corner itself. For bathers with mobility issues, or for anyone with a large array of shampoos and other bottles, increased deck space could come in surprisingly handy!



Stone Clawfoot tub

An iconic variety of the wider free-standing type of stone tub, the instantly recognizable clawfoot stone tub is a symbol of class and prosperity and add an automatic historic aesthetic to any style of bathroom.

Clawfoot tubs may be built from natural stone, copper or brass, which typically suffer from oxidation and discoloration: modern technology,

however, has overcome these chemical challenges, and contemporary stone clawfoot tubs made in the ancient style can retain heat just much better than older copper tubs, without the nasty green effects that plagued past bathers.

Fun fact: during World War I, the metal feet of many an aristocrat’s clawfoot tub were detached and confiscated as scrap metal for the war effort!


The stone clawfoot tub’s flexible placement comes at a price, however: they are extremely heavy. Not only can this prove difficult during delivery, but they may even prove heavy enough to require special reinforcement of your floors prior to installation.

So while you are free to fix your stone clawfoot tub anywhere you want in your bathtub, make sure you decide on your spot and get it tested for strength!


Stone Hot tub

The old standby! The beloved Stone hot tub can provide even more of a reinvigorating experience than a corner tub, with hydrotherapeutic technology perfected over time for the benefit of your achy joints and muscles.

In addition, modern hot tubs can be constructed out of newer, more practical materials than the classic wooden design we might associate with a time-honored cabin spa or resort.

But not to worry! In addition to physically resembling wood, such new materials, derived from special varieties of plastic and rubber, are remarkably water-resistant over even extended periods of time, although they might prove to be a bit slippery.

But beware: as you might expect from such a pleasantly indulgent tub, a natural stone hot tub can prove to be extremely expensive. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that!



Japanese ofuro tub AKA Japanese Stone Soaking Tub

Stunningly crafted ofuro “soaking tubs” are commonly used as a post-shower treat by Japanese bathers.

In accordance with traditional Japanese etiquette, bathing for hygiene and bathing for personal rejuvenation were somewhat separate acts, and to this effect, the freestanding stone bathtub/ofuro bathtub and the common shower are two distinct devices in such bathtubs that have them.

freestanding stone tub

As with the stone clawfoot tubs, these stone ofuro tubs are a design dating back centuries. As a matter of fact, they even may have inspired the design of the first hot tubs in the West in the 1940’s, with the rise of the jacuzzi following a few tumultuous decades after.

Japaneses soaking tub

Both Japanese stone ofuro tubs and stone clawfoot tubs boast a simultaneously sleek and gentle shape, and because they are typically used separate from the shower, ofuro stone tubs are almost always free-standing tubs that can be placed freely within your bathroom, in conjunction with your shower, and similar to those tubs, bathers can enjoy a very deep shape, ideal for long, comfortable soaking of the entire body.

In contrast with this depth, they have relatively small widths and breadths, so they are easy to fit into a stone bathtub that already has a nice shower space that you enjoy. But like stone hot tubs, the specialized nature of these Japanese stone tubs, as well as their relatively rare presence in the west, results in hiked costs. One thing’s for sure: they certainly look the price!

papillon Japanese soaking tub made of stone 

Walk-in tub

Another variety of bathtub which may seem familiar but also rather overlooked is the mobility and disability-friendly (and downright spacious!) walk-in tub, which can be succinctly traced back to the 1946 patent of inventors Arthur E. Fowler and Albert Dresser, Jr. The average ordinary walk-in tub you might find in homes across the country are usually made of acrylic: this material can be hazardously slippery, as well as difficult to clean.

Getting such a bathtub made of natural stone can give the surface a grainy, slip-resistant texture that looks great and is far more resistant to ugly mineral deposits and mold.

And while it might be pricey, walk-in tubs have an added bonus feature with their special compatibility with other types of tubs that you may already have and wish to replace. In other words, many standard bathtubs take up the same amount of space as a walk-in tub, and can be swapped out with minimal construction work done on the bathroom.



Stone Slipper tub

Similar to the angled stone free-standing tub, these elegantly-shaped stone bathtubs boast possibly the most striking look of them all.

With a graceful, shallow U-shaped basin that rises smoothly on both ends (perfect for a relaxing couple’s bath, with back rests for both partners), it’s both imminently practical and charmingly vintage.

Their typically great size may be a pro or a con, depending entirely on specific circumstances, but keep in mind that even if a giant stone tub is exactly what you’re looking for, floor reinforcement and careful planning and installation measures are required to properly settle this beauty into your bathroom.

black stone slipper tub 

Natural Stone Hourglass tub

Combining the friendly shape of the angled and slipper tubs with the practical space and comfort of a corner or alcove tub is this figure-8 design that is not only ideal for couples, but can also provide plenty of deck space and a wide rim.

Stone Hourglass tubs can be secured against a wall or installed free-standing wherever you may need them, and they come in a wide range of prices.

The only drawback of the stone hourglass tub is their inefficient shape: they are large and can be bulky, but not all of that space will be available for you to bathe in. Still… having an hourglass-shaped natural stone bathtub will catch the attention of any guest!

Hourglass tub 

With all of these options (and more!) to choose from, it may take some time to decide which bathtub fits your particular criteria.

While many stone tubs run for a few thousand dollars, certified natural stone bathtubs (that is, bathtubs carved from a single block of natural stone) are much more valuable and durable, and will cost somewhere above ten thousand dollars.

Additionally, our natural stone tubs made here at Marblebee are all custom-built to order, which results in the perfect tub for you and only you. This of course requires a higher price as well.

Customized rock tub 

However, the money investment is not the only thing to consider. How about a time investment? Ordinary porcelain tubs are often vulnerable to lime, oxidation, and other wear and tear, but genuine stone bathtubs are much more durable. Like the Rock bathtub place in backyard or bathroom could last for a decades without maintain it.

These tubs can last for generations on end with proper routine maintenance, and can be moved from home to home or stay in one place as a building switches owners through the years. Quite the departure from an expensive smartphone that will only last a few years!


In addition to their epic longevity, certain materials that make a true natural stone bathtub can be reused or even recycled. For example, Marble,Granite, a common bathtub material, can be found in many different fixtures as a recycled substance. Like this papillon black granite bathtub, carved from earth material, recycle back to earth. 

Papillon Stone bathtub

And while it’s not a stone, copper can also be recycled. So even if your ancient tubs are finally ready to move on, you may still get some use out of the stuff they’re made of… or find a business that is!

Black Granite bathtub 

People have been enjoying their bathtubs as objects of rest, recreation, and aestheticism, far beyond tools of mere personal hygiene, for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Combining this ancient tradition (and even older natural stone directly from the Earth) with modern technology and perfected construction and installation techniques is a privilege that no other era of human history has been afforded.

Black stone tub

And as with all things in life, only you can decide whether the beauty, luxury, and longevity of a natural stone bathtub, of any variety, is worth the price and effort.

But if you’re ready to transform your residence into something greater, you now have all the information you need to sift through the various types (and sub-types!) of stone tubs and the different spellbinding effects that they can have in your luxury bathroom! Find more stone bathtub, visit our blogs of best 10 of stone bathtub or best 10 black stone bathtub , top 10 beige tub.

Email our stone expert to talk about your project, which type of the type you are about to choose? How to order a customized stone tub? How's the delivery time and shipping rate? Stone expert will reply you as soon as possible and give you easy guide!

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