Bathing Beauty

Create a natural focal point for your master bathroom with a freestanding tub.
Free standing cement tub

One way to maximize a waterfront property is with a deluxe bathtub that faces a lake, a river or any other soothing scenery. Whether you’re planning a renovation or a new build, this striking feature offers a modern take on an old classic that’s back in the game for good reason.

Today’s freestanding tubs come in an array of styles, sizes and shapes, from rectangular to round. Materials vary as well, such as natural stone, resin and acrylic, a more affordable choice that’s repairable, easy to mold and available in a variety of colors. Top contenders include blue, green and black with more of a matte finish.

According to Joshua Moss, vice president of Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Co. in Walled Lake and Detroit (, freestanding tubs are a trend with benefits. “People just love the look of them. They’re elegant and they create more space in the bathroom,” he said.

Santorini Polished CopperSome people invest in a copper or concrete soaking tub just for aesthetics, like the stunning selections from Native Trails. “Concrete tubs are more modern and rustic,” Moss said. Among the popular faucet finishes are matte black, brushed gold and brass; wall-mounted tub-fillers also are on the rise.

Like a pedestal sink in a powder room, soaking tubs provide high style but not much storage, and that’s where accents can help. Perfect pairings include freestanding wine racks, towel racks and book racks that also can hold hand towels and soap.

Bath pillows that contour to your back can be added for extra comfort in freestanding tubs, a tempting feature with a timeless quality. “They’re like the updated tub,” said Moss, who said this style is here to stay. “I don’t see them going anywhere.”

Aurora 72 AntiqueSoak it up

Part of their appeal is the fact that they’re so personal, said Kim Eilander, showroom
manager for B.J.W. Berghorst & Sons (, a fourth-generation, 124-
year-old plumbing supply house in Holland that still is family run.

“Each has a little different recline and art to them,” she said. “Clients are so excited about these tubs. They want to take that bath. It’s like a big hug.”

In fact, luxury tubs have become a wellness feature. “Everyone feels so much better after a bath. It’s just the peace and quiet from all the chaos,” she said. 

Aspen A 2As for aesthetics, Eilander said they can be contemporary, egg-shaped, ornate and back to even clawfoot to suit every style and taste, such as the hammered copper and concrete tubs from Native Trails that make a statement. Tile accents for wall-mounted tub-fillers also can be as dramatic and glamorous as you like.

With a soaking tub, size matters. For a new construction waterfront home, Eilander said an architect may create a spacious area to fit the most popular size, which she described as a very pleasant 66 by 36 inches that doesn’t overpower the bathroom. “The tub just floats beautifully in there,” she said. 

Bathing can be a beautiful refuge. “It’s relaxing to take a bath, and freestanding tubs are like a piece of art,” Eilander said. “A bath is a great decompressor that takes you down a notch.”

– Jeanine Matlow, Michigan BLUE Magazine

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