For many of us, the space we have available for our clawfoot, pedestal, or freestanding tub is limited. In this brief article, we will discuss the minimum installation space requirements, which translates to the right size bathtub for the space.
The Magic Number: 6 Inches
As a rule of thumb, the minimum end-to-end (length) additional space you'll need for a clawfoot, pedestal, or freestanding tub is 6 inches. Any less and the tub will look cramped in the space.
For tubs with drains at the end, you'll need a minimum of 4 inches for the floor-mount faucet, with 2 inches padding on the opposite end (as shown). For wall-mount faucets, you'll reverse this with 2" at faucet, 4" on opposite side, and for deck-mount faucets or tubs with center drains, simply center the tub within the 6" space.
The 6/12 Rule
The second rule-of-thumb that we can share is the front-to-back spacing that you'll need. In this example, we're using a freestanding tub with center-back drain, however the same applies for any stand-alone tub configuration.
The "6" of the 6/12 rule is simply what we explained earlier; you'll want a minimum of 6" of combined additional space on the left and right side of the tub. The "12" therefore applies to the minimum total negative space you'll want for the front and back of the tub as you work around other objects in your bathroom.
Keep in mind that code requirements typically ask for a minimum of 34" wide and 21" deep access area for the tub (as shown to the left of the vanity). So the 12" of the 6/12 rule applies only to partial space restirctions. Within this 12" allotment, it is generally advised to place more room at the front versus the back of the tub.
Pelham & White Bathtubs by Space Available
At Pelham & White, we carry tubs for virtually any installation space. Specifically, we carry 54", 60", 66", and 72" tubs for 60", 66", 72" and 78"+ spaces, respectively. Interior design guidelines and opinions typically recommend placing as large a tub in your bathroom as the space allows, however there are limits; the tub and tub-surrounding area should consume roughly 30%-40% of the total square footage of your bathroom.