Rethinking Bathtub Size

Barbie In BathIn Practice A Big Bathtub May Not Be What It’s Cracked Up To Be

My best ideas come to me in the bathtub. If I get one good idea per soak, that’s roughly one idea per 75 gallons of water. I don’t think even my best ideas are worth that much.

I have a very non-green confession to make. I picked the wrong tub (whirlpool tub to be exact.) It’s not that it’s not pretty or comfortable; it’s just too darn big.

What was I thinking? I’m a petite 5’2” woman and the only one in my family that takes baths! I guess I was swept away with the thought of my husband and I soaking our sore, aging muscles, champagne flutes in hand. But we don’t do that! For one thing, we run out of hot water before the water line gets above the jets. (Yes, someone might have anticipated that during the construction phase….) Second, we don’t have time for long, luxurious tandem bathing! We’ve got two kids and about 40 jobs between us, so who was I kidding?

Now that I’ve experienced the pros and mostly cons of my great big tub, I sure wish I’d opted for a smaller, more water efficient model –one that I could fill up to the top with hot water and not feel so guilty when all that water drains out. Not only would I be saving water, I’d be saving BTUs. Let’s not forget that when you deplete that water heater (assuming you have a tank-type heater) you’re paying to heat another 80 gallons or so of water.

With a smaller tub, I’d also have freed up some extra space in my bathroom for towel storage—something I could use. Plus, I’d get better GPI – that’s Gallons Per Idea.

In Search of Really Great SMALL Bathtubs
I did get one decent idea the other day as I sat in my lukewarm, oversized tub: a feature article on the most appealing, small capacity soaking tubs (60 gallon or less) that we can find. But I need your help. Send me your pictures or internet links. Perhaps we’ll start a gallery to show homeowners that small CAN be beautiful. Even luxurious!

2 Responses »


    I’m definitely rethinking a bathroom remodel. A contemporary look, and while it may hold
    up to 70, you don’t need to fill it completely. Depth is what’s important. If you can get
    enough water in a denser space to cover yourself, hopefully, you are using less water
    per bath. The old flat base tub holds more water, but doesn’t submerge your body enough to actually relax and feel like a bath. We take baths once a week, only. On Sundays. It’s sort
    of a weekend get-a-way relaxation issue. The difficulty will be trying to find a small enough one to fit through a limited doorway space on an older home.

  2. My suggestion would be to look at ofuros, which are upright Japanese soaking tubs. They are traditionally meant for soaking not washing, which means you would shower before and after soaking, not wash in the tub. These tubs are deep rather than long, so they could take up much less room and use less water, although there seem to be a gazillion makers out there and many use as much space and water as a hot tub.

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