What Is A Roman Bathtub?

It’s no surprise that as individuals, we all have different traits and like different things. Some people prefer a quick shower. They want to pop in and pop out of the bathroom. At the same time, others would rather laze around and enjoy a long, steaming soak in a tub. And what better way to do so than in a Roman Bathtub?

Brief History Of Roman Bathtubs

Back in the day, in ancient Rome, bathing had more significance and meaning to it than merely getting clean. They had something called bathhouses which had several rooms that varied in temperature and use. 

There were exercise rooms, changing rooms, sweating rooms, open-air swimming pools, and massage rooms. There was also a hot room, a warm room, and a cool room. Other facilities in the bathhouses included private baths, libraries, toilets, lecture rooms, and outdoor gardens.

The first ones lacked a significant amount of technology as expected, and so due to this, their hot and warm rooms were heated by hot springs and braziers connected to them. There were no mechanical heating devices around for the early baths, but the ones that came afterwards had wood furnaces as their heating system.

Bathhouses and bathing, in general, meant different things to different people. Some used the bathhouses for religious purposes, some as a place of socializing. Political and business meetings were also held in those bathhouses. 

While each person had varying reasons for going there, it is clear that they all had one reason in common; the baths had a relaxing and soothing effect. And that’s where modern Roman bathtubs come in. 

What Is A Roman Bathtub?

Roman bathtubs are large and deep freestanding bathtubs that can contain a large amount of water. These tubs are usually up to 6 or 7 feet long and are deeper than your average tub, so anyone can comfortably lounge in it.

While the typical western style tubs are narrow and short, roman bathtubs are the total opposite. They are huge and wide enough for you to spread your body in. When filled to the brim, the water can easily reach the chin of a really tall person while sitting or lying. They are large enough for two people to soak in.

There is no concrete evidence that they are linked to the bathhouses in ancient Rome. Still, it is clear that they got their names from them and share many similarities, with the major one being their ability to offer complete luxury and relaxation. 

Sometimes it is referred to as a garden tub, but there are slight differences.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Roman Bathtub?

On average, bathtubs cost $1500 to $5000 to install. It all depends on the type of bathtub it is, the materials used to produce them, the purpose of the tub, the size, the surrounding material, and of course, the person or company installing it for you. According to this source, the national average cost for installing a bathtub is $2,750.

Roman bathtubs are freestanding tubs, which means they don’t need surround materials of any kind, potentially reducing the cost of installation. Excluding the cost of installation, the price of the tub widely ranges from $600 to $13,000 and above.

How To Install A Roman Bathtub

A quick warning before we get into the installation process, if you have never had any experience with plumbing, carpentry, or any type of installation, please do not attempt to do this on your own. It is a job for professionals or people with at least some experience with home construction.

Step 1 – Pick Your Bathtub 

This is the first step of the installation process. Roman bathtubs are made with different materials, the most common being fiberglass, depending on the company that produces it.

They always come in one piece, so it’s best to check and measure the dimensions of your bathroom and the whole house, in general, to make sure that the tub can pass through the doors and hallways.

Step 2 – Arrange The Plumbing

If you are working in a bathroom that already has water running and installing the roman bathtub in a site where another traditional one was, all you have to do is turn off the water and close any exposed pipes. Ensure all the faucet lines and pipes are kept visible so they won’t get lost in the framing.

If it’s a brand new bathroom without a faucet or running water, then have those installed first. After that, follow the instructions above.

Step 3 – Install The Supports For The Bathtub

These are wooden beams that the tub will rest on. Frame them using two-by-fours. Make sure you aim for a snug fit, as the size of your tub will determine the dimension for the framing. Next, align your tub’s drain with the preexisting drainage system in your bathroom.

If it doesn’t fit, you will have to relocate the drain. Call on a professional if you know you can’t do it yourself.

Step 4 – Add A Waterproof Layer And Install The P-Trap

The waterproof layer is essential to prevent mold and water damage and keep your bathroom clean. Next, add your P-trap beneath your drain for it to connect with the drainpipe.

Step 5 – Install Your Bathtub

You might need a little help lifting the tub at this point. Insert the tub securely into the framing and check that the wood won’t dent or push the tub. Check the body of the tub to see if there are any nail holes to secure the framing. If there are, use galvanized nails for it. If your tub comes with installation clips, use those instead. 

Once you have successfully secured the tub, go ahead and connect the drain and overflow pipes under the tub. Test the seal to ensure there are no leaks because you won’t be able to once you close the framing.

After confirming that there are no leaks, close the framing around the tub. 

Step 6 – Make Holes For The Faucet

Cut out holes for the faucet to fit into. The type of faucet you choose will determine how many holes you need to cut. Most of the roman bathtub faucets have separate spaces for hot and cold water. 

Step 7 – Install The Tiling 

You will need some cement and a waterproof seal for this. Mix up your cement and install the tiles on every visible surface. Let them set into the place, then mix the grout and apply it all over the surface. When it’s dry, plaster on a waterproof seal to prevent mold from growing.

Don’t forget to leave out a space for the holes you cut for the faucet. 

Step 8 – Install The Faucet

Fix in the faucet to the holes you cut out for it. Grab an Allen wrench to attach both hot and cold water lines to the faucet head. If you didn’t keep the lines visible, you might face a bit of a challenge with this step.

Step 9 – Crosscheck 

Reconnect all the pipes and other plumbing materials and make sure everything is running correctly.