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Last updated: July 18, 2022
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Why wouldn’t you want supreme comfort, durability, and indulgence? Cast iron tubs are the ultimate in luxury and build quality. If you want one in your bathroom, then you need to find the best cast iron tub. We’ve search high and low to find the top-rated models you can buy today. Picking the perfect one for you can be difficult, which is why we’ve come here to help you!
How did we choose the best cast iron tubs? We took at many factors into account, with the main ones being type, size, capacity, overflow, and weight, along with the overall style so that it looks great in your bathroom. There are various options available, so you can find one that fits your budget and also lasts for years. After reading this article, you will know what you want from a cast iron tub. Are you ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
One look at this cast iron tub, and you may just fall in love. It looks brilliant, and it will turn a standard bathroom into looking like a luxury hotel. While there is some stiff competition out there, we thought this was the best cast iron tub due to its mix of excellent qualities. The cast iron freestanding tub has a large capacity while not being quite as heavy as some of its rivals. There is quality throughout, and you’ll love being able to bathe in this.
Why are we impressed? The cast iron clawfoot tub is going to give you a lot of space to relax and unwind. The wide base gives it fantastic stability, and that level of design is exceptional. As with many cast iron tubs, it also stays warm for a long soak.
What negatives must you be aware of? There is very little to moan about here. The packaging could be a little better, but thankfully, the tub comes perfectly intact without any marks.
More features: integral apron, right-hand drain, extra 4″ ledge, lifetime limited warranty
If you want to have an alcove design, then this Kohler cast iron tub would be ideal. It has a lower capacity than some other options, here but most people would still be able to have a good soak. The cast iron alcove tub is fairly easy to install and has a wide edge, which makes storing your toiletries very easy. The level of quality is impressive, and that is shown by the limited lifetime warranty that comes with it.
What makes it special? There are two color options here which give you a little bit of flexibility to match your style. It’s brilliantly built, and you won’t have any worries about it breaking it, with installation also being fairly simple.
What cons did we find? The enamel used over the cast iron isn’t the strongest, and it can chip if you’re not careful. Added to that, it is on the smaller side, which may be an issue for taller users.
More features: center drain location, white porcelain enamel, available in various exterior finishes
This cast iron bathtub takes on a much different look compared to many of its rivals with the colored sides. There are a few different color options for your cast iron soaking tub, and they all look fantastic. On top of that, this cast iron bathtub is a heavy-duty model that can give you a long soak but without taking up too much room. It’s ideal for those who want to relax in a cast iron pedestal tub.
Why did it make our list? The central drain fitting allows this tub to have an extremely elegant look, so it will be the stunning centerpiece of any bathroom. With its steep sides and high level of insulation, you can comfortably stay in the tub for hours.
What is not ideal about it? At 434lbs, the tub is very heavy, which may give you some issues in with getting it into place. It’s also a little narrower than some other options which could be an issue for those with wide shoulders.
More features: built-in adjusters, white feet are powder coat over cast iron
This bathtub with a classic design and a 35-gallon water capacity offers an ultimate experience. This tub is rather deep, with an overflow of 13-1/2″. Next, there are flexible installation options, and it has the durability that you’d expect from a cast iron tub. The styling of the tub is also impressive with intricate legs that give it added elegance.
What stands out? You firstly notice that the tub comes very well packaged, and there’s no chance of it getting damaged in delivery. Once you have it installed, you’ll be impressed with the heat retention, quality, and ease of cleaning.
What cons did we manage to find? You may not like the styling of the legs.
More features: built-in adjuster on tub feet, white porcelain enamel, oil-ribbed bronze feet
Many people like to sit up in their bathes and relax while reading a book or something similar. If that sounds like you, then you’ll love the design of this 50-gallon tub. It has a high overflow, which allows you to have a deep soak, and has excellent quality throughout. It is on the heavier side, but that’s to be expected with its size and metal legs.
What are our favorite features? The design of the cast iron tub is very comfortable, and you’ll love sitting in it, also in part due to its smooth surfaces. On top of that, a few different design options available for this freestanding tub.
What could be better? The weight may be an issue here as it can be hard to move into place. But once you have it installed, you’ll see it was worth the effort.
More features: 7″ faucet hole, 5-year manufacturer defect warranty
Here is another freestanding tub but one in the pedestal design, which is a very elegant alternative. It has a 36-gallon capacity and an overflow of just over 16″ to give you an amazing opportunity to soak without huge water usage. It has a one-piece design that will work perfectly in any bathroom and boasts a durable design.
What makes it special? The style and surface help to make this one of the easiest tubs to clean out there. The heavy-duty design will see it lasting for a vast number of years, and this all comes at an excellent price.
What cons did we find? The capacity may not be enough for some, and it may be a little bit of a squeeze for big and tall users.
More features: 14” step-over height, wide ledges, slip-resistant surface, left-hand drain, tile flange, available in 4 colors
Kohler is an expert in making high-quality tubs at affordable prices, and this is a great example of that. It has an alcove design that should perfectly slot into your space. On top of that, it also offers high durability and a wide choice of color options. The wide ledges also give you a lot of space for all of your things.
What makes it stand out? This is perfect for those with mobility issues. The sides are a little smaller to be easily stepped over, and the bottom has an anti-slip surface. It makes getting in and out of the tub as easy as possible.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? Some users have reported some delivery issues, which can be a little frustrating. Apart from that, there is very little to complain about.
More features: slip-resistant surface, lifetime limited warranty
This can be a great drop-in tub. It’s the ideal candidate to replace your existing model and has many safety qualities, such as its slip-resistant surface. It looks great and has all the look that you’d expect from a cast iron tub. That’s all backed up by its limited lifetime warranty that will safeguard you should anything go wrong.
What do we love it for? As with many options on this list, it looks great and the features make it great for those with mobility issues. It lets you have a long soak and completely relax, which is aided by the heat retention you get from an iron tub.
What were we disappointed with? Not everyone was satisfied with the quality of this bathtub. Especially, this can turn some buyers off because of its high price tag.
Things to Consider
You’ll find many different types of cast iron tubs on the market, but not all of them have the same quality level. Getting the right model for you can be fairly difficult, which is why you should get one that most closely matches your needs, whether that is an elegant freestanding tub or a drop-in, which is a little more safety-conscious. In this guide, we’ll go through all the things that you need to consider, which will give you a clear picture of what best suits you. You may still have a few questions, and we’ll aim to clear that up at the end.
Advantages of cast iron tubs
There are some great advantages of cast iron tubs, and we are going to take a look at the most obvious here.
High durability – The build quality on these tubs is exceptional. You’re not going to have to worry about them cracking as with other types. With their level of durability, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have to replace your tub once one of these is installed.
Stylish design – The cast iron can be worked into many different shapes, which gives you a whole range of wonderful designs that all have a high level of stability. Most of them are then coated in enamel, which gives them a stunning bright and smooth finish.
Excellent heat retention – With plastic tubs, it feels as though the water can go cold very quickly. The iron and enamel of these tubs work together to give a high level of heat retention.
With the cast iron tubs, your water is going to stay warmer for longer, negating the need to drain it slightly and top it up if you wanted a long bath.
How to find the best cast iron tub?
Choosing the best cast iron tub requires you to take all the key features into account. The type is going to be the most obvious consideration, and after that comes the size and capacity to ensure it’s suitable for your bathroom. With the weight of these tubs, you also have to check how you’re going to install it. The best cast iron tub fro you may not be the same for someone else, and it’s vital to know your requirements. As we go through the key features here, you’ll start to develop a clear picture of exactly what you should get.
A lot of people wish to get an alcove bath, such as the Kohler Bellwether Cast Iron Bath, which can slot into the corner of the room and is great for saving space. If you have an existing bath structure set up, then you may need to have a drop-in tub, as you can see with the Toto Enameled Cast Iron Bathtub. The choice depends on the space you have and the design you prefer.
It’s important to get the correct sizing for your bathroom. The last thing you want to do is take one of these heavy tubs into your bathroom only to find out that it doesn’t fit.
Sizing is vital when you have an alcove or drop-in tub, as these measurements need to be perfect to ensure proper installation.
For a freestanding model, measurements are less of an issue. That’s more important here is checking that you have the required space around the tub and that it won’t cramp the room. Creating a floor template is a good way to check the size.
The capacity is in relation to how many gallons of water it would take to fill the tub. This gives you a great idea of its internal size and how much room you’ll have. The 63-gallons of the MAYKKE Katharine 70″ Oval Clawfoot Bath Tub is on the higher side with impressive internal space.
There is a downside to high capacity, and that is the increased time it takes to fill the tub as well as the increased water usage. Other tubs, such as the Signature Hardware Kateryn, are creative with their space as they are slightly narrower but with high sides. This means a lower capacity while also allowing for a relaxing experience.
The overflow is in relation to how high the water will be from the bottom of the tub before it reaches the overflow outlet. This can be especially useful for taller users who usually find their knees and shoulders sticking out of the tub.
The Kingston Brass Aqua Eden Cast Iron Slipper is an example of a tub with a high overflow at 16.5”. This figure needs to be taken in context with other specifications such as size and capacity as there’s no use having a high overflow if you’re going to feel cramped.
One of the most obvious downsides of cast iron tubs is that they are heavy. That can cause problems with installation as some of them weigh around the same as three adults. You may need plenty of help in getting something like the 434lbs Signature Hardware Kateryn into place.
You’ll also have to check whether or not your bath is going to be able to support such a high weight. Most floors will, but a huge amount of pressure can be placed on a small area with these models. If that’s a concern to you, then there are a few lighter options available.
There are plenty of other bits of design to look out for with these models. One of the most obvious is which side the drain and faucet are going to be placed on. If this is the opposite side of your existing model, then you may need your pipes to be plumbed to the other side.
Other parts of the design need to be considered, as well. Some of these tubs offer a few different color options, and you want one that fits in with your surroundings. There are different design aspects, and you need to work out what you’ll find to be most comfortable.
Most of these tubs have a very smooth enamel surface. The reason for that is the comfort as most people would prefer to lie down on that type of surface. While that ranks highly in terms of comfort, it can be a bit unsafe, especially those with mobility issues.
If you wanted to have a slip-resistant surface, then the Kohler Bellwether Cast Iron Bath would be a great choice. It makes it easy to get in and out and gives you the level of safety you need.
As we’ve mentioned, one of the best aspects of a cast iron tub is its durability. They are built to last and could well last a lifetime. That being said, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself against something going wrong.
The actual installation of a cast iron tub will be no more difficult than a regular model. It may simply be a case of replacing it with the old model, but if you want to change the drain or faucet position, then this will take extra work. The biggest consideration for many people is the tub’s weight, as most of them are way over 300lbs with some much higher than that. You’ll have to plan how to get that into place before you buy the tub. With most of these models, the feet are adjustable to allow you to have a very stable base.
Cast iron tubs are the most durable type of bathtub that you can by. The iron is going to provide immense strength against shocks and pressure, and you won’t have to ever worry about it cracking. A common issue with cast iron is rust, but with these models coated with enamel, it’s not something you’ll have to worry about. They also don’t stain very easily. Due to these features, there is no reason that a cast iron tub won’t last for decades, and it’s likely that once you have it installed, you’ll never have to think about getting a new bathtub again.
Another benefit of cast iron tubs is that they are going to require minimal maintenance. For general cleaning, all you’ll need is mild soap and a cloth. For more stubborn stains, a solution of baking soda, ammonia, and water can keep that enamel looking great. Over time, you may find that chips develop in enamel if heavy items get dropped onto it. Thankfully, enamel can be replaced and repaired to avoid needing to completely replace your tub. The enamel used on cast iron tubs is very resilient, so it’s unlikely this will ever actually be an issue.
All of the models that we’ve looked at here are fantastic, but if we have to pick a winner, it would be The Tub Connection 67″ Cast Iron Slipper Tub. It looks beautiful, comes at a fair price, and has all the qualities you want in a durable and relaxing tub.
If you need an alcove style tub instead, the Kohler Villager can be a perfect choice. This one gives you many of the qualities of more expensive options.
As we’ve mentioned a few times, it’s important to not only get a stylish model but one that is suitable for your needs. With the best cast iron tub, you will be able to achieve ultimate relaxation after a long tiring day!