Tubs and Showers

The standard bathtub is 5 feet long x 30 to 32 inches wide. Although anything smaller is difficult to find, you can specify either a corner tub or one less than 5 feet long. American Standard's economy McKenzie tub in enameled steel is 4 feet long. The Mayflower corner bath by Kohler is crafted of cast iron and designed especially for tight applications.

Some manufacturers will also custom-make a tub or whirlpool to your specifications. However, James Walsh, team leader for product development/product marketing for acrylics and enamel products at American Standard, has doubts about the action of a whirlpool in anything smaller than 5 feet. Walsh says, "It just won't work right. The jets push a lot of force, up to 8 gallons per minute, which could send water right out of the tub."

According to Walsh, one of the most important considerations with bathtub size is rim height. The higher it is, the greater the water coverage enjoyed by the bather. Taller persons will have greater trouble with lower tub rims.

Can't fit a bathtub? Jonas Weiner, of Best Plumbing in Katonah, New York, notes that showers can be custom-made to fit any dimension; however, anything under 36 inches square is considered tiny and most codes require a minimum width of 32 inches. He suggests a neo-angle shower that fits into a corner as the best choice when space is a consideration.

The Biarritz 40 one-piece shower from Maax, Inc.'s Premium line measures only 38 5/8 inches square. Also from Maax is the Versailles, which functions as a tub and shower. This 29 5/8 x 31 3/4-inch space-saving unit includes built-in soap dishes, shelves, and a seat.
Ask TOH users about Small Bathrooms

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