Did you know that the national average cost of a bathroom remodel is $10,788?
When you’re spending that much cash on a bath and shower remodel, you want to get it right the first time! Especially because you want your design and fitting choices to last without ever looking dated.
But decisions about sinks, showers, toilets, and tubs can be overwhelming! There are so many design options both for style and features.
Don’t let the endless choices scare you into going traditional.
Have you ever considered a walk-in tub?
Walk-in tubs may conjure up the idea of being installed out of necessity. But they are so much more than that! They can save space, create a more relaxing experience, and be a design feature.
Why should you install one, and how should you style it?
Why Choose a Walk-In Tub?
Walk-in tubs are an excellent addition to any bathroom, not just for those looking for an accessible solution.
Of course, walk-in tubs were designed with accessibility in mind. The watertight door opens near ground level. This allows those with mobility issues to walk in and out of their bathtub.
However, the benefits of walk-in tubs can be enjoyed by everyone! Their design makes the bathing experience far more comfortable and relaxing.
Walk-in tubs are also an excellent choice for small bathrooms. Their sides can be much higher than traditional bathtubs. That’s because their sides aren’t designed to be stepped over.
Therefore, some manufacturers produce sitting walk-in tubs. Rather than lying down to bathe as you would in a traditional bathtub, users can sit in these compact bathtubs, still fully submerged.
So whether you’re looking for a more accessible, more comfortable, or more compact experience, walk-in tubs are the solution.
But with so many options out there, how should they be styled, and which tub should you pick? We’ve rounded up the top 15 ideas for installing and styling a walk-in tub to improve your bathing experience.
1. Freestanding Tub
Freestanding bathtubs are luxurious centerpieces in any bathroom. Walk-in tubs can achieve this same feel, coming in a variety of designs.
Of course, most bathrooms don’t have enough space for a large freestanding tub with room all around it. But you don’t need to have a large bathroom to achieve the freestanding look. As long as your tub is a few inches from the wall and other bathroom fittings, it will create the right aesthetic.
Freestanding tubs also open up more design choices, such as freestanding feature faucets. If you splash out on these options, make sure they fit the theme of your bathroom.
2. Deep Soakers
Deep soakers or compact walk-in tubs have high walls that allow you to bathe in a sitting position. They are great for small spaces or just a different bathing experience!
How can you style a deep soaker walk-in tub? Because of their height, compact walk-in tubs are in your eye-line more than a traditional bathtub. Therefore, they need to blend into the rest of the bathroom to avoid drawing attention to their large blocky nature.
Choose a bathroom style that heavily features the color of the tub, usually white. That way, the tub effortlessly sinks into the background of white walls and flooring, rather than becoming the centerpiece.
Alternatively, embrace its blocky nature. Choose square statement units, pressed up to the tub if possible, to carry the theme through your new bathroom design. This will make it look deliberate, rather than a choice of necessity.
3. Corner Tub
Luxurious corner tubs can also be walk-ins! If you have enough space, this design choice adds a feeling of abundance to your bathroom. Plus, the spacious baths create an incredible bathing experience.
As with compact tubs, corner tubs are large. If you don’t want to draw attention to your bath, make sure its coloring and fixtures blend with your bathroom.
4. Walk-In Tub with Shower
As already explained, walk-in tubs are a great solution for compact spaces. Their unusually small dimensions mean they can fit where most bathtubs wouldn’t. Some bathrooms though, even with this allowance, are too small for a tub and shower.
If this applies to your new bathroom design, you’ll be pleased to know there is a solution! Just like regular bathtubs, walk-in tubs can be combined with showers.
There are typically two ways of executing this design. The first is the same as normal bath and shower combinations. A shower is mounted over the bathtub, with a shower screen or curtain fixtures added and tiles all around.
With a walk-in tub, there is another styling option.
You can still install a shower canopy if you aren’t looking to tile around your bath. Some manufacturers offer a shower wall option made from the same material as the bathtub itself.
This design is very compact. Plus, it’s much easier on your bathroom remodel budget than tiling a wall to accommodate a shower.
5. Glass Door
Walk-in tub doors can swing either in or out, depending on your preference. But what’s most exciting from a design point of view is the choice of material!
Instead of a plain white door that blends with the bath, some walk-in tubs have a glass door option. This adds some interest to your bath as a feature and breaks up the large wall of white.
Glass-doored walk-in tubs work best with modern bathrooms. The glass adds to the style, rather than confusing it.
6. Glass Doors Aligned with the Shower Screen
Overhead or canopy showers don’t have to be clunky! For an even more streamlined, modern look, align your walk-in tub glass door with your shower screen.
Whether they open together or separately is up to you. What’s important is the look.
It won’t look like you’ve squeezed a shower and bath into one spot because you’re short on space. Rather, it looks deliberate, polished, and modern.
7. Under the Window Tubs
Having a view from your bath promotes relaxation. It also bathes the tub in natural light. This draws your attention to it as a design feature.
Obviously, not all walk-in tubs will fit under a window. High-walled compact solutions aren’t made to sit there.
But if you have room for a lower walk-in tub of traditional length, consider placing it under the window.
The practicalities of this depend on your space. For example, avoid this design choice if you have a very low window. Only choose it if your window is in a position where you can safely bathe underneath without having any privacy issues.
If your space does allow for this design choice, it elevates the luxurious feeling of your bathroom.
Many walk-in tubs come with optional special features. These can greatly enhance your bathing experience.
Walk-In Tub Jets
Jets installed on the sides of your tub create a spa in your own bathroom! These clean air bubbles provide a relaxing bathing experience while also improving your health. Their gentle massaging effect can relax your muscles and alleviate symptoms of arthritis.
Heated Walk-In Tubs
Some of the more advanced walk-in tubs come with built-in heating. These warmed walls keep your bath cozy for longer. Plus, they negate the issue of uncomfortably cold bath walls when you first get in!
Light and Music Technology
Walk-in tubs can be ordered with integrated light or music technology.
Chromotherapy uses light to relax the body and can be built into walk-in tubs. Alternatively, music systems such as Bluetooth speakers can be fitted to elevate your bathing experience.
9. The Modern Aesthetic
Once you have chosen which style of walk-in bath you would like, the next step is how to style your remodel around it.
First of all, can you achieve a modern aesthetic with a walk-in tub? Some worry that a walk-in tub looks older or dated because of its original design purpose. But with the right design decisions, it can perfectly slot into a modern bathroom remodel.
Modern bathroom remodels focus heavily on neutrals and metals. Palettes often feature grays, whites, and the whole beige spectrum.
Especially popular is using bathroom fixtures as one of the main features. This adds style to a bathroom remodel while keeping the look minimalist and uncluttered.
To execute this, choose fixtures of a striking color. Black and brass are particularly prevalent choices.
Now all you need to do is tie in your walk-in tub. Choose fixtures that match the rest of your remodel.
Even the bath’s color can add to your space’s modern feel. While white is the most popular color by far, consider other options.
Gray tiles with white fittings are a modern, widespread choice. But imagine white, beige, or black tiles with gray fittings! Now your walk-in bath isn’t just a fitting, it’s a deliberate design feature.
10. Black and White Bathrooms
All designs are cyclical, including the black and white bathroom.
While it used to manifest in checkerboard flooring, it is now done in different proportions. Black and white bathrooms of the past used the colors equally in tiling, which can feel like an assault on the eyes. They then used white fittings to try and lighten the space.
We are now seeing bolder, cleaner design statements. These most often include black fittings and predominantly white tiling with black grout. Also popular is the use of black Crittall glass for screens and dividers.
How can walk-in tubs be incorporated into a black-and-white bathroom?
One option is to let the bath fade into the background, choosing not to make it a feature. This can be done by using bold black statements throughout the bathroom but leaving the tub white. It then gets lost in the white walls, allowing your eyes to be drawn to other design features.
This design choice leaves you plenty of room to choose a bathtub, as white is such a common color. Subtle walk-in tubs can still be elevated in black-and-white bathrooms by choosing black fixtures rather than chrome.
Alternatively, make your bath stand out!
If you have the space for a freestanding walk-in bath, choose a design that draws the eye. A large bathtub with rounded ends and straight lines perpendicular to the ground is a good start. Then add bold, black features, such as oversized bathtub legs or a statement overhanging faucet.
11. Mediterranean Design
Mediterranean bathrooms are warm and full of life. Even though bathtubs typically come in cooler colors like white and gray, they can work with a Mediterranean theme!
Generally, a warm bathtub color isn’t a good idea. Cream fittings so easily look like they’re dirty or faded. Instead, work white into your bathroom so that the bathtub matches!
Start your design with traditional Mediterranean elements. Terracotta or dark orange-red tiles immediately create the right feel.
Importantly though, make sure to use bright white grout. The bathtub will then match the space because you’ve incorporated a cool white from the beginning.
Stay away from polished or glass elements to maintain the warm, traditional feel. This may be unavoidable if you’d like a glass shower screen over your walk-in tub. But keep these elements to a minimum.
Instead, use brushed or matte chrome fixtures or even brass if it works well in the space. And don’t add a glass door to your tub.
Dress your new bathroom design with small pops of dark warm wood in cabinets or smaller features. That way, the space stays light and airy despite all of the dark colors.
12. Balinese Vibes
When you scour the internet for a Balinesian retreat, almost every hotel and vacation rental will show off their bathrooms. The open-air, luxurious-yet-down-to-earth design the island popularized can be replicated in your home!
Balinese design focuses on the natural. The key design elements are neutral tones and wooden features. These include materials and textures such as stone, ceramic, bamboo, or plant life.
Essentially, it’s all about nature-oriented choices.
The remodel and installation itself is usually quite simple. Choose large, warm-gray tiles for the floor and walls. Use warm, light wood for the under-sink cabinets.
Your bathtub should harmonize with the space to maintain a natural, calm feel. Choosing a gray bathtub is one way to do this.
If you prefer a white tub, use the fixtures and room dressing to help it blend with the room. For example, dress your bathtub with a wooden tray or caddy in the decoration stage.
Maintain the clean lines by storing all toiletries and cosmetics out of sight. Wall-mounted or freestanding storage will all blend well with the space as long as the wood matches the rest of the features.
In luxurious Balinese bathrooms, the bathtub is often open-air to give bathers a view of the jungle. Consider placing your walk-in tub by the window to replicate this for a relaxing view. Or create the illusion of natural light by keeping the wall behind the bath a bright white.
If you’d prefer to make your tub the feature, draw attention to it with other design elements. For example, use a strip of natural stone tiles or mosaic behind the bath to catch the eye.
Finally, make sure your Balinese-style bathroom is well-dressed! Add open wooden features such as a towel ladder or ladder shelves. And decorate with large plants that add life to the room.
13. Traditional Luxurious Features
Traditional bathroom design is luxurious, bold, and feels expensive. Walk-in tubs can absolutely slot in with these elegant choices.
Color palettes for this style often stay away from bright colors. Usually, black, white, and gold are the feature.
Material choices also play a larger role in this style than most. Paneled wood cabinets and marbled tiles both look expensive and add texture to the simple colors.
The best way to style an opulent bathroom around a walk-in tub is to make the tub bold. Position a freestanding tub front and center in the space. Complement it with a freestanding faucet in bright brass.
If your bathroom remodel budget or your space doesn’t allow for a freestanding bath, draw attention in other ways.
For example, stay away from a canopy shower head. This distracts from the bath, especially with a shower screen in the mix.
Instead, hide the bath’s plumbing in the walls. Then install wall-mounted, statement brass faucet fixtures.
Luxurious bathrooms also use lighting as a feature. Install a statement pendant light in your bathroom to add to the lavish feel. But make sure to do so at an appropriate height!
Use mirrors to add light to the space too. Rather than only having a mirror above the sink, opt for a wall-length mirror if possible. And make sure to choose an intricate black or gold design.
14. Bold Tiling
Most of these design ideas have stayed away from color. But you don’t have to! Just as exquisite are bright or deep tones – when they’re done right!
The key is deciding where to use color.
First of all, do not color your fittings. Colored fittings will date very quickly. And they’ll likely have to be custom-made, which is very expensive.
In a space full of bright colors, your eyes need some relief. Keep your sink, toilet, and walk-in tub white so the room is light and airy. Add color with your tiling.
What color tiles should you choose, and how much should you use? The brighter the color, the less you will need.
For example, if you’re using a deep, faded teal, feel free to tile every wall. But if you want a bright mint green, keep the tiled area smaller. If you need to tile elsewhere, use a complementary neutral like white.
What about using multiple colors?
It can be easy to overdo color, especially in a small space. If you’d like to use two colors in your design, only use one on the tiles. Incorporate the other color in small decorative additions.
Other than your boldly colored tiles, keep the bathroom neutral. Everything else, whether cabinets or decoration, should be subtle.
Use chrome or brass fixtures, not black. Black fixtures will distract from the color and drag the already busy space down.
15. Eclectic Artisan Styling
Artisan bathrooms are becoming more and more popular. They allow individuals to express their taste with whichever personal touches they desire. Their secret is that they’re simple to execute!
While artisan looks can be very colorful or quite dark, white-based designs are the most popular. And they’re the cheapest! Start your design with basic, all-white walls and floors.
When it comes to fittings, continue the white theme. Any plain white walk-in tub will work with this style. Freestanding tubs, canopy showers, and deep soakers can all slot into this design.
Eclectic bathrooms root their style in warm, earthy tones. So avoid a glass door or polished chrome fixtures if possible. Brushed chrome or brass will blend better with the space.
Artisan bathrooms are all about detail. Once your basic, all-white bathroom is installed, the fun begins!
Start with a statement rug that is durable enough to double as a bathmat. Persian-style red or warm-toned rugs are a popular choice.
Then add complementary features around the room. These could be souvenirs from your travels or ornaments from local home stores. Whichever colors and themes you choose, make sure it shows off your personality!
Walk-in tubs aren’t just for accessibility. They add a sense of luxury to the bathing experience.
But what if none of these bath and shower remodel ideas are quite to your taste? Maybe you’re looking for a bolder bathroom statement?
And don’t forget to check out our blog for more bathroom and home design inspiration.