The Tiny Detail You Likely Didn't Know To Check For When Buying A New Bathtub

A standalone tub can be the showpiece of your new bathroom. The fixture's flexibility means you can put it nearly anywhere in the space, allowing you to truly create the bathroom of your dreams. If you're planning an amazing bathroom remodel complete with a fantastic new freestanding bathtub, there's one small detail you likely didn't think to look for while you browse through all of those fixture catalogs. On TikTok, user @mrphoenixgrey, aka Design Daddy, shared a unique tip for buying a new tub: Consider a center drain.

Tubs can come in a variety of drain locations: right, left, or center. There's even an outlier, the reversible drain, which means the tub can face right or left. Why is this important and worth noting? Because the drain's position will typically align with the plumbing. You can find freestanding tubs with any of the above drain placements, which gives you more choice when you want to install a new bathtub. Choosing a center drain tub can offer some benefits you might not have previously considered. 

Benefits of center drain tubs

The drain placement in a right or left tub means you're limited to which side you can use. However, a center drain gives you more flexibility. When you opt for a tub with a center drain, you can use either side or alternate if preferred, which may appeal to taller individuals. If you want to use the tub with someone else, a center drain also offers an equal experience, as neither of you will be forced to sit on the drain side. 

The drain's position can help with water balance, whether you're having a solitary soak or sharing with a partner. This balance means water drains evenly, which helps when you clean your bathtub, as you won't have more water pooled at one end than another. While these are the various benefits of buying a bathtub with a center drain, there can be noticeable drawbacks as well. 

Considerations for center drains

Many things you buy for your home may not be the perfect fit, based on your individual preferences, and a center drain is no exception. When choosing a bathtub with a center-placed drain, you may find the drain awkward to sit on during a long bath, or that it may be a sensitive drain that pops up with any applied pressure. 

One TikTok comment points out that families with little ones may find these tubs less appealing than a right or left tub because the child often may sit over the drain. It's also possible you will have higher costs to install a new bath depending on the existing plumbing and how much work it takes to relocate the pipes so they are in the correct spot for proper drainage. As a result, it pays to carefully consider all of these details as you shop for your new bath.