12 Stunning Sunken Bathtub Ideas for a Modern Bathroom

Sunken Bathtubs

A sunken bathtub adds a special touch to your bathroom. Have you ever been to a five-star hotel or stayed in a villa in some far off exotic land? What do you remember most about the suite? Was it the ambiance of the expansive room or perhaps it was the recessed tub? How glamorous it must have seemed, like something straight out of a romantic adventure novel.

I bet the whole bathing experience made you feel like a princess or movie star as you stepped down into the gleaming white whirlpool lowered into the floor.

To the everyday homeowner, sunken tubs are rarely seen or enjoyed mainly due to the extra work, space, and money needed for their construction and installation.

Sunken Bathtub Ideas

1. sunken bathtub with shower

sunken bathtub with shower

2. Outdoor Sunken Bathtub

Outdoor Sunken Bathtub

3. Sunken Bathtub with Fireplace

Sunken Bathtub with Fireplace

4. Bathroom with Sunken Tub

bathroom with sunken tub

5. sunken bathtub shower combo

sunken bathtub shower combo

6. Partially Sunken Bathtub

partially sunken bathtub

7. Sunken Bathtub with Steps

Sunken Bathtub with Steps

8. Concrete Sunken Bathtub

Concrete Sunken Bathtub

9. Long Sunken Bathtub

long sunken bathtub

10. half bath sunken bathtub


half bath sunken bathtub


Why use a Sunken Bathtub?

For most people, these bathtubs are considered romantic or glamorous because they usually conjure up images of movie stars or expensive multimillion dollar mansions that come with a butler and a lady-in-waiting.

To a certain extent, these images are true, in the right situation; this bath lover’s dream can transform an ordinary master bathroom into a personalized elegant retreat.

Installing this type of luxury fixture requires careful planning. One of the most important considerations when thinking about putting in a recessed tub is space, both below and around the bathing area.

Before you set your heart on transforming your mundane bathing space into a sumptuous personal spa make sure you have plenty of room in your washroom and enough money in your remodeling budget to possibly hire both an architect and a qualified contractor with specialized skills to make sure your tub is properly supported.

Placement of the Fixture is of Great Importance

Even more specialized skill is needed if your recessed hot tub has water jets since the whirlpool jets in the Jacuzzi will need extra power to propel the water and for heating, so an electrician and plumber may also be needed. Also, don’t forget about accessibility for maintenance when installing your bathtub to ensure that the mechanisms work properly.

Remember you will be cutting into your bathroom floor to install your new bath. Where you place your deep-set tub is also very important.

One important consideration is where the load bearing beams in your home are located because having to cut through one or having to relocate a beam or wall may not justify the time, effort and costs involved just to put in this luxury item. Not to mention how this may affect the integrity and stability of your home.

Safety First

Another consideration about the placement of your submerged tub is whether or not you have children or elderly individuals who may accidentally fall down into the hollow depression in the middle of the night when they are still half asleep.

Placing your deep-set tub in an alcove offers a private retreat and places the fixture out of the way when performing daily bathroom activities. A good rule of thumb is to leave the light on in the room or to install light sensors so that no matter who is in the space the light always stays on until they leave the chamber.

You also need to make sure that you buy a non-slip bathtub and that the area around the fixture itself is clutter-free and safe.

Handrails or grab bars make it easier and safer when you get in and out of the space. Installing a recessed tub in a small bathing area is usually not a good idea due to space usage restrictions.

Maintaining a Million Dollar Shine

There is nothing more beautiful in your bathroom than natural stone. On the whole, most natural stone is hard, durable, and water resistant.

Some people don’t mind a tiny bit of wear on their stone surfaces but if you are like the majority of us that spent a small fortune on your natural stone surfaces, you want it to look like the million dollars that you feel like you paid.

Natural stone, whether it is marble or granite will need to be occasionally resealed and while regular bathroom cleaners are fine for ceramic tile, they are normally too harsh for cleaning natural stone surfaces.

Even using soap to clean your stone surfaces can cause a soap film to build up over time. From sealants, cleaners, strippers, enhancers, polish, and conditioners, to preserve the natural beauty of your granite and marble countertops, walls or floors you need to be selective about what products you use to care for your bathroom stone finish.

For Floors Use a Dry Mop or Non-Acidic Cleaner

If you have natural stone tile floors, sand, dirt, and built-up grit is not your friend, the abrasiveness of these materials can scratch, dull, and damage the surface of your beautiful floors over time.

To minimize this problem, you should frequently clean your floors with a dry dust mop or a slightly damp mop with a little bit of mild, non-acidic cleaner.

Another thing that you may want to do is place a mat or bathroom rug inside and outside your bathroom entrance to help minimize the sand, dirt, and grit that may scratch your stone bathroom floor.

Vacuums Can Scratch Your Surfaces

Also, be careful about using a vacuum cleaner on your natural stone floors because the wheels or housing may inadvertently scratch your lavatory floors.

And while your expensive granite may be extremely hard, it still may stain if exposed to harsh chemicals or acidic substances. Ladies remember hair coloring may help you peel away the years but will definitely age and discolor your marble and limestone surfaces.

The best way to guard against blemishes is the periodic application of a durable stone sealant to protect your limestone and apply wax to your marble finishes to safeguard your countertop surfaces.

This not only serves to enhance the luster of your stone surfaces but also helps to reinforce your stone’s protection. And remember that if the unthinkable does happen, there are repair kits on the market to remove or at least reduce stains and scratches.

Create an Exotic In-home Getaway

If your washroom doesn’t have the ability to install a lowered bathtub you can still create the illusion and feel of a recessed tub by raising the floor space around your bathing area such as in a basement suite.

A classical sunken bathtub usually had a tiled surround with the rim either flat or slightly above the floor level. The more modern concave deep soaking models now have a higher rim.

A custom-built tiled tub or slatted wood floors around a below-ground tub will give your bathroom a simple but gracious atmosphere dedicated to relaxation.


Installing a sunken tub in your bath can create an exotic retreat in your home. But a word of caution is required. If you are an aging baby boomer, in a couple of years having to step down or crawl out of the depressed space may become a problem.

While these types of fixtures may be glamorous you really have to weigh the extra cost, time, effort, and safety concerns involved in installing one.

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