I need a "no install" bathtub for an otherwise great apartment that only has a shower. The bathtub would be used nightly by an American adult of average height (not short but not "tall" either) and shouldn't be much heavier than an average woman can move by herself. What are appropriate bathtub options for this situation?

  • If you want water to it and a drain and not wanting to replace the shower with it, it will need to be installed. But to add, back in the day before indoor plumbing, the equivalent of a horse trough was used and filled with a bucket and drained I guess with the same.... I think that would really be awkward doing it that way. But it worked it the past. – Jack Oct 6 '16 at 4:20
  • Thanks for the comment! That would be awkward and probably depressing over the course of a year so hopefully there are modern options. I was thinking I could unscrew the showerhead and connect a hose to that faucet(?) to fill the tub. I was also hoping there would be a stopper on the front of the tub so I could empty it onto the shower floor. – Julie.Marsh Oct 6 '16 at 4:44
  • How much space? Photo? Height of lip on shower pan? – Bryce Oct 6 '16 at 4:49
  • A weight of a person is not the problem. Weight of the water inside the tub is the problem. Find out if the floor can withstand such load. Non-install tub makes it even worse, as it stands on 4 small legs instead of spreading the massive weight over larger area. BTW, I don't recommend free standing tub for anyone but fit person. They're very shaky when not full, and even when full, leaning on one edge can tip it over. – Agent_L Oct 6 '16 at 11:05
  • If you search portable tubs you will find numerous types that may suit your needs. But all the warnings about weight, filling, drainage still apply. – bib Oct 6 '16 at 12:32

I've never heard of such a thing, and I can think of a number of reasons why:

  • Bathtubs are heavy. Even worse, water is heavy. A standard bathtub holds about 40 gallons of water, which is over 300 pounds. Add the weight of the bathtub itself, and you may cause damage to whatever it's sitting on.

  • Showers these days are designed to not use a lot of water (about 2 gallons a minute). Take off the shower head and you'll get more, but it's still going to take a while to fill that bathtub. And, when you're done filling, the water is likely to have cooled off.

  • How big a water heater does your apartment have? Big enough for a 10 minute shower isn't big enough for a bathtub.

  • Where would you put the bathtub, both during and after use? Unless your shower is enormous, or you have a really big bathroom, it's tough to imagine how it would fit.

Add all these together, and the many ways a customer could damage his home and then blame the manufacturer, and it would be tough to make money selling standardized portable bathtubs.

  • My aunt had such thing. It was a regular thin metal tub on 4 legs, that she never found time and money to properly fix in place. 30 years ago all tubs were standing on their own legs, masonry was just to stabilize them and for decoration. Not surprisingly it was very shaky and I tipped it over once because I was accustomed to putting all my weight on the edge when going out. Old story, modern tubs are plastic and not rigid enough to hold weight of their content on their own. BTW, the tub alone is surprisingly light, I'd say no more than 20kg. It's the water that adds 400 more. – Agent_L Oct 6 '16 at 11:10

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