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Old 02-19-2012, 04:15 PM
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Why is the average bathtub not long enough for an adult to stretch out in?

You have to bend your knees. Straighten your legs, and now your shoulders and chest are out of the water. Why is that? Anti-drowning safety feature? Water-conservation feature? Or what?
Old 02-19-2012, 04:27 PM
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Baths are for kids
Old 02-19-2012, 04:32 PM
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Weight on the floor could be a big issue. Water is incredibly heavy and a tub 6.5 feet long would require a lot of gallons. It would require extra framing and maybe even a support post or wall to carry it.

I'll let one of our math geniuses tell us how many gallons are in a 6.5 ft x 18 inches deep container.
Quote:
Weight of 1 US Gallon of water = approx. 8.35 lb
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_d...of_water_weigh

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-19-2012 at 04:36 PM.
Old 02-19-2012, 04:45 PM
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Found this Vol calculator
I entered 6.5, 2.5, 1.5 and it says 182.08 gallons. times 8.35 = 1520 lbs. plus a 230 lb obese American male = 1750 lbs Thats a lot of weight concentrated in a small area of the floor. For a tub 30 inches wide and 6.5 ft long and only 18 inches of water.

http://dep.state.pa.us/dep/deput...volcalchtm.htm

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-19-2012 at 04:49 PM.
Old 02-19-2012, 04:50 PM
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If you could lay down, drowning becomes more likely.
Old 02-19-2012, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Found this Vol calculator
I entered 6.5, 2.5, 1.5 and it says 182.08 gallons. times 8.35 = 1520 lbs. plus a 230 lb obese American male = 1750 lbs Thats a lot of weight concentrated in a small area of the floor. For a tub 30 inches wide and 6.5 ft long and only 18 inches of water.

http://dep.state.pa.us/dep/deput...volcalchtm.htm
Yeah, but if you change the 6.5 in that equation to 4.5, how much weight are you really saving?
Old 02-19-2012, 04:57 PM
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4.5 drops it to 126 gallons for the same 30 inch width and 18 inches water. 1052 lbs plus 230 lb man = 1282 lbs.

about 468 lbs difference. Actually I think most tubs are only 24 inches wide, so they use even less water. A luxurious tub would be 30 inches wide.

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-19-2012 at 05:01 PM.
Old 02-19-2012, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
4.5 drops it to 126 gallons for the same 30 inch width and 18 inches water. 1052 lbs plus 230 lb man = 1282 lbs.

about 468 lbs difference. Actually I think most tubs are only 24 inches wide, so they use even less water. A luxurious tub would be 30 inches wide.
I don't mind if they make it narrower, so long as they make it longer.
Old 02-19-2012, 05:17 PM
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Yet they have indoor jacuzzis that hold a hell of a lot more water than a bathtub, so I'm not sure the weight theory holds up.
Old 02-19-2012, 05:19 PM
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Most tubs are 30" x 60". Six foot tubs are merely an upgrade, as are larger tubs of non standard shapes. We have put in some pretty large corner tubs that probably hold twice the water of a standard tub.

I really do not think the weight is that big an issue. Increasing the size of the tub also increases its distribution. Modern engineered joist floors are pretty strong, and it is not a big
deal to beef up flooring if required during construction. I lived in as couple old homes that had 6+ ft clawfoot tubs. Huge, deep tubs much heavier than a modern tub even empty.

I think it is mostly an issue of management of available square footage. Go look at some big houses with the giant ensuites and you will likely see some big tubs.
Old 02-19-2012, 05:20 PM
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It's cause standard tubs are designed to fit into a 60' space and most people are taller than 60'.

No idea why that is though.
Old 02-19-2012, 05:21 PM
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I see Kohler makes a soaker tub that is 72 inches long x 36 inches wide and 19 inches deep.
http://build.com/kohler-k-1125-r...xtured/p214793

So if you got a six ft wide bathroom, it can handle this tub. I'd love having a soaker tub too.
Old 02-19-2012, 05:21 PM
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Here is the start of the Kohler online catalog for 6ft + tubs. There are eleven pages.

Last edited by FluffyBob; 02-19-2012 at 05:22 PM.
Old 02-19-2012, 05:38 PM
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The answer is history.Think back to the first modern era bathtubs, the cast iron clawfoot jobs of the late 19th century. These things were luxury items as it was and damn heavy even empty. Moving and supporting ones bigger than 5 foot long would have been a major undertaking. Hell, trying moving a five foot cast iron claw foot tub without at least four big strong men. Plus by the time Koehler got manufacturing costs down enough to appeal to middle class 5 foot long was as big as would fit into a typical bathroom of the time.
Quote:
The J.L. Mott Iron Works was among the first to solve the porcelain-on-iron puzzle in the late 1880s with better techniques for preparing the iron and firing the coating, and when production improvements reduced costs in the 1920s, the cast-iron tub soon took over the bathroom. ... by 1911, the Kohler Company, followed swiftly by its competitors, introduced the built-in tub—still a bathroom standard today. Made with one enclosed side (or one side and an end), the built-in tub was not only efficient in its own right, but as a 5'-long model that spanned the walls of the typical 5' square bathroom, it became the cornerstone of the modern, functional Jazz Age bathroom trinity: wall-hung lavatory, water closet, and tub-and-shower combo.
Old 02-19-2012, 06:03 PM
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It can't be weight, cause, ya know, waterbeds.
Old 02-19-2012, 06:07 PM
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Also, people were shorter a hundred years ago. I've seen museum exhibits of 19th century clothing and those people were typically much shorter. They'd almost fit in a 5ft tub.
Old 02-19-2012, 06:16 PM
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Moving the damn thing around the house?
Old 02-19-2012, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
If you could lay down, drowning becomes more likely.
This is a good one. I remember a student, when I was working at college, falling asleep drunk in a bath one time. It's not a stretch to think he might not be here today if the tub was long enough to slip all the way in.
Old 02-19-2012, 06:24 PM
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Too soon for Whitney Houston jokes???
Old 02-19-2012, 06:36 PM
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182 gallons? I see a lot of six foot tubs between 36 and 72 gallon capacity. At this site, you can sort them by capacity, depth, etc. The largest capacity is "over 80 gallons" but skimming through the first page (I know, not very thorough), I didn't see any over 87, and those are not anything like standard tubs.

My tub measures about 10.5 inches from the bottom to the overflow, but I flipped the overflow upside-down to get a couple extra inches.
Old 02-19-2012, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Found this Vol calculator
I entered 6.5, 2.5, 1.5 and it says 182.08 gallons. times 8.35 = 1520 lbs. plus a 230 lb obese American male = 1750 lbs Thats a lot of weight concentrated in a small area of the floor. For a tub 30 inches wide and 6.5 ft long and only 18 inches of water.

http://dep.state.pa.us/dep/deput...volcalchtm.htm
You're double-counting there. If you filled the tub that full, then that obese male would displace quite a bit of the water when he got in the tub, so you can't count both.
Old 02-19-2012, 06:44 PM
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Depth makes a big difference in how much water is needed. I was estimating a luxury bath with a 18 inch depth.

The average home tub is more like yours and about 10 to 12 inches at most.

t-bonham makes a valid point. I didn't consider water displacement when someone gets in the tub. My mistake, glad someone caught it.

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-19-2012 at 06:47 PM.
Old 02-19-2012, 07:06 PM
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Because for the most part, people don't want to take naps in there.

By and large, most folks are either in a tub to get clean, which is more easily accomplished when you're sitting up and can reach the soap, shampoo, etc, or to lounge with a book, glass of wine, etc, which is also easier sitting up. And, historically speaking, modern standard tubs are luxuriously large. Back when water had to be hauled and heated by hand, tubs were much smaller.
Old 02-19-2012, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
I don't mind if they make it narrower, so long as they make it longer.
There is a dick joke in there, but I'm not going to go after it.
Old 02-19-2012, 08:31 PM
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I don't take sit-down baths very often (that's more of a girl-thing, n'est-ce pas?) but I'll remark this of the times I did: Standard tubs are obnoxiously uncomfortable to sit in, even with water. Enough so that I'll stick with stand-up showers.
Old 02-19-2012, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
Because for the most part, people don't want to take naps in there.

By and large, most folks are either in a tub to get clean, which is more easily accomplished when you're sitting up and can reach the soap, shampoo, etc, or to lounge with a book, glass of wine, etc, which is also easier sitting up. And, historically speaking, modern standard tubs are luxuriously large. Back when water had to be hauled and heated by hand, tubs were much smaller.
this is why I prefer the kind of tubs I encountered in Japan. They were even shorter than the "standard" american bathtub, but were significantly deeper. much easier to sit up with a comfortable level of submersion.
Old 02-19-2012, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Also, people were shorter a hundred years ago. I've seen museum exhibits of 19th century clothing and those people were typically much shorter. They'd almost fit in a 5ft tub.
Not so. Previous thread. People were a bit shorter in centuries past, but only an inch or two.
Old 02-19-2012, 09:29 PM
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The average bath has to fit in the average bathroom.
Old 02-19-2012, 11:02 PM
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I think small bathroom is the answer. I am 5'9" and never fit in bathtubs. I love a hot bath in the winter but they are generally uncomfortable affairs.
Old 02-20-2012, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Weight on the floor could be a big issue. Water is incredibly heavy and a tub 6.5 feet long would require a lot of gallons. It would require extra framing and maybe even a support post or wall to carry it.

I'll let one of our math geniuses tell us how many gallons are in a 6.5 ft x 18 inches deep container.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_d...of_water_weigh
according to this, a 72 42 tub only holds 82 gallons.
Old 02-20-2012, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
You're double-counting there. If you filled the tub that full, then that obese male would displace quite a bit of the water when he got in the tub, so you can't count both.
Only once he's lying down and floating in the water. If you fill a bath full up to the brim, then step into it, the floor is bearing the weight of all the water, plus your body weight, minus the weight of water displaced by your feet and lower legs(not much).
Sure, the weight will go down when you lie down and the water displaced by your body goes down the overflow, but the peak load may be higher than the weight of the filled bath. Maybe somewhat moot, because I doubt this happens very often.
Old 02-20-2012, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Found this Vol calculator
I entered 6.5, 2.5, 1.5 and it says 182.08 gallons. times 8.35 = 1520 lbs. plus a 230 lb obese American male = 1750 lbs Thats a lot of weight concentrated in a small area of the floor. For a tub 30 inches wide and 6.5 ft long and only 18 inches of water.

http://dep.state.pa.us/dep/deput...volcalchtm.htm
IOW, it's less than the weight of 8 people. Modern houses are obviously built to support more than 8 people standing in an area that large so that can't be it.
Old 02-20-2012, 04:57 AM
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about the weight:
old clawfoot tubs, as mr. fluff pointed out, are already heavier and were larger--and they concentrated all their weight on 4 localized points--not evening distributing it across the whole bottom.

not to mention old flooring didn't usually have plywood or sheet underlaying--it was thin tongue and groove oak or pine, lain directly on the joists--and the slats weree usually just a few inches wide.

there's a LOT of exacerbating symptoms for a fall-through, is what i'm saying, and i never heard of it happening, so it was at the very least infrequent.
Old 02-20-2012, 04:59 AM
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Another vote for small bathrooms. Ever seen the bathrooms in houses from when indoor plumbing was first becoming common? A five-foot/one-and-a-half meter tub still takes up as much as half of the space. And most families wouldn't have used the tub every day at that time.

When a house does have a larger bathroom, many people are now opting for a separate shower stall. That's what we chose when we had our bathroom enlarged. With no little kids in the house any more, we use the tub only a few times a month, but the shower is in heavy daily use. When you've set aside the space for the shower stall, you need a bathroom large enough to hold square dances in to still have the space for a tub a tall adult can lie down in.

The market is probably still too small for most manufacturers to bother with extra long tubs, and too small for most bathroom supply stores to stock any that are out there.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:18 AM
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Modern plumbed-in baths evolved from the older claw-foot type (with or without hot running water), which in turn evolved from a tin tub in front of the hearth, with water warmed in metal jugs or pans and poured in.

Throughout the course of that evolution, there's a general increase in size, but it's probably never been hugely desirable to have a full-length bath - because bathing hasn't ever really been about stretching out at full length and just lying there - it's about scubbing, soaping, then immersing various bits of the body in turn in order to get clean.
Old 02-20-2012, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
. If you filled the tub that full, then that obese male would displace quite a bit of the water when he got in the tub,
EUREKA!!!!!!






(sorry.....But somebody had to say it.)
Old 02-20-2012, 07:46 AM
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I'd like an upright tub design. Imagine a shower stall with a solid door that is about three feet high. You would have a swimming pool type ladder on the door, climb in and sit. With around the same volume of water as a typical bathtub, you could sit fully submerged.
Old 02-20-2012, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I'd like an upright tub design. Imagine a shower stall with a solid door that is about three feet high. You would have a swimming pool type ladder on the door, climb in and sit. With around the same volume of water as a typical bathtub, you could sit fully submerged.
They exist - google upright bathtub or soaking bathtub - looks like there are two kinds - those that you climb into from the top, and those that have a door in the side (obviously can only be opened when the tub is empty) - the latter sort being primarily marketed to disabled people who either can't step into a bath, or can't safely lie down in one.

ETA: I imagine they probably use a fair bit more water than a conventional bath - by a factor of two or more, just because people wouldn't want to be confined to a narrow vertical water-filled tube.

Last edited by Mangetout; 02-20-2012 at 08:34 AM.
Old 02-20-2012, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by KneeSid View Post
Too soon for Whitney Houston jokes???
Did she even die in a bathtub?
Old 02-20-2012, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by chacoguy View Post
It can't be weight, cause, ya know, waterbeds.
That's the first thing I thought of too. It's not weight. It's just the available room.

I just did a huge remodel completely redoing the main bath and kitchen. I bought a 5.5 foot tub that is extra deep. The extra depth and extra 6 inches helps a lot.
Old 02-20-2012, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
They exist - google upright bathtub or soaking bathtub - looks like there are two kinds - those that you climb into from the top, and those that have a door in the side (obviously can only be opened when the tub is empty) - the latter sort being primarily marketed to disabled people who either can't step into a bath, or can't safely lie down in one.

ETA: I imagine they probably use a fair bit more water than a conventional bath - by a factor of two or more, just because people wouldn't want to be confined to a narrow vertical water-filled tube.
HAH!! I've thought about this design; it seems so cool an idea. Never dreamed they existed.
Old 02-20-2012, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by chappachula View Post
EUREKA!!!!!!
Not any more I don't - I've just had a bath

Anyway, is a standard US bathtub really 60" long? The standard in the UK is 170cm, which is just under 67". The bathroom in my house is only about 165cm wide, which meant rather a lot of chiselling out of the brick walls to fit a new bath in. But fit it did.
Old 02-20-2012, 11:24 AM
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Only once he's lying down and floating in the water. If you fill a bath full up to the brim, then step into it, the floor is bearing the weight of all the water, plus your body weight, minus the weight of water displaced by your feet and lower legs(not much).
Sure, the weight will go down when you lie down and the water displaced by your body goes down the overflow, but the peak load may be higher than the weight of the filled bath. Maybe somewhat moot, because I doubt this happens very often.
Obese people are usually less dense than water. There'll actually be less weight with a fatty in the tub.

Your overflow scenario, as you sorta-admit, is unlikely.
Old 02-20-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
Did she even die in a bathtub?
Yes.
Old 02-21-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spankthecrumpet View Post
Obese people are usually less dense than water. There'll actually be less weight with a fatty in the tub.

Your overflow scenario, as you sorta-admit, is unlikely.
Actually, buoyant objects will displace an amount of water equal to their weight rather than their volume and float. More likely though, the depth of the water will not allow enough of Mr(s) Fatty's volume to displace this amount of water and float, so the tub will weigh more with a person in it.
Old 02-21-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spankthecrumpet View Post
Obese people are usually less dense than water. There'll actually be less weight with a fatty in the tub.
Emtar KronJonDerSohn is right - less dense bodies still displace their weight of water, which is why part of them is able to protrude above the surface.

Quote:
Your overflow scenario, as you sorta-admit, is unlikely.
Indeed, however, peak load happens before any displacement/overflow occurs anyway.
Old 02-21-2012, 11:20 AM
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If the tub is longer, it's got more floor space upon which to spread out the weight. So it's not really the total weight we care about. It's the weight per square foot, which would be the same no matter how big the tub was. Unless you're talking about exceeding the weight limit of the entire floor, I don't think weight is really the issue here.
Old 02-21-2012, 12:13 PM
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Why is the average bathtub not long enough for an adult to stretch out in?
Because not enough adults pitch a bitch the way I would about short tubs. I loves me a nice long soak in a tub full of hot water. Aaah!
Old 02-21-2012, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Zakalwe View Post
and most people are taller than 60'.
She's only 50'
Old 02-22-2012, 02:27 PM
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Could it have something to do with standard water heater capacity?

I know that my water heater only has a bit less than one tub's worth of hot water in it. If it were 20% bigger, it'd be quite a bit colder.
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