The slipper tub has been around since the reign of Queen Victoria, first installed in public washrooms and bathhouses, and designed to deliver greater privacy with one end sloping upward.
The slipper tub was seen as a status symbol at that time, and is now regaining its luxurious allure. Says Drew Henry of Design Dudes, "This tub was considered a luxury item, not a necessity, because only the wealthy took baths." Slipper tubs are unlike conventional tubs in that they are detached from walls and not necessarily meant to be stuck in a corner. Realtor.com advises allowing 3 to 6 inches of clearance around the tub to be freestanding as meant. Because they stand alone, slipper tubs with claw-feet are gaining traction among buyers, signaling that the tub and its hardware offer style buyers are seeking, Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP tells Realtor.com.
"There's nothing better for soaking away a tough day than a slipper tub with its arched back and sides that can be used as arm rests," says Jason Oliver Nixon, co-owner of the design firm Madcap Cottage. Homeowners can find slipper tubs with a variety of accessories such as head pillows or air jets. "Unlike traditional in-wall plumbing, these pipes are meant to be seen and appreciated," says Jamie Novak, author of "Keep This Toss That."