One feature shared by freestanding slipper bathtubs is that they are sculpted in a way that the back is higher than the foot. This allows them to support the bather's head and neck. Because they are freestanding, they can be placed anywhere in the bathroom where there is space. Some, but not all slipper bathtubs, have claw feet.
As with other tubs, slipper bathtubs are constructed from several materials. These include fiberglass and acrylic, cast polymer, cast iron with an enamel finish, copper, enameled steel, stone and even wood. These last two are especially pricey and often placed in the center of a bathroom to highlight the material. Claw-footed tubs are most often made of cast iron with a layer of porcelain enamel.
Some drawbacks of slipper tubs are that they are more expensive than the familiar alcove tubs, and their plumbing is exposed. However, manufacturers get around this flaw by actually highlighting the plumbing and plating it in metals such as chrome or bronze.
Other considerations before installing a freestanding slipper tub include the strength of the floor. If the tub is very heavy, the floor beneath it may need to be reinforced. Also, the homeowner should check to see if her hot water heater can fill the tub and if the slipper tub can be fitted with a shower.