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Decoding Copper Gauge in Bathtubs: What You Should Know

Decoding Copper Gauge in Bathtubs: What You Should Know

When shopping for a copper bathtub, understanding the term "gauge" is crucial. This often-overlooked aspect significantly impacts the quality, durability, and performance of your tub. In this blog, we’ll demystify what copper gauge means, why it matters, and how to choose the right gauge for your copper bathtub.

What is Copper Gauge?

The gauge of copper refers to its thickness. It is measured inversely, meaning a lower gauge number indicates a thicker sheet of copper. For instance, a 14-gauge copper sheet is thicker and more substantial than a 16-gauge sheet.

Why Copper Gauge Matters

  1. Durability: Thicker copper (lower gauge) enhances the durability of your bathtub. A lower gauge tub is more resistant to dents and damage, ensuring it maintains its beauty and functionality over time.

  2. Heat Retention: Copper is renowned for its excellent heat retention properties. Thicker copper bathtubs retain heat longer, providing a more luxurious and enjoyable bathing experience, especially for those who love long, relaxing soaks.

  3. Weight and Installation: The thickness of the copper also affects the weight of the bathtub. A thicker copper tub (lower gauge) will be heavier and might require additional structural support during installation. This can impact installation costs and complexity.

  4. Cost: Generally, the thicker the copper (lower gauge), the higher the cost. This is due to the increased amount of material and the craftsmanship required. However, the investment in a thicker gauge often pays off in terms of longevity and performance.

Common Gauges for Copper Bathtubs

Copper bathtubs typically come in gauges ranging from 14 to 20. Here’s what you can expect from each:

  • 14 Gauge (0.0641 inches): This is one of the thickest gauges used for copper bathtubs. It offers exceptional durability, superior heat retention, and a premium feel. Bathtubs made from 14-gauge copper are less likely to dent or bend, maintaining their appearance for many years.

  • 16 Gauge (0.0508 inches): A popular choice for many copper bathtubs, 16-gauge strikes a good balance between durability and affordability. It provides excellent heat retention and durability, while being slightly lighter and more cost-effective than 14-gauge.

  • 18 Gauge (0.0403 inches): This gauge is lighter and more affordable. While it still offers good durability and heat retention, it may be more susceptible to dents and wear over time compared to thicker gauges.

  • 20 Gauge (0.0319 inches): The thinnest gauge typically used in copper bathtubs, 20-gauge is more affordable but less durable. These bathtubs may not retain heat as well and are more prone to damage, making them less ideal for frequent use.

Choosing the Right Gauge for Your Copper Bathtub

To find the perfect gauge for your copper bathtub, consider the following factors:

  • Usage: For frequent use, opt for a lower gauge (thicker copper) to ensure better durability and heat retention.

  • Budget: Balance your budget with the benefits of thicker copper. While lower gauge bathtubs are more expensive, their durability and longevity often make them a better investment.

  • Aesthetic Preferences: Thicker copper bathtubs tend to have a more substantial and luxurious appearance. Consider the visual impact you want your bathtub to have in your bathroom.

  • Installation: Consider the weight and installation requirements of thicker copper bathtubs. Ensure your bathroom can support the additional weight and plan for any extra installation costs.


Understanding the gauge of copper is essential when choosing a copper bathtub. It affects the tub’s durability, heat retention, weight, and cost. By considering these factors and your specific needs, you can select the ideal copper bathtub for your home. Whether you choose a sturdy 14-gauge tub or a more budget-friendly 20-gauge option, a well-chosen copper bathtub will be a beautiful and functional addition to your bathroom for years to come.

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