Understanding the Meaning of Gauge in Copper Bathtubs

When it comes to selecting a copper bathtub, one of the most critical factors to consider is the gauge of the copper. Understanding what “gauge” means and how it affects the quality and durability of your bathtub is essential for making an informed purchase. In this blog, we’ll delve into the concept of copper gauge, why it matters, and what you should look for when choosing a copper bathtub.

What is Copper Gauge?

The term “gauge” refers to the thickness of the copper used in manufacturing the bathtub. It is a standard measure for the thickness of metal sheets and is inversely related to thickness – the lower the gauge number, the thicker the copper. For example, a 14-gauge copper sheet is thicker and more durable than a 16-gauge copper sheet.

Why Gauge Matters in Copper Bathtubs

  1. Durability and Longevity: Thicker copper means a sturdier and more durable bathtub. A lower gauge copper tub will be more resistant to dents and damages, ensuring it retains its beautiful appearance for a longer time. It also stands up better to the daily wear and tear, making it a long-term investment.
  2. Heat Retention: Copper is known for its excellent heat retention properties. A thicker copper bathtub (lower gauge) will hold heat better, providing a more comfortable and enjoyable bathing experience. This can make a significant difference, especially if you enjoy long soaks in your tub.
  3. Weight and Installation: While thicker copper adds to the durability, it also increases the weight of the bathtub. This is an important consideration during installation. A heavier tub might require additional structural support in your bathroom, which could impact installation costs and complexity.
  4. Cost: Generally, the thicker the copper (lower gauge), the more expensive the bathtub will be. This is due to the higher material costs and the increased craftsmanship required to work with thicker copper sheets. However, the investment can be worthwhile considering the enhanced durability and longevity.

Common Gauges for Copper Bathtubs

Copper bathtubs typically range from 14 to 20 gauge. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect from each:

  • 14 Gauge (0.0641 inches): This is one of the thickest gauges available for copper bathtubs. It offers superior durability, heat retention, and a high-quality feel. Bathtubs made from 14-gauge copper are less likely to dent or bend and will maintain their aesthetic appeal for many years.
  • 16 Gauge (0.0508 inches): This is a common gauge for copper bathtubs, providing a good balance between durability and affordability. It still offers excellent heat retention and durability but is slightly lighter and more cost-effective than 14-gauge copper.
  • 18 Gauge (0.0403 inches): Bathtubs made from 18-gauge copper are lighter and more affordable. While they are still durable and offer decent heat retention, they may be more susceptible to dents and damage over time compared to thicker gauges.
  • 20 Gauge (0.0319 inches): This is the thinnest gauge typically used for copper bathtubs. While more affordable, it sacrifices some durability and heat retention. It’s essential to consider this trade-off, especially if you plan to use the bathtub frequently.

Choosing the Right Gauge for Your Copper Bathtub

When selecting a copper bathtub, consider the following factors to determine the right gauge for your needs:

  • Usage: If you plan to use the bathtub frequently, investing in a lower gauge (thicker copper) will provide better durability and heat retention.
  • Budget: Determine your budget and balance it against the benefits of thicker copper. While lower gauge bathtubs are more expensive, their longevity and durability can offer better value over time.
  • Aesthetic Preference: Thicker copper often has a more substantial and luxurious look and feel. Consider the visual impact you want your bathtub to have in your bathroom.
  • Installation Requirements: Be mindful of the weight and installation requirements of thicker copper bathtubs. Ensure your bathroom structure can support the additional weight and plan for any extra installation costs.


The gauge of the copper used in your bathtub is a crucial factor that affects its durability, heat retention, weight, and cost. By understanding the meaning of gauge and considering your specific needs and preferences, you can select the perfect copper bathtub that will provide years of comfort, beauty, and relaxation. Whether you choose a robust 14-gauge tub or a lighter 20-gauge option, a well-selected copper bathtub can be a stunning and functional addition to your bathroom.

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