Roman Tubs are as old as the Roman Empire! A defining characteristic of the Roman Tub is its ceramic or stone tile coverings. However, an all tile tub, although aesthetically pleasing, presents a waterproofing challenge. All stone and ceramic materials are porous to a certain degree. This means that there needs to be a watertight enclosure under all that beautiful tile. This is where the grand entrance music starts for the hot mopping super hero!
Building a Roman Tub at its most basic form is similar to building an all tile shower. The main difference being that the water threshold for the pan is built much higher then the standard 3-6 inches. Most roman tubs have a threshold / dam that is at least 18 inches high. Keep in mind that the same blocking principles as a shower pan apply to the roman tub framing. This means if your dam is 18 inches high then the blocking on any walls needs to be at least 22 inches high. The video on our Home page provides a good visual but you can also get a good idea from the picture below.
Also, we often see incorrect drains installed for what is going to be a Roman Tub. Considering that the Roman Tub is basically a shower with a high dam the drain is almost identical to a Tile-In Shower Drain. The main difference in the drains is going to be that the Roman Tub drain has a built in pull-plug to make it ease to hold and release water. I have attached a picture below to help visualize this.