New vs. Old Tubs: Older tubs are generally cheaper than the newer ones (going towards a few hundred) but they're much heavier since they're made with cast iron and require some TLC since they are in fact old and not always in good condition. Newer tubs are made with acrylic (which can scratch) or fiberglass and therefore so much lighter. These ones are between $1,200 to $2,000 but if you want a new cast iron tub you'd be paying between $1,200 to $5,000, with the average being about $2,200.
Where to get one: Most cities have special architectural stores where you can find free standing tubs that have been salvaged. Try finding the closest one to you by searching on Google. A good tip to know is that if you email them asking for pictures of a tub they'll most likely send them to you saving you a trip. Craigslist also has some offers of tubs, so it doesn't hurt to check there. There's also some tub refinishers that sell antique, classic tubs.
The Process: First consider whether you'd have to hire people (and a truck) for the delivery of the tub to your home. Regardless if its a new or vintage tub it's still heavy and requires multiple people for it to reach your bathroom. Also consider that with the new tub some new plumbing fixtures and accessories may need to be purchased to compliment your tub. You may also need to hire a plumber to install it.
Keep in mind that sometimes refurbishing an old tub can cost just as much as it were to buy a new tub. Whether your tub is free standing or not, you can still make the most of it and have a relaxing time. Don't forget the bubbles!
Til next time,