• Basic Bathtub Types And Differences

    Basic Bathtub Types And Differences

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    July 19, 2017

    Bathtubs are more in fashion than ever.

    The feeling of unwinding with a book in a warm bath, especially during winter months, is an experience without compare.

    Like everything else in your home, bathtubs are unique.  Each is uniquely suited to the bather.  An owner of a cottage-style home who loves bathing in a clawfoot tub may scoff at the idea of a huge whirlpool corner tub and vice versa.

    Plus, your choice of bathtub depends on your available space.  Do you have limited space?  Then an alcove tub is perfect.

    If you live in a mansion, then a freestanding or corner tub may be right.

    Let’s discuss some options.


    Free-standing tubs are unconnected to walls or any other surface.  This classic tub requires a large bathroom to accommodate the tub and buffer room around the tub.

    Free-standing tubs tend to be significantly more expensive than alcove and drop-in tubs; sometimes $2,000 or more.

    You also need to have the space for free-standing tubs.  Yes, you can install one of these tubs in a three-sided enclosure, but why would you?  Free-standing tubs are all about freedom of movement and space.

    Slipper and clawfoot bathtubs fit into this category, and both convey antiquity.  Thus, you need a house worthy of such a tub.  One major downside of free-standing tubs is the exposed plumbing.

    You can purchase specialty plumbing parts that celebrate, rather than try to hide, this exposure.


    Alcoves tubs are the easiest and cheapest tubs you can buy and install.

    But you pay the price with sizing, as most alcoves (and tubs) and only 60 inches long.

    The alcove tub is the kind we all know.  This tub fits in a three-walled enclosure. When the walls are tiled or fitted with panels, the enclosure can be used for a tub/shower combination.

    The alcove bathtub is about maximizing space.  It’s the tub with the smallest footprint.  Standard length is 60 inches, but can range from 53 to 72 inches.

    Lower end but good quality rectangular drop-in bathtubs will cost you between $500 and $600


    If you want to break out of the box, and by “box,” we mean the three-sided box that encloses alcove tubs – then a drop-in bathtub might be for you.

    This bathtub requires you to have a carpenter build a deck or peninsula that juts into the room.  The tub is then installed in that structure.  Drop-in tubs come with their own rim.  These tubs can be installed in an alcove, but most often are installed in a more open area.  As such, the drop-ins usually require more floor space than alcoves and cost about $600-$700.


    Corner tubs are all about indulging in home spa therapy–with the bathroom door securely locked.

    Always expensive, corner bathtubs eat up lots of bathroom floor space and appear to have no practical use.  But who cares about practicality?  If you like bathing in pairs or trios, this tub is for you.  Triangular tubs are actually five-sided, not three-sided, as the name implies.  One downside of this tub is that they take forever to fill up.  More capacity equals more water volume needed.

    Hopefully you learned quite a bit about bathtub types and differences.

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