You are currently viewing What is an Alcove Bathtub? Some Characteristics You Should Know.

What is an Alcove Bathtub? Some Characteristics You Should Know.

What is an Alcove Bathtub

Bathing is a habit that for ages has been performed for personal hygiene, sacred rituals, or remedial purposes. Findings from health studies have suggested that immersing or soaking your body is associated with better health and sleep quality. There are several bath tubs available in the market, alcove bathtubs are one such that is in trend. What is an Alcove Bathtub? Let’s understand more about bath tubs.

Bathing in a tub as a human practice dates back to the Indus valley civilization 6000 years back; in Roman Empire bathing as a daily ritual, it was promoted to sanctify human sanitation. America had its first bathtub in 1842, but after the first World War, the tub was accepted as a bathroom adornment and installed in American homes. America had its first bathtub in 1842, but it was after the first World War that the bathtub was accepted as a bathroom enhancement and installed in American homes.

Modern bathing is more than personal hygiene, as bathing in a tub of hot, cold, or ice has its healing effects. Bath furnishings have also evolved, keeping in mind the physical and psychological customization, depending on a person’s environment, behavior, and physiology.

What is an Alcove Bathtub?

An alcove bathtub is one that suits into the nook of three walls, and this style of bath tub is one of the most popular options for residential properties. All standard alcove bathtubs have a standard dimension, a front panel, and fitted faucets at either the top or the side of the bath tub.


This is a special kind of bathtub but one that is exceptionally popular to countless homeowners. It fits precisely within a three-sided enclosure built only for the bath tub. When the walls are tiled or fitted with panels, the enclosure is often used for a tub/shower combination. Alcove bathtubs are often the inexpensive and easiest kind of tub that can be simply installed. An alcove bathtub is the most general type of bathtub in homes in the United States. 

This is a bathtub that fits into an alcove of three walls; thus, there is only one side of the bath tub unveiled. They usually come as either left-hand or right-hand installation, and this simply refers to the position of the drain. Alcove bathtubs also are referred to as break up bathtubs or fitted bathtubs.

History of Alcove bathtub.

The built-in tub is an ultramodern innovation. At the start point in the early 1900s, business houses alike Kohler started blending a bathtub design to satisfy the need of the people with less space that restricts them from installing a flat-footed tub into their bathroom. 

Even with its elegance and comfort, a flat-footed tub was not appealing because of its infamous difficulty in cleaning due to its high verticality. This brought about a demand for the built-in bathtub-made with one enclosed side. 

It was highly efficient as it could run flush with the entire bathroom wall, saving space and allowing for better access to its surfaces for easier maintenance. And while modern bathtubs have appeared out in many forms, the alcove design is still universally outstanding today, offering all the luxury of a regular bath tub in a little space.

Sizes of Alcove Bathtub: Details of different Sizes

What is an Alcove Bathtub

Although it offers a considerable value in volume saving for your bathroom, alcove bathtubs aren’t particularly open in size. 

The standard size is around 48 inches long(4.5ft),25 inches wide(2ft) with 16 inches of water depth(1.3ft). Full sizes are also available, with a length of 72 inches(6ft), a width of 42 inches(3.5ft), and a water depth of 20 inches(1.6ft). Usually, alcove bathtubs are a bit more restricted regarding sizes and designs, fitting a size span between 4.5ft-6 feet long, and width of anywhere between 2.5 ft and 3.5ft. 

The reason behind it is the primary purpose of designing the alcove bathtub, firmness. In this degree, if you have a bigger bathroom, the alcove might be smaller to fit in.

Kinds of Alternative Bathtubs:

Corner Bathtub:

Corner bathtub is the best substitute to traditional straight baths. It adds to your bathroom a bit of luxury identical to that of hotel suite bathrooms as a trendy element.

A corner bathtub provides more choices for your bathroom while clearing up floor space. There is a spectrum of choices to be made from classic American acrylic designs to super conducive walk-in tubs.

A corner bathtub is formed more sort of a triangle with the edges being each 60″ long. However, a corner tub for little bathroom might only be 48 inches by 48 inches on a side – or about four feet by four feet. Corner tubs also come in a bigger size, 72 inches by 72 inches.

The installation of a corner bathtub is a mammoth job, but it’s an onetime investment for the lifetime of your tub.


Undermount Bathtub:

An undermount tub is fit into a floor or deck, with the rim of the tub fully covered by the material from which the deck or floor is made. The absolute weight of the tub is supported by the floor beneath it, remarkably like a drop-in bathtub except that a drop-in is placed above the rim, while an undermount is installed underneath it.

These types of tubs can come in either cast iron or acrylic material. Both components can be kept clean easily, but both are different when it comes to weight. The cast iron will be much weighty than the acrylic and will need more floor support when it is installed. Cleaning will have to be carefully done with a cast-iron surface to prevent scratches on the protective coating, which can lead to rust.

For those looking for a non-intrusive and stylish way, an undermount bathtub is a smart choice, supplying a bath tub that is easy to install and does not steal the show from the grandeur of your bathroom.


Drop-in Bathtub:

For a luxurious look, drop-in tubs feature a self-rimming edge and are ‘dropped’ into a platform. These versatile bathtubs are an excellent choice for many, as they can be installed in several locations. The platform provides unlimited design options for a look that truly coordinates with the rest of your bathroom.

A drop-in bathtub has polishing on all sides with a lip or rim, allowing it to be fastened or secured to a smooth alcove or structure commonly referred to as a surround. This design allows you to easily ‘drop-in’ your bathtub, obscuring the surface of the bath completely by the surround, so only the inside of the bath is visible. The surround can be constructed from anything ranging from natural stone to wood. It can be raised high or constructed at feet level. This install method separates this bathtub design from a freestanding bathtub that may be placed and installed anywhere there’s room in your bathroom.


Freestanding Bathtub:

The freestanding bath is the center of attraction for the modern bathroom. If you have a spacious bathroom, you can afford the contemporary bathroom design. They are available in a variety of shapes, from the angular, square and ultra-modern designs through to more curvaceous oval stand-alone baths.

Freestanding bathtubs offer a wide range of style options. One of the most basic design is a single-ended tub. You can also pick a double-ended style that leans at both ends so you can rest at either end of the tub or share it with somebody else. Slipper tubs are similar to single-ended and double-ended tubs but that the end of the tub is higher than the rest of the tub.

The Main Characteristics of an Alcove Bathtub:

What is an Alcove Bathtub

There are five major characteristics of an alcove bathtub. These are as follows:

Dimension:                                                                                                                            Sizes of a standard alcove bathtub are all identical. As per the information  of Badel LuxuryBathrooms(, the aspects of a standard alcove bath are 60 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 16 inches of water depth.


An alcove bathtub is one that fits into space among three walls. One of the basic features of an alcove bathtub is that they have only one panel.

Faucets areas:

All alcove bathtubs come together with spaces for the faucets. The only distinction between alcove bathtubs in this regard is that some have the spaces at one end of the alcove, whereas others have the spaces to the sides.


In most cases, a traditional alcove bathtub is made from superior cast acrylic products. These are particularly formulated for use in the manufacturing of bathtubs, and this material is exceptionally long-lasting. In unique cases, you may come upon an alcove bathtub that is made from an alternative material, such as porcelain.

Side fittings:

Typical alcove baths have fittings affixed to three sides underneath the lip that will slide into the tiled walls for simple installation.

Even Though a standard alcove bath is the most popular option and will match in nearly all bathrooms, there are other sizes in offer. Smaller alcove bathtubs usually measure 45 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 14 inches of water depth. The larger alcove bathtubs will typically measure 72 inches long, 42 inches wide, and 20 inches of water depth.

Alcove Bathtub Materials:

What is an Alcove Bathtub

The principal materials for bathtubs in the alcove design are acrylic, fiberglass, cast iron, and stone resin. Each has its pros and cons, but finally, your decision will count on chiefly on your budget.

Acrylic is the best possible option for an Alcove bathtub, they have a smooth, nonporous surface and the underlying layers is bolstered with vacuum sheets of acrylic, fabricating the material stronger and reducing the water absorption rate, suggesting that it will not absorb water, making it a steady bathtub material.

The surface has a very excellent heat-retaining ability, keeping water warm for a longer time than others.

The facial of an acrylic bathtub is relatively supple and not very firm. Acrylic tubs can be strengthened with fiberglass, which will improve stability and firmness and increase the tub price. But it may be value paying the extra amount to purchase one of the better-quality products with fiberglass reinforcement.

Fiberglass is built from creating layers of fiber-reinforced plastic, then layering the plastic into sheets that become a mold smeared with gel-coat resin. Fiberglass is the not expensive material option, but it is permeable, which means it will distort in due course of time and become wobbly, reducing its overall life cycle. It also can’t withstand heavy shocks and will break off quite easily.

Cast iron is believed a better material, at least when compared to fiberglass and acrylic, enhancing on much of the downsides from both substances. Made by casting molten iron into a mold, cast iron is extremely robust, easy to clean and retains heat very well. The major disadvantage is that cast iron is quite heavier than acrylic or fiberglass, which may cause some challenges if your floor is not strengthened. Cast iron also turn out to be costlier than both acrylic and fiberglass tubs.

Finally, a stone resin or solid stone tub is built using natural stone, binding them with a special adhesive. Stone resin is exceptionally durable, has superb heat retention, needs very little maintenance, and can survive heavy blows without noticeable abrasions or damages. The only genuine obstacle to stone resin is that it is also a weighty material that will involve supplementary concerns in-floor reinforcement and enhanced labor on installation alongside it being pricey as cast iron.

Drop-in vs. Alcove Tub:

A drop-in bathtub is a tub that can be dropped anyplace, extending you a broader choice in installation possibilities. These bathtubs are polished all the way around, implying that their material will not stick out and is flat with your walls and encloses, however, this indicates that they have no keen edge to place or support it. 

They do not involve walls to be installed against it, which eventually means they can be installed like a freestanding bathtub. Drop-in bathtubs also have better suppleness in size as they aren’t restricted by wall confines, which means they can be much, much bigger than alcove bathtubs suggesting a greater water capacity which renders greater water depth for extended soaking time. As such, they do not need to be limited in size; drop-ins also have a larger variety of designs such as the oval, round or rectangular, while alcoves are normally just rectangular.

 Drop-in bathtubs are much costlier than alcove tubs.

Alcove vs. Skirted Tub:

Fairly related to alcove bathtubs, skirted bathtubs are drop-in bathtubs that have a skirt or lip that covers the whole bathtub itself. The lip is flair towards the outside, offering a grip or frame for it to rest on top of, permitting for simpler install. 

This suggests that you merely need to drop your skirted tub over the access or hole you desire to install it in and close it with caulk. The skirt or lip will lie effortlessly on your material while being secured by two walls. 

Generally, the skirted bathtub is reinforced by its lip and the two walls, in contrast to a normal drop-in, which needs an empty frame before installation. The front and one end of the skirted bathtub are unmasked. To choose the better among the two depends on the space available in the bathroom.

Cons of the Alcove Bathtub:

The most significant disadvantage of an alcove bathtub is its size: small, if you have enough space in your bathroom, the alcove is not the best option. For an alcove tub, installation habitually takes longer. Sometimes, it is expensive than the tub itself due to the procedure. The standard material used for alcove tubs is acrylic, which is scratch-prone, vulnerable to discoloration, and costly.

Alcove Bathtub Installation:

What is an Alcove Bathtub

To install an alcove bathtub, you initially need to measure the surface area where you would like to install your bathtub.

  1. After you have measured the area, move your bathtub into the space to start on measurements for your ledger board. Ledger board is a section of the board that supports as an aid against the edges of the wall. Mark the top of the lip on the wall studs with a pencil.
  2. With your studs and rivets marked, you will need to take the height of your bathtub and measure that same gap below the reference line on each stud. This will provide as the mark for the top frame of the new stringers you will require to install. Cut some 2x4s the size of your new tub and use deck screws to fasten them to the studs on the new location marks you made.
  3. After your ledger board is mounted, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and construct the shoe fitting, which sits between your bathtub and garbage pipe. Using a tad of plumber putty, wrap it around the new drain projection and screw it to the original threads. Now attach the overflow valve and place it behind the bathtub and affix the cover plate inside. Once you connect them to make an overlapping T formation, you are done.
  4. With the plumbing dealt with, put in a 2-inch layer of mortar with a trowel then gently move the bathtub into place. If done correctly, your drain flange should lie on the stringer to be installed near the back wall. Make sure to level it after locking, then put in finishing touches by safeguarding the flange with nails.

As the standard criterion for most homes, alcove bathtubs are easy to install, needing a few hours and nearly $70-100 of tools. If you are uncertain of any step, please ask a professional before installing it.

Alcove Bathtubs – The Final Verdict

An alcove bathtub fits into a nook of three walls. This flair of bathtub is one of the most popular choices for residential properties. All basic alcove bathtubs have the same dimensions, a front panel, and fitted faucets at each end or the side of the bath. Nevertheless, there are differences between the styles and colors offered so that you can choose the ideal tub for your bathroom. 

There are a few advantages of choosing this type of bathtub, while the only drawback is the smaller size. Still, this is also one of the advantages of these bathtubs for people who have restricted space. A typical alcove bathtub is easy to install and remove. It gives you the possibility of having a bath and shower blend in your bathroom. Overall, the qualities and benefits of a standard alcove bathtub suggest that it is a good option for most bathrooms.

Even though it may not be as gorgeous or stunning as other bathtubs in the market, an alcove bathtub is forever a dependable choice due to its economical price point and the small space it takes, but finally, the decision is yours.

Leave a Reply