An alcove bathtub is a bathtub made from durable, beautiful materials that nestles within a corner of a bathroom. Because the bathtub is enclosed on three sides by walls, it forms a cozy alcove where you can soak or shower with convenience.
The best alcove bathtub takes up less space than the best freestanding bathtub, and it can be equipped with safety bars or non-slip surfaces.
Unlike some other types of tubs, an alcove style bathtub is easy to step in and out of without falling, and it provides a natural ledge on which bath items can be stored. This kind of tub can also be dressed up with a shower curtain or door for aesthetics and privacy purposes.
In this article, you will learn about the different kinds of alcove bathtubs, the materials they use, and what makes them special. Hopefully you will also be able to understand the different features to look for when shopping for this kind of bathtub by reading our alcove bathtub reviews.
The best alcove bathtub overall is American Standard Cambridge Apron-Front Bathtub. Not only is this bathtub stylish, it also has the power of the brand name behind it.
This model has an attractive apron front that curves slightly for maximum style and impact. The classic white color will look great in any bathroom, and you will be able to bathe in luxury.
The budget pick from this list is the KINGSTON BRASS 60-Inch Contemporary Alcove Acrylic Bathtub. This tub delivers a lot of style for a reasonable price tag.
The off-white acrylic material is sure to last a lifetime, and an overflow drain and left-hand drain are included. With a generous depth of 15 inches, you will be able to comfortably soak until your heart's content.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Best Alcove Bathtubs in 2020
- Top 10 Best Alcove Bathtub Reviews:
- 1. American Standard Top Rated Apron-Front Alcove Bathtub for the Money
- 2. KINGSTON BRASS Contemporary Deepest Alcove Bathtub
- 3. American Standard Best Apron-Front Alcove Bathtub
- 4. American Standard Evolution Deep-Soak Alcove Bathtub
- 5. American Standard Deep Soaking Undermount Alcove Bathtub
- 6. KOHLER Expanse Curved Integral Alcove Bathtub
- 7. American Standard Deep Soaking Alcove Bathtub with Reversible Drain for Elderly
- 8. Toto Enameled Cast Iron Alcove Bathtub
- 9. KOHLER Archer 60 inch x 32 inch Deepest Alcove Bathtub
- 10. Mirabelle Sitka Best 60 x 30 Alcove Bathtub for Two Person
- Things to Consider When Buying a New Alcove Bathtub
- Features of the Top Rated Alcove Bathtubs
- Understanding the Different Types of Alcove Bathtubs
- Best Alcove Bathtub Materials Explained
- What's Special about an Alcove Bathtub?
- Tips on Installing an Alcove Tub
- Alcove Bathtub Frequently Asked Questions
- So, What's the Best Alcove Bathtub to Buy?
Quick Comparison: Best Alcove Bathtubs in 2020
Top 10 Best Alcove Bathtub Reviews:
1. American Standard Top Rated Apron-Front Alcove Bathtub for the Money
The American Standard name is a reliable brand in the industry, and this model is no exception. This alcove bathtub is a bright, brilliant white color with a right-hand drain outlet.
It is made of an Americast base, which is lighter but just as durable as cast iron. A steel center also lends strength and stability to this tub.
A white porcelain enamel with a shiny and hard glaze provides a hygienic and easy to clean surface. This materials will resist stains and wear and tear for years.
A limited lifetime warranty can provide you with peace of mind. Installation can be quick and easy with this model, and it even comes with accessories such as carrier bars and full instructions to move it into place.
The drain hole is the traditional round shape, and the inner bowl of the tub is a rectangular one to maximize space. Simple yet elegant, this bathtub can fit in with the sleekest modern decor.
Not only is this tub practical, it can also serve as a soaking bathtub. The sides are 14 inches high, which can make baths long and luxurious.
The unique Americast materials used keep water hotter for longer, so you won't experience heat loss while bathing. The bottom floor of this bathtub is also subtly textured to prevents slipping or sliding around.
The apron front of this tub provides a thoroughly modern and crisp appearance. In addition, the slightly beveled ledges provide an understated elegance to its design. Overall this model can bring style and substance to any bathroom.
2. KINGSTON BRASS Contemporary Deepest Alcove Bathtub
This Kingston Brass alcove bathtub could be a perfect choice if you want convenience and style. The lightweight acrylic material is built solidly at 2 to 4 millimeters thick, and it is reinforced with fiberglass and resin.
These materials combined together make for an incredibly strong and scratch-resistant surface that is sure to last for years to come. The finishing glaze also ensures that it will not stain over time and can be easily wiped down. This tub is also great for soaking and baths, as it has a total depth of 22 in.
However, the height to the overflow drain measures 15 inches, which means you will have plenty of room to bathe or soak in the tub.
This particular model has a left-hand drain to accommodate your plumbing fixtures, and it has a traditional rectangular shape that looks great in any bathroom. The sleek style and corners are modern in nature and present clean lines.
In addition to these features, the price on this alcove bathtub is reasonable. Though it does not come with a specified warranty, it is made of solid, durable materials that are reliably known for enduring daily use. The front side is high to account for its depth, and the bottom is smooth, not textured, which adds to its simple design. A non-slip bathmat may be needed.
3. American Standard Best Apron-Front Alcove Bathtub
Perhaps one of the best alcove bathtub models on the market today, this American Standard tub combines style with function.
The apron front means that the front side of the tub is already finished, and will save you time and money during installation. It also looks beautiful and modern. The white color is bright and shining.
The trademarked Americast core is just as durable as traditional cast iron, but much lighter. This model even has a steel core for extra stability. The tub is finished with white enameled porcelain that has a hard glaze that resists cracks.
Though more expensive than some other models on this list, this American Standard tub has brand name reliability. It also provides a limited lifetime warranty which guarantees you peace of mind in the years to come.
If luxuriating in the bath for a while is what you enjoy doing, this tub is made for your needs. The technology this tub uses is designed to keep heat trapped within the tub to keep the water warm.
The overall depth of this tub is 17 inches, but the overflow drain allows a height of 14 inches of water to be reached. This extra space ensures a superior bathing experience with plenty of room to spare. The modern look of this model is somewhat. softened by the rounded corners of the inner bowl.
4. American Standard Evolution Deep-Soak Alcove Bathtub
This unique fiberglass American Standard alcove soaking tub is a bather's dream come true. With a massive depth of 21.5 inches, this tub can hold 17 inches of water, which is three more inches than other tubs of this size. This model comes with a drain and an overflow drain, and both are left-hand drains.
Something that sets this product apart from other tubs is its unusual apron front. Instead of the usual plain front, this model has a grooved design that echoes a more traditional look. The great thing about this apron front is that these panels can be removed and plumbing can be hidden within them.
These panels make for easy access to plumbing work if your tub is in a small or narrow space. They also seamlessly blend in with the rest of the design.
The American Standard name is always a brand to trust in the tub industry. This model comes with a lifetime limited warranty. The fiberglass construction is mixed with some acrylic, which makes the overall tub lighter yet durable.
Fiberglass and acrylic mixed together create an extremely hard and solid surface that is easy to clean and is stain-resistant during daily use. Because this tub is so deep, it may need a special type of deep soak max drain that is not included in the package.
5. American Standard Deep Soaking Undermount Alcove Bathtub
If you want to relax with space to spare, this alcove bathtub model may be just for you. At a whopping 72 inches in length, this tub can accommodate almost any person, large or small.
This alcove soaking bathtub is meant for a luxury bathing experience, as it is equipped with built-in armrests and lumbar support. The textured bottom also reduces the likelihood of slips or falls when standing or showering.
The lifetime limited warranty reassures you that this product is built to last. Using the high quality acrylic materials possible, this tub is also reinforced with fiberglass for extra durability.
The overall color is a classic white with a shiny glaze that resists stains and scratches. Unlike cast iron tubs or those made with stone resin, this acrylic material makes this product more lightweight and easier to install.
Though a special max drain will need to be purchased separately due to this tub's generous depth, this model can make the most of your small space.
With an undermount design, this bathtub also comes with pre-drilled holes for plumbing fixtures. This all-in-one approach is slightly different from other alcove bathtubs, but it provides a complete look in the end.
6. KOHLER Expanse Curved Integral Alcove Bathtub
This grand Kohler Expanse alcove bathtub is the height of luxury and stylish comfort. Its bowed apron front not only has an elegant appearance, it also offers more room inside the actual tub.
The generous space can accommodate two people comfortably, and the interior of the bathtub is ergonomically designed. The bottom of the tub is also textured for extra safety when standing or sitting. The water level can reach 17 inches in height.
A one year limited warranty ensures that your alcove tub is covered should anything go wrong during installation or regular use. However, the Kohler name is well-known in the industry for making quality products.
This particular model comes in a beautiful white color and is made from a tough acrylic. This material can stand the test of time and will resist scratches and stains.
The right-hand drain makes this tub convenient for installation. One drawback of having such a roomy bathtub is weight. This model is a tad heavier than other models, though it is not so cumbersome as to make installation impossible.
Speaking of installation, this alcove bathtub comes with tile flanges that make the setup process easy. No special drains are required. With an appealing curves, this model can blend in with any decor whether it's modern or traditional, and is easy to step in and out of.
7. American Standard Deep Soaking Alcove Bathtub with Reversible Drain for Elderly
This amazing American Standard alcove bathtub sets itself apart from the pack with its attractive and unique top-mount overflow.
This type of overflow enables you to fully submerge yourself into the bathwater with ease. Water can reach a height of 18.5 inches. The drain is also reversible, meaning it can be installed on the left or the right due to the structure of the tub itself.
The bathtub interior is molded for comfort. It boasts armrests, and the sides are gently sloped so you can recline with ease and enjoy your bath.
The bottom of the tub is slightly textured to prevent slips or falls when standing. This model drains easily, though it does require a special Deep-soak max drain that is not included in the package.
Because of the way this tub is designed, it can be installed as a drop-in or undermount unit. Instructions are included as well as a lifetime limited warranty. Made of solid and durable acrylic, this model is reinforced with fiberglass for maximum longevity.
The glossy surface is easy to clean and will resist stains and scratches for a long time. Above all, this bathtub has lots of room for you to enjoy splashing around.
8. Toto Enameled Cast Iron Alcove Bathtub
If you like things that are built to last, this alcove bathtub may be right up your alley. Constructed from cast iron and then enameled with white porcelain, this Toto tub has a classic appearance and style.
The enameled porcelain looks beautiful, and the high-gloss finish provides a clean and fresh look that's easy to wipe down and maintain. The apron front gives it extra pizzazz while keeping it looking simple and elegant.
Because of its unique dimensions, this tub may be perfect for narrower spaces and alcoves. Though this is not a deep soaking tub, there is still plenty of room to comfortably take a bath while being fully submerged in water.
The simple and sleek design of this rectangular tub makes for a beautiful modern or contemporary look with old-world charm.
The one drawback of a cast iron tub is its weight. This model weighs a staggering 335 lbs, so it may take more than one or two people to maneuver it into place during installation.
However, this minor hassle could be worth it considering the advantages and long-term quality a cast iron bathtub can offer. A special drain or other accommodation is not required.
9. KOHLER Archer 60 inch x 32 inch Deepest Alcove Bathtub
This best kohler alcove bathtub doesn't just look durable and sturdy, it has the materials to prove it. Made from strong acrylic, this bathtub has thick walls that will stand the test of time.
The acrylic is polished to a high shine that will keep this tub looking clean and new for years to come. Best of all, the surface is scratch and stain resistant, so it will stay smooth. The bottom of the tub is textured as a safety measure to stop feet from accidentally slipping when entering and exiting the tub.
The style and roominess of this Kohler model makes it one of the top rated alcove tubs out there. This bathtub is made for long, luxurious baths, and it can easily fit two people.
The water level can reach a 19 inch height thanks to the slotted overflow that is positioned higher up on the interior. That means you can easily submerge yourself for however long you wish.
The right-hand drain makes it convenient for installation, and the tub itself is not too heavy. An integral flange is included so as to prevent any water leakage from the tub to the outer alcove walls.
A one year limited warranty also offers a sense of coverage, and the Kohler brand guarantees quality. All in all, this bathtub model delivers on style and functionality.
10. Mirabelle Sitka Best 60 x 30 Alcove Bathtub for Two Person
Perhaps the pinnacle of sleek modern design, this alcove bathtub delivers a huge amount of style. The clean lines of this rectangular bathtub can complement any contemporary decor, and the bright white finish is beautiful.
Made from acrylic and reinforced with fiberglass, this bathtub looks simple yet elegant. Not only does it look great, it also delivers on function. The soaking depth reaches nearly 16 inches, so you can be sure you will be fully submerged and soak in luxury.
The sides of the tub are thin and not conducive to resting or sitting, but they make entering and exiting the tub that much easier. The floor of this model is textured so you won't have to worry about slipping or sliding.
The drain and overflow accessories have a round shape that contrast and slightly soften the strong look of the tub's rectangular shape.
With a five year warranty, you can rest assured you will be getting a quality product that will last for years. This model comes with a tile flange so that installation will go smoothly, and the likelihood of leaks will be reduced.
For all of these features this item is priced reasonably, making it a great choice if you are looking for a suitable soaker bathtub.
Things to Consider When Buying a New Alcove Bathtub
Shape of Inner Bowl
The shape of the inner bowl can offer both personality and functionality to your needs.
A curved bowl creates a softer, gentler look. If you prefer soaking in the bathtub, a curved interior can be more comfortable than a rectangular shape.
However, a rectangular shape with more sharply angled corners can maximize the water capacity for your tub. A rectangular inner bowl with its flat bottom can be more suited to washing pets or watering plants.
Materials and Durability
Alcove tubs are meant to last a long time, so they are made from materials that will stand up to everyday use.
The most common material used in these types of tubs is acrylic, which resists scratches, staining, and is easy to clean.
Another option is cast iron covered with enameled porcelain. This type of material can also last a long time, but is generally heavier due to the cast iron.
Porcelain looks beautiful and also resists wear and tear, but it can be prone to chipping or staining if not cared for.
You can choose to make a statement with your alcove bathtub by contrasting the color with the surrounding bathroom. However, most of the time an alcove bathtub looks best when it complements the surrounding decor.
It's hard to go wrong with a natural white or cream color that always looks fresh.
A stark, bright white can seem too harsh in some environments, so having a grayish white can offset the brightness. The whiter the alcove bathtub, the more diligently you will have to clean and do upkeep to keep it looking beautiful
Water Holding Capacity
The number of gallons your alcove bathtub can hold can give you an idea of filling time and size. If you wish to save water, a tub with a lower holding capacity could help you achieve that goal.
However, if you wish to run a luxurious bath in which you can fully immerse yourself, you will want a larger capacity for holding water.
The size and shape of the tub bowl can also be a factor in this respect. Bowls with curved interiors generally have less room to hold water, whereas rectangular models can hold more.
A warranty is always a good sign of a product's durability and the company's reliability. A warranty can also give you peace of mind if anything were to go wrong with your bathtub down the road.
Most warranties cover the parts and damages incurred during shipping. A limited lifetime warranty also signals that the tub can be in use for years to come.
Features of the Top Rated Alcove Bathtubs
The deeper the alcove bathtub, the more difficult it may be to step into it. This factor could become important with age or injury.
If you enjoy taking luxurious baths in your alcove bathtub, water capacity is an important feature to consider. The more water it can handle, the more space you will have to soak for a while.
Many alcove bathtubs come equipped with textured surfaces that take the place of non-slip bath mats. These surfaces are convenient, but they may take extra scrubbing when the time comes to clean them.
Generally speaking, alcove bathtubs are made from durable materials such as acrylic, porcelain over cast iron, or resin.
The shape of the inner bowl can lend a tub personality. A curved surface, for example, can look softer and be better suited to soaking baths, whereas a rectangular bowl shape is more conducive to showering.
Understanding the Different Types of Alcove Bathtubs
- Apron-front tubs: Much like an apron-front sink, an apron-front alcove bathtub has a front that is flush with the walls on either side of it. Instead of there being any lip on the drywall that may flank the tub, the front of the tub is even with the wall. This creates a seamless, modern appearance.
- Shower accommodations: Some alcove bathtubs come with shower heads and other accessories that make showering possible. This additional feature can increase the versatility of your tub to beyond baths and traditional use.
- Jacuzzi accessories: Just because you have an alcove bathtub doesn't mean you have to sacrifice luxury. Some bathtubs come equipped with water jets that circulate water in a relaxing way. Usually this is achieved by the jets injecting air or pressurized water to generate movement within the water for a luxurious experience.
- Solid-front tubs: Most traditional alcove bathtubs are of the solid-front variety. Unlike an apron-front, a solid-front tub does not have be flush with the walls that sit perpendicular to it. This can create a sense of space and division of area use within the bathroom.
- Oval tubs: An oval-shaped inner bowl can give your bathtub a unique look and make for a more comfortable bathing experience. Most alcove bathtubs are of the rectangular variety, but an oval tub with a rectangular mount gives you the best of both worlds.
Best Alcove Bathtub Materials Explained
Acrylic is a durable plastic resin that is poured and cured into hardness. The result is a smooth, hard surface that resists scratches and stains, and it can last a long time. Read my latest reviews on the best acrylic bathtub.
Cast Iron with Enameled Porcelain
A cast iron base is enameled with white porcelain for strength and stability. Porcelain is easy to clean and resists most damage, though it can chip or show tiny cracks, called crazing, over time.
Stone resin is a newer material that combines the solidity and beauty of stone with the durability of a resin glaze. These bathtubs are generally much heavier than other types of alcove bathtubs due to the addition of stone.
Fiberglass uses plastic and glass fibers to create a fire-resistant, stain-resistant material. Fiberglass is used in many products, but in bathtubs it is used because of its extreme durability.
What's Special about an Alcove Bathtub?
If you have a smaller bathroom, a freestanding tub can eat up a lot of space and be awkward to place. An alcove tub, on the other hand, can fit snugly within a corner and make the most of your space.
Another plus of an alcove bathtub is that it can double as a soak tub and as a shower. You can have the convenience of both without having to install separate units.
An alcove bathtub also comes with natural ledges on which you can place soap or other bath items without needed extra shelves or accessories in the tub area. Overall, an alcove bathtub can maximize your space and cut down on installation hassle.
Tips on Installing an Alcove Tub
- Plywood pieces
- Bathtub flanges
- Alcove bathtub
- Mortar and spreading tool
- Heavy duty nails
1. Measure and Mark
Measure your tub and the area where it will be installed and mark the wall appropriately.
2. Take Care of Plumbing Components
Install any plumbing materials and run the necessary lines.
3. Stringer Boards
Always install plywood boards, which are also called stringers, horizontally where the tub's top lip will sit.
4. Mortar Pour
Pour the mortar below the tub. This will secure it into place when dry.
5. Set the Tub in Place
Set the tub onto the mortar before it dries completely, and make sure tub sits evenly.
6. Secure Tub with Nails
Nail flanges that come with the tub to the stringer boards to secure it in place. This is an important step, as the flanges created a seal around the tub and prevent any leaks from getting from the tub to the walls.
7. Allow to Dry
Allow eight hours to pass to allow mortar to fully dry before installing surrounding elements.
8. Finishing Touches
Install any flashing or drywall that may accompany the tub.
Alcove Bathtub Frequently Asked Questions
How high should the side of your alcove bathtub be?
The deeper the bathtub, the higher the wall will be. Typically, soaking bathtubs have the deepest measurements that range from 12 to 14 inches.
Higher sides are great for taller people or for those who prefer baths to showers. However, if you are short, have children, or if your mobility is limited, a shallower tub with a shorter side may better suit your needs.
Do you need a right or left drain?
Stand facing your alcove bathtub and determine where the plumbing outlets for the faucet and shower heads will be. If they are on the right side, you will need a tub with a right-handed drain, and vice versa for left-handed drains.
Most tubs are not reversible and have special accommodations for the plumbing work, so it's important to know which one you will need before installation.
Are there any support features?
One big advantage of an alcove bathtub is its safety features. These can range from textured bottoms to prevent slipping, to support bars on the walls to hold onto.
Some tubs provide additional metal railing on the sides for easy grasping. These types of support features can help anyone keep their balance and avoid accidents in the tub.
How many gallons can an alcove bathtub hold?
The standard alcove bathtub can usually hold 80 gallons of water, and many models can hold more than that. The size and depth of the tub determines what the holding capacity can be.
Is it easy to install?
Of all the tubs available, alcove bathtubs have one of the easiest and most straightforward installation process. With only a few instructions and minimal supplies, a bathtub can be installed to an alcove within hours. Once the surrounding materials dry, the tub can be used immediately.
What's the difference between an alcove tub and a skirted tub?
An alcove bathtub is enclosed on three sides by walls, while a skirted tub is only enclosed on two sides. Usually skirted tubs are unfinished on the sides that are not visible, and the one corner that is not walled in can be bowed or beveled.
An alcove bathtub, on the other hand, has three straight and uniform outer corners and sides to accommodate the space it is filling.
Does the weight of an alcove bathtub matter?
Heavier tubs that use a cast iron or stone resin base will be much heavier than acrylic or fiberglass tubs.
When adding the weight of water at its fullest capacity, plus a person, this weight could come into question if you are building on a second floor or above other rooms.
Proper structural reinforcement may be needed in the floor area. Typically, however, most standard homes can easily accommodate the weight of an alcove tub.
So, What's the Best Alcove Bathtub to Buy?
Overall, these alcove bathtubs provide functionality, beauty and easy installation to a new home or renovation project. We've determined that the winner from this list is the American Standard Cambridge Apron-Front Bathtub.
Whether you want to kick back and relax in a meditative bath, bathe pets, water plants or simply take a shower, this best rated alcove bathtub offers all these options and more.
This one is spacious and boasts beautiful finishes that can help make a statement. It also has a beautiful, modern apron front that can look great anywhere.
Purchasing the best alcove bathtub for your needs is a fun task when you know what to look for. Hopefully this alcove bathtub reviews has assisted you in finding one that you will enjoy for years to come.