Alcove Tubs vs. Drop-in Bathtubs
Featured Image Tubs: VTAPA603222L/VTAP603622L, VTPN593017C
When shopping for bathtubs, it’s easy to get distracted by exciting styles like deep soakers and clawfoot designs. Yet most homeowners end up settling between one of two classic styles for a practical and everyday bathroom. The alcove tub is popular for its ease of installation, but the drop-in tub offers unrivaled flexibility. Make the right choice between these two common bathtubs types by comparing their features and requirements.
Alcove Bathtub Benefits and Drawbacks
Alcove tubs are found in many older homes because they were the primary style before shower enclosures became common. The tub is sandwiched between two walls or a wall and a built divider like a storage cabinet. They’re self-supporting and feature a finished front apron but still need the support of framed walls on two to three sides. This forms the walls of a shower enclosure if one is desired or just adds coziness if not. Unfortunately, being enclosed so tightly also limits the space available for the bather. Bath lovers who prefer to stretch out may prefer the open style of a drop-in tub or an alternative.
Drop-in Tub Advantages and Disadvantages
Drop-in tubs don’t have to go along the walls at all. They’re sold simply as pre-formed tub shells that require a custom-built frame and enclosure to support and decorate them. This allows the homeowner to place them practically anywhere a platform or enclosure can be built. Locating them against one wall limits the amount of finishing needed for the enclosure, but it’s not necessary at all. These drop-in tubs cost a little more to install than alcoves and can feel a little exposed to bathers used to being surrounded by walls. Don’t confuse this style with the freestanding tub that comes with no need for further enclosure, just plumbing.
Homeowners who like the flexibility of placement that a drop-in tub offers may want a freestanding or clawfoot bathtub instead. These bathtubs are finished on all sides and only need plumbing to finish the installation. However, they also tend to cost more than drop-in or alcove tubs by quite a bit. A drop-in tub is often a good compromise between a freestanding and alcove design.
No matter what type of tub is needed, it’s available here at Kingston Brass. Explore our selection of both alcove and drop-in tubs or select a classic clawfoot bathtub for optimal relaxation.