If you’re considering an alcove bathtub, you’re likely asking yourself these questions:
And if you’re struggling sifting through the endless bathtub replacement choices for a master, kids or guest bathroom and want practical insights into alcove tubs you’ve come to the right place. The bathtub specialists at Innovate Building Solutions provide straight answers to your questions. We’ll help you figure out which bathtub is best for your needs.
Clear Advice for How to Choose the Best Tub Type for You!
If your bathroom has limited space, you’ll need a soaking tub which doubles as a shower. And built-in tub shower is a space-efficient way to make this happen.
Since an alcove tub is generally shorter than a freestanding tub or a walk-in tub, it uses less water.
Since alcove tubs are only finished on one side, they’re less expensive than freestanding tubs or jetted walk-in tubs. And since the drain is often in the same place as the old unit, a tub replacement is less costly since there’s no extra plumbing costs to move the drain.
When you get an acrylic alcove bathtub with an integral skirt, you won’t have the costs to finish the front surface with tile or decorative wall panels.
There never seems to be enough storage in your tub/shower! However, it’s nice to know with an alcove tub there’s a ledge around the deck (or you can say sides) to place soap and shampoo. And if you need even more room add an oversized horizontal recessed niche.
An alcove tub (unlike a freestanding tub) doesn’t need empty space around it. It’s built tight to the walls.
When you buy an acrylic bathtub with integral flanges, you’ll know the water will not go behind (or underneath) the tub and cause damage to the floor below.
Since acrylic is warm to the touch, you won’t get a ‘cold shock’ getting into the tub like you can with a cast iron unit.
Since alcove tubs are 14” to 21” high from the floor vs. freestanding tubs (which are 23” to 28” high), they’re safer to enter.
An alcove tub is a perfect choice if you want to make sure the water from your shower stays in the tub – and doesn’t leak through grout joints on your bathroom floor.
The Innovate Building Solutions team is focused on bath and shower remodeling. We’ll help you not only find the right tub but also match your bathtub with stylish grout free tub surround panels or a glass bathtub door. Your representative will share their personal cell phone so you can reach them directly whether it’s before, during or after the tub installation.
If you’re looking for a high-quality, durable alcove tub that is not only built to last but has a guarantee to prove it, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the features and benefits of DuraLine alcove tubs from Innovate Building Solutions.
This DuraLine shorter alcove tub has a lower deck height to get in. It works well for bathing small children and provides an easier entry for those with mobility challenges. With its thicker construction and heavier acrylic design (note this 60” x 30” x 14” unit weighs 75 lbs.), and 25 year warranty, you’ll know you have a tub which is built to last.
This DuraLine tub works bathing the kids, or for a relaxing soak and has plenty of room to move around while showering. With its thicker construction and heavier acrylic design (note this 60” x 30” x 18” unit weighs 77 lbs.) and 25 year warranty you’ll know you have a tub that is built to last.
This DuraLine tub works perfectly for bathing the kids, or a relaxing soak and has plenty of room to move around while showering. With its thicker construction and heavier acrylic design (note this 60” x 32” x 18” unit weighs 80 lbs.) and 25 year warranty you’ll know you have a tub which is built to last.
This DuraLine tub works perfectly for a relaxing soaking tub experience and a tub shower combo system with plenty of room to move around while showering. With its thicker construction and heavier acrylic design (note this 60” x 30” x 21” unit weighs 104 lbs.) and 10 year warranty you’ll know you have a tub that won’t cause you to remodel due to a product failure.
This DuraLine tub works perfectly for a relaxing soaking tub experience and a tub shower combo system with plenty of room to move around while showering. With its thicker construction and heavier acrylic design (note this 60” x 32” x 21” unit weighs 106 lbs.) and 10 year warranty you’ll know you have a tub that won’t cause you to remodel due to a product failure.
An alcove tub is placed inside a recessed space with 3 walls. It’s best used when you have a small bathroom, want a cost-effective bathtub system, and want the dual function of a tub shower combo. An alcove tub has a finished front side (also called an apron or skirt).
Fiberglass alcove tubs are the cheapest on the market. They’re built by forming layers of fiber-reinforced plastic (also called FRP) into sheets which become a mold which is coated with a gel-coat resin. While fiberglass will be the cheapest priced tubs, they’re porous (which can lead to dirt getting embedded into the surface you can’t get off). They’re also prone to fading, scratching, and chipping and can warp over time.
Acrylic alcove tubs will be more expensive than fiberglass. They have a non-porous acrylic polymer composite topcoat which is placed over fiberglass for strength underneath. These tubs are lighter than cast iron tubs, won’t chip and fade and are simple to install. Acrylic tubs are warm to the touch and moderately priced. They’re available in matte and gloss finishes.
Cast iron alcove tubs are made by pouring molten iron into a mold which is covered with porcelain. They’re the heaviest and most expensive. They’re the coldest when you get in (although they retain the heat well) and are more difficult to install due to their weight.
An alcove tub has a finished front which is called a skirt (or an apron). What’s nice about an integral tub skirt is it saves on the cost of finishing the front of the tub with tile and doesn’t require any maintenance.
The reasons to choose an alcove tub is they’re less expensive, can serve multiple functions (bathing and showering) and are space efficient.
A freestanding tub is a fun option because it can make a dramatic design difference in a room and provides a deeper soaking experience.
Drop-in tubs are nice when you want to create an area for a recessed or corner tub which isn’t a standard size. With these odd sizes you can ‘drop in’ a tub around a deck made of tile, stone, composite, or other materials.
Walk-in tubs are used when you have a family member who either can’t (or will struggle) stepping over the tub deck. While they’re expensive, they’re a safe option for those who are mobility challenged.
It’s hard from a picture to tell the difference between a high quality and cheap alcove tub shower combo. However, here’s what you’ll want to compare to ensure you’re making a wise investment.
With an acrylic tub with integral flanges, you can use any type of wall surrounds – from tile to stone to decorative grout free wall panels. The installation of the tub should ALWAYS come before installing the wall backer board (greenboard, extruded polystyrene or plywood). Note – your tile or waterproof wall panels will be set inside the integral tub flange.
The first thing you’ll want to ask is who will be using this alcove tub/shower combo. If your primary user is someone with mobility challenges who will use it for showering (or you’ll be bathing small children), a more comfortable choice will be a shallower tub (with a 14” high skirt) with a non-skid bottom. If, on the other hand, you want to enjoy relaxing soaking sessions with a nice glass of wine – then a deeper acrylic alcove tub (with an 18” or 21” high skirt) will be best.
Pay attention before choosing any alcove tub to the size of the ‘bathing well’ (this is the area inside the tub) and water capacity. The ‘interior dimensions’ (called the bathing well) is the space available to make your tub or shower roomier. If you have a big or tall person – you want a longer and wider ‘bathing well.’
The advantage of a matte finish tub is it’s a better match to other matte or brushed finish materials popular in bathroom remodeling today and it’s not prone to show scratches as easily.
The advantage of a gloss tub is it reflects more light which is nice in a small bathroom.
No, acrylic alcove tubs are made in standard 60” x 30” and 60” x 32” sizes. An option when you have a non-standard width or depth will be to resize the opening to fit the alcove tub. The other option is to use a drop in tub with a deck around it to fit your custom alcove space.
Since tubs are set inside ‘rough openings’ (next to the bare studs), many people assume they need a custom size (because they measure inside their existing walls which have tile or a surround system at the edges). The proper way to measure for your tub is when you’d down to the bare walls (also called the rough opening).
If you need assistance with sizing, our Bathroom Product Specialists can help.
Make sure the tub has an anti-slip bottom which meets ADA (Americans with Disability Act) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) requirements.
Leverage Innovate’s dealer network of professional installers across the country if you don’t have the time (or expertise) to DIY your job.