Buyer's Guide & Information

Best Alcove Bathtubs Reviewed

Unwind from a long day with one of these high-quality bathtubs for relaxing in your home.

by Andy

Alcove tubs are designed to give homeowners the ultimate soaking and relaxing experience. These tubs offer you a chance to unwind with a long, luxurious bath while saving space in their bathroom's floor plan.

We have reviewed the best alcove bathtub designs for homeowners and compiled a list of our favorite models. If you want a bathtub perfect for a peaceful bath, then we recommend an alcove tub. 

Preview

Model

Dimensions (LxWxD)

Water Capacity

Check Price

American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge...

American Standard 2461.002.020

30 x 60 x 14 inches

42 gallons

Woodbridge Alcove Tub with Apron Acrylic...

WOODBRIDGE BTA1531R

60 x 30 x 20 inches

50 gallons

KOHLER K-1100-RA-0 Expanse Curved Integral...

KOHLER K-1100-RA-0

60 x 32 x 38 inches

60 gallons

Mirabelle MIRSKS6030LWH 60' X 30' Acrylic...

Mirabelle MIRSKS6030LW

60 x 30 x 20-¾ inches

42 gallons

American Standard 2460002.011 Cambridge...

American Standard 2460.002.011

60 x 32 x 17.5 inches

50 gallons

Kohler K-838-0 Bellwether Bathtub, One Size,...

Kohler Bellwether

60 x 30 x 14 inches

32 gallons

Empava 72 in. Acrylic Whirlpool Bathtub 2...

Empava EMPV-JTX367

72 X 48 X 24 Inches

177 Gallons

American Standard 2425V-LHO002.020 Evolution...

American Standard 2425V-LHO002.020

60 x 32 x 21.5 inches

70 gallons


What is an Alcove Tub?

An alcove bathtub doesn’t actually refer to the shape or the size of a bathtub, but rather to the way that the tub is installed. An alcove bathtub is installed in an alcove of the bathroom or an area where there are three walls so that the bathtub is fully enclosed on three sides. Then, the open side of the alcove bathtub (the side without a wall) can have a door or a curtain.

Some prefer to leave this area open to create a soaking tub environment; however, this tends to be rarer. Alcove bathtubs can include a shower head on the wall or not. It depends on the installation and style of the bathtub. A drop-in tub differs from an alcove tub because it can stand alone without walls. A drop-in tub is a tub shell with an enclosure and typically has multiple open walls.


Why Choose an Alcove Bathtub?

An alcove bathtub is an excellent choice for most homeowners because of its easy installation and general aesthetic fit with most bathroom designs.

Alcove bathtubs also give homeowners the option of creating a tub-shower combination that gives them the ability to take a shower or relax in the bath.

This is an affordable way to have both a shower and a tub in the home. There are also fewer exposed surfaces to clean.

American Standard Alcove Bathtub

The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Alcove Bathtubs

Material Type

Alcove bathtubs come in multiple material types, including acrylic, resin, cast iron, porcelain, and marble. Fiberglass is the cheapest option available, but over time will warp, and it also cannot handle heavy falls. Acrylic is stronger than fiberglass but can discolor and cannot handle heavy falls.

Cast iron is durable and heats well but is more expensive than both fiberglass and acrylic. Stone resin or porcelain are more expensive, but can withstand heavy falls and will maintain the color as well as quality over time.

Usage Needs

Consider how you will use your alcove bathtub and whether or not the style you choose can withstand your lifestyle. Is this bathtub for soaking, for the kids, or will you be washing your pets in the tub? Step over height should be considered as well as the material type (for durability purposes).

Aesthetics & Design

There are many different sizes, shapes, and colors as well as finishes available for an alcove bathtub. Consider your existing bathroom floorplan as well as your existing bathroom decor, such as window treatments when choosing an alcove bathtub for your bathroom.

Size & Weight

The size and weight of your alcove bathtub are essential when it comes to the structure of your home. You want the tub to fit within your bathroom comfortably. You also want to make sure that your floor can withstand the weight of the bathtub. For example, cast iron is much denser than other materials, and you may need a reinforced floor to hold the bathtub.

Installation & Configuration

To install the alcove bathtub, you need to make sure that you have space available for the tub and then use a variety of screws to connect your tub to the studs in the walls. Plumbing options also need to be determined before installation. A waste pipe with a drain flange is required.

Floor Type & Safety Features

The floor type of your alcove bathtub can also vary. A smooth bathtub floor is perfect for peaceful soaks, while a textured floor might make the most sense for children or the elderly (providing better grip). Molded armrests and lumbar support options are also available built-in to the tub but typically come at a higher cost. 

Extra Features & Accessories

One of the most prized extra features for alcove bathtubs are water jets because they add a luxurious spa-like feel to your tub. Other extra features include different seating depths and neck or back grooves for additional support.

Price & Warranty

As always, you want to consider the cost of each alcove tub option. Price can fluctuate dramatically based on size and material type as well as brand. The warranty varies by brand and alcove tub model. More expensive tubs tend to have longer warranties.


8 Best Alcove Bathtubs Reviewed

1. American Standard 2461.002.020

Our Top Pick!

Material

Porcelain Enamel

Dimensions (LxWxD)

30 x 60 x 14 inches

Finish

White Porcelain

Drain

Right

Water Capacity

42 gallons

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime warranty

The American Standard 2461.002.020 Cambridge alcove bathtub is our top pick. This bathtub is lightweight at half the weight of a similarly sized cast iron tub, which makes it easy to install. You can install this bathtub on your own or with the help of a professional plumber.

This alcove bathtub holds 42 gallons of water and has a white porcelain finish. The porcelain enamel has a metal reinforcement for added durability. This model holds heat well and uses a right-hand outlet. A full slip-resistant flooring is great for kids and the elderly. This alcove bathtub also has lumbar support with a recessed edge for relaxing bath sessions. This model also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Nick wrote on Lowe’s, “I installed this tub as part of a complete bathroom remodeling project in 2015 — replacing a 60’s era porcelain cast iron tub. I wanted the look and durability of a porcelain finish with lighter weight and less heat lost, and this American Standard tub met all those criteria. The tub has been in use for about 6 months now and we are very pleased with its performance. We use CLR kitchen and bath cleaner — no need for abrasive cleaners. It is safe for standing with the anti-slip pads, and comfortable for sitting and reclining with a gentle incline for a backrest."

A few users have reported that the paint fades from a clear white to an off-white and that the tub easily cracks. These small cracks can be frustrating and require small touch-up work. If you want a lightweight, easily-to-install alcove bathtub, then this is an excellent option for you.

Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Lumbar support
  • Limited Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Easily cracks
  • Paint fades

2. WOODBRIDGE BTA1531R

runner up

Material

Acrylic

Dimensions (LxWxD)

60 x 30 x 20 inches

Finish

White

Drain

Right

Water Capacity

50 gallons

Warranty

Yes, 5-years limited tub and structure, 1-year limited plumbing parts

The Woodbridge BTA1531R is the runner up alcove bathtub on our list because it is an affordable alternative with high-quality parts and a beautiful finish. This model has a more modern style with a boxy exterior and high sides. The white glossy lucite acrylic is fiberglass and resin reinforced for maximum durability.

The slip-resistant bottom is helpful for those who want to protect themselves against falls. The material is scratch resistant and has a clean, luxe finish. A double-walled design means that the tub retains heat well for a comfortable soak. An anti-leak design with a steel pipe system is durable. An overflow drain ensures that the tub won't overflow. This alcove tub can also be installed as a freestanding tub so it can be reused in different bathroom set-ups.

This model can hold up to 1,000 pounds and 50 gallons of water. Users have noted that although the high sides offer a modern aesthetic, this is not practical for the elderly or young children. Consider whether a deep tub with high sides makes sense for your household. This model does not have a lifetime warranty, however, and has a 5-year structural warranty and 1-year plumbing parts warranty. If you want an affordable, modern tub that is beautiful and durable, then this is a good choice.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Modern style
  • Slip-resistant bottom
Cons
  • High sides
  • No lifetime warranty

3. KOHLER K-1100-RA-0 Expanse

best acrylic alcove bathtub

Material

Acrylic

Dimensions (LxWxD)

60 x 32 x 38 inches

Finish

White, Biscuit, Almond

Drain

Right

Water Capacity

60 gallons

Warranty

Yes, lifetime limited warranty

The Kohler K-1100-RA-0 Expanse is the best acrylic alcove bathtub on our list. This acrylic alcove bathtub has an elegant curved design, which gives you additional space to soak and relax. The curved tub also lines up with a curved shower rod for the perfect interior design look.

This model is 60 inches long and 38 inches wide at the broadest part of the curve. Acrylic offers three color options, including white, biscuit, and almond. The textured anti-slip bottom helps protect homeowners as they get in and out of the tub. An integral flange makes it easier to install and also prevents water from overflowing.

The acrylic material used on this model is more lightweight than other material types, which makes it easy to install this bathtub in your home. The curved style on this bathtub does give it an elegant look; however, this tub won't fit well in all homes.

The tub itself may take up too much space with the jutted out curved side. This alcove bathtub is also more expensive than other models and may not fit the homeowner's budget. This model comes with a lifetime warranty. If you want a high-quality, long-lasting, elegant curved alcove bathtub, then we recommend this Kohler model.

Pros
  • Elegant style
  • Extra room with the curved style
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Curved style not for all homes, may take up too much space

4. Mirabelle MIRSKS6030LWH Sitka

best rated Model

Material

Acrylic

Dimensions (LxWxD)

60 x 30 x 20-¾ inches

Finish

White, Biscuit

Drain

Left

Water Capacity

42 gallons

Warranty

Yes, five-year limited warranty

The Mirabelle MIRSKS6030LWH Sitka is the best rated modern alcove bathtub on our list. This modern alcove bathtub has a crisp rectangular design with sharp box edges. It is an elegant contemporary style with clean lines. This alcove bathtub comes in two color choices: white and biscuit. A slip-resistant bottom protects users as they enter the tub.

This alcove tub has a left drain, unlike most other right drain options. One of the best features of this tub is that the bezel is thin, so the maximum soaking depth is greater than other models. This Mirabelle alcove tub has a maximum soaking depth of 15.75” and is perfect for long, relaxing baths. Soaking depth refers to the tub depth and does not include the bottom of the tub in its measurement.

Lisa wrote on Overstock, “The tub has a nice clean front and is deep for a non-freestanding tub. This fits into our modern bathroom perfectly. This is much cheaper and a great deal when compared to other tubs on the market. Would purchase again if I needed another tub!"

Users have reported that although the bottom of the tub has an anti-slip finish, it is rougher than they anticipated. Some users opted to refinish the bottom of the tub for a smoother finish. For the homeowner who wants a luxurious deep soaking alcove tub, we recommend this Mirabelle alcove tub.

Pros
  • Deep Soaking Depth of 15.75”
  • Left drain
  • Elegant modern style
Cons
  • Rough finish on bottom
  • Expensive

5. American Standard 2460.002.011

best 60 Inch Porcelain Alcove Bathtub

Material

Porcelain-enameled steel

Dimensions (LxWxD)

60 x 32 x 17.5 inches

Finish

Artic, Bone, Linen, White

Drain

Left

Water Capacity

50 gallons

Warranty

Yes, 10-year limited warranty, lifetime on finish

The American Standard 2460.002.011 Cambridge is the best 60 inch porcelain alcove bathtub on our list. This model has multiple color options to match any bathroom decor, including Arctic, Bone, Linen, and White.

This model also retains heat better than acrylic models, which is a bonus for homeowners who want to bask in a hot, warm tub. The slip-resistant bottom keeps users from slipping while bathing or showering. This tub is 60” long and offers a traditional aesthetic for homeowners with more traditional home interiors.

Patsy wrote on Supply, “We found this Americast tub that totally fit the bill. It’s not as heavy as cast iron, and has a nice sturdy feel to it. The finish is guaranteed for life. I couldn’t be happier!”

Customers have reported, however, that the glossy finish often fades and may need to be refinished within a few years. This model is also expensive. If you want a lighter tub that still retains heat and comes in multiple color options, then this is the best tub for you.

Pros
  • Multiple color options
  • Slip-resistant bottom
  • Retains water heat
Cons
  • Glossy finish fades
  • Expensive

6. Kohler Bellwether

best cast iron alcove bathtub

Material

Enameled cast iron

Dimensions (LxWxD)

60 x 30 x 14 inches

Finish

White, Almond, Biscuit, Dune

Drain

Right

Water Capacity

32 gallons

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime warranty

The Kohler Bellwether is the best cast iron alcove bathtub on our list. This alcove bathtub has a slip-resistant bottom. We recommend this alcove bathtub for families because it is not a deep tub and has lower sides for simple entry and exit.

If you want a great tub to soak in regularly but that has low sides for children and elderly members of the family, then this is an excellent choice for your home. Clean, modern lines with the enameled cast iron create a contemporary look. This model comes in white, almond, biscuit, and dune so you can match your tub to your bathroom decor.

Sara wrote on Overstock, "Great quality cast iron tub. It was exactly what I was looking for and it met my price point."

Some people have noted that this tub is extremely heavy, but is due to the cast iron material. Cast iron is more durable than both acrylic and fiberglass. It also retains heat better than both materials. If you have professional installation help, then the weight won’t matter.

Check with your floor plans to make sure you have reinforced floors that can withstand the weight of the tub. If you do, then this is a great option for homeowners and particularly for families.

Pros
  • Clean, modern lines
  • Slip-resistant bottom
  • Lower sides for simple entry and exit
Cons
  • Not a deep tub
  • Extremely heavy

7. Empava EMPV-JTX367

best 2 person alcove bathtub

Material

Acrylic

Dimensions (LxWxD)

72 x 48 x 24 inches

Finish

Glossy White

Drain

Left

Water Capacity

177 gallons

Warranty

Yes, three-years limited parts

The Empava EMPV-JTX367 is the best 2 person alcove bathtub. This model is the best option for those who want to regularly share bath experiences. This model has all of the luxurious features you need to relax after a hard day. This model is 72" long and 48" wide. This model has a built-in shower head as well as numerous whirlpool jets to recreate a spa experience at home.

Reliable motors create a welcoming and peaceful environment for bathing. An overflow system with flanges keeps water from exiting the tub. This model is extremely wide, so two people can fit comfortably. Two backrests are included with lumbar arch support for a comfortable spa session at home.

Justin wrote on Wayfair, “Very well built and couldn’t be more simple to install!”

This model is easy-to-install and looks beautiful in any home with its glossy white exterior finish. This model is costly and will only make sense for those homeowners with large budgets. This Empava model also takes up a lot of space and should only be placed in bathrooms with plenty of room. If you want to be able to bathe frequently with your partner and enjoy a relaxing, luxurious experience, then this is the model for you.

Pros
  • Whirlpool jet motors
  • Model is 24” high for perfect soaking depth
  • Wide enough for two people
Cons
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Extremely expensive

8. American Standard 2425V-LHO002.020

top pick for deep soaking

Material

Acrylic

Dimensions (LxWxD)

60 x 32 x 21.5 inches

Finish

Arctic White, White, Linen

Drain

Left

Water Capacity

70 gallons

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime warranty

The American Standard 2425V-LHO002.020 Evolution is the top pick for deep soaking on our alcove bathtub list. It comes in three different color options: Arctic White, White, and Linen. This tub has a deep soaking depth and can hold 70 gallons of water. It is an acrylic model, which makes it lightweight and easy to install. This tub has dual molded armrests for your convenience, as well as a backrest.

The clean, sharp lines offer a contemporary and simple look that fits with both modern and traditional bathroom interior design. This model can be installed as a drop-in tub or an alcove tub. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Stacey wrote on American Standard, “The tub and drain were easy to install...the hardest part was the mortar bed. For a rookie installer, it was a little tricky but totally worth it because the tub feels solid.”

Some purchasers have reported that the drain plug is not durable and may need to be replaced within the first year of use. Users have also said that the sides of the tub are too narrow to hold bottles and other similar products. If you want a deep soaking depth alcove bathtub at a more affordable price than other deep soak options, we recommend this tub.

Pros
  • Deep soaking depth
  • Dual molded armrests
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Drain plug not durable
  • Sides of tub are narrow

5 Common Alcove Bathtub Materials Explained

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is made from plastic that has been reinforced with fiber and coated with a gel resin. This is the cheapest material available, but it is an absorbent material that will warp long-term. This material also experiences cracks more often than other kinds of material and cannot handle heavy falls.

Acrylic

Acrylic bathtubs are similar to fiberglass, but have acrylic sheet reinforcements that makes it more stable than fiberglass. Acrylic, however, is prone to discoloration and cannot handle heavy falls.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is extremely durable and much more durable than fiberglass and acrylic, but it is also cumbersome. Cast iron maintains heat well and is more expensive than both fiberglass and acrylic. If you plan to purchase a cast iron alcove bathtub, check to make sure that your floor can withstand the weight. You may need a reinforced floor to safely hold a cast iron tub, particularly if your bathroom is on an upper floor.

Stone Resin

Stone resin is a great material for an alcove bathtub because it is durable, maintains heat well, can withstand heavy falls, and rarely requires maintenance. It is a dense material and will need a reinforced floor. This material is also expensive. Stone resin is an aesthetically attractive choice as well.

Porcelain

Porcelain is a durable material that typically is placed over either steel or cast iron. This means that the material can withstand heavy falls, maintains heat well, is reliable, and can withstand heavy falls. This material typically requires reinforced floors and is expensive. Porcelain is one of the more aesthetically attractive options for a mid-range priced bathtub.


Comparing a Drop-In vs. Alcove Bathtub

Kohler Alcove Bathtub

Alcove does not refer to a specific style of tub but rather to the way that the tub is installed. Alcove bathtubs are bathtubs that are designed to fit in between three walls or an “alcove.” Many times alcove bathtubs also include a shower head mounted on the wall. A drop-in tub is simply the tub shell.

A drop-in tub has to be placed within an enclosure. Most drop-in tubs are installed in the open; however, a drop-in tub can be installed in an alcove if the enclosure is placed in an alcove. Drop-in tubs are best for homeowners who have lots of space and want a freestanding bathtub. 

Alcove tubs are best for homeowners who want a bathtub and shower combination or who are specifically interested in a three-wall enclosure.


Determining Alcove Bathtub Sizes

Alcove bathtub installation typically involves six different sizes of measurements, including a 54-inch alcove bathtub, a 58-inch alcove bathtub, a 59-inch alcove bathtub, 60 x 30 alcove bathtub, 66 alcove bathtubs, and 70-inch alcove bathtub. Most alcove bathtubs are between 4.5-6 feet long and 2.5 to 3.5 feet wide. Alcove bathtubs make the most sense in small to medium-sized bathrooms.

If you have lots of space in your bathroom, you may prefer a larger freestanding tub. When choosing an alcove bathtub for your space, we recommend first measuring the dimensions of your space and determining what three walls you might use or where you will be placing the third wall to create the “alcove” for your tub. Then, you can review the standard alcove bathtub sizes and choose an appropriate size for your alcove dimensions.


Tips on Alcove Tub Installation

First, begin by measuring your space and reviewing alcove tub dimensions. Find a tub that will fit in your space or prepare to build a wall piece that will create the correct dimensions for an alcove tub installation. Next, use a pencil to mark the flange on your wall studs.

You will need to install a ledger board following the specifications on your instruction manual from the tub’s manufacturer. You will then need to assemble a shoe-fitting, screw in the drain flange, and finish all of the plumbing loose ends. Finally, you will slowly move the bathtub into the space and make sure that the drain flange connects securely. Now, nail and screw everything into place. 

DIY installation is possible when you have experience working with basic plumbing tools and can safely load the bathtub into your bathroom on your own. Look at your tools and consider your skillset before taking this project on by yourself. If you do decide to install your own alcove tub, consider watching this video from Shannon of HouseImprovements. It will cost approximately $50—$150 to fit your bathtub yourself at home.


Troubleshooting, Cleaning & Maintenance

Cleaning your alcove bathtub frequently will help your tub last longer and avoid potential mold problems. We recommend cleaning your bathtub once weekly or bi-monthly. To clean your alcove bathtub, take two parts vinegar and 1 part water, and combine them in a spray bottle. This is a safe cleaning solution that can be used often.

Take a dry rag and wipe down your tub. You can also use a tub-specific cleaning solution. Once you have thoroughly scrubbed your alcove tub, rinse the solution off by filling up the bathtub or running the shower. Also make sure to regularly clean your drain to avoid mineral and hair buildup. 

Alcove bathtubs, particularly acrylic models, can start to show chips and cracks after a few years. Maintaining these bathtubs through a refinishing process is the best way to keep the tub looking like it’s brand new. You can purchase a bathtub reglazing kit and reglaze your tub yourself.

To start, make sure that you have a fan blowing air out of the room to ensure proper ventilation. If you have a window, open it. Then mask the tub with pieces of masking tape to ensure that you do not glaze over the wall or floor. Mix your product and then begin reglazing by slowly rolling your foam roller over the bathtub. Follow the specific instructions in your glaze kit.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How long do alcove bathtubs last?

Alcove bathtubs last approximately ten to fifteen years. The durability of a particular bathtub model is most often based on the material type. Cast iron, stone resin, and reinforced porcelain bathtubs will last longer and may last closer to fifteen to twenty years.

Is an alcove bathtub suited for everyday use?

Yes, alcove bathtubs are well suited for everyday use. These bathtubs are perfect for shower and bathtub combinations that can be used by every member of the family.

Does the weight of an alcove bathtub matter?

The weight of an alcove bathtub does matter. Heavier alcove bathtubs require a reinforced floor to support their weight. Cast iron alcove bathtubs are always heavy, and other types may also be heavy. Make sure that your floor can support the weight of your tub before you purchase.

What’s the average cost of professional installation of an alcove tub?

Most alcove tub installations cost anywhere between $500 and $1800. If you are unfamiliar with basic plumbing requirements or do not have the required tools for installation, then we recommend hiring a professional for your home installation.

Can I refinish my alcove bathtub? If so, how much will it cost for refinishing?

You shouldn’t need to refinish your alcove bathtub when you first purchase it. However, in the future, if you notice stains or scratches, then a refinishing kit can help restore your tub. It typically costs between $300 to $700 to refinish a bathtub. If you refinish the tub on your own, materials to refinish an alcove bathtub generally are around $50—$150.

What are the differences between alcove vs. skirted bathtubs?

A skirted bathtub has a “skirt” on the bottom of the tub that provides an aesthetic look and is the finished look. However, the other side is what anchors the tub, and then both ends connect to a bathroom wall to also anchor the tub. An alcove tub is finished on both sides. 

Is it safe to get these large bathtubs shipped from online stores like Amazon?

Yes! It is safe to get large bathtubs shipped from online stores like Amazon. These store package and ship their bathtubs in the same way that a physical brick-and-mortar store package and ship their bathtubs. In many cases, it is more convenient to order through an online store such as Amazon because you can save on shipping costs.


Conclusion

An alcove bathtub can conveniently fit in your bathroom without taking up too much space. Add a wall shower head, and you can have a great shower/bath combination. Enjoy your home with regular relaxing baths.

If you want an elegant alcove tub that is perfect for luxurious soaks with a deep soaking depth, then we recommend the Mirabelle MIRSKS6030LWH Sitka.

If you want an affordable alcove tub with a slip-resistant base and recessed lumbar support, then we recommend the American Standard 2461.002.020 Cambridge.

For families who need lower side support and a more durable alcove bathtub made from cast iron, we recommend the Kohler Bellwether.

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