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Bathtub Types : Which Is Right For You?

Choosing the right bathtub can seem quite daunting at first. Which is the right one for you? Do you want comfort over affordability? Aesthetic over practicality? Do you want it to be round or rectangular? How many walls should be around it? Hopefully today we can find a bathtub that fits your bath, your wallet, and your heart.

Jump to your bathtub type:

1. Freestanding Bathtubs

freestanding bathtub

What is a freestanding bathtub

A freestanding bathtub is a bathtub that is finished on all sides and stands on it’s own.


When it comes to aesthetics, freestanding bathtubs easily beat out the competition. Carrying a unique look that draws from the material used, a freestanding bathtub can easily be considered a piece of furniture rather than just another bath appliance.


Installation is easy-simply hire a plumber to sort out your piping needs and place wherever you desire.


When it comes to style, freestanding bathtubs offer many different choices as many of them are custom made.


As stated earlier with installation, finished sides means you can actively dictate where your tub is located independent of wall limitations unlike drop-in tubs. As such, freestanding bathtubs allow you creative freedom to furnish your bathroom your way.  


Freestanding bathtubs are a bit on the pricey end of things, but overall, they make worthy investments as they can easily last the test of time


Freestanding bathtubs do tend to carry a bit of extra weight, so only install on a reinforced floor that you know can sustain the additional weight. As they are much larger in size, you will most likely deal with additional water weight in addition to their overall heftiness, so plan accordingly.

Common Questions About Freestanding Bathtubs

Do freestanding bathtubs hold their value?

Yes, freestanding bathtubs easily hold their value over time, making them a worthwhile investment in the long term.

Are freestanding bathtubs hard to clean?

No, freestanding bathtubs are generally quite easy to clean. Though usually it will depend on the material used, traditional methods of non-abrasive cleaners will get most if not all of the major scum and build up in your bathtub.

Where do I buy freestanding bathtubs?

You can find quite affordable freestanding bathtubs at Badeloft as well as a host of resources to help you choose the correct bath fixture for your needs.  

2. Alcove Bathtubs

alcove bathtub


What is an Alcove Bathtub?

An Alcove bathtub is a bathtub that is nestled into the wall or ‘alcove’ Usually fitted into a three wall scheme to maximize your space.


Alcove Bathtubs are quite affordable and are priced very similarly to drop-in bathtubs

Easy to clean

Alcove bathtubs are quite easy to clean and maintain

Space Saver

As alcove bathtubs are usually fitted depending on your wall set-up, these bathtubs tend to save space compared to others on the market

Lack of style choices

While other bathtubs have options in shape and size, alcove tubs are far more limited. Most if not all the designs are rectangular that must be placed against a wall.

Limited placement options

While it may save space, alcove bathtubs are far more limited in general placement as they must be placed within a three-wall structure.

Common questions concerning Alcove bathtubs

What is the difference between an alcove and a skirted bathtub?

The primary difference between an alcove bathtub and a skirted bathtub just depends on whether the bathtub is installed in an alcove. Other than that, both bathtub types are the same as they both require a three-wall installation.

What is the difference between an alcove tub and a drop in?

The primary difference between an alcove tub and a drop in is their placement. An alcove tub must be placed with at least two adjacent walls where a drop in can literally be ‘dropped’ wherever is desired. As a result, drop in tubs also have a wider variety of style options as they are not as restricted in their installation.

3. Bathtub and Shower Combo

bathtub and shower combo


A bathtub shower combo is a bathtub with an attached shower, commonly either a skirted or drop in bathtub, though there is no real limitation on adding a shower to your bathtub.


Having a shower and a bathtub gives you more options-whether you want a deep rinse or to go for a long soak, this combination can do it all and suit the needs of your household quite easily


Installing a shower to your bathtub is quite affordable and typically the combo will be cheaper than buying separate fixtures

Higher resale value

As most homes usually have either a bathtub or a shower, having a combination may increase the value of your home.

Not for everyone

Though there is added flexibility in combining your shower and bathtub, some prefer either a bathtub space or a shower space, so decide which is best for you and your family’s preference.

Common questions about Shower Bathtub Combo

How much more expensive is a bath and shower combination than getting either a shower or bath?

It is more expensive buying either a shower or bath compared to buying the combination together.

4. Corner bathtub


What is a corner bathtub?

A corner bathtub is a bathtub that is designed to fit a corner or more confined space and is round or smaller in size. Typically these bathtubs are designed for more rigorous soak sessions.


Visually, corner bathtubs are quite striking as their more unique shape allows for a smoother look to your aesthetic


Corner bathtubs come in a wide variety of styles and colors. Due to their design, there are also options for whirlpool and jacuzzi style jets in place


Though it does fit in most corners, corner bathtubs do tend to fill more on the bulky side of things, so make sure you have a large enough space carved out for installation

More difficult to clean

Due to the nature of the design, corner bathtubs are more difficult to clean compared to more traditional bathtubs as there is greater depth and no active corners, making access for cleaning a bit more difficult.

Lack of Shower options

With the overall design of the corner bathtub, there are little to no shower options, limiting the use of this bathtub to just soaking needs.

Common questions concerning Corner Bathtubs

What are the standard dimensions for a corner bathtub?

Standard dimensions for a corner bathtub are 5ftx5ft or 60 inches by 60 inches with a water depth of 1.6 ft or 20 inches.

Compared to a freestanding bathtub, how much smaller is a corner bathtub?

Compared to a freestanding bathtub, a corner bathtub is about half it’s overall size.

5. Drop in Bathtub


What is a drop in Bathtub?

A drop in bathtub is a bathtub that has no finished or cut sides and is usually placed or dropped into an open surface.


Drop in bathtubs come in a wide variety of colors and styles, allowing greater flexibility in choosing one for your needs.

Easy to clean

Drop in bathtubs are shallow with just the rim and inner part exposed, making it much easier to clean and maintain.


Drop in tubs are much cheaper than other varieties, such as corner bathtubs.

Hassle to replace

As drop-ins are built-in fixtures, once secured, they are more difficult to replace than freestanding tubs.

Complications with installation

Unlike freestanding bathtubs, drop-ins require more considerations with plumbing and pipes, making it a bit more unwieldy to install than the former.

Common Questions Concerning Drop-in Bathtubs

What are drop-in bathtubs made out of?

Drop in bathtubs are commonly made out of fiberglass, acrylic, porcelain, cast iron, marble and stone resin, though other bathtub materials can be used for a heftier price tag.

What are standard dimensions of drop-in bathtubs?

Typical dimensions for drop-in bathtubs are 5ftx 2.5ft or 60 long, 30 inches wide with a water depth of 16 inches or 1.3 ft.

6. Walk In Bathtubs

walk in bathtubs


What is a Walk In Bathtub?

A walk in bathtub is a bathtub with a seat built in that allows for comfort and ease of bathing. This is reinforced with a door that opens, allowing a secure way for exiting and entering the bathtub. There are also rails and handles along the side to further aid in this.

Great for those with mobility issues

With multiple handrails and other options such as feet grips, walk in bathtubs are a great addition for those that have mobility issues when accessing the shower, namely elderly or disabled persons. The door also provides another layer of security that other bathtubs do not have.

Water is slow to fill and drain

The biggest problem with walk in bathtubs is that the door must be closed for water to begin filling. Which means you cannot prefill or preheat your bathtub, leading to cases of sitting in the cold as you wait for this particular type of bathtub to fill with water. Draining is much the same, though companies have created faster filling faucets to amend this flaw.

Large drain on water heater

Walk in bathtubs also carry a high volume of water, causing a heavy strain on your water heater. As such, with continual use, you should be expected to replace your water heater regularly with a walk in tub in your home.

Requires Professional Installation

As walk in bathtubs are generally a great deal more complicated than your typical drop-in or corner bathtub, a professional is advised for installing on in your home.

Common Questions Concerning Walk In Bathtubs

How much are walk in bathtubs?

Walk in bathtubs generally start at around $1,800 USD on the low end, and can run easily $5,000 USD on the high spectrum.

How much water does it take to fill one up?

It takes around 45 gallons to fill a walk in bathtub

Are walk-in tubs covered by insurance?

No. Walk in bathtubs are generally not covered by insurance.

Therapeutic Tubs

What are Therapeutic Tubs:

Therapeutic bathtubs or hydrotherapy bathtubs are bathtubs that are designed for soaking and creating a more relaxed bathing environment. These bathtubs typically carry a more medicinal purpose than just cleanliness, usually have a deeper water depth for more therapeutic treatment. Similar to a jacuzzi or a bathhouse, they are meant for full submersion as jets and pulsing warm water create an environment that both detoxifies and relieves stress in the body.

7. Soaking Bathtub

A soaking bathtub is a bathtub that has more water depth, allowing for full submersion. This in turn helps to relax and warm tense or sore muscles in the body which also can help to de-stress and calm oneself. For reference, Corner bathtubs and many freestanding bathtubs are considered soaking bathtubs.

Many styles and options

Soaking tubs can either be round or elongated, giving you more flexibility depending on taste and space requirements. They also come in a wide variety of materials, allowing for more customization based on individual tastes.


A soaking bathtub adds a nice flair to any bath space, promoting it as the centerpiece of the room with it’s elegant design.

Quite large

In general, most soaking tubs are quite large in size, so plan your space accordingly if you wish to accommodate one.

H2 Ofuro Tub

An ofuro or furo, is a Japanese wooden soaking tub. They are generally more ornate than traditional soaking tubs, as each one is custom-made to preserve the quality of the tub. Their size is slightly bigger than a traditional drop-in, allowing for at least two adults to fit. Ofuros are limited to a specific type of wood known as Hinokiand, which is an aromatic wood that must be properly maintained and sealed against moisture.

Common Questions Concerning Soaking Bathtubs

What’s the difference between a soaking bathtub and a regular bathtub?

The primary difference between a soaking bathtub and a regular bathtub outside of material and price is mostly about water depth. Typical bathtubs 13-14 inches or 1.15 ft where soaking tubs start at around 20 inches or 1.6 ft.

8. Air Tub

An air bathtub is a bathtub with powered jets that massage you as you bathe. The distinguishing feature of an air bath is that it uses air to power their jets as opposed to using the running water to do so like a whirlpool. In general, they are used for soaking and relaxation, though a strong case can be made for physical therapy as well.

Creates a calming bath environment

With powered jets and aromatherapy bath oils, an air bath can create a therapeutic and calming bath environment even more so than a traditional soaking bathtub. The air creates thousands of little bubbles that envelop and massage the body

Easy to clean

With air-pressured jets, cleaning and maintenance is easy and simple

No standing water

With the air circulation, there is less standing water left over from the bath as opposed to water jets


Make no mistake that jetted bathtubs are a luxury. As such, you are looking at $1,500 on the low end and as high as $25,000 on the high end of things. Coupled with installation and heating costs, the price will continue to soar.

Common Questions about Air Bathtubs

What’s the difference between an air bathtub and whirlpool?

The difference between an air bathtub and a whirlpool is in the jets. Air bathtubs release warm air and a combination of bubbles to massage, so the effect is more gentle. Whirlpools use the water to massage you directly, adding much more pressure to the jet as compared to the former.

9. Whirlpool Bathtub

What is a whirlpool bathtub?

A whirlpool bathtub is a hydrotherapy tub that draws in water to create pressure through it’s jets. This means there is stronger water pressure compared to air bathtubs, which in turn means the jets can easily provide a deeper tissue massage for the user.

Good for Physical Therapy

As the water pressure is much stronger in this kind of bathtub, whirlpools are great for massaging tense and sore muscles

Creates a relaxing environment

With the aid of bath oils, a whirlpool can create a wonderful environment for relaxation

More maintenance compared to air bath

Since the jets absorb water instead of air, they must be properly maintained much more frequently than the air bath


Make no mistake that jetted bathtubs are a luxury. Though whirlpools are the exception as they start around $800 USD but can climb to $20,000. Coupled with installation and heating costs, the price will continue to soar.

Common Questions Concerning Whirlpools

What is the standard size of a whirlpool bathtub?

Standard size for whirlpools start at 30 inches by 60 inches but can go to 80 inches by 60 inches.

What is the difference between a whirlpool and jetted bathtubs?

A common question, but there is actually no difference between the two as a whirlpool is considered a type of jetted bathtub.

10. Whirlpool + Air Combination Tubs

A whirlpool and air combo bathtub is a bathtub that mixes the bubbles from the air jets and water pressure from the whirlpool, giving you the best of both worlds

Good for Physical Therapy

As the water pressure is much stronger in this kind of bathtub, whirlpools are great for massaging tense and sore muscles

Creates a relaxing environment

With the aid of bath oils, a whirlpool can create a wonderful environment for relaxation

Creates a calming bath environment

With powered jets and aromatherapy bath oils, an air bath can create a therapeutic and calming bath environment even more so than a traditional soaking bathtub. The air creates thousands of little bubbles that envelop and massage the body


Make no mistake that jetted bathtubs are a luxury. As such, you are looking at $1,500 on the low end and as high as $25,000 on the high end of things. Coupled with installation and heating costs, the price will continue to soar.

There are many factors in considering your bathtub: versatility, space, size, material, aesthetic and cost. Keep in mind that luxury carries it’s own cost outside of your initial purchase. So do well in considering your space carefully and be practical before making your purchase.

11. Undermount Tub

For those looking to save space or feature a specific tile or foundation design, undermount tubs provide a great way of showing off your house. As the name suggests, undermount tubs are installed directly below a foundation or rim, which ensures that the tub is flush with the surrounds. This makes cleaning much easier compared to a traditional drop-in style tub, however, ensure your tub is properly sealed to prevent excess moisture from potentially damaging the foundation and tub.

Something Different-Undermount tubs enjoy the same variety of styles, materials and colors similar to drop-in bathtubs. While the installation is a bit more complicated, undermount tubs provide a seamless look that is hard to beat.

Weight-Undermount tubs don’t require additional weight as they are installed below the foundation or rim of your bathing area. This makes undermount tubs generally more secure than drop-in tubs.

12. Clawfoot Tub

Clawfoot tubs are a classic freestanding design that have certainly stood the test of time. A clawfoot tub has four pedestal legs on each corner of the tub which provides a unique aesthetic that sets it apart from other bathtubs. Clawfoot tubs can be placed anywhere in the home, offering a great amount of freedom for spacing needs. While clawfoot tubs used to be quite large, you can find almost any size of these tubs to fit your home.

So which tub is right for you?

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