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The Best 4 Standard Bathtub Alternatives for 2021

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by Badeloft | March 1, 2021

Tired of standard bathtubs and looking for a unique centerpiece for your home? Today we will look at 4 standard bathtub alternatives and discuss the benefits they can bring to your home. 

Why consider an alternative bathtub?

Standard bathtubs provide a great asset to any bathroom, but they are a bit limited in design. Additionally, they take up a fair bit of room as well. Alternative bathtub designs help address these issues by providing a bathtub that has the same functionality while providing its own benefits as well. 

Space Saving

Standard bathtubs tend to take up a great deal of space. Alternative styles are designed to save space such as corner and soaking tubs. The round design means that you have more room to install a larger sink or extra storage space if you desire. 

Design flexibility

Standard bathtubs are a bit limited in their design. Perhaps your space is small and you need a bathtub that can allow you extra space in your apartment or home. Having a greater selection of designs can allow you to better customize your bath space.  

Lifestyle change

Lifestyle change can signal the need for a new bathtub. As you get older, you need a bathtub that is easily accessible for both children and the elderly so a new design is warranted. Alternatively, you may find yourself more stressed and in need of a bathtub that can allow you better muscle relief than a standard bathtub. 

What are standard bathtubs types:

 The standard bathtubs for many years are as follows: 

  • Alcove-An alcove is great for a small bathroom as it only needs to be installed near two adjacent walls. Alcove bathtubs are suited for smaller areas or ‘alcoves’ which is why their primary design is triangular or oval-shaped to save additional space.
  • Drop-Ins-A standard due to its excellent affordability coupled with its ability to save space. A drop-in bathtub is placed in a recess joined by three walls, making it a very common addition to most homes. 
  • Undermounts-Similar to drop-in, an undermount bathtub is installed underneath a recess, allowing it to save space, as the bathtub’s rim is not visible and is made flush with the surface it’s joined to. Although it doesn’t usually save space, the design is attractive as the bathtub is flush with the material surface, hiding it from view.  
  • Corner Tub-Similar to an alcove, a corner tub is usually in a triangular or round shape. These are installed in small recesses to save space. 
  • Bath & Shower Combo-One of the best choices for practicality, a bath shower combo combines the benefits of both a shower and a bathtub. This can be installed in any size bathtub and is a popular choice in all bathrooms as it has a great deal of versatility.  

Below you will find the most popular standard bathtub choices on the market today: 

1. Freestanding bathtubs

A freestanding bathtub is any bathtub that can stand on its own. What makes freestanding bathtubs unique is their ability to be placed anywhere in the bathroom. In addition, freestanding bathtubs are available in many high-quality materials, allowing them to retain heat over long periods of time. 

freestanding bathtubs.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Wide variety of materials, styles, and colors
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent heat retention
  • High quality
  • Requires little maintenance 


  • Can be quite heavy
  • Can be quite large in size
  • Requires initial investment but is better longterm

2. Japanese soaking tubs 

A Japanese soaking tub is circular design bathtub, similar to an alcove bathtub, but designed for a singular person to sit comfortably inside. The purpose of these tubs is to provide all the benefits of a freestanding bathtub but in a smaller space, making them ideal for small-sized bathrooms. 


  • Provides all the benefits of a freestanding tub in a small space
  • Comfortable
  • Wide variety of sizes and materials
  • Wide variety of styles and colors
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean


  • Can be expensive depending on the material
  • Poor heat retention
  • Requires a lot of water
  • Poor privacy

3. Clawfoot Bathtub 

A clawfoot bathtub is a classic freestanding bathtub with four clawfoot legs. Despite the name, the feet of this bathtub aren’t always claws, but it does need to have four legs. This defining characteristic is what makes clawfoot tubs unique as this bathtub has been a long-time staple of bathrooms for centuries. 

clawfoot bathtub.


  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Readily available
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • Good heat retention


  • Limited material variance
  • Limited color variety
  • Heavier than drop-in bathtub

4. Jet Tub & Jacuzzi  (heated tubs)

Heated tubs provide heated jets of either water or air. These jets heat the tub as well as provide a gentle massage for your joints and muscles. What makes heated tubs unique from other bathtubs are the numerous proliferations all around the tub which is where the jets are located. Additionally, these tubs have a separate motor that controls the jets. 


  • Muscle and joint relaxer
  • Numerous health benefits for de-stressing
  • Great with aromatherapy
  • Comfortable


  • Very expensive compared to other bathtubs
  • Uses a large amount of water
  • Loud
  • Heavy maintenance required

Additional Tips to consider when choosing an alternative bathtub 

When choosing a new or alternative bathtub, here are some helpful tips to remember before buying:

Review the primary reasons for a new tub

An important question to answer is why you need a new tub? Do you want a stylistic change? How big do you want your new tub to be? By addressing this question, you can easily narrow down what type of bathtub is suitable for you and your home which can save you money in the long term.  

Do your research on different types of tubs

Before making a decision, you should do your research on different tub styles to see which is the most appropriate for you. Weigh your options carefully and understand each style’s pros and cons before purchasing. 

Stick to your budget

Bathtubs are expensive purchases, so it is key that you stick to your budget. While it may be attractive to purchase a whirlpool tub with fancy jet options, your budget may not support it long-term. As always, consider your needs before purchasing a bathtub. 

Think of the larger picture

A bathtub is the centerpiece of the bathroom and you should consider how it looks in it’s finished form. Bathmats, plants, towels, and other accents can provide great compliments to your bathtub and help elevate its look as well as the feel of your bathroom itself. When purchasing your tub, it is best to consider the whole of your bathroom, not just the tub itself. 

Standard bathtubs are great options for most homes, but with lifestyle changes and a smaller space, alternative bathtubs are a great solution. So if you are tired of your standard bathtub, do the research and find a new bathtub alternative today to fit your needs.

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