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Last updated: July 29, 2021
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Not all top-rated alcove bathtubs are as good as they seem, and some models are far more comfortable to use, long-lasting, and easier to install than others. If you think that choosing an alcove bathtub is as simple as picking the first model you find, you may be mistaken, and it can take a lot of preparation and product comparison to find the right tub to meet your needs. We’re here to help you find the best alcove bathtub for your home.
We searched far and wide for some of the best alcove bathtubs on the market, paying close attention to a range of important factors. We looked at what materials these tubs were made from, helping us find the most durable and long-lasting models, as well as their overall capacity and depth, which can have a huge impact on how comfortable and useful they are. We looked at more factors too, including dimensions, weight, and warranty, identifying a series of nine of the best tubs money can buy.
Starting off our list of the best alcove bathtubs is this timeless classic, the American Standard 2973102.011. American Standard is one of the most trusted names when it comes to bathtub design and manufacturer, and this classic 60 x 30 alcove bathtub shows exactly what the brand is capable of.
Made from a mixture of acrylic and fiberglass, this tub features a modern, sleek design, formed in a classic rectangular shape and offering plenty of length and width for users to stretch out and enjoy their bathing experiences. It’s not quite the deepest tub around, at just 12”, but it still gives you a lot of space and should be more than sufficient for most users.
The American Standard 2973102.011 comes with a textured floor that helps to provide grip and traction, making it less likely for someone to slip or fall as they attempt to get in or out, and it also offers lumbar support, which can appeal to elderly users or those who struggle with back pain. It can be installed with both right and left hand drain, for your convenience, and comes with a super long lifetime warranty too.
What we liked: We like the sleek design of this tub, as well as the fact that it comes with a lifetime warranty and some useful design additions like the textured floor and lumbar support.
What could be better: On the downside, this tub isn’t the deepest, so those who really want to soak their whole bodies beneath the surface might want something bigger.
Next up on our list of the best alcove bathtubs, we come to the Kaldewei Cayono. This is a rectangular alcove bathtub made from enameled steel, which is a 100% green, eco-friendly material. Not only that, but it’s highly resistant to all kinds of damage from scratches, burns, UV rays, chemicals, and impacts too.
In short, the Kaldewei Cayono is built to last, made in Germany to the highest standards of design and build quality, sure to serve you well for years to come, with only minimal maintenance required. It comes with a 30-year limited warranty from the manufacturer too, so you’ll be covered in case you ever do need any repairs or replacements.
As well as being strong and sturdy, the Kaldewei Cayono is also a pretty large tub, measuring up at 60” x 30” x 14”. It offers enough length and width to suit users of all body types, but at 11” in depth, it may not be quite as deep as some users would prefer.
What we liked: There’s a lot to love about this particular bathtub, beginning with the fact that it’s one of the toughest and strongest models on the market, designed to last for years of repeated use without any scratches, dents, or other issues.
What could be better: On the downside, when it comes to depth, the Kaldewei Cayono is a little lacking, offering just 11” of depth in total.
Many people worry about the cost of buying and installing an alcove bathtub, but the KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R helps to show that it’s perfectly possible to find a dependable, well-made, solid alcove tub at a very fair price. Measuring up at 60″ in length, this deep alcove bathtub can be installed with either right or left hand drain and comes with overflow holes too.
The total capacity of the KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R is over 58 gallons, which is one of the highest capacities of any model on this list, perfect for people who are looking for an alcove soaking bathtub and really want to be able to fill it up, climb in, and soothe their whole bodies.
The thickness of the KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R varies from 2-4mm throughout, and at close to 100 lbs, it’s a pretty heavy model, but not too heavy as to make installation difficult. The only real downside is the warranty, which lasts for just a single year.
What we liked: We really like the affordability factor with this particular alcove tub. It’s very fairly priced, perfect for budget conscious shoppers, and it’s super deep too, making it well-suited to long soaking sessions.
What could be better: The downside with the KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R is its warranty. You only get one year of coverage, so if anything goes wrong after that, you’ll need to cover the costs of repairs or replacements.
If you care about design and aesthetics in your bathtub, you’ll appreciate the KOHLER K-1946-LA-0. Most alcove tubs are typically sold in white or cream, with very few color options available to potential buyers. This model is very different, however.
The KOHLER K-1946-LA-0 comes in eight different color options total, including classic White, Black, Thunder Gray, Sandbar, and Almond. These different shades and designs allow you to choose a color that fits the theme of your bathroom and ties in with the walls, floors, tiles, or other installations like your sink or shower.
The KOHLER K-1946-LA-0 also comes with a textured bottom for easy movement and minimal risk of slipping, advanced lumbar support to provide comfort to the bather, and an impressive total capacity of 57 gallons, plus a depth of 17”, giving you a lot of space to sink into the water. It’s also one of the most lightweight alcove tubs around, at just 73 lbs.
What we liked: We liked the color options with this model, giving more choices to the buyer, as well as its quality construction, high capacity, and impressive depth. What’s more, it’s pretty light, making installation extra easy.
What could be better: On the downside, this tub has a very limited warranty and some users reported that the manufacturer wasn’t willing to provide repairs or replacements after the first year, so you have to treat it with care.
Some people are happy with a relatively basic tub with flat surfaces and no fancy features, but if you want something more luxurious that can really offer that ‘spa style’ experience in your very own home, the Empava Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub is a great choice for you.
This high end luxury alcove jacuzzi bathtub has a lot of advanced features, including hydromassage jets. There are 11 jets in total, four around the foot region, three around the body, and four more at the lumbar region. These jets can be controlled as you wish, with adjustable angles and flow rates, helping users to really relax and feel pampered every time they take a bath.
The Empava Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub also features a unique modern design, with a slip-resistant floor, a transparent, tempered glass front panel, and an acrylic/fiberglass body with stainless steel frame, making it highly strong, durable, and long-lasting, backed up by a three year warranty.
What we liked: The luxury aspects of this whirlpool tub help it stand out from the crowd. It’s great for relaxing and feeling pampered, and the strong design and advanced features help to justify its high price tag.
What could be better: As mentioned above, the downside to this model is that all that luxury comes at a higher-than-average cost. You’ll need to pay more than you would for a basic tub, but this is to be expected.
One of the first things you have to decide when buying a bathtub is what size you want. Tubs can come in a wide range of sizes, from a 54 inch alcove bathtub up to a 66 inch alcove bathtub and even bigger too. The Fine Fixtures Alcove Bathtub stands out for being one of the most compact models on the market, measuring up at just 48 inches in length and 32 inches in width.
The small, compact size of the Fine Fixtures Alcove Bathtub makes it a great choice for people who have little bathrooms and don’t have too much free space to fit a larger tub. They’re also a good option for people who don’t plan on using the tub for bathing too often and will probably be fitting a shower at one end, using it more like a shower cubicle than a typical tub.
Of course, the small size of the Fine Fixtures Alcove Bathtub means that you won’t be able to fill it up with tons of water for long soaking sessions, and bigger users may find it uncomfortable, but it’s a great value option and has plenty of space along the ledge to store your toiletries. It also offers sloped lumbar support, really easy installation, and a high quality porcelain finish that looks fantastic.
What we liked: The compact nature of this tub allows it to be installed with ease, and it also features high quality construction throughout.
What could be better : The downsides to this tub are the fact that it can be a little too small for some users, along with the fact that it has only a 1-year warranty.
Next up, we come to the PROFLO PFS6042LSKWH. It’s a sleek, modern, classic white soaking alcove bathtub, measuring up at 60″ x 42″ in total, and it comes with a five year warranty, which is fairly reasonable when compared to other big brand tubs out there.
One of the interesting aspects of this tub is its base. The base has been pre-leveled for really easy installation, and it also comes with a textured, slip-resistant surface that will help to provide a firm grip and solid footing for anyone standing in the bath or trying to climb in or out. This textured surface really can help to minimize the risk of accidents, so it’s a good choice for elderly users.
The PROFLO PFS6042LSKWH also stands out for its astonishing capacity. It can hold up to 75 gallons of water at once, with a depth of 15 inches, making it one of the best options on the market if you’re looking for an alcove soaking bathtub. It comes with a skirt too, offering great value for money, and is made from high quality acrylic.
What we liked: There’s a lot to like about this model, beginning with its enormous capacity and suitability for use as a soaking tub. The textured base is also a big benefit.
What could be better: In the cons column, we have to mention that this is quite a big and bulky bathtub, so it might not fit in smaller bathrooms and will take up quite a lot of space.
Next up on our list of the best bathtubs for alcoves, we have the Toto FBY1515RPNo.01. One of the interesting aspects of this particular alcove bathtub is the fact that it’s made from enameled cast iron. This is widely regarded to be one of the strongest and most durable materials for use in bathtub design and manufacture, helping to keep the tub strong and steady for years of use.
So, if you want an alcove bathtub that will last for years without any issues, the Toto FBY1515RPNo.01 is a great choice. It’s also one of the best bathtubs around in terms of warranty, with the manufacturer offering a very impressive limited lifetime warranty for every buyer, so all of your repair and replacement needs will be covered.
Along with offering an amazing warranty and durable design, the Toto FBY1515RPNo.01 features right hand drain, an included apron, and a slip-resistant bottom to keep the users safe at all times. It’s a solid all-round bathtub that excels in many areas, but its weight might be off-putting to some.
What we liked: This bathtub is one of the toughest and most reliable on the market, ideal for those who want a long-lasting tub they can rely on for years of use. It also has an amazing warranty.
What could be better: The cast iron construction of this alcove bathtub makes it one of the heaviest models on the market. At over 300 lbs in weight, it might be quite difficult and costly to install in your home.
Many alcove bathtubs feature straight lines, hard edges, and rectangular shapes, but if you’re looking for something a little different, you might like to take a closer look at the KOHLER K-1118-RA-0. This is arguably the best curved alcove bathtub on the market, with its gently curving side adding something special to the look and feel of the tub.
Made from high quality acrylic, the KOHLER K-1118-RA-0 features a tiled flange to help prevent water seeping behind the wall, as well as simplifying the installation process. The front apron is curved too, helping to provide a unique look while expanding the amount of space you get to enjoy in the actual tub.
The KOHLER K-1118-RA-0 features a textured base to minimize the risk of slipping, and it can hold up to 55 gallons of water at a time, which is more than enough for most users to feel satisfied. All in all, it’s a great tub with a lot of unique advantages.
What we liked: The curved shape of this model help to differentiate it from so many others, and it’s made from high quality materials throughout, designed for quick and easy installation.
What could be better? It has a depth of 13”, which might not be quite enough for some users, and the curve takes up a little extra floor space, which could be off-putting to those with small bathrooms.
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve seen some of the best alcove bathtub models on the market, including everything from a curved alcove bathtub like the KOHLER K-1118-RA-0 to an alcove whirlpool bathtub like the Empava Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub, it’s time to take a closer look at what these different tubs have to offer and how you should go about shopping for your next model. There are a lot of different tubs out there, but our buying guide will break down the key features and important aspects to help you find the perfect model to meet your needs.
Alcove bathtub pros and cons
Before opting for an alcove bathtub, it’s worth taking some time to consider your options and learn more about what makes these tubs so popular, as well as any downsides they might have. Countless homes all across the world are fitted out with alcove bathtubs, while others opt for freestanding or drop-in tubs instead. So what kinds of advantages can an alcove tub offer? Well, here are just a few examples:
Lots Of Options – One great thing about choosing a modern alcove bathtub is that you get a lot of different sizes, styles, and designs to choose between. From an alcove cast iron bathtub like the Toto FBY1515RPNo.01 to the best acrylic alcove bathtub, like the PROFLO PFS6042LSKWH, there are lots of materials, as well as different shapes such as rectangles and curves.
A Neat Fit – One of the main reasons why so many people choose to get an alcove bathtub is due to the fact that they won’t take up too much space in your bathroom, as compared to freestanding tubs, and they can be installed neatly and easily in corners or alcove spaces. Many bathrooms are designed with these alcoves specifically for alcove tubs, and they fit great in smaller spaces too.
Storage Options – Many homes don’t have huge bathrooms, with lots of space for a big freestanding tub sitting right in the center. Not only do alcove tubs like the Kaldewei Cayono take up less space in your bathroom, they also open up new storage opportunities. They can be fitted with drawers and doors that let you store things in and around these units
Cheaper – When compared to drop-in tubs, which are often made with heavy, high-grade materials and elegant designs, alcove tubs like the KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R tend to have way lower prices. There are certainly some expensive, fancy alcove models out there, but for the most part, these tubs are the better option for budget-conscious shoppers.
Easy To Clean – Alcove tubs can be much easier to keep clean than freestanding tubs too. Freestanding tubs have a bigger surface area exposed to the air, ready to pick up dirt, dust, hair, and stains, whereas alcove tubs are nicely tucked away against the walls, with less surface to clean and lower chances of marks and dust building up as time goes by.
Easier Installation – Not only are alcove tubs usually easier to clean than their freestanding counterparts, but they’re also usually much easier to install as well. They fit right in the alcove of your bathroom, with the plumbing hidden away behind sheets of acrylic, wood, or other materials, whereas freestanding tubs are usually much heavier and harder to set-up. It’s also way easier to fit an alcove tub with a shower.
Of course, alcove tubs aren’t perfect and come with their share of drawbacks too, which may make you consider a drop-in tub instead. Here are some of the cons of alcove tubs that are worth bearing in mind when reading alcove bathtub reviews and trying to decide which kind of tub you want to install in your bathroom:
Less Aesthetic Appeal – This is a subjective issue, but it can be argued that alcove tubs are less aesthetically appealing than their drop-in counterparts. Many people prefer the classy, elegant look of a freestanding tub, and if you have the space for it, a drop-in tub can really serve as a statement piece for your bathroom.
Limited Placement – Drop-in and freestanding tubs can be positioned almost anywhere you like in the bathroom, or even in other rooms like the bedroom, but alcove tubs are a little more limited in terms of their installation. They need to be surrounded by walls on two or three sides, being built into the shape of the bathroom, which means you can’t just put them anywhere you like.
Features to consider when buying an alcove bathtub
When shopping for your next alcove bathtub, we recommend taking your time and thinking carefully about what you want from your tub and what matters most to you. Some people will want a tub that lasts for years with minimal maintenance, opting for a strong and sturdy model like the Kaldewei Cayono, while others might be more interested in a tub with lots of luxury extra features and jets, such as the Empava Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub. Read on to know what to look for when buying an alcove bathtub.
Material and bottom surface
Alcove bathtubs can be found in a range of different materials, some more durable and long-lasting than others, so it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at what each tub is made of when shopping for one and trying to find the best tub for your bathroom.
Often, acrylic is enough, but additional materials like steel and iron can add reinforcement to a tub, making it stronger and more durable for long-term use.
You also have to think about the bottom surface of your tub. Some tubs have completely smooth bases, which can be aesthetically pleasing, but might be more slippery when wet. Others, like the KOHLER K-1946-LA-0, come with slip-resistant bases, which are great for people who are worried about slipping over while getting in and out of the tub.
Capacity is another key feature to think about when buying a bathtub, and tubs can vary quite wildly in terms of capacity. Some models hold just 30-40 gallons of water at a time, while others can go over 70 gallons, like the PROFLO PFS6042LSKWH.
More capacity usually means that the tub is much bigger and deeper, which means that installation in a small bathroom could be a problem, and it might be trickier to get in and out. However, the added capacity also means that you can use these larger tubs as soaking bathtubs, able to fill them in and submerge your entire body beneath the water.
Many people feel that high capacity alcove bathtubs tend to be more luxurious and comfortable than the smaller varieties. However, as mentioned earlier, you need to make sure you have the space for these larger tubs. Plus, because they can store more water, you might end up spending more on your utility bills when filling them up.
The overflow depth of your bathtub tells you how high up the overflow hole(s) have been placed. It basically shows you how deep the water in your tub can be when it’s all filled up, and some tubs are able to offer much larger depths than others. The PROFLO PFS6042LSKWH, for instance, offers 15 inches of depth, while the KOHLER K-1946-LA-0 goes even deeper at 17 inches.
Many people prefer to have a deep tub. This helps them in being able to fully submerge their bodies beneath the water and enjoy a soothing soak. However, it’s important to look at the overall length and width of your tub, as well as its depth. Some tubs can be quite deep but also narrow and short, preventing you from being able to get your legs under the water easily, while others manage to combine depth with sufficient length and width.
When shopping for alcove bathtubs, you may notice the terms “right hand drain” and “left hand drain” appearing quite often. These terms describe the drain system of your tub and basically tell you which way around the tub needs to be installed in relation to your existing plumbing in order to work properly.
For example, a tub with right hand drain will need to have the drain lined up with plumbing on the right side of the alcove, and vice versa for a left hand tub. Some tubs are versatile with their installation, coming in both right and left hand models, allowing you to install them in whatever way you like to suit your existing plumbing. The Fine Fixtures Alcove Bathtub is an example of this.
Dimensions and thickness
You also need to think about the overall size of your tub. We’ve covered depth up above, but don’t forget to think about length and width too. You can find alcove bathtubs in a range of sizes, and it’s always wise to actually measure out your bathroom before shopping for a tub in order to see what sizes will fit in your space.
It helps if you already have a tub in place, as you can simply measure it and find one of the same size, or bigger if you have some extra room. The sizes can vary enormously, with some smaller, compact alcove tubs being around the 48” mark in terms of length, like the Fine Fixtures Alcove Bathtub, while other models, such as the PROFLO PFS6042LSKWH, get up to 60” in length.
In general, a 58 inch alcove bathtub or 60 inch tub is a great option for taller people who want to be able to stretch their legs and feel comfortable, but you might be perfectly happy with a smaller tub if you aren’t too tall or don’t have the space for it. Tub width can also be an important factor in terms of having space to stretch out, and thickness can help to provide additional strength and structure for your tub, allowing it to support more weight.
Along with size, it’s important to pay attention to the weight of your tub. Everyone knows that bathtubs are some of the heaviest items in a home, but you might be surprised to learn that some tubs can actually be relatively lightweight, while others exceed 300 lbs in weight, due to their construction.
It’s usually the materials that have the biggest effect on a tub’s weight, as well as its size. Big cast iron tubs, for example, will weigh more than small acrylic tubs. The KOHLER K-1946-LA-0 is one of the lightest tubs around at just over 70 lbs, which will make it way easier to get into your home, up to your bathroom, and installed in the alcove. Heavier tubs may be much harder to install, but could be more durable in the long run.
Another important feature to think about when buying an alcove bathtub is warranty. Of course, in an ideal world, you’ll never actually need to worry about the warranty, as your tub should stay clean, dent-free, and in top condition for years to come. However, if any issues ever do arise and your tub needs repairs or replacing, it’s good to have a strong warranty policy.
Warranties can vary quite a lot when buying alcove bathtubs. You can find some manufacturers who are really generous with their warranties. The Toto FBY1515RPNo.01, for example, comes with a lifetime limited warranty, meaning that your bathtub will always be protected and you can always turn to the manufacturer for help if anything goes wrong.
Other brands are way less generous with their warranties, offering just a single year of coverage. This might not be a big enough issue to put you off the product, but you do need to remember that if you buy a tub with a short warranty and something goes wrong, it’ll be up to you to cover the necessary costs.
There are also plenty of extra features to take into account when buying a tub. Many models are quite basic, but some will come with bonuses like textured bases, lumbar support for your back, or even fancy jets and massage features, like the Empava Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub, for example.
When you’re buying pretty much anything in life, including an alcove bathtub, you have to think about how much it’s going to cost. One of the main reasons why so many people opt for alcove tubs over freestanding or drop-in models is that they tend to be cheaper, but the prices can vary quite a lot, influenced by multiple factors like size, materials, brand, and design.
Some of the fancier alcove tubs with whirlpool jets and impressive depths will cost more than average, but it’s still perfectly possible to find an alcove tub at an affordable, attractive price. The KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R, for example, won our Budget Pick award for this list as one of the most affordable tubs on the market.
Before shopping for your next alcove tub, it’s wise to set yourself a maximum budget and try to stick to it. If you shop around and compare your options, you might be surprised to see what
Installation and maintenance tips
Installing a bathtub can be quite complicated, so unless you have plumbing and construction experience, you should probably call in a pro. It’s also wise to read through the guide or manual that comes with your tub so you can learn more about it. Here are some general bathtub maintenance tips:
Use nonabrasive cleaning solutions
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning
If you have tiles around the tub, be sure to seal the grout for extra protection
Focus on cleaning the caulking to prevent mildew or mold building up
When choosing a bathtub for an elderly person, you have to think about their possible mobility issues, which may make it difficult to climb in and out of the tub. Fortunately, alcove bathtubs like the KOHLER K-1946-LA-0 are just right for elderly people, and many older folks appreciate this traditional style of tub. The presence of the walls around the alcove tub gives elderly people more support and something to lean on as they’re getting in or out, and they also make it much easier to install bars and handhelds to offer additional grip. When compared to a drop-in tub, for example, alcove tubs prove to be much easier for older folks to use, as drop-in tubs can be quite challenging to get in and out of, without any handholds or bars for support.
Bathtubs are usually divided up into two main types: drop-in and alcove. Choosing between these types can be a challenge, but it’s important to understand the key differences to help you decide. Put simply, an alcove bathtub is one that is installed in an alcove of the bathroom, against the walls. A drop-in bathtub, meanwhile, can be installed anywhere, right in the middle of the room if you want, without visible plumbing. Drop-in tubs offer more aesthetic advantages than a typical three wall alcove bathtub, but they’re usually much more expensive and trickier to install. Plus, they can be harder to get in and out of, making them less suitable for elderly people or those with mobility issues.
Overall, our top rated alcove bathtub is the American Standard 2973102.011. Living up to the high standards of the manufacturer, this model offers great length and width for larger users, is really easy to install, and is made from high quality materials throughout, helping it last a long time.
The next best alcove bathtub on our list is the Kaldewei Cayono. Made from strong enameled steel, arguably among the best alcove bathtub material options on the market, it’s super sturdy and highly reliable, ready to resist rust, corrosion, stains, scratches, burns, and more as time goes by.
Our third highest rated alcove bathtub is the KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R. This is one of the deepest alcove tubs on the market, ideal for soaking, and it’s available at a really great price too, perfect for those who want comfort and luxury but don’t want to overspend on anything too fancy.