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The Home Depot

5 Types of Bathtub Installation

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > 5 Types of Bathtub Installation
5 Types of Bathtub Installation

If your home is your castle, the bathroom is your sanctum of peace and relaxation. The bathroom is no longer just a place to wash up and get clean. It is now also a place to relax and unwind. And it is here that the bathtub plays a central role. Soaking in a tub is a spectacular way of losing all the pressures of the world and returning to being the person you really want to be.


There are all kinds of bathtub options available today and what you choose for your bathroom will depend on a combination of your personal taste and any physical constraints the bathroom offers. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the type of bathtub to be installed. What style or design suits your bathroom? What color and material will work the best? How much space is available and where will the tub be placed? Here are some bathtub styles that you can consider.

  1. 1.Recessed

    Recessed bathtubs, which are also known as alcove tubs, abut walls at the top and the bottom ends and have a wall along one side, leaving only one exposed side which is the finished one. This is called the “apron.” Since the others are never seen, there is no need to increase the cost by finishing them. These are the most common type of bathtubs and because they are fitted along a wall, leave useful open space in the center of the bathroom. Faucets are often wall mounted and the additions of a simple wall kit allows for the addition of a shower. Drains are available at either end to make plumbing easy. Because of the small amount of exterior finishing required, these tubs are among the most economical of all designs.

  2. 2.Corner

    Similar to recessed tubs, corner ones are designed to be installed in bathroom corners. This can be either along the wall to save floor space or diagonally to give the tub a more open feel. Not all corner tub configurations are able to accommodate a shower. Corner tubs are available in a wide variety of designs to suit most bathroom decors. They are commonly installed next to a set of cabinets or a vanity to save on space.

  3. 3.Free Standing

    The free standing or traditional bathtub offers the most versatility when it comes to placement as the installation is very simple. No special faucet drilling is required and the single drain makes plumbing connection simple. Available in a variety of styles, the freestanding tub offer a classical look that will fit into most traditionally styled bathrooms. The most common design is that of the rolltop which has a curved rim running around the entire tub.


    Dual claw foot tubs which have rounded ends to offer the maximum comfort and a center drain are also very popular. Another design option for free standing tubs is the Slipper tub which has a high back to offer a comfortable sitting position. The shower can be integrated into a free standing tub, but they are not very common. These tubs are available in a wide range of sizes and designs including pedestal, ball and claw, among others. Because of the sloped back, these are among the most comfortable of tubs to soak in.

  4. 4.Walk In

    Walk in bathtubs are most suitable for people with limited mobility of physical disabilities. As the name suggests, walk in tubs have a door on the side that can be opened so there is no need to step over the side as in the case of ordinary tubs. Many walk in tubs have a built in chair height seat for additional comfort and ease of use. The door can be either inward or outward opening and both options have their pros and cons. The inward opening is self-sealing because of the water pressure in the tub holding it tightly closed. On the downside, opening the door can be difficult in an emergency because in the water pressure. Outward opening doors can be opened at any time but they need a special seal to prevent leaks and these may wear out with time.

  5. 5.Platform

    Platform tubs, also known as drop ins, are, as the name suggests, meant to be sunk into a raised platform or placed in a cavity in the floor. This enables them to fit into many bathroom styles with ease. Because they are placed in an opening, they are among the more difficult of bathtubs to install and the initial cost of buying and installing one of these is usually higher than with other models of tubs. However, the fact that they are placed in a cavity means that no external finishing is required, which does work to reduce the manufacturing cost. Many platform tub designs incorporate faucet ledges to make plumbing easier.

Do it Yourself

If you are interesting in installing a bathtub yourself, read our comprehensive guide on How to Install a Bathtub. This step by step guide provides invaluable information on how to properly install a bathtub the correct way.

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