14 Different Types of Bathtubs to Know

Are you building a new bathroom or renovating an old one? Whatever the case may be, something that you might be interested in is getting a beautiful bathtub. That said, there are so many types of bathtubs out there that it can make your head spin.

Today, we are here to take a look at some of the most common bathtub types, as well as the subcategories within each type, for a grand total of 14 different bathtub types that you need to know. So, let’s jump right in.

Different Types of Bathtubs to Know

#1: Alcove Bathtubs

Alcove BathtubThe first type of bathtub that you need to know is the alcove tub. This design is also known as the three-wall alcove tub, and it is defined as a bathtub that is enclosed on three sides, and thus sits in an alcove.

This design is fairly standard, one that you will see in many homes and apartments. They often combine various elements of form, functionality, and a bit of style too. The main point of these bathtubs is convenience, as they often have a showerhead mounted towards the top, usually on one of the two sides. This type of tub is fantastic for tight spaces.

Keep in mind that there are two types of alcove tubs, your simple tubs and your luxury alcove tubs with plenty of bells and whistles.

The benefits of alcove tubs include being very affordable, being quite functional and practical, being ideal for small spaces, being easy to maintain and clean, and featuring the ability to be decorated in such a way that effectively turns them into luxury tubs.

The downside to alcove tubs is that there must be walls on three sides and that oftentimes they have quite a basic and generic feel.

#2: Freestanding Bathtubs

Freestanding BathtubThe next type of bathtub to be familiar with is the freestanding variety. As the name implies, freestanding bathtubs are not constrained by any walls. As long as you hook up the plumbing, this type of tub can stand against a wall or right in the center of a bathroom too. People tend to love freestanding bathtubs as they come in many varieties and are considered to be very elegant and stylish.

Some of the benefits of freestanding bathtubs include that they look amazing, that they work well with both modern and contemporary bathrooms, that they can be placed anywhere in the bathroom, and that they tend to add a whole lot of resale value to homes.

On the other hand, this type of tub does not feature any storage areas for soap and shampoo, and that they can take up a lot of space, especially when situated in the center of a room. Additionally, they can be a pain to clean. Freestanding tubs are also impractical for seniors and children, they cost a lot, and they are very heavy.

4 Types of Freestanding Bathtubs

Freestanding tubs come in a number of different shapes and forms. Below are the four most common ones:

  1. Claw-Foot Tub: This type of freestanding tub features beautiful clawed feet, and in general this type of tub is known for its beauty and elegance. It also features high sloped walls and is best placed where it can be accessed from all sides. Moreover, the feet create both functional and visible space between the tub and the floor.
  2. Solid Base Tub: This type of freestanding tub features a solid base that sits directly on the floor, as opposed to having feet. The shape of these tubs is quite generic, although the shape can also take on a very modern design.
  3. Soup Bowl Tub: As you can probably guess by the name of this tub type, it looks like a large and round soup bowl. These do not have any feet and sit directly on the ground, and are characterized by their unique and rounded soup bowl shape.
  4. Freestanding Alcove Tub: This bathtub design combines the first two types that we have looked at today. Here, you can take any one of the freestanding tub designs that we have talked about so far, and install it within an alcove, so with walls on three sides, and you have a freestanding alcove bathtub.

#3: Japanese Style Bathtub

Here we have a very special kind of bathtub known as the Japanese bathtub. This type of tub is characterized by its high and very gently sloped walls, which combined with its freestanding design, creates a very serene, relaxing, and spa-like feeling. This kind of tub tends to sit directly on the floor and does not have any legs or feet.

What is interesting to note is that Japanese style bathtubs are often designed simply for soaking, with people bathing in the shower first, and then getting in the tub simply to soak. What everybody can agree on is that Japanese style bathtubs are some of the most beautiful ones out there at this time.

Some of the advantages that you get with Japanese style bathtubs is not only that they look amazing and really artistic, but also that they can add a lot of resale value to any home. This type of tub is also much easier to access than a regular freestanding tub, which is thanks to the very gently sloped walls, not to mention that they allow for some relaxing soaks too.

On the other hand, Japanese style bathtubs are very expensive, as they are considered luxurious, and moreover, due to their freestanding design, they also don’t offer any storage opportunities for soap, shampoo, and other bathing essentials.

#4: Drop-In Bathtubs

Drop-in BathtubWhen it comes to bathtub types in terms of installation and mounting, the drop-in variety is the most common and most prolific. Here you will find the most variation. These may also be known as deck-mounted or platform bathtubs, with the defining characteristic being that the bathtub is mounted in such a way that allows the top rim of the tub to be flush with the deck or platform that it is mounted on.

A big benefit that you get with this kind of bathtub is that they tend to be very easy to get into due to the rim being flush with a deck or platform, thus making them ideal for children and seniors. There is also the fact that this type of tub can be very large with high walls. t can also come with plenty of cool features too, thus allowing for a really relaxing full body soak. Moreover, the drop-in bathtub just produces a really luxurious feel.

On the other hand, due to the very deep design and high walls, although getting into drop-in bathtubs is generally quite easy, getting out is a different story. Moreover, there is some extra work involved during the installation process, as decks and platforms often need to be built accurately for specific bathtubs. Finally, both due to the cost of the tub and the cost of installation, this type of bathtub can end up being quite expensive.

5 Types of Drop-In Bathtubs

Now, there are various types of drop-in tubs to consider, so let’s take a look at all of them right now:

  1. Standard Drop-in Tub: This type of drop-in bathtub is the one that you will see in most homes with this design. This type generally features a platform into which a tub is then mounted, sometimes with a separate shower off to the side. The defining feature here is that some kind of wall or platform is built vertically in a bathroom, into which the tub is then dropped.
  2. Step-Up Drop-In Tub: This type of drop-in tub is characterized by a raised platform that is built onto the floor, one that features literal steps, sometimes one, two, or three, that lead up to the bathtub. It’s like a raised platform with steps leading up to it, into which a bathtub is inserted.
  3. Corner Drop-In Tub: This type of drop-in tub is designed specifically to fit into the corners of your bathroom. These can come in the form of triangular drop-in corner tubs, ones that work with the contours of the wall to save space, and in rectangular versions that look quite nice, although they have extra wood or material that sits in the corners, with both walls of the bathtub being at a 45-degree angle from both walls. Both of these bathtub types tend to look very nice, they only require two walls, and they help save a lot of space too. That said, they can only be put in corners, and can only be entered from one side.
  4. Center Located Drop-In Tub: This version of the drop-in tub is a very special one, as it is located right in the center of the bathroom. These are characterized by a raised platform or lowered platform in the center of the bathroom, with a tub dropped into it. These look really cool and can be quite functional in terms of entry and exit, although they take a lot of work to install, plus they can be very expensive too.
  5. Undermount Tub: This type is characterized by a bathtub that is situated in a raised or a lowered platform, with the key difference being that the rim is covered. The tub is situated on a supportive deck, but instead of the rim being visible above the platform, it is mounted under the rim of the platform. These are very durable, they’re easy to clean, and they look super nice too. The problem with this type of drop-in tub is that repairs and modifications to the tub cannot be made without breaking or removing the surrounding platform/rim.

#5: Walk-In Bathtub

Walk-in BathtubAnother popular type of bathtub for you to consider is the walk-in bathtub. This is almost like a combination between a shower and a bathtub. Just like with a shower, there is a door that you can open up and then step into, but instead of stepping into a shower, you’re stepping into a tub.

In other words, this is a raised bathtub that is mounted on the floor, one that has a door right in the wall of the tub that can be opened for easy entry and exit. Walk-in bathtubs usually always have seats so that you can sit down inside of them, and they usually always have handheld shower heads for easy bathing.

The modern models can be used both as showers and bathtubs, as many are equipped wit totally sealed and waterproof doors that will not allow water to get out once the door is closed.

The obvious benefit here is for seniors and for people who have mobility issues, as the walk-in tub does not force the user to step over a large wall.

What’s also nice is that these tubs can actually look quite cool and come with many features too. The issue here is the cost as walk-in tubs, due to their added components and features, usually come with quite the price tag, not to mention that installation can be a pain too.

#6: Hot Tubs and Whirlpool Tubs

Whirlpool BathtubIn terms of getting the most luxurious and spa-like experience around, the only real option to go with is the hot tub or the whirlpool tub. Of course, the defining characteristic of a hot tub or whirlpool tub is that they feature strategically placed air jets that propel air and water at your body.

The big benefit here, besides that super relaxing spa-like feel, is that they are excellent to relieve muscle and joint pain, plus they are very calming for the mind as well. Moreover, this is the kind of stylish and elegant luxury tub that works wonders in terms of a romantic night with a partner.

Another cool thing about whirlpool tubs and hot tubs is that they come in many varieties, including center-mounted models, drop-in models, platform models, ones that can be mounted in corners, and so on and so forth.

The big downside to whirlpool tubs is of course that they are expensive, very much so. Even the low-end hot tubs are probably going to cost you more than most of the tubs, the higher-end models, that we have looked at so far. The other drawback to whirlpool tubs is that they have moving parts that can break, and therefore require constant care and regular maintenance.

#7: Combination Tubs

What we want to touch on before we call it a day is the fact that these bathtub types are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Although you find combinations of any and all of the above bathtub types, you can often find combinations of one or more.

For instance, you can get a corner mounted drop-in hot tub, you can get a drop-in and walk-in tub, a freestanding hot tub, and so on and so forth. When it comes down to it, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Summary

The bottom line is that there are many different types of bathtubs that you can choose from, and often there are many sub-categories within specific types, as well as a large variety of combinations too.

Just keep in mind what your needs are, how much space you have, how you want the tub to be positioned and oriented, what sort of features you want, and of course, how much money you are willing to spend. If you keep all of these factors in mind, you should not have any problems choosing the right bathtub for your bathroom.