Last Updated on January 14, 2021 by Lynda Stevens
Have you decided to go for alcove bathtubs instead of other types of bathtub installation? That’s actually a great choice and one that can present more benefits in the long run. Alcove installation is a good alternative to drop-in bathtubs and is better for people who want more support in getting in and out of their baths.
This article will help you find bathtubs that work with alcove installations and which one of them has the best quality. You will find our guide helpful when it comes to understanding your personal needs in size, installation, maintenance and ease of usage in these bathtubs.
Comparison Chart for the Best Alcove Bathtubs
|American Standard Cambridge||60 x 32 x 17-3/4 inches||Americast|
|Kohler Expanse||60 x 30 x 36 inches||Acrylic|
|Mirabelle Sitka||60 x 30 x 20-3/4 inches||Acrylic|
Best Alcove Bathtubs Reviews
1. American Standard Cambridge: Best Overall
“An ideal choice for people looking for the toughest bathtub construction. It’s the best when it comes to rough usage and longevity.”
What impressed us the most with this bathtub is its rugged construction. If you like the durability of cast iron bathtubs but hate the way they are difficult to maintain, you can use this bathtub as an alternative instead. It is even more durable than cast iron. It’s a bathtub for people who don’t like to do a lot of maintenance.
“What drew us to this tub is its unique construction. Unlike the other two tubs that use acrylic materials, this one makes use of Americast construction.”
It is American Standard’s patented engineered steel. It’s not just one material but three different layers of materials molded together for extra durability. It shares the same thickness with cast iron material but is more superior in terms of durability and performance.
We recommend this to anyone who needs a reliable bathtub but it is also a sterling choice for people with disabilities. It is ADA-compliant. Aside from its surface that is completely slip-resistant, there is also a seat found at the head to make it easier for seniors or people with injuries and illnesses to get in and out of the tub.
Although it has the same thickness as cast iron, it isn’t as heavy. This is good news to those attempting to install an alcove tub all by themselves.
The lumbar support is excellent. You can sit here for a long time and not feel sore. The beveled headrest is also a nice feature. You can lean back and relax.
If you want to attempt installing it by yourself, that can be done. Aside from the fact that it has a good fit and doesn’t require tweaking, you also do not need to build a platform to support it. It already comes with its own integrated apron. There is also a tile flange that keeps the tub positioned while you put the tiles around it.
One nifty design feature you can find in this tub is that the bottom slightly slants near the draining hole. This makes it easier for water to drain out. It prevents water residues from lingering, which can be the cause of mold and mildew.
It is more affordable than many of the bathtubs you can find in the market today.
The port for the overflow is slightly higher than what you can find in other tubs. This makes it easier to find an overflow kit that is actually compatible with it. You will have to get another PVC pipe to serve as an extension to the overflow kit so it will fit.
Another thing that you might need to consider is how thick the port for the overflow is. The regular cover screw that comes with the kit has to be longer, so that it will reach the end of the pipe. Otherwise, it just won’t work.
2. Kohler Expanse: Best Size and Capacity
“This is the best choice for people looking for more room to move and stretch out but without resorting to a bulky and space-hogging bathtub.”
Compact but spacious, we’re still mystified how something that doesn’t take up too much space can provide tub space for those looking for more room to stretch out. This is the best option for taller and bigger people. Also, if you don’t want to feel cramped, there’s no reason you should not give this tub a try. It is slightly more expensive than the other tubs in this list but for its bigger capacity, we think it is worth the extra cost.
The reason why this compact and space-saving alcove bathtub provides such a big space inside is its curved basin design. It makes the most of the entire footprint of the tub, which is why it provides more space. It is also deeper, perfect for those who are looking for better immersion.
It has a textured bottom, which prevents it from slipping during installation. Speaking of installation, we think its tile flange is also a nifty feature because it stops water from flowing from its walls. That eliminates some of the challenges of installing an alcove bathtub.
“The curved apron design is unique.”
It should be a good design point in a farmhouse or vintage style bathroom. The apron sticks out by 3 inches, which isn’t a lot but goes a long way in improving space in the tub.
It is lighter than the previous bathtub. It shouldn’t be too difficult for 2 people to carry above a flight of stairs.
Design the tub area with a curved shower curtain and you have a tub that looks more expensive than it really is. It also makes your bathroom look more expensive.
It’s actually a comfortable tub. You can sit back for a long time and not feel stiff.
The price can be a downside for some people. It’s just a few hundred dollars more expensive than the other two options, but if you are on a tight budget, the price might put you off.
3. Mirabelle Sitka: Best for Modern Bathrooms
“With its clean lines and sleek shape, this bathtub can punctuate the look of any modern bathroom.”
Are you looking for an alcove bathtub that will work in your modern bathroom? We recommend this one. It has a simple rectangular shape, which should be ideal for those people who do not want a lot of embellishments.
This modern style bathtub has a utilitarian look to it. But although it does not have the design flair of the other two, it holds its own, especially when installed in modern surroundings. And because it has a simpler look, you should be able to add more design embellishments in the bathroom without going overboard.
“The bezel is thinner than the standard tub, so it gives more room for soaking.”
Although it is not as spacious as the one from Kohler, it still offers considerable space. But although it is thinner, you can still sit on the side of the tub and do things like put on lotion or shave your legs.
People on the taller side will still find this tub spacious. The Kohler tub is still the best for space, but this one offers a decent capacity for soaking. It is also deeper than other tubs you can find in the market. It is great for deep soaking.
The price is great for this tub. It is just slightly more expensive than the one from American Standard but way less expensive than the one from Kohler.
We can say the quality of this tub is great. Time will tell if it will hold up well against abuse but its acrylic material is a material known for its durability, so we aren’t at all worried.
There are no problems with installation. The manufacturer requires it to be installed on a mortar bed for added durability and stability.
We like that the overflow drain sits higher on the tub. This means you can fill it up with more water for better immersion. It’s also comfortable despite it having a lot of corners.
In real life, it has more shine and gloss. Dirt doesn’t easily stick to its surface, which makes it easier to clean. Cleaning is not a problem as well as any accumulated dirt can be easily removed even with natural treatments.
It has a textured bottom, which can reduce chances of slipping.
Thinking of putting a sliding glass door? This won’t work with that because it has a 9-degree slope going towards its basin.
The edge has a slight incline to it. You won’t be able to put bath products on it.
The bottom’s texture might feel too rough for some people.
We think your best choice is the American Standard Cambridge. It has more versatility than the other two options because it can also be used by people with mobility issues. We think this is a tub you can grow old with. The size is just right for average people and boasts of materials that can last for a long time.
Those looking for a more spacious and immersive tub should get the Kohler Expanse. It is the biggest choice in this list, albeit the more expensive one. Kohler also makes high quality tubs, so this is one you can rely on for a long time and can cater to the needs of the entire family. Whether you need more room to move around or you are a tall person looking for a tub that will fit you better, this is a great choice for you. The apron style front limits the way you can design it though, but if that isn’t an issue, get this.
A sterling option for bathrooms with a modern aesthetic is the Mirabelle Sitka. It is thinner than the others but that can be an advantage because it provides more space inside for soaking. We recommend this for budget-conscious buyers who don’t want to compromise on quality.
How to Find the Best Alcove Bathtubs For Your Needs
To make sure that you are buying the best alcove bathtub, take the following things into consideration:
Size is a big factor to consider because it will determine if it will fit into your intended space. Some people experience space constraints, which limits the bathtubs they can install in their bathroom. Measure the space you intend to place the alcove bathtub in and use that as a guide in determining if the ones out there will fit.
When it comes to size, shape also has got something to do with it. If it is a rectangular-shaped tub, it might be easier to install. Those with curves might take up more footprint.
“Pick the shape that will work in the design of your space (1).”
Most sellers will specify the exterior size of the tub. You might want to contact their customer service to ask about internal measurements. You would still want to know its length and width on the inside to determine if it is big enough to fit you. Some bathtubs might be big but might have a small interior.
Take into consideration its depth as well because this will determine how well you can soak in the tub. The deeper the tub, the more you will be able to immerse your body. When it comes to its immersion capabilities, also consider how high the overflow is positioned. A higher overflow will allow you to fill the tub up with more water.
If you want to use the side of the tub to store your bath products, make sure it is thick enough to do so. It should also have a flat surface for you to be able to do so. Thicker tub walls might also be better when it comes to insulation. Thicker tubs will keep the bath water warmer for a longer period of time.
Acrylic is a basic material for bathtubs but you can also find more durable ones with thicker layers more resistant to damages. Make sure the material is not only durable, but also be stain and scratch-resistant.
Check out the best bathtub reviews online. Visit our homepage for more reliable reviews, so you can finally find a bathtub that will last you for a long time.