an alcove bathtub set in between two walls and a window in the back

Alcove Bathtub

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/19/2021

If you’re in the market for a new bathtub, you’re quickly going to realize there are a few different options available, including the desirable freestanding tub. But for most people, alcove bathtubs are pretty much the standard when it comes to style and function.


Alcove bathtubs are typically enclosed by three walls, remaining open on one side. The open side is commonly covered or enclosed with a curtain or door. Alcove bathtubs come in a variety of sizes and shapes, with options for jets and shower capabilities. Alcove bathtubs can also come in a wide variety of materials, including fiberglass, acrylic, and cast iron. Alcove bathtubs come in a wide range of prices to meet a variety of project budgets.

The Pros And Cons Of Alcove Bathtubs

Alcove bathtubs have a couple of big advantages when it comes to function and design. But there’s also one important downside:

  • Many modern bathrooms are designed to fit an alcove bathtub using some form of three wall combination, creating a natural alcove either on one side or at the far end of the bathroom. This design helps maximize space and allows for bathtub and shower combinations.
  • However, because many bathrooms are designed with alcove bathtubs in mind, it’s hard to install a freestanding bathtub in its place due to space. Unless there is sufficient room, alcove tubs will remain a prominent design option.