Alcove vs Drop in Tub – The Difference between Alcove and Drop in tub

Alcove vs Drop in Tub

When it comes to picking out a bathtub for your bathroom, it’s important to consider the various options available to you. Two of the most popular types of tubs are alcove and drop-in tubs. Both of these styles offer unique benefits, so it’s important to know the differences between alcove vs drop in tubs before making a decision.

In this blog post, we’ll compare the two so that you can make an informed choice about which type is right for your bathroom.

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What is an Alcove Bathtub?
What is Drop in Bathtub?
Difference between Alcove and Drop in tub
Pros and cons of Alcove vs Drop in Tub
Bottom Line

What is an Alcove Bathtub?

Kingstone Brass Aqua Eden 60 Inch Acrylic Alcove Tub

An alcove tub is a type of bathtub that is designed to fit into an alcove or three-sided recess. These types of tubs are often made of acrylic or fiberglass and feature a raised lip or ledge on two sides, allowing them to be supported by the walls of the alcove. Alcove tubs are typically rectangular in shape and typically have a length of about five feet, making them perfect for smaller bathrooms.

What is Drop in Bathtub?

Signature Hardware 60 inch Alcove Soaking Drop In Tub

A drop-in tub is a tub that is set in a frame and installed directly into the ground or onto the floor. Drop-in tubs are typically built of acrylic or fiberglass and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can also be built with extra features such as jets, steam, and aromatherapy.

The main difference between a drop-in tub and an alcove tub is that the drop-in tub does not have a skirt or lip at the top of the rim, as it is typically set down into a pre-framed area. This makes the installation of the drop-in tub much simpler than an alcove tub and requires less demolition work for the bathroom.

Related: Best Jacuzzi tubs

Difference between Alcove and Drop in tub

It can be hard to make the right choice. Both alcove and drop-in tubs offer unique benefits, so it’s important to consider which type of tub will best fit your needs.

Here we will be discussing the differences between alcove tubs and drop-in tubs, so you can make an informed decision about which is right for your bathroom.

Let’s take a closer look at the alcove vs drop in tub.


Alcove bathtubs can be made from many different materials including acrylic, fiberglass, and metal. Whereas, drop in bathtubs are made from materials like fiberglass, acrylic, and Porcelain Enamel Steel.


The main difference between alcove tubs and drop-in tubs is the way they are installed. Alcove tubs are designed to be installed against three walls of an alcove, whereas drop-in tubs are designed to be dropped into a specially built platform. Drop-in tubs also require more support than alcove tubs, as the weight of the tub and water must be supported by the platform.

Related: How Much Does an Acrylic Tub Weigh

Cleaning and Care

The advantage of an alcove tub over a drop-in tub is that they require less installation time and cost. Additionally, they tend to be easier to clean, since there is no platform around the edges. On the other hand, some people find that an alcove tub can look a bit outdated compared to a drop-in tub, as they lack the modern aesthetic of a drop-in.

Related: Best acrylic tub cleaner


Alcove bathtubs mostly come rectangular. On the other hand, drop-in tubs come in a variety of shapes like square, octagon, and round. Alcove bathtubs can be installed vertically or horizontally depending on your needs and available space but the drop in tubs require special space for their installation.

Related: Most comfortable freestanding tubs


Alcove bathtubs have more rounded edges than drop-in tubs. Drop-in baths have rimmed edges which makes them fantastic for those who have trouble bending over even just a little bit! You’ll find that drop-ins don’t take up as much space since they’re not as tall as an alcove or standard tubs either!


You may have heard that the price tag on an alcove tub is lower than that of a drop in tub, but you may also have heard that drop-in tubs cost more overall. The truth is somewhere in between—the average purchase price for an alcove tub is cheaper than that of a drop-in tub, but not by much. So if you’re looking for a cheap way to spend some time relaxing in hot water, an alcove can be just what you need.


The Alcove tub and drop-in tubs both look great in most decor styles but differ when it comes to functionality and versatility.

Alcove bathtubs are a popular choice for homeowners because of their versatility and design. They can be installed in any type of home and offer the flexibility to be customized to suit your needs. The shallow depth means that they are easy to get into, but they also provide the space you need for comfort.

Drop in baths are also known for their sleek, modern design aesthetic. Their high ceilings and deep tubs provide a luxurious feel that many people enjoy. They are often used in hotels or resorts because of their ability to fit large groups of people at once, making them ideal for entertaining guests or family members who may not be able to fit in an alcove bathtub due to size restrictions.

Related: Best acrylic bathtub


Alcove bathtubs are great for small spaces, as they utilize a smaller footprint and make it easy to fit into tight corners. They also look great in modern bathrooms, thanks to their sleek designs.

As opposed to that, drop-In bathtubs require more space than alcove bathtubs because they require the construction of a deck. This makes them ideal only for large spaces. Also, you cannot access the plumbing once installed.


Alcove bathtubs are typically safer than drop-in bathtubs as they are less likely to get damaged by falls or other accidents.

Comparison table for Alcove vs Drop in bathtub

ParticularsAlcove Drop-in
InstallationUsually installed between 3 full or partial wallsCan be installed anywhere but requires a deck
CostLess costlyMore costly
ShapeOnly rectangular shapeComes in many shapes
ShowerShower head can be addedShower head can be added
AccessibilityEasy accessDifficult to access because of depth and edges
SizesGood for small spacesGood for large spaces
Chipping / CrackingLess prone to chipping / crackingMore prone to chipping / cracking
EdgesRounded edgesrimmed edges

Pros and cons of Alcove vs Drop in Tub

American 46 inch Standard Drop In Small Bathtub

When it comes to choosing the right tub for your bathroom, you’ll need to consider the differences between an alcove tub and a drop-in tub. Both offer plenty of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the difference between alcove vs drop in tubs before making your decision.

Pros and Cons of Alcove tubs

An alcove tub is a tub that is designed to fit into a three-walled corner of a bathroom. This type of bathtub offers many benefits, including its ease of installation, as well as its relatively low cost. An alcove tub also provides plenty of space for showering and bathing, and it is easy to clean. However, due to its location, it can be difficult to get out of the tub when the walls are close together, which can be a safety hazard.

Pros and Cons of Drop-in Tub

A drop-in tub is a type of bathtub that sits flush with the floor and typically requires some additional construction or modification to install. This type of bathtub can be a great choice for smaller bathrooms, as it offers a more open feel and doesn’t require as much space as an alcove tub. Drop-in tubs are also generally more expensive than alcove tubs, and they may not be suitable for all types of bathrooms due to construction requirements.

Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing the right type of bathtub for your bathroom, it can be difficult to decide between an alcove tub and a drop-in tub. Both types of tubs have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to consider which one is right for your needs.

Before making the purchase, consider your budget, the size of your bathroom, and the look you want to create. It’s also important to make sure that you find a tub that meets your safety needs and offers plenty of space for both showering and bathing.

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