Despite the fact that many bathrooms lack a tub, you may desire one. You might take delight in soaking in a bath and want this luxury. During bathroom renovations, you have the choice of adding an alcove style bath that is integrated into the tiling or else a freestanding tub. Here are some pointers when trying to choose.


With an alcove-style bath, its shape isn't apparent because it's blended into the tiling. Thus, the bath itself often isn't a focal point. However, you may dress up the surroundings. For example, install a feature tiled backsplash or fit a large stained glass window over the bath.

In contrast, a freestanding bathtub lets you see its contours, so it often stands out as a design feature. You may opt for a contemporary smooth form that sits on a platform in the bathroom. Or else, you select a clawfoot-style bath in a vintage home. You can pick between a slipper or roll-top model. A slipper tub has a raised end that allows the bather to lean back against it. A double slipper bath has two raised ends. A roll-top freestanding bath has a rounded, level top edge.

Bathroom Layout

An alcove tub may be preferable if you have a small bathroom because it fits against the wall, using up less floor space. However, because it must be installed against the wall, an integrated tub limits bathroom layout options.

On the other hand, a freestanding bath requires more floor area since it has space on all sides. But it can be placed anywhere in the room, offering more layout possibilities. The plumbing runs beneath the floor to wherever the bath sits. A standalone tub may be used as a shower as well. On these versions, the showerhead includes a ring around which a curtain can be hung.

Structural Issues

Depending on the material you choose for your bath, whether built-in or freestanding, the bathroom subfloor may require reinforcing. Bathtubs made of cast iron or natural stone are much heavier than models made of fibreglass or acrylic. Bathtubs get heavier once they're filled with water and someone is bathing in them. A structural engineer can assess the entire weight and determine whether the floor needs strengthening during your bathroom renovations.


Because an alcove bathtub sits against the wall, water can't splash on all sides of the tub. Even though you'll need to clean the tiled wall behind, it stops water spilling over the floor, which you'll have to mop up. Conversely, water can splash on all sides of a standalone tub. Additionally, it can be hard to reach all the exterior sides of the bath to clean it.