Best Alcove Bathtub

Best Alcove Bathtub

Alcove bathtubs are justly considered to be the leading models in the market. Firstly, they are universal and suit any interior, both small and spacious bathrooms. Secondly, modern materials feature much lighter weight for the same durability.

And finally, alcove design is captivated by its worry- and effort-free installation. The only problem is the diversity of models.

In this article, we’re going to find the best alcove bathtub. To do it, we collected five best-selling models:

  • KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R 60-Inch Contemporary Alcove Acrylic Bathtub
  • American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front Americast Soaking Bathtub
  • KOHLER 1957-LA-0 Underscore(R) 60″ x 32″ Bathtub
  • American Standard 2973102.011 Studio Acrylic Bathtub
  • American Standard 7236V002.020 Evolution Deep Soaking Bathtub
A thorough analysis of products’ characteristics and real users’ reviews allowed us to make our impartial conclusion. Stay with us to get your perfect alcove bathtub!

Main Differences Between the Models

Before the main comparison, let us briefly list differences that we found important for your choice:

  • All bathtubs have acrylic construction with fiberglass reinforcement and anti-slippery floor cover. However, American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front Americast Soaking Bathtub is made of the brand’s own alloy called Americast.
  • The depth of the bathtubs varies greatly. While the first two models are 14″ deep, the third and the fourth are 14-15″ deep, the fifth tub measures 18″.
  • All three American Standard bathtubs share the same 50-60 gal. water capacity. The KINGSTON BRASS can contain 58-60 gallons. And the KOHLER model is spacious enough for 68 gallons.
  • Also, all models have special lumbar support slopes for a more comfortable body position. However, the angles of these slopes differ.
  • The last American Standard 7236V002.020 Evolution Deep Soaking Bathtub is the only model that offers molded armrests.
  • It is also the only one that doesn’t have a front apron.
back to menu ↑

Comparison table

KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R 60-Inch...
American Standard 2461002.020...
KOHLER 1957-LA-0 Underscore(R) 60"...
American Standard 2973102.011...
American Standard 7236V002.020...
Dimensions
60" x 31" x 22.5"
70" x 46" x 24"
60" x 32" x 21"
60" x 30" x 18"
72" x 21.5" x 36"
Weight
69.9 pounds
161 pounds
128 pounds
95.1 pounds
75-90 pounds
Gallons
58-60 gallons
50-60 gallons
68 gallons
50-60 gallons
60 gallons and more
Depth
14"
14"
15"
14"-15"
18"
Materials
acrylic with fiberglass
Americast alloy
acrylic with fiberglass
acrylic with fiberglass
acrylic with fiberglass
Apron
Flange
Body Support Design
116° and 97° slopes for optimal body position
116° and 97° slopes for optimal body position
lumbar support
lumbar support
lumbar support and molded armrests
Installation
alcove
alcove
alcove
alcove
alcove, drop-in, undermount
KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R 60-Inch...
Dimensions
60" x 31" x 22.5"
Weight
69.9 pounds
Gallons
58-60 gallons
Depth
14"
Materials
acrylic with fiberglass
Apron
Flange
Body Support Design
116° and 97° slopes for optimal body position
Installation
alcove
American Standard 2461002.020...
Dimensions
70" x 46" x 24"
Weight
161 pounds
Gallons
50-60 gallons
Depth
14"
Materials
Americast alloy
Apron
Flange
Body Support Design
116° and 97° slopes for optimal body position
Installation
alcove
KOHLER 1957-LA-0 Underscore(R) 60"...
Dimensions
60" x 32" x 21"
Weight
128 pounds
Gallons
68 gallons
Depth
15"
Materials
acrylic with fiberglass
Apron
Flange
Body Support Design
lumbar support
Installation
alcove
American Standard 2973102.011...
Dimensions
60" x 30" x 18"
Weight
95.1 pounds
Gallons
50-60 gallons
Depth
14"-15"
Materials
acrylic with fiberglass
Apron
Flange
Body Support Design
lumbar support
Installation
alcove
American Standard 7236V002.020...
Dimensions
72" x 21.5" x 36"
Weight
75-90 pounds
Gallons
60 gallons and more
Depth
18"
Materials
acrylic with fiberglass
Apron
Flange
Body Support Design
lumbar support and molded armrests
Installation
alcove, drop-in, undermount

1. KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R 60-Inch Contemporary Alcove Acrylic Bathtub

Our first model belongs to the Aqua Eden collection by the well-known KINGSTON BRASS brand. If you, like many customers, desperately need an alcove bathtub with clean, modern lines, we can hardly recommend you something better than this product.

The bathtub stands out by its exquisite design with straight lines with right angles. Alcove construction needs a minimum of space. A 60-inch body fits narrow areas but still provides comfortable rest. Interior tub space has evenly sloped walls for optimal body position. Besides, one is more reclined (116 degrees angle) for those who like laying inside, and another is upright (97 degrees angle).

Depending on your preferences, you can choose between Left Hand or Right Hand Drain options.

The model features acrylic construction with fiberglass and resin reinforcement. Thus, it is twice lighter than common iron bathtubs. Resin cover prevents accidental and so dangerous slipping. Acryl contributes to the look, but we have to admit that it scratches easily.

Lightweight, convenient dimensions and an attached apron make installation much easier. First of all, apron serves as additional support, and secondly, it finishes the stylish design. The opposite side is equipped with feet, but users complain about their unsteadiness.

All in all, the bathtub is a recognized high-quality model. At the moment, the item price is $470.

Pros
  • super contemporary design
  • relatively compact but provides enough space inside
  • two interior slopes for optimal body position and support
  • made of lighter and durable acryl and fiberglass
  • lightweight
  • resin anti-slippery cover
  • stylish apron included
  • easy installation
Cons
  • thin
  • feet are not quite stable
  • scratches easily
  • some customers may find it not so deep

2. American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front Americast Soaking Bathtub

American Standard brand is known for producing extremely durable and stylish bathtubs and other fixtures. The company uses patented Americast engineered steel that became an excellent alternative to iron being twice lighter but as solid.

The material consists of a steel center layer for strength and insulation layer for better heat retention and noise reduction. The upper porcelain enamel finish is resistant to scratching, slipping, and easily cleaned.

Anyway, owners of the 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front Americast Soaking Bathtub have an opportunity to experience all these pleasures. Besides, apart from high-quality materials, we note elaborate design.

The bathtub is 70-inch long and is spacious enough. Like the previous model, it has walls sloped in two different ways. The Right Hand Drain option is available.

The installation method is the same three wall alcove with one apron front and integral tile flange.

The design of the bathtub will perfectly fit any interior. Here, we see the same modern straight lines, but the inner side tends to classic oval.

The American Standard bathtub is almost impeccable, but be ready to pay $670 per item.

Pros
  • stylish universal design
  • durable Americast material
  • nice heat retention
  • anti-slip and anti-scratch covering
  • lighter than iron
  • easy cleaned
  • provides enough space inside
  • two interior slopes for optimal body position and support
  • apron included
  • easy installation
Cons
  • expensive
  • heavier than other review models

3. KOHLER 1957-LA-0 Underscore(R) 60″ x 32″ Bathtub

The KOHLER bathtub is a relatively new model in the market. However, it has already managed to attract customers’ attention and got mainly positive reviews. So, what are the peculiarities of the product?

Generally speaking, the appearance and construction of the bathtub don’t have any unique features. The model is quite similar to the first KINGSTON BRASS. Thus, customers will get a white 60-inch bathtub with an integral apron and flange. Clear lines and right angles contribute to the design.

The 1957-LA-0 comes only with the Left Hand Drain. Besides, please pay attention that it requires K-7271 or K-7272 clearly slotted overflow bath drain, which is sold separately.

The product is made of the same popular modern materials such as acryl and fiberglass that increasingly replace old-fashioned heavy iron. The cover is rather slip-resistant, but scratches are inevitable.

Let us also mention gently sloped walls of the bathtub with inner lumbar support for extra comfort while bathing. Slopes are identical, by the way.

The bathtub is 15-inch deep, which is considered to be its main advantage. Some users claim that the depth can be enlarged by 1-2 inches.

Unfortunately, despite all its pros, the model is not budget. The current price of $786 may scare away some customers. But here, we definitely pay for the brand as well as for the quality. Anyway, there is always an option to purchase the KOHLER bathtub during seasonal sales.

Pros
  • super contemporary design
  • made of lighter and durable acryl and fiberglass
  • twice lighter than iron bathtubs
  • deeper than common bathtubs
  • anti-slippery cover
  • molded lumbar support
  • apron and flange included
  • easy installation
Cons
  • better buy at discounts as it seems to be overpriced
  • thin
  • scratches easily

4. American Standard 2973102.011 Studio Acrylic Bathtub

One more American Standard bathtub shares only partially the advantages of its above-mentioned brother. Users will get the same apron and flange design, safety, and pleasure of bathing. But when it comes to a detailed description, lots of unique features are noticed.

Thus, the bathtub model is 60-inch long. It is truly deep, offering about 15″ of immersion. Once again, different dual slopes provide you the freedom of choice and contribute to lumbar support.

Designers have provided easy and quick draining, and we can even choose between Left Hand and Right Hand Drain options. Simple alcove installation with front apron side is also worth mentioning, especially when supportive feet are so solid and stable.

This time, American Standard used high-gloss acrylic with fiberglass. Though no insulation and steel layer are included, materials feature nice reinforcement, durability, and safety thanks to the textured floor.

Acrylic and fiberglass construction contributes to the lightweight of the model as well as to its price. This American Standard bathtub is more affordable compared to the previous brand product, costing $550.

Pros
  • super contemporary design
  • spacious and comfortable for long rest
  • molded lumbar support
  • made of lighter and durable acryl and fiberglass
  • twice lighter than iron bathtubs
  • safe anti-slippery textured floor
  • apron and flange included
  • stable feet
  • easy installation
Cons
  • thin
  • scratches easily

5. American Standard 7236V002.020 Evolution Deep Soaking Bathtub

Finally, we came to the last bathtub of our review. American Standard 7236V002.020 model is undoubtedly one of the most noticeable products in the list, which is very different not only from other companies’ bathtubs but also from its brand mates.

First of all, the model is not completely alcove. It requires drop-in or undermount installation, however, alcove option is also available. Though users get more installation variants to choose between, they all are also more complicated.

Please mind that the kit includes no aprons as well as the flange for water protection.

Secondly, the item dimensions and design provide more space and body support.

A 72-inch model can boast of 18-inch depth, which is a 3″ deeper water level than standard baths offer. Such depth is possible thanks to a deep-soak max drain. The only drawback is that it isn’t included in the kit, and you’ll have to purchase it separately. The drain is reversible.

Materials used include glossy acrylic with a fiberglass reinforcement layer. As usual, floor features slip-resistant coverage.

Inner walls are designed to provide comfortable lumbar support. Moreover, the 7236V002.020 bathtub model is the only item with molded armrests.

Currently, Amazon offers a $565 deal.

Pros
  • modern universal design
  • very spacious model
  • extremely deep
  • molded lumbar support
  • molded armrests
  • reversible max drain
  • made of lighter and durable acryl and fiberglass
  • safe anti-slippery cover
  • made of lighter and durable acryl and fiberglass
  • twice lighter than iron bathtubs
Cons
  • more complicated installation compared to other bathtubs
  • no apron
  • thin
  • scratches easily
back to menu ↑

Face To Face comparison

Now when we have looked through the models’ main characteristics, let’s make a more thorough investigation and comparison of these and several more functions.

Design and Dimensions

Generally, our five models have very similar dimensions, but since the slightest differences may significantly influence installation, let us list all measurements. We’d also like to draw your attention to so greatly varying weights and bathtubs’ capacities.

American Standard 2973102.011 Studio

American Standard 2973102.011 Studio Acrylic Bathtub

  • 60″ x 30″ x 18″
  • 95.1 pounds
  • 50-60 gallons
American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge

American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front Americast Soaking Bathtub

  • 70″ x 46″ x 24″
  • 161 pounds
  • 50-60 gallons
Essential Hot Tubs 30-Jet 2020 Adelaide Hot Tub

American Standard 7236V002.020 Evolution Deep Soaking Bathtub

  • 72″ x 21.5″ x 36″
  • 75-90 pounds
  • over 60 gallons

KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R 60-Inch Contemporary Alcove Acrylic Bathtub

KINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R

  • 60″ x 31″ x 22.5″
  • 69.9 pounds
  • 58-60 gallons

KOHLER 1957-LA-0 Underscore(R) 60″ x 32″ Bathtub

KOHLER 1957-LA-0 Underscore

  • 60″ x 32″ x 21″
  • 128 pounds
  • 68 gallons

The appearances of the models are remarkable because they are almost identical. All products come in snow-white color and feature contemporary design with straight lines and right angles both outside and inside. Only the second bathtub, American Standard Cambridge Apron-Front, can boast of smoother oval shape inside, which is more comfortable for the head and neck.

Depth

Depth KINGSTON BRASSThe depth of a bathtub is one of the crucial moments for customers. Since the item is supposed to be used not only for bare bathing but also for soaking and relaxing, it should provide enough space for the body.

  • The first two models are 14″ deep. It is a standard measurement for classic bathtubs; however, many customers have already been used to more deep models.
  • According to the users’ reviews, the third bathtub by KOHLER is slightly deeper. But the difference is negligible as the tub is 15″ deep.
  • The fourth American Standard model follows the KOHLER. Though we didn’t manage to find official information, our experience and well-known 18″ height of the bathtub allow us to suppose that is cannot be deeper than the same 14″-15″.
  • Nevertheless, all previous measurements pale in the shadow of the depth of the final product. The bathtub provides 18″, which is significantly deeper than old classic models.
Verdict: Perfect depth is a mainly subjective choice of each person that depends on many factors form preferences to installation. The comparison shows that we have a wide range of models for any taste. However, we’d choose the deepest and, consequently, the most spacious and convenient option.

Besides, experienced users state that little tricks with drain installation can give each bathtub a couple of inches of water depth.

Materials

KOHLER Bath ApronWe have partially discussed the question of materials in the individual model descriptions. However, let us remind and summarize it one more time.

Thus, four out of five bathtubs share the same construction. Except for the American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front, all products feature acrylic construction with fiberglass reinforcement and anti-slippery cover.

Such a combination makes bodies much lighter and thinner, which is a plus for ease of transportation, carrying, and installation.

However, users also note that thin acrylic bathtubs are less durable, noisier, and tend to lose water heat quicker.

The only exception, American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front, uses completely different materials. It is made of the American Standard’s own alloy, which is called Americast steel. The steel consists of three layers.

Thus, the bathtub includes a steel center layer, an insulation layer, and the top layer of the porcelain enamel finish. They form reinforced durable basis, contribute to heat retention and noise reduction as well as to scratch and slipping resistance, respectively.

The final product features the same thickness as traditional iron bathtubs but is significantly lighter and cheaper.

Verdict: Iron seems to give way to more modern materials. The fact that none of our participants use this metal is bright proof. Among the pluses, we note that all models are lightweight, safe, and prevent slipping. However, the Cambridge Apron-Front Americast product certainly wins the battle thanks to its greater durability and functional advantages.

Inner Design

Depth KINGSTON BRASS
Engineers have taken care of both the appearance and inner design of the products, making them as comfortable as possible.

Despite different manufacturers, the first two models have identical shorter walls. They got gentle slopes at 116 and 97 degrees. Such difference allows users to choose the most suitable body position.

The other three models also come with differently sloped walls, but we don’t have official information on their tilt degree. However, all brands call it lumbar support.

Moreover, besides the comprehensive support of your back, the last American Standard bathtub is the only product that can boast of two molded armrests.

Verdict: Elaborate inner shape of the bathtub is a key to comfort. We can safely state that all models do their best for your convenience.

Installation

American Standard 2461002.020All five models are installed in the alcove. It means they should be installed in the rectangular niches formed by three walls. Alcove installation is rather an easy method. Besides, the bathtubs’ designs contribute to the process.

The main advantage is that because of the tub’s construction, you don’t need to set them in concrete or do anything else for extra support. However, many users and specialists recommend put a layer of mortar to promote a solid fix.

Installation is easy enough to do it yourself. You’ll only need help with transportation. Other tips on plumbing and the like are available in the user’s guides and video tutorials.

But if you didn’t happen to deal with such work, we highly recommend you to pay extra dollars for professional services. It will save you time and guarantees the correctness of the mounting.

Though we’ve said that all five tubs are suitable for alcove installation, the last model is designed for mainly drop-in or undermount methods. Unlike its rivals, this tub doesn’t have an apron and may require more effort to be installed.

Verdict: Even if you don’t dare to install one of these bathtubs yourself, you can be sure the process will take much less time and effort than the installation of traditional iron tubs.

Draining

  • According to the official information, the first and the fourth models of the review come in both Left Hand or Right Hand Drain modifications.
  • The second, third, and fifth products have draining for: Right Hand, Left Hand, and Reversible Drain. However, if you want to get a bathtub with other hand draining, you can contact manufacturers.
Another important thing about draining to mind is that only two out of five models require definite drain elements. KOHLER The 1957-LA-0 requires K-7271 or K-7272 clearly slotted overflow bath drain, and American Standard 7236V002.020 Evolution Deep Soaking Bathtub requires deep-soak max drain 1599.205. Other bathtubs are universal.
back to menu ↑

Guide – How to Choose the Best Alcove Bathtub?

Experienced customers will confirm that the choice of a proper bathtub is a very complicated task since you have to consider over a dozen of different characteristics. The following are the most important moments, the primary consideration of which will help you make the optimal model choice.

Materials
Materials are one of the crucial questions. They directly influence the installation, comfort of use, maintenance, tub durability, etc. At the moment, the most popular options are cast iron, acryl, steel, artificial stone.

Iron offers the best heat retention, silent use, and endless service life. But it is extremely heavy and difficult in mounting, and the top layer scratches and destroys quickly, so the bathtub loses its look.

Acrylic models are twice lighter, easy in use, installation, and maintenance. At the moment, it is the leading bathtub material, so you can find literally any tub shape and model. However, please mind its thin construction, shorter durability, and tendency to scratches.

Steel bathtubs combine durability and the most affordable cost. Among the drawbacks, we highlight thin construction that quickly loses water heat. Besides, falling water produces a lot of noise when hitting against the steel surface.

Products made of artificial stone are almost impeccable. But you should be ready for their great weight and, consequently, more complicated installation. They are also one of the most expensive options.

Bathroom Dimensions
Due to the peculiarities of installation, alcove bathtubs better suit big bathrooms with deep niches. Otherwise, you will have to make wall framing, which also requires some space. However, such models can look nice in small rooms, but then a more thorough choice is needed.

Flange
When you install an alcove bathtub, it inevitably adjoins bathroom walls. Thus, if you want to protect them from constant soaking, the built-in flange is necessary. These elements will also prevent water from coming under the bathtub, where you won’t be able to wipe it.

Compatibility with Bath Doors
Often, users compliment their alcove bathtubs with shower panels to get a 2-in-1 system. And they immediately face the question of fencing the bath to keep water splashes inside the cabin.

Sliding doors could become an excellent and stylish way out, but you won’t be able to install them in all bathtub models. Thus, please don’t forget to consider this moment beforehand while choosing a tub.

Inner Shape for Body Support
If you have such an opportunity, we’d recommend you try your future bathtub before purchasing or at least getting the reviews on its convenience.

Different models come with different inner shapes, and your perfect product should provide sufficient support for your head and back. Some best options even feature molded head and armrests. Anyway, a good bath should feel comfortable enough for your whole body to stay inside for a long time.

back to menu ↑

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best budget, alcove bathtub?

faqKINGSTON BRASS VTDE603122R 60-Inch Contemporary Alcove Acrylic Bathtub costs $470 when an average market price varies from $550 to $700.

Thus, it is one of the most generous offers available. The model has sophisticated design, excellent capacity and dimensions, back support.

2. What is the most durable alcove bathtub?

Though modern acrylic bathtubs feature lightweight and solid bodies, we would recommend you American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front Americast Soaking Bathtub as the most durable model. Patented Americast alloy consists of three layers that are as thick as iron cast but lighter and easier to clean.

3. Can I tile the front apron of my alcove bathtub?

Some manufacturers like KINGSTON BRASS allows users to tile aprons of their alcove bathtubs. However, if you’d like to improve the apron’s plain white appearance, it would be better to build a short wall in front of the bath and tile it instead of the apron.

4. Do I need to put a layer of mortar under my alcove bathtub if it has feet?

If you get a bathtub with feet, it can certainly be installed without any mortar. But the models made of steel, fiberglass, and acrylic are recommended to be reinforced with additional mortar cushion. It will give the tub a more solid feel and avoid any flexing once it is installed.

5. What is the best way to clean an acrylic bathtub to maintain its white color?

Bathtubs need weekly cleaning to stay white and fresh. There are lots of safe and efficient detergents for acrylic bathtubs, but it is also allowed to apply common baking soda. The main rule is to choose non-abrasive formulas as acryl scratches easily. Also, use only soft sponges.
back to menu ↑

Conclusion

To sum up, we’d like to note that surprisingly all bathtubs presented in the review meet modern high standards. There was no obviously bad model and even found drawbacks are often negligible. However, the choice of the perfect option is yours since each product features its own unique advantages.

We highlighted several favorites.

  • KINGSTON BRASS bathtub offers the best combination of functions and an affordable price. So, if you’re looking for a budget option, you’ll hardly find something better.
  • Those who are ready to make a significant investment in a durable, long-serving bath will find American Standard 2461002.020 Cambridge Apron-Front Americast Soaking Bathtub worth their attention.
  • And finally, though American Standard 7236V002.020 Evolution Deep Soaking Bathtub doesn’t have its brother’s Americast alloy, it is the deepest model.
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply