Drop-in tubs are inexpensive and easy to install as part of your bathroom renovation process. Plus, these types of tubs are the most customizable options on the market, and they offer all the benefits of other types of soakers. Learn more about drop-in tubs and how to pick a tub that fits in with your shower, vanity, and other bathroom features.
What Are Drop-in Tubs?
Drop-in tubs, which are usually made from acrylic, drop into a pre-built frame. As a result, these types of tubs don’t need to be as heavy-duty as freestanding or alcove tubs, and you can build all sorts of frames to surround these bathroom features. Drop-in tubs come in all sorts of different shapes, and just like other tubs, you can outfit them with jacuzzi jets, showerheads, and various other types of accessories.
Why Should I Choose a Drop-in Tub?
Two reasons: ease of installation and customizability. With other types of tubs, you have to deal with a bright white aesthetic even if it doesn’t fit in with your overall decor aspirations. In dark, masculine bathrooms, for instance, a bright white tub can ruin the effect. Choosing a drop-in tub, on the other hand, provides you with the ability to cover the outside of your tub with marble, granite, slate, or whichever material would best accent your decor plans.
Drop-in tubs are also easy to install. Building the frame for your drop-in tub is the not-so-easy part, but once you have a suitable frame, installing your new tub should take less than an hour.
1. Drop-in Tub with Stone Siding
It’s easy to build a drop-in tub in a simple wooden frame. Why stop there, however, when you’re free to customize the exterior of your tub in any way you choose? From pink marble to engineered quartz, there are tons of different types of stone siding you can put on your tub once you’ve built your frame, and choosing the perfect stone will amplify your overall decor style to the fullest.
With traditional alcove tubs, you’ll only have one side to worry about as you choose your tile. Different drop-in tub designs, however, may expose more sides, so you’ll need to consider how to wrap your stone siding around corners. For the best effects, have your tile of choice cut and installed by professionals.
2. Oval Tub in a Granite Setting
Just because your alcove is rectangular doesn’t mean you have to choose a rectangular tub design. That’s the beauty of drop-in tubs; you can choose whichever shape you like as long as the dimensions don’t exceed the space you’ve set aside for your tub frame.
One effect that looks great in luxurious bathrooms is “squaring the circle:” putting an oval drop-in tub inside a rectangular tub frame. As you can imagine, this design will leave a lot of space open around the corners of your tub frame, which you’ll need to cover with stone or another waterproof material.
For a durable and attractive stone to use for this purpose, look no further than granite. This stone comes in tons of different colors and styles, and it’s much more durable than its lustrous cousin, marble.
3. Rectangular Drop-in Tub with Wooden Siding
While putting stone tile on the sides and exposed top of your drop-in tub setting is the traditional way to cover this part of your new tub, you can also take the road less traveled and use a water-resistant type of wood instead. Bamboo and cedar are both excellent choices for this approach, and it’s relatively easy to treat wood panels to keep water damage away. If you already have cedar on the walls of your bathroom, using this wood on the sides of your drop-in tub frame is the natural next step.
4. Drop-in Tub with Shower Attachment
Just because you’re in the tub doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy all the benefits of a shower. Installing a showerhead within arm’s reach of your soaker is one hack you can use to add a little bit of luxury to your bath setup. Taking a bath is a great way to relax and get comfortable, but getting rinsed off afterward is a pain if you have a traditional standalone tub. Providing a showerhead next to your drop-in tub gives you the power to rinse yourself off after your soak without having to get out and walk to the shower.
5. Drop-in Tub with Wide Shelf for Accessories
Many types of drop-in tubs already have wide bezels between the edge of the tub and the wall. However, you can expand this space on purpose to provide a convenient shelf for candles, bubble bath, and other bathtime accessories. If your shelf is wide enough, you can even put your iPad next to your drop-in bath while you soak. Having ample space set aside for anything you might want to take with you into the bath opens up your possibilities and makes bathing more relaxing.
6. Hydrotherapy Drop-in Tub
They used to be called jacuzzi tubs, but these days, the term “hydrotherapy” is in style. Essentially, hydrotherapy is just a fancy word for having jets in a bath, but it’s undeniable that the jacuzzi tub experience is immensely therapeutic. Simply sit back in your tub and allow the jets to do all the work.
7. Drop-in Tub Built Into Raised Floor
So far, we’ve referred to drop-in tubs that are built into alcove frames or other types of corner setups. If you have the room for it, however, you might want to consider creating a raised platform in one area of your bathroom with your tub in the center. This sauna-esque approach provides a wide wooden platform where you can lounge when you get out of the tub or sit on the edge with your feet in the water.