Modern Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom remodels have surged in popularity over recent years, driven by homeowners’ desires to enhance functionality, comfort, and aesthetics in one of the most frequently used spaces in their homes. Modern bathroom remodels focus on creating a serene, spa-like environment that combines practicality with luxury. Central to this transformation is the choice of a bathtub, a key fixture that can significantly influence the overall look and feel of the bathroom.

Modern Bathroom Remodels

Choosing the right bathtub is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, the bathtub often serves as a focal point in bathroom design, making it an essential element in setting the tone and style of the space. Whether you prefer a sleek, modern look or a more classic, vintage vibe, the type of bathtub you choose can make a significant impact. Secondly, the bathtub plays a vital role in the functionality of the bathroom. Different types of bathtubs offer various features and benefits, from enhanced relaxation and hydrotherapy options to improved accessibility and safety.

Moreover, the right bathtub can add value to your home. Potential buyers often look for well-designed bathrooms with high-quality fixtures, and a modern, attractive bathtub can be a strong selling point. Therefore, investing in the right bathtub is not only about personal comfort and satisfaction but also about enhancing your home’s market appeal.

This article explores the different types of bathtubs available for modern bathroom remodels, examining their features, benefits, and potential drawbacks. By understanding the various options, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your design vision, functional needs, and budget. Whether you’re looking to create a minimalist, contemporary space or a luxurious, traditional retreat, there’s a perfect bathtub type for every remodel.

Freestanding Bathtubs

Freestanding bathtubs have become a hallmark of modern bathroom design, celebrated for their striking aesthetics and versatile placement options. Unlike built-in tubs, freestanding bathtubs are not attached to any walls or surrounds, allowing them to stand alone as a statement piece within the bathroom. This independence provides greater flexibility in terms of placement, making them ideal for creating a luxurious, spa-like atmosphere.

Description and Appeal

The allure of freestanding bathtubs lies in their ability to combine form and function seamlessly. Available in a wide range of shapes and sizes—from sleek, modern designs to more traditional clawfoot models—these tubs can complement virtually any bathroom style. Their sculptural quality makes them a natural focal point, drawing the eye and enhancing the overall aesthetic of the space.

Types of Materials Used

Freestanding bathtubs come in various materials, each offering distinct advantages. Common materials include:

Acrylic: Lightweight and easy to install, acrylic tubs are a popular choice for their affordability and variety of styles. They retain heat well, making for a warm and comfortable bathing experience.

Cast Iron: Known for their durability and excellent heat retention, cast iron tubs are heavy and require sturdy flooring. Their classic look is perfect for traditional or vintage-inspired bathrooms.

Stone Resin: Offering a luxurious feel, stone resin tubs are heavier than acrylic but lighter than cast iron. They provide excellent heat retention and a unique, natural appearance.

Copper: These high-end tubs are not only visually stunning but also have natural antibacterial properties. They retain heat well but can be quite expensive and heavy.

Pros and Cons of Freestanding Bathtubs


Aesthetic Appeal: Freestanding tubs are undeniably beautiful and can significantly elevate the design of a bathroom.

Placement Flexibility: Without the need for wall attachments, these tubs can be positioned anywhere, offering creative design opportunities.

Variety of Styles: Available in numerous designs, freestanding tubs can match any bathroom decor, from modern to traditional.


Space Requirements: Freestanding tubs generally require more space than built-in options, making them less suitable for smaller bathrooms.

Installation Complexity: Plumbing for a freestanding tub can be more complex and costly, particularly if the plumbing needs to be relocated.

Cost: These tubs can be more expensive than alcove or drop-in tubs, both in terms of the initial purchase price and installation costs.

Freestanding bathtubs offer a unique blend of luxury and flexibility, making them an excellent choice for homeowners looking to make a bold statement in their bathroom remodel. However, their suitability depends on the available space, budget, and overall design vision.

Alcove Bathtubs

Alcove bathtubs are a classic choice in many homes, known for their space-efficient design and practical functionality. These tubs are installed in a three-walled enclosure, with one side exposed. This configuration not only maximizes bathroom space but also integrates seamlessly with shower setups, making alcove bathtubs a versatile option for both bathing and showering needs.

Features of Alcove Bathtubs

Alcove bathtubs are characterized by their straightforward, rectangular design, fitting snugly into a predefined space. This setup is particularly beneficial for smaller bathrooms where space optimization is crucial. The exposed side of the tub is often finished with a decorative apron, enhancing the bathroom’s overall aesthetic without requiring additional tiling or finishing.

Installation Process and Considerations

The installation of an alcove bathtub is generally more straightforward compared to freestanding or drop-in tubs. The process involves securing the tub within the three-walled alcove, ensuring that it is level and properly supported. Key considerations during installation include:

Wall Preparation: The walls surrounding the alcove must be properly prepared, including waterproofing and, if necessary, reinforcing to support the tub’s weight.

Plumbing: As the plumbing fixtures for alcove tubs are typically located along one wall, this simplifies the plumbing work. However, ensuring that all connections are secure and leak-free is essential.

Shower Integration: Many alcove tubs are designed to accommodate shower installations, requiring proper sealing around the tub to prevent water leakage.

Benefits and Drawbacks


Space Efficiency: Alcove tubs are ideal for maximizing space in smaller bathrooms, making them a practical choice for apartments and compact homes.

Affordability: These tubs are often more affordable than freestanding or corner models, both in terms of purchase price and installation costs.

Versatility: The design of alcove tubs allows for easy integration with showers, providing a dual-functionality that appeals to many homeowners.

Ease of Maintenance: The enclosed installation of alcove tubs makes them easier to clean, as there are fewer exposed surfaces where dirt and grime can accumulate.


Limited Design Options: While functional, alcove tubs generally offer fewer design and customization options compared to freestanding or drop-in tubs.

Standard Sizing: Alcove tubs come in standard sizes, which may not suit every bathroom layout or personal preference for tub size and depth.

Aesthetic Limitations: The built-in nature of alcove tubs means they do not provide the same dramatic visual impact as freestanding tubs.

Alcove bathtubs are a practical and cost-effective choice for many homeowners, especially those working with limited space. Their straightforward design and dual functionality make them a reliable option for modern bathroom remodels, balancing practicality with simplicity.

Drop-In Bathtubs

Drop-in bathtubs offer a high level of customization and luxury, making them a popular choice for homeowners seeking a tailored bathing experience. These tubs are installed within a pre-built deck or enclosure, allowing for a seamless integration with the bathroom’s design. The top rim of the tub sits flush with the deck, providing a sleek and finished look.

Explanation of Drop-In Bathtubs and Their Design

Drop-in bathtubs are designed to be “dropped in” to a frame or platform, which can be customized with various materials like tile, wood, or stone. This installation method allows for significant creative freedom, as the surrounding deck can be designed to match the bathroom’s overall aesthetic. The tub itself is typically rectangular, but can also come in oval or more unique shapes, depending on the desired look and feel.

Customization Options and Materials

One of the key advantages of drop-in bathtubs is the wide range of customization options available. Homeowners can choose from various materials for both the tub and the surrounding deck, allowing for a highly personalized design. Common materials for the tub include:

Acrylic: Lightweight, durable, and available in many colors and finishes, acrylic is a popular choice for drop-in tubs.

Porcelain-Enameled Steel: Offers a classic look and excellent durability, though it can be heavy and cold to the touch.

Fiberglass: Affordable and easy to install, but may not be as durable as other materials.

The deck can be constructed from materials such as:

Tile: Provides a wide range of design options and is relatively easy to clean.

Natural Stone: Offers a luxurious and high-end look, though it can be expensive and requires regular maintenance.

Wood: Can create a warm and inviting look, but needs to be properly sealed to prevent water damage.

Advantages and Potential Downsides


Design Flexibility: The ability to customize the surrounding deck allows for a cohesive and personalized bathroom design.

Luxury Appeal: Drop-in tubs often have a luxurious feel, making them a centerpiece in high-end bathroom remodels.

Comfort: Many drop-in tubs are designed with ergonomic shapes and additional features like armrests and backrests, enhancing comfort.

Accessibility for Maintenance: The deck construction allows for easier access to plumbing and mechanical components, simplifying maintenance and repairs.

Potential Downsides:

Installation Complexity: Installing a drop-in tub can be more complex and time-consuming compared to other types, often requiring professional help.

Space Requirements: These tubs require more space for both the tub and the surrounding deck, which may not be suitable for smaller bathrooms.

Cost: The combined cost of the tub and the custom-built deck can be higher than other options, potentially stretching the budget.

Conclusion for Bathtub Types

Drop-in bathtubs are an excellent choice for homeowners looking to create a customized and luxurious bathroom space. Their versatility in design and materials allows for a truly personalized touch, though they do come with higher costs and installation complexity. When space and budget allow, a drop-in tub can be a stunning addition to any modern bathroom remodel.