› Corner Bathtubs

Corner Bathtubs

More Variety Than You Might Think

Photo Courtesy of Build.com

The Choices You Have

A corner bathtub is a convenient way to maximize the use of space in your bathroom (assuming you have the space). It can be tucked neatly away in what would be an otherwise unused piece of real estate, freeing up other wall space for things like vanities, showers and sinks.

If the thought of a corner tub conjures up visions of five-sided, triangular units you're in the majority. A lot of these products fit that description. But if you're looking for something a bit different there are alternatives.

Let's take a closer look at what's available.

A Choice of Materials And Functionality

Corner tubs are available in several materials:

Cast Iron
Pretty straightforward - cast iron is a solid, heavy tub material that's coated with porcelain. Larger triangular tubs made from cast iron will be pretty heavy and getting one into place could be a chore. However they're durable and retain heat well.

Acrylic is a form of plastic and its benefits include light weight and high gloss. The acrylic material is actually a surface coating on top of a fiberglass backing. Acrylic is more prone to scratching and because of its lighter structure, can tend to flex if not properly supported. Pay attention to installation guidelines for proper support recommendations.

Composites include the likes of Vikrell, a material found in Sterling tub products as well as EcoMarmor™, used in some Aquatic tubs. Vikrell is a plastic composite material that differs from typical acrylic materials in that its color goes "through" the material. Small chips won't reveal a fiberglass or discolored backing.

EcoMarmor is a stone composite, usually of crushed marble and/or granite, combined with some inert fillers and a resin binder and then coated with an enamel. It's advertised to have good heat retention qualities.

Enameled Steel
Steel is more rigid then the plastic composites but lighter than cast iron. It's covered with an enamel coating which gives the tub it's glossy protective surface.

Corner bathtubs are also available in several functional categories, namely soakers, whirlpool and air baths. Be advised however that you might not be able to get the type of functionality you want with any type of material. For example, Kohler makes a cast iron corner tub but you'll have to be happy with a soaker style. There's no jetted configuration with that particular model.

Some Variety In Shape Too

Photo Courtesy of ATG Stores

Lots of corner tubs have a triangular outside shape more or less. They may have three to five sides with the tub's basin being triangular or some form of oval inside that periphery. There are variations on this theme but in general, you'll see a lot of these.

If that shape works for you, great. However if you're looking for something different, there is another option. That option is a rectangular tub, or something pretty close to it, that's made to tuck into the corner of your bathroom. It's also known as a "two sided tub" or "double apron tub" because two of the sides are visible. The opposite two sides meet the walls that join in the corner.

The tub in the photo above is a Duravit Happy D corner tub. It's available in both left-hand and right-hand installations and you can choose either a standard tub (no whirlpool/jets) or an air bath model.

Back To Page Section List

A Few Considerations To Think About

Before you make any final decisions here are a few points to consider:

  • Location Of Faucet Spout & Handles
    The position of the faucet has a direct impact on the accessibility of a corner bathtub, particularly ones with a triangular shape (five-sided). If the faucet spout and

    handles are located on the non-wall side of the tub you'll want to make sure you have room to get in and out without having to step over (or swing your legs over) them to get in or out. That can be an inconvenience.

    The tub in the photo on the right is an example of a corner installation with one end that abuts a shower, leaving only the opposite side clear. You have to make the decision as to whether a setup like this is more or less convenient. An alternative is a tub where the faucet is located on one of the walls.

  • Tub Size and Ease Of Cleaning
    Large corner tubs can be difficult to clean because of their size. Will you be able to lean over to clean the whole tub without feeling like you have to crawl inside of it? And if you take the faucet location into consideration it might be even harder. Two-sided corner tubs might be easier since they're not as wide.
  • Use A Free-Standing Tub As An Alternative
    If your bathroom has room for it you could also opt for a free-standing tub and simply locate it in the corner. When it's positioned diagonally in the corner it offers a bit more room along the adjoining walls.
  • Make Sure You Can Get It In Your House & Bathroom
    Some tubs can be fairly sizeable. Make sure you can get it into your home and your bathroom without needing to tear out doors and trim. Check the specification sheet for the overall dimensions to be sure it will fit through doorways. Pay particular attention to sharp corners in the pathway to your bathroom; a door might be wide enough to slide the tub through but clearance around corners can sometimes be an obstacle.
  • Use An Alcove Tub In A Corner With A Knee-Wall
    Tubs designed for an alcove (bordered by three walls and with only a single apron front) can conceivably be located in a corner. The only difference is that on one

    Photo Courtesy of ATG Stores

    end you'd need to have a small knee-wall built to support and block off the end of the tub. It needn't be much higher than the height of the tub.

    It's something to think about if you want a horizontal tub located in a corner but can't find a double-apron tub that suits your needs.

    One of the benefits of this scenario is that you may be able to find an alcove style tub for a more reasonable price than some of the double-apron or other tubs specifically designed for a corner application.

Back To Page Section List

Publisher's Comments --
My Recommendations For Shopping

Hopefully through the information up above you can see that you have a range of choices available to you in the way of a corner bathtub setup. Where to get them is another question, as the typical big-box stores usually have only a very limited selection. And unless you have a bath showroom in your area, you may not have much to look at.

Shopping online is one way to go and people buy bathtubs through online sources all the time. At a minimum your selection is broader.

If you take the online approach two sources to check out are ATG Stores and Wayfair.com. Both are large internet retailers in the home products sector and have a selection of tubs and corner tubs to choose from.

Do I Have Any Specific Favorites Or Recommendations?

The variety of styles and functionality associated with corner tubs makes it difficult for me to make a specific recommendation. It depends whether you want a soaker, whirlpool or jetted configuration. And in all honesty, my research doesn't show a clear standout among the variety of choices out there.

That said, my personal preference is for more durable materials. I prefer cast iron, although it's very heavy, or the Americast product by American Standard. Kohler makes a cast iron corner tub if that heavy-duty material is your preference.

Americast is a lighter alternative to cast iron. However there aren't any Americast tubs designed exclusively as corner bathtubs. The only way to get this combination is to buy a conventional alcove three-wall Americast tub and install it in a corner with a knee-wall like that shown above.

If you decide to go with a whirlpool or jetted corner tub you'll be looking at products made from either acrylic or Vitrell.

Back To Page Section List

survey page ad