Acrylic Alcove Bathtub: Popular Choice for A Smaller Bathroom

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A bright bathroom with a cream colored cabinet, subway tile shower and bathtub, and a patterned tile floor.

I love my acrylic alcove tub! It’s a functional choice for my small bathroom, but it also feels more solid than my fiberglass alcove tub. In a bright white, it adds a fresh and modern feel to my bathroom, and the water stays warm for the duration of my 15-minute soak.

Made from durable acrylic material, my acrylic alcove tub is a lighter-weight, more moderately-priced alternative to a more upscale choice material such as cast iron.

Key Takeaways

  • Acrylic alcove bathtubs offer a modern, space-saving design with easy installation.
  • These tubs are made with durable, lightweight acrylic material for long-lasting finish and reduced maintenance.
  • An ideal choice for homeowners seeking a stylish and cost-effective bathroom renovation.

What is an Acrylic Alcove Bathtub?

White, alcove tub under large window and next to half wall. On the other side of the half wall is a small shower. Hanging from the wall in front of the shower is a towel.

An acrylic alcove bathtub is a type of bathtub designed to fit snugly between three walls. It comes with a front apron for support, making it a popular and cost-effective choice for many homeowners. This lightweight and durable material is often reinforced with fiberglass, providing longevity to your tub experience.

10 Benefits Of an acrylic alcove bathtub

1. Affordable

Acrylic alcove tubs are cost-effective and offer a budget-friendly option for bathroom renovations. Average price is around $750.

2. Retains Heat

The material of acrylic tubs helps retain heat, providing a warm and comfortable bathing experience. A double-walled acrylic tub will retain heat even better than a single walled acrylic tub.

3. Space-Saving

Alcove tubs are designed to fit into a three-wall alcove, making them ideal for smaller bathrooms with limited space.

4. Easy to maintain

Acrylic tubs are non-porous and easy to clean, requiring minimal effort to keep them looking new.

5. Easy to repair:

Acrylic is a versatile material that allows for easy repair of scratches, chips, or other minor damages.

6. Lightweight

Acrylic tubs are lightweight, making them easier to install and handle during the renovation process.

7. Variety Of Designs

Acrylic alcove tubs come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles, allowing for customization to suit different bathroom aesthetics. For example, some offer a sloped back for lumbar support. Others are extra deep.

8. Non-slip surface

Many acrylic tubs have a non-slip surface, providing added safety during bathing, especially for children or the elderly.

9. Stain-Resistant

Acrylic is resistant to staining, making it easier to maintain the tub’s appearance over time.

10. Durable

When reinforced with fiberglass, acrylic alcove tubs are durable and can withstand regular use without losing their structural integrity.

Key Material Comparison

Let’s have a look at how acrylic compares to other popular alcove bathtub materials such as cast iron and fiberglass. When making your decision, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each material and consider factors such as the installation process, durability, maintenance, and cost.

Bathtub MaterialWeightPriceDurabilityHeat RetentionMaintenance
AcrylicLightweight$$Reinforced with fiberglass for durabilityModerateEasy to clean and maintain
Cast IronHeavy$$$Highly durable and long-lastingGreat at retaining heatLess prone to scratches than other materials
FiberglassLightweight$Less durable, more prone to surface damageLess effective at retaining heatMay not wear as well over time


One of the main advantages of these tubs is their affordability. In comparison to other materials, such as cast iron or copper, acrylic tubs tend to be more budget-friendly. They offer a long lifespan, with many lasting anywhere from 10-15 years, depending on the amount of use and care. Over time, the acrylic surface may show signs of wear, such as staining, scratching, and denting. 

While they may not have the weighty, luxurious feel of a cast iron tub or the timelessly beautiful appearance of a copper bathtub, acrylic alcove tubs offer a well-rounded package that’s tough to beat. They strike a great balance between affordability, durability, and ease of installation, making them an excellent choice for many homeowners.

Cast Iron Alcove Bathtubs

Cast iron alcove bathtubs are a classic choice that brings a sense of elegance and tradition to your bathroom. These bathtubs are made from heavy-duty cast iron and coated with a layer of porcelain enamel, making them highly durable and long-lasting.

Cast iron tubs are excellent at retaining heat, which will keep your bathwater warm for an extended period. However, their heavy weight makes them more challenging to install and may require reinforced flooring support.

Fiberglass Alcove Tubs

Fiberglass alcove tubs, also known as FRP (fiberglass-reinforced plastic) tubs, are another option for homeowners. They are lightweight and easier to install compared to cast iron alcove tubs. Fiberglass tubs are relatively affordable and available in various shapes and styles, making them a versatile choice for any bathroom design.

However, there are a few downsides to choosing a fiberglass alcove tub. These tubs can be prone to scratching and staining, and they may not retain heat as well as cast iron or acrylic options. Fiberglass tubs might not be as durable as other materials, potentially leading to a shorter lifespan.

Why Bathtub Weight Matters

White alcove bathtub with stone tile shower. Cupboard around the corner of the tub.

A tub that is very heavy will require more people to ship to your door, move into your home, and install. It will cost you more, as you will need to install more floor joists to support the weight of your full tub when placing a heavy tub on an upper floor or patio.

Compared to other tub materials, acrylic is in the middle in terms of weight, making it sturdy yet easy to install.

This table shows the average weight for popular alcove tubs in a standard size. Remember that the weight can vary depending on the specific design and thickness of the bathtub. However, this table provides a general idea of the weight differences between the three materials.

MaterialAverage Weight of Empty Tub
Fiberglass45-50 pounds (20-23 kg)
Acrylic70-80 pounds (31-36 kg)
Cast Iron320 pounds (145 kg)

Our Top Pick: Acrylic Alcove Bathtub

If you want an acrylic alcove bathtub that will match your modern style and won’t hurt your pocketbook, this just may be the one.

aqua eden

Kingston Brass Aqua Eden Alcove Tub

Excellent price. High gloss.

This modern alcove bathtub offers great quality for the price. The non-porous, glossy finish on this bathtub makes it easy to clean and maintain. Plus, the sheen of the gloss will look extra sharp in any bathroom.

Made with lightweight acrylic, this tub is very easy to install. The tub comes with an attached apron that will prevent water from leaking under the bathtub. 

This tub does come with leveling feet. However, you may want to add mortar beneath the tub for extra stability. 

Acrylic Alcove Tubs: A Well-Rounded Choice

If you’re in the market for a new bathtub, don’t overlook the potential benefits of an acrylic alcove tub. With its combination of affordability, practicality, and a range of design options, you just might find that it’s the perfect fit for your bathroom renovation project.

Tags: acrylic, alcove

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