8 Different Types of Baths & Bathtub Styles

Are you looking for a way to improve your bathroom? There are many ways that you can do this, from installing new tiles to changing the color of your paint.

One thing that may not have crossed your mind is what type of bathtub or shower you should install in order to get the most out of it. Let’s take a look at three different types and what they offer.

Types of baths
Bathtub (Pixabay)

Types of Baths or Bathtubs

1. Clawfoot Bath

A clawfoot bathtub is not only a gorgeous addition to any bathroom, but it also provides many health benefits!

A clawfoot bathtub can be good for anyone who’s been diagnosed with arthritis as the large step up from a regular tub allows easier access.

Clawfoot baths are also helpful for pregnant women because they allow for more flexibility in how people enter and exit the water.

Another benefit of a clawfoot is that it takes up less space than a standard tub so they’re often used in smaller bathrooms.

Esthetics aside, what truly makes this type of bathing experience special is that you can enjoy all the benefits that come with traditional Turkish baths – soaking in hot water for an extended period of time has many therapeutic effects!

Clawfoot bathtubs come in a variety of styles, such as slipper tubs with a high, sloped end for added comfort, as well as double-ended tubs with sloped ends on both ends (typical tubs have one end that is ‘flat’).

The pedestal bath, which sits on a pedestal instead of on a clawed foot, is another variation on the clawfoot bath.

2. Alcove Baths

Alcove tubs are tubs that are encircled on three sides by walls. An integral tub apron is then used to cover the front side.

There are both right and left-handed drains are available, and the one you choose depends on the layout of your bathroom.

An Alcove Bathtub is primarily used for a couple to simultaneously bathe with views of the surrounding mountains.

The word “alcove” means a recessed space in an external wall.

Actually, I think this one goes even further back and etymologically speaking comes from Latin Alcova – ‘bed-chamber, sleeping apartment’, meaning part of the house set apart for sleep or sex – but that’s a more literary sense.

Anyway, that basically defines what this bathtub is: there are stone walls and it frames lakeside views of snow-covered mountains in minutes. For this reason, they are also called recessed baths.

3. Corner Baths

A corner bathtub is a bathtub located in the corner of a bathroom. It is typically much smaller than other types of bathtubs and is often encased in another type of shelf or cabinet to disguise its presence.

The space taken up by Bathroom floor products, appliances, and furniture doesn’t have many limits, which means there’s often room left over at the edges where cabinets can be conveniently placed.

Putting tubs in these spots has been a popular option since Corner tiled showers became common fixtures too.

The only downside they have is that you’ll have to step around any clutter you might leave on the soap tray—and it will be easy for them to fall unlike against the wall-hung type.

4. Whirlpool Bath (Hot Tub)

A whirlpool bath is typically a small (personal) pool filled with water that features blowing air bubbles and ledges from which to lay back. The attraction comes from the feeling of weightlessness in the air bubbles.

The sensation arises when enough pressure is applied to create air bubbles within the bath, which then go into rotation.

This creates a current that can be felt by your body as it gets “caught up” in these rotating currents of trapped air.

The current often feels similar to floating without having to tread water or paying any effort at all on your part.

Tom’s Guide for Men recommends taking care not to use too much bubble solution while bathing, as this may result in dizziness or unnecessary annoyance.

Over the years whirlpool baths have come to be known as jacuzzis.

5. Walk-In Bath

A walk-in bath is an alternative to the normal bathtub, allowing people of all sizes and abilities access on their own.

Unlike traditional bathtubs that come up to a person’s waist (or chest), walk-in baths approach the height of a toilet, which allows for much greater independence in accessing it.

One can actually walk in from the doorway and use it similarly to using a standing shower.

The one universal catch is that installation requires building work changes–which often means higher prices since refinishing or working around existing structures usually can’t be done inexpensively.

The advantages are many as well, one being the lower risk of falls–especially during transfers out of bed into the accessible tub equals less injury for the elderly.

The walk-in bath is sometimes known as a gated bathtub.

6. Drop-In Bath

A drop-in bath is a type of bath with many small waterfalls set at a height that’s safe for young children and pets to play in. It can be built with natural materials or can be an artificial pool.

A drop-in bath is typically used as the centerpiece of a daycare, nursery, preschool, or elementary school bathroom. It also frequently features prominently in private homes where there are young children.

The idea behind these baths is to provide entertaining splashing areas that are low enough for kids and their friends to stand up and interact without any danger of slipping under the surface.

Moreover, they provide the opportunity for adults to safely engage the younger ones without worry about immersing themselves too deeply in water and drowning.

7. Freestanding Bath

A freestanding bath is a type of bath that doesn’t require any installation work. They have the ability to hold water and their shape comes from their architectural design.

For example, a rectangular container, cleverly supporting itself with two strong supports. Just fill it up with water like that and you’re good to go!

Freestanding baths are becoming more popular in homes as they carry no plumbing costs in addition to being an attractive home improvement idea for those who rent or buy property temporary tenancy agreements.

8. Soaking Bath

A soaking bath is a type of bath that’s similar to a hot tub, but instead of jets to massage your muscles and cleanse your skin, it has layers or shelves in the water that raise you up out of the water and keep you from moving at all.

A popular tonic for sickness put together by Native American healers would involve a person sitting in their own urine (extensively heated) for several hours until it was too cold, before being covered with pine boughs and left alone to sweat into sleep.

That person would then wake up feeling cleansed. One such remedy also called for two handfuls of salt put into a basin or pot of boiling water.

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Types of Bathtub Materials

Bathtubs can be constructed using different materials. The common materials used in constructing bathtubs are:

Cast Iron

Cast iron is a very durable material. It resists corrosion from water and many acids, which makes it perfect for any type of outdoor use, including in or near a bathtub.

A cast iron bathtub is one that is made of porcelain bonded with iron and then enameled to protect it from chipping. As a result of the enamel coating, the bathtub is extremely sturdy and resistant to chipping.

It is extremely resistant to scratches and strong blows due to its iron properties.

Because cast iron warms up naturally, this bathtub will maintain water temperatures for considerably longer, providing a more enjoyable bathing experience.


Enamel is an excellent material for bathtubs, albeit not the most durable. If you plan to replace the tub at some point, then I would recommend a more sturdy material like porcelain or plastic.

Choose enamel if you have no intention of replacing it in the future and want something that will be easy to clean and keep looking good as it ages.

A tub that was initially made in steel is coated with several layers of enamel or porcelain. Because steel tubs are lighter than cast iron, they are easier to install and take less time to finish.

If the tub is cleaned properly and dried after use, the luster from the enamel sheen will always come through. The disadvantage of an enamel-coated tub is that it is susceptible to flaking and cracking over time.

When steel is exposed to the elements, rust appears.


Acrylic bathtubs are composed of a series of acrylic layers, which are heated and shaped to form the tub.

Safety-coated polyester resin is used for forwarding protection against stains and scratching, while heavier laminate coatings are applied on the inside and outside surfaces to provide enhanced strength.

Some common benefits of having an acrylic bathtub include its minimal maintenance cost (no need to refinish), good insulation qualities keeping it warm in winter and cold in summer, very easy to clean with soap or other cleaners (usually only needs cleaning once every two months).

It’s also resistant to mold growth due to its high level of water resistance as well as being durable enough not to scratch or mar easily.

Solid Acrylic will hold up much better than other materials and are typically backed by a manufacturer warranty. Some have a lifetime warranty.

This is because acrylic tubs are not susceptible to the warping and cracking that occurs in plywood, fiberglass, or tile-on-thick-fiberglass tubs.


Fiberglass bathtubs are constructed of the same material that’s used to produce porcelain and cast-iron tubs. For this reason, the installation process for fiberglass is not much different than with other materials.

Fiberglass bathtubs should be installed by a professional contractor. Suffice it to say, however, that installing one is a fairly easy do-it-yourself project using basic skills in fitting pipes and bolts.

The main difference between fabricating an anchor for attaching fiberglass as opposed to any other material revolves around the proportions of thicknesses and temperatures during installation.


Glass is the most sanitary material for a bathtub because it doesn’t corrode and it prevents bacterial growth. Glass will last you a long time under these conditions as well.

However, if water has caustic chemicals or other non-noble substances like sodium hydroxide, your glass tub might not stand a chance.

Other Materials

Apart from the above-listed bathtub materials, you may also find bathtubs made of materials such as:

  • Composite material
  • Cultured solid-surface material
  • Specialty wood