Home & Garden

Ask a plumber: Don’t make a flub when choosing a tub


Q: We’re planning a new bathroom remodel and want a separate bathtub area. To help us lay out the floor plan and fixture locations, can you please inform us about different style bathtubs and how they are installed?

Henry, South Carolina

A: Even though removing an existing tub to install a larger shower stall seems to be popular, many homeowners still want to include a bathtub in their bathroom remodeling projects. Basically, bathtubs can fall into four different categories:

▪ Alcove tubs: This is the standard three-wall install with a finished front apron built into the tub. A shower setup is often included with an alcove tub and is often called a tub/shower unit.

▪ Drop-in or under-mount tubs: These tubs need to be framed in place, usually with four knee walls surrounding the tub. Drop-in models have finished rims and sit on top of the deck, under-mounts are usually flush with the finished deck.

▪ Freestanding tubs: A freestanding tub is self-supporting with all sides finished. Because they can be placed just about anywhere in the bathroom, freestanding tubs are often used as a decorative focal point.

▪ Corner tub: If you absolutely need to put a bathtub in a corner, these specialized tubs have cornered the market!

Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call” and the host of TV and Internet shows. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com.