How to Buy the Best Drop In Bathtub 2023

How to Buy the Best Drop In Bathtub 2023

Are you thinking of buying a drop in bathtub but not sure where to start? Look no further than Malibu Home, the premier provider of luxury made-to-order bathtubs for homeowners, contractors, and designers. With a wide variety of drop in tubs to choose from, including soakers, whirlpool systems, and air jet systems – made in every conceivable style, shape, and size - we have everything you need to create your dream bathroom. Chatting online with a bathtub expert will get your remodeling project off to the right start and ordering from our website is always breeze. Let’s start with answering the big question.

What exactly is a drop in bathtub?

A drop in bathtub is a bathtub that has a finished rim or lip on all sides, but yet the sides of the bathtub are unfinished - allowing it to sit inside of and be secured to a finished structure referred to as a surround. Your contractor builds this surround and finishes it with a deck and side material of your choosing (such as tile or stone). This design allows you to simply ‘drop in’ your bathtub into the structure, obscuring the sides of the bathtub completely by the surround, so only the rim and interior of the bathtub remain visible.

Malibu Home Westport Drop In Bathtub

What is the difference between an Alcove tub and a Drop In Tub?

An alcove tub is designed to be installed near or against one, two, or most commonly - three bathroom walls. Technically an alcove tub is referring to the location of the bathtub installation, such as a walled recess in your bathroom – and is not a bathtub type. Alcove tubs can necessitate a specific requirement known as a tile flange IF the tub is touching a bathroom wall. A tile flange is a small raised lip on the bathtub rim which after installation sits behind the wall, thus helping to stop water intrusion. Our drop in tubs can have a custom tile flange ordered as an add-on accessory at the time of order if the tub is going to placed touching any walls.

We offer a very specific tub type we call a Skirted Bathtub – which is the most common tub type used in an alcove installation. A skirted tub does not need an enclosure and thus is not a drop in tub. A skirted tub is designed to have 3 sides up against the alcove bathroom walls with one finished side (called the skirt) facing the bathroom.

Malibu Home Bondi Skirted Alcove Bathtub
Malibu Home Fairfield Drop In Bathtub

Therefore, a drop in tub differs from an alcove tub or a skirted tub in that it can be installed anywhere in the bathroom, as it’s set into a framed enclosure or platform built to house the tub. This structure could be in the middle of the bathroom, or it could be near or up against a bathroom wall. Get creative with your bathroom remodel and discuss with your contractor. We are always here to answer questions.

How much does it cost to buy a drop in tub?

The cost of a drop in bathtub can vary greatly depending on the size and style you choose. At Malibu Home, our drop in tubs range from $1,500 for a basic soaking tub and up to $4,000 for a large combination tub which includes a whirlpool and an air jet system. Shipping is Free! Our tubs are quality built with industry leading acrylic thickness and backing making for a serious tub built to last. Those cheap drop in tubs you see on the internet (which are often made overseas), guess what – the product price speaks for itself.

How are drop in tubs measured?

Drop in tubs are typically measured by their length, width, and depth. Make sure to measure your bathroom space carefully before selecting a tub to ensure it will fit properly. Remember the old saying “measure twice, cut once”. That adage applies to buying a bathtub as well.

What is the standard size drop in tub?

The standard size for a drop-in bathtub is 60 inches long by 32 inches wide. That is the most common bathtub being taken out and a new one put back in during a bathroom remodel. However, here at Malibu home we offer an extensive range of sizes starting at 42” round tubs, 48” square tubs, 54” small rectangular tubs, all the way up to 72”, 81” and 84” large drop in tubs with a huge variety of shapes and sizes in-between.

Malibu Home Drop In Bathtubs Round Oval Square Rectangle

What shapes are drop in tubs made?

Rectangular bathtubs are hands down the most common shape and offer ample space for soaking. They are also the most versatile and can fit in most bathroom designs or remodels. But, oval drop in tubs are also perfect for creating a relaxing and spa-like feeling in your own home. Malibu Home also offers unique and popular shapes like 48” x 48” square, 59” x 59” triangular, and 42” x 42" round and 60” x 60” round.

How do you replace a drop-in tub?

Replacing a drop-in bathtub involves removing the old tub and installing the new one in its place. It's important to hire a professional contractor or plumber for this job to ensure it is done safely and correctly.

Is a drop-in tub cheaper than freestanding?

Generally speaking, freestanding bathtubs tend to be more expensive than drop-in bathtubs. At Malibu Home our Freestanding bathtubs are works of art, made with different materials and extensive hand labor and thus are more expensive than our drop in tubs.

When should you use a drop-in tub?

A drop-in bathtub is ideal for those who want to create an elevated look with tile or stone for their bathroom without breaking the bank. They also work well for those who prefer the comfort of soaking in deeper water compared to freestanding bathtubs as the surround can be built taller. We offer a Japanese inspired round deep drop in soaking tub at 31” deep.

Is a 60 inch tub really 60 inches?

Yes! A 60-inch bathtub refers to its length from end-to-end.

How do you secure a drop-in tub?

Malibu Home drop in tubs are designed to be secured to the sub floor with construction adhesive on the base of the adjustable leveling feet before being surrounded by tile or other finishing materials. Due to the structural integrity of our tubs a mortar bed is no longer needed under our bathtubs. Malibu Home drop in bathtubs are designed to take the weight of the water from the feet and the rim or lip of our tubs should barely be kissing the finished deck surface (not supported by).

How deep is a good soaking tub?

A good soaking tub should be at least 14-15 inches deep to allow for full body immersion.

What is the difference between drop-in and undermount tub?

An undermount bathtub is referring to the finished installation look rather than a tub type. Essentially an undermount tub is a drop in tub that has stone or tile placed directly over the rim or edge of the bathtub thus creating a beautiful edgeless bathtub. All that is visible is the interior of the tub, not the top edge. This is in contrast to the typical drop-in installation where the rim of the tub is resting on top of the finished surface.

Undermount Tub Example

In conclusion, drop in bathtubs offer a wide variety of sizes and styles and thus are most often used to remodel bathrooms as the choices are broad. We suggest buying drop in bathtub from a retailer with an extensive selection so you can find just what you need and importantly, will deliver a quality tub. Secondarily, make sure your technical questions get answered - and download a specification sheet for your contractor or plumber to view before purchase. For more information on buying the best bathtub for your needs check out our bathtub buying guide. And when you're ready to make your purchase, trust Malibu Home for all your luxury made-to-order bathtub needs!

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