How To Know If a Corner Bathtub Is Right For Your Bathroom

Don't think you have room for a bathtub? Well, think again. You can squeeze a corner tub into some pretty tight, awkward spaces.

Corner tubs have been around for awhile, but they aren’t exactly common. However, with more people wanting to create a spa-like bathroom in their home, a corner tub might be the best choice if space is limited. A corner tub is a great way to get the most out of your bathroom’s square footage.

What Is a Corner Tub

Like the name implies, a corner tub is a bathing vessel that fits into corners, angles or oddly-shaped spaces. “They’re used in smaller bathrooms or where floor space is limited because they improve the flow and provide more space in the center of the room,” says Michael Clark, founder of Pulled.com, a home management platform.

Though it takes advantage of otherwise unused space, there are some caveats. Corner tubs tend to need more water to fill. So if you live in an area with tight water usage restrictions, it might not be the best choice. Plus, you must make sure the beams and floor beneath the tub can hold its weight when filled with water.

Types and Styles of Corner Tubs

Corner tubs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Although commonly three- or five-sided, you can also find them in rectangle, oval, figure eight and even in the round.

Types

  • Freestanding;
  • Built-in/recessed;
  • Shower/tub combo.

Styles

  • Three-sided;
  • Five-sided;
  • Asymmetrical;
  • Soaking.

Optional Features

  • Massaging jets;
  • Seats (one-, two- or three-person);
  • Heaters;
  • Chromotherapy (colored lights to change a mood);
  • Bluetooth enabled;
  • Storage modules and shelves.

What to Consider When Shopping for a Corner Tub

If you’re thinking about buying a corner tub, these are the things you should consider:

Material

Fiberglass/acrylic is the most common material for corner tubs because it’s lightweight, moderately priced and easy to work with.

“Acrylic corner tubs are available, made of fiberglass, reinforced with sheets of acrylic,” Clark says. “The additional reinforcement provides greater durability. And because acrylic is not a porous material, it improves the overall lifespan while still being affordable.”

If you want to pay a little more, tubs of cast iron (molten iron poured into a mold) or stone resin (a mix of crushed natural stone and resin) are durable and retain heat better, keeping bath water warmer longer.

Ceramic and heavier metal (copper, enameled steel) tubs are less common but growing in popularity.

Size

Dimensions for small corner tubs are generally 48-in. x 48-in. x 18- to 21-inches. Medium-size corner bathtubs usually expand to 60 inches, and bigger corner tubs can be as large as 72 inches (six feet). The approximate water capacity:

  • 48 in. x 48 in. = 60 to 70 gallons;
  • 60 in. x 60 in. = 75 to 80 gallons;
  • 72 in. x 72 in. = 85 to 90 gallons.

As with any bathtub, before you buy, be sure everyone in your household can fit into it comfortably.

Installation

If you have intermediate to advanced plumbing and carpentry skills, it’s possible to install a corner tub yourself. If you’re not sure or relatively new to DIY home improvement, call in a professional plumber to do the job.

Note: Corner tubs, moreso for built-ins than free-standing, require more work to fit snugly into position than standard, traditional tubs.

Budget

Prices for a corner tub start at around $500. For a medium-sized tub, you’ll pay around $1,000. Adding luxury options like therapeutic jets or heaters can add another $500 or more.

Corner Tub Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Efficient use of available space;
  • Curved front (free-standing) often provides more room for bathers;
  • Design forward;
  • Customizable.

Cons

  • More complicated to install built-ins;
  • Difficult to clean, because reaching deep into the corner where dirt and soap scum tend to collect can be a challenge;
  • Could be trickier to enter and exit.

Toni DeBella
Toni DeBella is a freelance travel, lifestyle and digital content writer based in a medieval hill town in central Italy. Her work has been featured in such publications as Fodor's, The Telegraph, Walks of Italy, Italy Magazine, Frommers.com, Touring Bird (via [email protected]) and more. Most recently she authored the 2020 edition of DK Eyewitness Sicily travel guide. When Toni is not roaming around Europe, you'll find her tending her alley-side container garden or honing her clay-court tennis game.