How to Install a Bathtub: Installation and Materials Used

Buying and installing a tub can be challenging, especially if it is your first time to get one for your home. You need to do research various facts and make sure your prospective item has the capacity to provide for your needs.

Aside from the types and designs, you will need to learn how to install a bathtub and how it may affect you and your bathroom.

Are you ready to shop for tubs? After reading this article, you should have a better idea of what you should be looking for in a bathtub.

Different ways bathtubs can be installed

Still clueless as to how you will install your tub? Here are some ideas for you. Take a look at the bathtub styles below and how they are installed:

Freestanding installation

This type of installation does not have adjacent support structure for the tub as it sits itself on the floor. If you opt for this, you will need to locate it near the delivery and drain plumbing. Examples of this type of installation are vintage, clawfoot, deep soaker, and slipper tubs.

Alcove tub

Also called the recessed tub, this style has a rectangular shape and is installed adjacent to three walls while allowing one side for accessibility.

The drain is found either on the right or left side as you face it from its accessible side; hence its installation is called either a “right hand” or “left hand” installation. Alcove tubs may come with a standard style or differ in depth depending on the manufacturer.

Platform installation

Also known as drop-in or deck mounted, a platform tub comes with a built-up deck structure having its rim at the same level as the deck’s top. This type has one side with removable panels for plumbing and other hardware-associated purposes.

While you may opt for an alternate style, which puts the tub down into the floor with the rim flush with the floor, this type of installation is more difficult to handle, and are usually installed as a house is being built. Air and whirlpool bathtubs normally use this type of installation.

There are other types of installations that you may want to look at. Basically, the type of tub you choose dictates the type of installation. For this, you should never choose a particular bathtub type without knowing the important details, especially about plumbing and how you should install it.

As for the actual installation, you need to remember these three important steps: setting the ledger board in place, installing the plumbing system, and securing the tub.

Different bathtub materials

Once you have decided on the kind of bathtub that you want, never overlook the materials it is made of. Here are some common bathtub materials:

Cultured marble

It is a suitable material for bathtubs because it can be molded to form a specific shape. A gel coat usually covers it for durability and easy maintenance. However, it is quite brittle. You can have scratches repaired, but the cracks are irreparable.


The material is a form of plastic, which is glossy, and light in weight. It can be easily scratched but is repairable. Most air and whirlpool tubs use this material. It comes in an array of sizes and shapes.

Cast iron

It is very durable and guaranteed to last for decades. It has a porcelain enamel finish which makes it easy to maintain. However, enamel can wear through the years leaving the cast iron substrate exposed to rusting. Take note that it is quite heavy so it needs a firm structure that can hold up its weight.


A wooden bathtub looks astounding and extraordinary but it requires an excellent surface sealer to prevent leakage. Its functionality is of prime importance in choosing this material.


Tubs of this kind are made of high-performance engineered material. They have an enamel finish, are durable, can retain heat well, and weigh less than cast iron. Reported flex or creaks may be due to installation issues.

Enamel on steel

Tubs of this kind look like cast iron tubs. Their surfaces are both easy to clean and maintain. Enamel-on-steel tubs, being lighter, can easily fit any bathroom unlike the heavier cast iron tubs. Take note that the enamel is prone to scratches and the steel beneath will eventually rust.

Fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP)

Air and whirlpool tubs usually use this material. Its surface is glossy; thus, it is easy to clean. It is similar to acrylic but not as durable, and it is susceptible to scratches and cracks.

Tub materials affect the look, weight, durability, heat retention, and price of the bathtub. When choosing the right tub, it is important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each material before making your final choice.


Types, materials, installation, and a lot more—you need to educate yourself about the numerous things before you choose the right bathtub for you. It may be tiring to look through various options and specifications, but doing so can allow you to get your money’s worth.

As a consumer and a homeowner, you need to make sure that your time, effort, and money aren’t wasted. Learn how to install a bathtub and keep in mind the information discussed above, and you’ll surely arrive at the best choice.