Bathtub terminology

If you're choosing a new bathtub, its imporant to understand the general terminology used and what they mean. This will help reduce the chances of you making costly mistakes. Listed below, you'll find an A to Z list.


Acrylic - Refers to the type of material used in a tubs contruction. This is a popular choice thanks to its flexibility.

ADA - Products that meet the criteria of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is all about improving accessibility for people with mobility issues.

Alcove - Also referred to as recessed. This style is commonly installed in a position where there are three walls surrounding it, or a cavity.

American Standard - A prominent manufacturer producing a wide range of different tubs.

Apron - If you want to install an alcove style option, the apron refers to the skirted or finished side at the front.


Back jets - See whirlpool. These are powerful jets that target the lumbar region.

Bath pillow - A cushioned support for the head and neck region.


Cast iron - Another material used that is well known for its durability. The go to option for people not wanting to find replacements every couple of years.

Chromatherapy - The use of lighting in differing colors designed to maximize relaxation. Read more about it here.

Clawfoot - Refers to the feet or stands that hold the bath up. These are typically crafted on the freestanding variants.


Drop in - Shares some similarities with undermount styles, the main difference being they are dropped in a decking area from above rather than below.


Freestanding - As the name would suggest, freestanding types are stand alone and not attached to any walls. These can also go by the name of soaking tubs.


Gallons - You will see us use this term in our reviews quite often. It should give you an idea of how much water it can hold. Manufacturers also use the term maximum fill for this purpose.


KOHLER - A popular brand in the industry producing tubs, sinks, faucets, toilets and much more.


Overflow - This is more of a safety feature than anything, built to prevent the water from reaching the top and overflowing. It will drain the water once it reaches a certain level.


Skirted - The finished side generally found in 3 wall or alcove implementations.

Soaking - These are often built to hold larger quantities of water and are deeper than your average product for full body immersion.


Undermounted - A unit that gets installed from underneath. Usually fitted beneath some decking.


Whirlpool - Mimics a lot of the settings you find in hot tubs. Various jets at different locations are built in for added comfort and relaxation for the user.

Woodbridge - A company which produces tubs, faucets, toilets, and much more.

Have a question or want to learn more? Check out the F.A.Q page. We also offer a number of guides which can be found on the sidebar menu. These cover both basic and advanced features such as what material you should pick, and more.