Please forgive the quick sketch for the concept, but I'm wondering if the following is prohibited by code, or failing at that, a bad idea in general. I have a small (6'8" x 9'3") bathroom that needs to be renovated. Since there is only one bathroom in the house I've been told that having at least one bathtub is mandatory for resale purposes, but I would like to have a walk-in shower that does not require stepping over a tub wall to enter. Can an alcove (or another option) tub be installed in such a way that most of the tub is behind a wall, or is this prohibited by code?

Stall shower next to alcove bathtub

  • If you're concerned about resale value, I'd do a single tub in that space. Doing something unusual like this takes up too much space and would cause many buyers to go elsewhere. – BMitch Jan 28 '13 at 14:47
  • @BMitch - Stepping over a tub on a regular basis cases issues for my knee so I'm trying to avoid anything that aggravates it too much. – anonymous Jan 28 '13 at 15:35

Alcove tubs are designed with flanges, or lips, on the 2 short ends plus one of the long ends. The purpose of these flanges is to create an edge that the tile and backer board should cover, ensuring that water drips on the wall land on the tub.

Your design won't suit an alcove tub.

However, you can install a 'stand-alone' tub and use a tile gasket seal around the edges that are to be water tight. The gasket is a clay like substance. You put the gasket in place and mold it to fit, then drop the backerboard on top of it to create a water tight seal between wall and tub. Once the backerboard is water proofed you are good to go.

That said - the layout will be very awkward for getting into and out of the tub with this design. I'd encourage you to reconsider.

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    The other problem with this design is that it is hard to adjust the water temp and fill the tub without being in it already. – auujay Jan 28 '13 at 15:10
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    One layout that might be a bit harder to draw up was pointed out to me by someone, basically you would have that back wall done to be waterproof (semi-wetroom, IIRC) and then would just enter the shower to adjust and enter the tub. You need a different tub style, but would something like that work? – anonymous Jan 28 '13 at 15:37
  • If you're opening up the walls anyway (and you will be if you put in a new tub) then you can move the faucet to a more convenient location. – The Evil Greebo Jan 28 '13 at 15:52
  • If I'm understanding you correctly, how about simply omitting the wall between the shower and the tub? Or, for that matter, having a drain pan in a large enough area of the floor to catch any water that leaves the shower area or tub? – supercat Nov 13 '15 at 4:25

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