Designing a Custom Drop-in Tub Enclosure

The information in this article applies to:


I need to create a tub deck surround for a drop-in tub. How can I achieve this?

Drop-in tub located in bathroom


In Chief Architect, we have a number of Drop-In Tub symbols that can be placed in plans, and a number of tools to create a surround. In this article, we will create an enclosure using Half-Walls and a Custom Countertop.

To place a drop-in tub

  1. Navigate to View> Library Browser  if the library isn’t already open, and browse to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Architectural> Fixtures> Bathtubs> Drop-In Tubs.
  2. Select one of the drop-in tubs, then click once in the plan to place the selected tub.

    Plan view of a tub placed in the room

  3. Keeping the tub selected, click the Open Object edit tool, and in the Fixture Specification dialog that displays, take note of the size and elevation of the tub, then click OK.

    This would also be a good time to make changes to the size and elevation of the tub if different values are desired.

    General panel of the Fixture Specification dialog

    In this example, we are using the Standard Tub from the library and will be using the default values.

To create the enclosure

  1. Navigate to Build> Wall> Straight Half-Wall  from the menu, then draw an interior rectangle that will serve as the supportive enclosure for the tub.

    Half walls drawn surrounding the tub

    Note: If you have difficulty drawing half-walls directly beside other walls, try drawing them in a separate area of the room, away from other walls, then move them into place using their Move edit handles.

    Moving walls using the move edit handle

  2. Using the Select Objects tool, select one of the half-walls, click the Open Object edit tool, and in the Railing Specification dialog that displays:

    Newels/Balusters panel where the height of the half-wall can be set

  3. Perform this same procedure for the three remaining walls.
  4. We are now ready to construct the top surface of the enclosure. Select Build> Cabinet> Custom Countertop from the menu, then click and drag to create a rectangle that encompasses the tub and the four half-walls.

    Creating a custom countertop

  5. Once the countertop is placed, select it using the Select Objects tool, click the Open Object edit tool, and in the Custom Countertop Specification dialog that displays:

    Set the thickness, height, and position of the countertop

    • On the General panel, uncheck Set Thickness From Cabinet and specify a desired Thickness.

      In this example, a Thickness of 1 1/2″ is set.

    • Uncheck Set Height From Cabinet and specify the Finished Floor to Top/Bottom value.

      In this example, the Elevation Reference is set to From Finished Floor, and the Finished Floor to Bottom value is set to 15 3/4″.

    • Change the material of the countertop on the Materials panel.
    • Click OK to confirm the changes and close the dialog.
  6. Navigate to Build> Cabinet> Custom Counter Hole  and create a hole that spans the width and depth of the tub.

    Creating a custom counter hole

  7. Lastly, add a faucet, along with any additional fixtures and accessories from the Library Browser , then take a Camera view to see the results.

    Camera view of a custom tub enclosure

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