Designing a Custom Drop-in Tub Enclosure

Reference Number: KB-01264
Last Modified: December 18, 2018

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


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.

To place the drop-in tub

  1. In the Core Catalogs, go to Architectural> Fixtures> Bathtubs> Drop-In Tubs.

  2. Select one of the drop-in tubs, and then click once in the plan to place the selected tub.

  3. With the drop-in tub selected, click the Open Symbol edit tool to open the Symbol Specification dialog:

    • Select the Options panel and choose the Inserts into Countertop option under the Special Placement category.

    • Hit OK to confirm the change.

  4. Keeping the tub selected, click the Open Object edit tool.

  5. In the Fixture Specification dialog, enter a Finished Floor to Top height for the tub, and then click OK.

    In this example, a Finished Floor to Top value of 24" was used.

To create the surround

The surround in this example is created using a simple base cabinet that has a custom countertop modified to fit over the tub.

  1. Place a base cabinet in the plan by selecting Build> Cabinet> Base Cabinet from the menu, and then click in front of the tub.

  2. Select the base cabinet, click the Open Object  edit tool, and on the General panel make the following adjustments:


    • Enter in a Height of 24".

    • Enter in a Width of 72".

    • Enter in a Depth of 2".

    • Enter in a Backsplash Height of 0".

    • Enter in a Toe Kick Height of 0".

  3. On the Front/Sides/Back panel of the Base Cabinet Specification dialog:

    • Delete the drawer from the cabinet by selecting it in the preview and choosing the Delete button.

    • Select the cabinet doors and use the Item Type drop down menu to change them to a Door - Panel.

    • With the cabinet doors still selected, click Split Vertical. Select one of the newly split doors and click Split Vertical again.

    • Select Layout - Horizontal then click Equalize.

    • Lastly, select each Separation Vertical and click the Delete button to remove them before clicking OK to apply the changes to the Base Cabinet.

  4. With the base cabinet still selected, use its center square edit handle to move it flush with the side of the drop-in tub, and use its side edit handles to expand its width further if needed to fit within the surround's space.

  5. With the base cabinet still selected, click the Generate Custom Countertop  edit button to generate and select a custom countertop above the base cabinet.

  6. With the newly generated custom countertop selected, click and drag the countertop edge closest to the tub so that it covers the areas around the tub..

  7. Use CAD> Boxes> Rectangular Polyline  to draw a polyline tightly surrounding the drop-in tub.

  8. Select the newly created rectangular polyline, and click the Convert Polyline  edit button, select Countertop and then click OK.

  9. In the Custom Countertop Specification dialog that appears, put a check next to Hole in Countertop and then click OK.

  10. Now create a Full Camera  to examine the results.