Investing in a new bath will not only give your bathroom a fresh new look but it will also transform your daily ritual into a relaxing retreat that soothes and unwinds you at the end of the day.
The bath is often the main focal point of the bathroom so you need to consider carefully the sort of style, shape and material you want. Usually it's the size and shape of the room that dictates what sort of bath you buy and if you're lucky enough to have a large space to play with, you can take your pick from a wide range of options including luxury freestanding baths and circular tubs with plenty of room for two.
One of the main considerations is the functionality of the bath. Firstly, what do you want from the bath? Do you want to have jets for a spa-like feel or more of a traditional claw foot bath to suit your older property? Baths can be made in various materials including steel and acrylic. Acrylic baths will usually be cheaper to buy, whereas steel baths have more heat retaining properties which some people prefer.
Single Ended Baths
The term single ended bath is a bit confusing. Don’t all bathtubs have to have two ends? Single-ended simply means the waste and overflow position is located at one end, rather than in the middle. It also tends to mean that one side has a slope, and the other end (the one with the overflow and waste holes) has a steeper side, ideally suited for showering as you can get nice and close to the wall.
The usual/most common size of single-ended baths is 1700 x 700mm, although you can easily find a variety of single-ended baths in the following sizes:
A long soak in the bath is a relaxing experience, so why enjoy it alone? Double-ended baths are great for use by two people, or perhaps more often by a just the one person who wants a bit more space. They also look more symmetrical with the central waste and overflow position.
Why not forego a set of conventional bath taps and fill your double-ended bath with an overflow bath filler controlled by a shower valve (as in the picture above). To find out more, have a look at Overflow Fillers: An Alternative Way to Fill Your Bath.
The Shower Bath is very popular, most likely because Britain's bathrooms are notoriously small, and this type of bath cleverly provides the relaxation of a soak in the tub with the more practical side of showering.
Some shower baths have an integrated shelf which does an excellent job of both saving water and providing an area for all of your shampoos, conditioners and body lotions.
Traditionally, shower baths are talked about as being either L or P shaped, which attributes to the square and clean cut look or the gently sloped curve. However shower baths can also be created by adding a shower screen to a straight single or double ended bath, thus making shower baths suitable for all sizes of bathroom.
Traditional Roll Top Baths
A roll top bath is a freestanding bath with edges which curve at the top, providing a distinctive rounded effect around the edge of the tub. Many people think that the look of a roll top bath is sleek and very classic; these tubs often appear in restored historic homes and period designs.
Alternatively, they can also be featured in more edgy modern design schemes, in which case they may be supported by cradles or raised on a dais for a very distinctive look. There is something slightly indulgent but thoroughly deserved about sinking into a roll top bath and letting your cares dissolve with the bubbles.
Modern Freestanding Baths
Freestanding baths are becoming more popular due to the fantastic design statement they make; only these baths can give you that elegant, sophisticated feel like you are in a retreat or an expensive day spa.
They work best in larger bathrooms where this is plenty of space for you to walk around the tub, and they offer you the opportunity to place your bath anywhere in your bathroom, while making an impact on anyone who steps foot through the door.
The shape of your bathroom and overall size will play a large role in determining which of the freestanding baths is the right option for you. Although contemporary freestanding baths are available in a choice of stylish colours to complete the entire picture, many homes choose the traditional white colour, as it is easier to add colour though your towels, blinds and accessories than to work with a set colour theme in your bathroom.
In a whirlpool bath, water is drawn from the bath and forced back in through whirlpool jets. The result is a powerful, invigorating effervescence throughout the water, also known as hydrotherapy.
There are three significant benefits to whirlpool baths. Firstly, heat in the form of warm water raises the body temperature allowing blood vessels to dilate, resulting in increased circulation, allowing aching and sore muscles to heal.
Secondly, buoyancy supports your body weight and relieves the pressures on your muscles and joints, helping relaxation.
Lastly, the massage effect of mixing air and water and dispersing it across areas of your body, gives a gentle deep massage or an invigorating pulsing effect depending upon your adjustment of the controls.
Corner baths can bring a touch of style and luxury to any bathroom, but choosing the right bath for your room can be tricky. How do you choose a bath that will work for you? It’s often said that corner baths are space-saving; more accurately, they don’t require the long wall space that straight baths do, and so can be tucked into corners where baths would traditionally not fit. This can be particularly useful if you’re creating a new bathroom from a room that isn’t the usual long, thin bathroom shape. Corner baths typically use more hot water than their straight-sided equivalents, so it’s important to be sure that your hot-water system can cope.
So how do you decide which bath is right for you?
First of all, measure your bathroom. Work out how much wall space you have available for you bath, and remember to allow space around the bath for other fittings. Be realistic about the size of bath your room can accommodate: it’s better to get something slightly smaller and have it look less cramped with more floor space.
Baths in the UK are available in a number of materials, each with their own specific attributes.
Acrylic has many benefits and is the most popular material for modern baths. A decent acrylic bath is strong, lightweight, cheap, warm to the touch and easy to clean. A heavy-duty acrylic bath incorporates added layers of resin reinforcement underneath the acrylic layer making it stronger – a good option if you intend to use it to shower in as well.
Steel is probably the next most common bath material. Manufacturers such as Bette and Kaldewei make superb quality steel baths that are stronger and more durable than even heavy-duty acrylic baths, resistant to chemicals and UV light, and with the same enamel finish as the toilet and basin in your bathroom. They are usually quite a bit more expensive, but certainly something to consider if you have the budget to spend and want something that will last a lifetime.
Cast iron baths are extremely heavy and very strong. Cast iron was once a very common material for manufacturing baths, so you will often find them in bathrooms that haven’t been renovated for a while. If you are lucky enough to already have a cast iron bath, consider recycling it by getting it reconditioned so it looks as good as new. A new cast iron bath will often set you back many hundreds or thousands of pounds.
What is the 'standard' bath size?
The ‘standard’ bath size, if there is such a thing, is 1700mm in length and 700mm wide. However nowadays it is possible to find the right bathtub for every bathroom due to a huge range of size combinations.
In general terms, a ‘small bath’ is considered to be one that is 1400-1500mm in length; and a ‘large bath’ is one that measures as 1800mm and upwards. In terms of width, a wide bath is considered to be any bath with a diameter of 800mm and above. It is possible to purchase a bath that is as little as 1200 or 1300mm in length, although you will certainly sacrifice a significant amount of practicality.
Ready to start shopping? We have a large number of baths to suit every pocket and room size.