The Ultimate Bath Buying Guide
When you’re creating a new bathroom or renovating your existing one, choosing the right bath for your space couldn’t be more important. Your bath is often your room’s centrepiece, and with so many attractive yet practical designs available to choose from, it can prove challenging to know which one to opt for.
Adding a bathtub to your bathroom or ensuite can transform its appearance, and it may even add extra value to the property. But if you make the wrong choice, you could end up making a costly error.
With this in mind, we’ve created the ultimate bath buying guide so you can be as well-informed as possible about the different types and sizes of bath available on the market today, and some top tips to help you make the right choice for your needs.
The Different Types Of Bath
These days, there are a wealth of different types of bath to choose from, and inevitably, some are more appropriate for certain spaces than others. Here is an overview of the different kinds of bathtub you can choose from for your home.
Standard Straight Baths
When you think about a bathtub, it’s likely that a straight bath will come straight to mind. This traditional bath is ideal for a standard sized bathroom where achieving a streamlined and classic look is key.
Standard baths come in a choice of dimensions to suit the needs of different spaces, and with their straight sides, they’re ideal for narrow rooms. A single-ended standard bath allows comfortable bathing for one person, making them an ideal choice for either a traditional or contemporary bathroom.
Corner baths have been popular for some time thanks to their space-saving design. Ideal for use in compact spaces, corner bath tubs take up less floor space but still provide all the benefits of a standard bath.
With both left-hand and right-hand designs to choose from, you’ll easily find the right model for your space.
Although at one time whirlpool baths could only be found in a luxury hotel, these days they’re accessible to everyone thanks to their reasonable pricing. Offering the ideal spa-like relaxation solution in the comfort of your own home, a whirlpool bath may come in several designs including freestanding and corner models.
There are different jet types too, including air jets, water jets, and a combination of both, so you can enjoy the best possible experience.
Roll Top Baths/Freestanding Baths
A roll top bath is an elegant and sophisticated bathing solution that gives any bathroom a touch of vintage appeal. With its round frame or rim, it conjures up images of a classic retro space, and thanks to the stylish accessories that go with this tub type, it’s easy to create a glamorous and luxurious appearance in your home.
Roll top baths are often raised above the floor on decorative feet, although some lie flush with the floor too. Either way, they stand alone which is why they’re also known as a freestanding bath.
With their curving edges, they facilitate a more comfortable lounging and soaking experience and with their ability to be placed anywhere in the room they can create a dramatic statement.
A steel bath is durable, strong, and heavy, coming with a range of enamel coatings to offer greater robustness and longer retention of heat.
Highly resistant to scratches and breakage, a steel enamel bath tub guarantees a long lifespan, and with impressive stability and excellent hygiene properties, it’s a great choice for any home. Steel baths also come in a choice of sizes and shapes to suit every taste and space.
Double Ended Baths
Choosing between single and double ended baths is often dictated by the size of your bathroom, but if you have a large room to fill, a double ended bath is a great choice as it allows two people to bathe simultaneously thanks to its two ends that enable the baths to face each other as they soak.
If you desire the most luxurious and relaxing bathing experience, a double ended bath is ideal for you. It’s also a great choice for families who have young children since the extra space is perfect for accommodating little ones.
A shower bath is an ideal choice if you have no room in your bathroom for a separate shower cubicle. Available in an L shape, a P shape, as a straight bath, or even as a freestanding tub with a shower ring, there are shower baths to suit every taste and space, and thanks to their versatility, they give users the option of either bathing, showering, or both!
Usually installed against one wall with a glass screen at one end and a fixed showerhead, a shower bath is a convenient choice in compact rooms.
Baths come in a choice of materials, so you have several options to pick from. Here are some of the most popular:
Acrylic, Lucite acrylic, or plastic bath tubs are a classic choice for any bathroom. Easy to clean, they are naturally warm, and they resist chemicals and high temperatures well. As they are moulded into gentle and soft contours, bathtubs made from acrylic have smooth edges for better safety in the event of a fall or slip.
A steel bath with a coating of porcelain enamel is a great choice if you’re on a tighter budget and want a solid and sturdy tub. Although there are some drawbacks of choosing a steel bath, such as reduced heat retention, a steel tub is strong and long-lasting.
If you’re looking for a lower maintenance, modern solution for your bath tub, a solid surface/Corian bath is a perfect choice. Available in a wide variety of beautiful shades and colours, this type of bath is smooth, virtually seamless, and contemporary in appearance for a stylish and easy to care for option.
One of the most important considerations when choosing the right bath for you is its size. Contrary to some people’s beliefs, baths come in several different sizes, so you need to measure your space carefully to ensure you get the right sized tub for your room.
Standard Bath Size
A standard sized bath is 1700mm x 700mm. If you’re looking for a straight bath for your room, or are replacing your existing fixture, a standard size is probably the right option for you. Perfect for most average-sized spaces, a standard bath size is large enough to facilitate comfortable soaking without taking up too much of your floor area.
Small baths, sometimes known as sit-in baths, are designed for use in compact bathrooms where there isn’t sufficient floor space to accommodate a standard tub, or in any bathroom where you want the room to look more spacious than it really is. A small bath can be as small as 1200mm in length, giving you enough room to sit in the water but not stretch out.
Other Bath Sizes
If you have a larger room, or awkwardly-shaped space, you may need to look for a different size of tub to accommodate your requirements. Fortunately, manufacturers have taken various needs into account and have produced a range of baths in a choice of different sizes, both large and small. You can buy baths ranging from 1400mm x 700mm to 1800mm x 800mm that can adapt to suit your needs.
What Do I Need To Consider When Choosing A Bath?
When you’re choosing the right bath for your home, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind.
Of course, you’ll need to take your space size into account and make sure that you’ve measured accurately before making your final decision, but there are more elements to consider too. Here are some of the top things to bear in mind before you make your final choice.
Who Will Be Using The Tub?
A top consideration is always going to be who is going to be using the bath tub. Do you need to accommodate several small children who all bathe together? Will the bath be used by someone with a disability or mobility issue? Will someone elderly be using the tub who could accidentally slip or fall? The answer to these questions will dictate whether you need to consider elements such as easy disability access, antislip surfaces and handgrips for your bath.
Will The Bath Be Used For Showering Too?
If you have a separate shower cubicle, there’s a good chance that you won’t need to consider a shower bath. You also may not want to invest in one if you hate showering and only ever take baths.
However, in many cases, since showering is such a convenient and quick way to wash, it’s often desirable to consider a shower bath if you don’t have space for a separate shower. If you’ve decided that a shower bath is right for you, you then need to consider which style you prefer.
You may only have room for a straight shower bath, but if you have a wider room, you may want to opt for a P shaped or L shaped shower bath which gives you more room to stretch out. You may even want to consider a freestanding shower bath if you’re keen to create a luxurious look in your space.
How Often Will The Bath Be Used?
This may seem like a silly question to ask yourself, but it makes sense when you take into account the practicalities of adding a bath. Do you want your bath to be a feature in your space to make a dramatic statement, such as a freestanding bath or roll top bath? Or are you looking for something functional that will be used on a daily basis?
How Much Space Do I Have?
Even if you can physically fit a large bath in your room, you may not want to go for that option when you take into account the amount of floor space you have available for your other fixtures and fittings. Choosing the right size and shape of bath to fit your room comfortably is key so that your room doesn’t look overcrowded and remains practical to use.
What Are Your Water Usage Considerations?
Some baths use more water than others when it comes to filling the tub. A freestanding bath, for example, will require considerably more water to fill it to a comfortable level than a low volume bath. Whether you’re worried about your water bills or just want to protect the environment by conserving our natural resources, considering your water usage may be important for you.
Where Will The Taps Go?
When you’re choosing a new bath, you need to consider where you’ll be able to place the taps. For example, if you’re choosing a freestanding bath, you may need to consider the extra space for plumbing in the taps in the space around your tub.
Is It A Replacement Bath?
If you’re replacing an existing tub, it’s imperative to ensure that you’ve measured accurately to ensure that your new bath fits perfectly into the space. If you buy a tub that is too large or too small, you could be faced with complex issues when it comes to trying to fit it into your room!
What Else Will I Need?
When you’re choosing a bath tub, the decisions don’t stop there. Even once you’ve selected the ideal bath for your room and your preferences, you then need to think about what else you’re going to need to go with it.
Choosing the right bath taps, bath panels, bath waste and bath shower screens is the next step of the process to make sure that you can create a cohesive overall look for your space that perfectly complements your décor and suits your tastes.
Now that you know how to go about choosing the ideal bath for your home, it’s time to start doing your research, and picking the perfect tub for you!