Freestanding Baths Guide

For guaranteed glamour and traditional bathroom style, nothing does it better than a freestanding bath - the definitive statement fixture.

Baths never go out of style and can be the centrepiece of your bathroom design. One style above all others that fits this description is the freestanding bath thanks to its luxurious profile. Whether it’s a traditional or contemporary look, these baths can rejuvenate your space with a special touch. 

But just what are freestanding baths? Well, Plumbworld has made this guide to discuss everything there is to know about these beautiful bathtubs. The types of design, how to measure for one and the taps you’ll need - depending on the style you choose.

Read on to discover everything about freestanding baths…

What is a freestanding bath?

Though freestanding baths come in many different styles, the basic design principle remains the same. These are self-contained supporting baths that don’t require panels. 

Basically, a freestanding bath stands alone within your bathroom, either as a straight-to-floor style or mounted on a set of traditional chrome legs - sometimes called feet - for a period look from country and stately homes.

A freestanding bath draws the eye as a centrepiece to define your bathroom while enhancing the space around it. Due to a lack of panels holding it up, the height and space of your bathroom benefit, creating a space that’s airy with lots of light.

What are the types of freestanding baths?

Freestanding baths come in a variety of designs and shapes. You may well have the image of a freestanding bath as a vintage fixture - gold-plated taps and claw feet - straight out of a period TV drama. But not any more. 

Traditional freestanding baths are still popular, but these tubs are also available in more sleek and contemporary designs. These baths feature clean minimalist lines with modern taps and no feet.

There is a range of design options available for freestanding baths, which you can see at Plumbworld, and we’ve outlined the most popular below.

Traditional & Roll Top Freestanding Baths

The classic freestanding bath design. These are available in either single or double-ended versions, with most featuring legs and feet. The feet raise the bath up for a stunning appearance that is ideal for generating a period look.

A roll top freestanding bath differs from the classic traditional design with a curved edge along the top rim. This provides an even more traditional or vintage style that is often desired by those looking for a more luxurious bath.

Slipper Baths 

These are a specific type of traditional freestanding bath that features a raised side - sometimes even both sides, which allow for a much deeper soak. Named due to its shape - they look like slippers, these baths allow users to relax with their back and neck supported.

Being more designed around depth than length, thanks to the raised side, slipper baths are a good choice for smaller bathrooms as they don't take up as much room as regular baths. One of the most comfortable bath types, these also come in contemporary designs.

Contemporary Freestanding Baths

Don’t think that all freestanding baths are traditionally-styled, you can find a huge amount that are modern and sleek. Unlike traditional designs, contemporary freestanding baths are straight-to-floor i.e. they aren’t mounted on legs and feet.

With these modern designs, you can choose from a curved style or ones based on straight lines, depending on your bathroom decor. In this collection, you’re likely to find double raised ends - like a slipper - for added comfort and modern luxury.

Freestanding Bath Sizes

At Plumbworld, you’ll find our freestanding baths come in a range of sizes to suit any and all bathroom needs. However, there are considerations for installing a freestanding bath.

While standard UK bath sizes are often 1700mm x 700mm, freestanding baths are usually much larger and luxurious, so they will need a bigger space in your bathroom. When you’re measuring for a freestanding bath, especially a traditional design, you need to take the legs and feet into account. Height, length and width, that way, you can draw out space for a bath.

The majority of freestanding baths should be placed as close to the centre of the room as possible so you can get around it. This makes it much easier to get in and out of the bath but also to clean. Placing the bath near to a wall might mean that there are spots that are difficult to reach, leading to a build-up of dirt and lime-scale over time.

Advice: If you’re opting for a bath that’s rather heavy, it is advisable to contact your fitter. They will check that your floor is strong enough to support the weight, especially if it’s an upstairs bathroom.

Freestanding Bath Taps

There is a wide variety of taps for freestanding baths to suit different bathroom decor and bathtub styles. We’ve come up with some points to consider before buying your taps - we’ll get onto the types in a moment - below:

  • Not all freestanding baths cater for taps - deck-mounted taps - because of their design, so you may have to change your choice of bath or go for freestanding taps.
  • The choice of tap can impact the look of your bathroom, so check the quality and how it looks with your new freestanding bath,
  • Check the water pressure of your bathroom and choose taps that are powerful enough to efficiently fill your bath. This will include bath shower mixer taps.
  • Check the plumbing costs that may come with installing a bath in the middle of your bathroom. The same can be said for installing freestanding taps in your floor. Moving a dedicated place for bath drainage and plumbing may bring high costs.
  • As we’ve already mentioned, check that your floor can take the weight of the bath and when filled with water.

Freestanding Bath Taps

We’re talking about freestanding baths, so there are bound to be freestanding taps. These taps complement your bath beautifully and come in traditional or modern designs.

They work in tandem with freestanding baths, so you can place them almost anywhere. Freestanding bath taps give you much more flexibility when choosing where to position your bath as well as the location of your taps because they stand free from the bath.

How much space do you need for freestanding bath taps?

There isn’t a hard and fast rule of thumb for the amount of space for freestanding bath taps. When choosing the position for your taps, make sure it won’t inconvenience you or anyone else using the bathroom by being in the way or too close to other fixtures. 

Freestanding baths and taps can be fitted in a small or large bathroom, so as long as you plan it out.

Wall-Mounted Taps

If you’ve positioned your freestanding bath by a wall or gone for a back to wall freestanding bath, these are the taps you’ll likely need. 

As the name suggests, these taps are mounted to the wall and have the spout positioned over the bathtub. By being wall-mounted, they remove any potential clutter from piping and hide it in the wall. These are also good if you don't want to drill holes into the bath itself. 

Deck-Mounted Taps

A slightly fancier or industry name, these taps are simply fitted to the edge of the bath itself - like normal taps would be - keeping things practical.

If your freestanding bath has locations for a tap on it, these are the taps you’ll need. They are available in numerous designs from bath shower mixers to separate taps in modern or traditional designs. Lever handle designs will suit freestanding baths best.

Where to place taps on a freestanding bath

In most cases, you have two locations to place taps on your freestanding bath - in the middle or at the end. If you have a double-ended bath, then your taps - if deck-mounted or wall-mounted - should be in the middle of the tub.

For slipper baths, where one end is raised, you are best served by placing your taps at the shallow end of the bathtub. This encourages you to use the deeper end designed to provide lounging support and comfort.

Freestanding, floor-mounted taps stand alone from the bath, so you can place them almost anywhere. Installed right beside the bath, you should have these positioned for water to flow into the middle of the tub or at one end.

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more bathroom advice…

Spa Bath Buying Guide | How to Create Your Very Own Spa Retreat in Your Bathroom | Design Inspiration: Luxury Look on a Budget


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