Which Bath Is Right For My Bathroom?
A long soak in the bath is the kind of thing we all dream about when we're having a particularly hard day at work. On a normal basis though, we've become a busy culture that doesn't have much time for the baths of old and we'd rather jump in the shower for a quick daily wash.
But baths are far from going out of fashion any time soon, and even if they're only used a couple of times a month it’s great to have that option of having one. Showers are great for getting the job done, but nothing beats a long hot soak in soapy bath water with a good book in your hands.
If you're thinking about replacing your bath, you're completely updating your bathroom, or you're sick of just having a shower and want to bring a bath back on the scene then this guide is for you. We'll cover everything you need to know before you make that big purchase.
How do you choose the best bath for your needs?
Choosing a new bath is a big decision. After all, it is also likely to be the biggest and one of the most expensive items in your bathroom to purchase. Keep reading to find out about the different types of baths on the market.
Types of bath
If you haven’t quite decided on the type of bath you want, then keep reading for advice and inspiration on all bath types, from standard shower baths to luxurious freestanding options.
If you don't have the space for a separate shower enclosure and bath, then you'll probably want to put a shower above the bath.
This is where shower baths come in, which are also ideal for smaller or more awkwardly shaped bathrooms. They provide more space at one end of the bath, allowing for a little more space around the showering area similar to the space you'd have in a shower enclosure.
You can fit specially shaped bath shower screens around this area too so that it almost feels like a stand-alone shower enclosure.
Available in a range of shapes, you can find P-shape, L-shape, and J-shaped shower bath options. Keep reading to find out about their differences.
If you’re looking for a stylish contemporary shower bath, then an L-shaped bath is the perfect choice. Featuring sharp lines and angles as well as providing that all-important extra showering space, what more could you ask for?
However, if angles and sharp lines aren’t your thing then a P-shape shower bath might just be the perfect option. Providing plenty of space to shower in comfort whilst showing off beautiful smooth curved lines.
J-shape options are the closest style-wise to a classic straight bath, however, the one end features a smooth curve instead of a right angle. Therefore, this helps to save on space in small bathrooms.
Right or left handed?
If you’re looking at a shaped shower bath, for example, an L-shape bath, you’ll need to consider whether you need a right or left-handed option. This comes down to the positioning of the bath in your bathroom.
If you want to place your bath along a wall on the left of your bathroom then you will need a right-handed bath, which will position the straight side against the wall, and the wider end will be exposed.
Standard straight bath
A standard straight bath is likely to be the main option for most people. Their big benefit is that they can fit into a large selection of bathroom situations as they are fitted flush to the wall. You'll either have it so it spans the full length of the bathroom wall, so only one side is showing - that can be covered with a bath panel – or you’ll have one end showing if your bathroom is on the larger side.
You can also choose between single-ended and double-ended options. Keep reading to find out more.
Single ended bath
A single-ended bath, possibly the most common option, features a bath tap at one end of the bath, making it the perfect option for use by one person.
Double ended bath
Double-ended baths on the other hand feature one tap positioned in the middle of the bath, allowing you to sit comfortably at either end of the bath. Double-ended baths are also the perfect option if you want to share with someone else, as no one will have to sit with a tap stabbing them in the back.
However, standard baths are also incredibly flexible as they come in a huge variety of sizes as well as several different styles. One of the other benefits is that you don't have to choose between a shower and bath too, as a shower can easily be fitted over most straight baths for you to enjoy whenever you wish.
Budget-wise, standard straight baths are in most cases the cheapest of the bunch too.
Freestanding baths are the ultimate in luxury, but due to this they often command a higher price. There's no doubting the spa-like atmosphere they create though, so if you have the cash and space then a freestanding bath is an ideal purchase.
They grandly sit apart from the walls of your bathroom, usually in the centre. These lavish centrepieces can also be raised on a platform or a set of ornate feet while freestanding taps can be incorporated to sit alongside the bath. They also come in a range of styles that stretch from contemporary to traditional Victorian style.
The downside is that the plumbing will have to be modified to allow the bath to be used in its central location, so you need to factor in the extra labour costs too.
For even more luxury, it's worth looking at a freestanding slipper bath too. These curve up at one end, giving additional back and shoulder support for that added spa-like feel.
Roll top bath
Roll-top baths are perhaps the go-to when you think of a classic traditional bath. Available in a range of sizes, colours, and finishes, from traditional white and copper to more contemporary yellows and pinks.
If you are lucky enough to have the space in your bathroom for a lavish roll-top bath, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Due to their spacious design, you can stretch out and chill, helping you to relax after a long day at work.
Corner baths are exactly what it says on the tin – a bath that can slot neatly into one corner of your bathroom.
While larger statement bathrooms benefit from them, you could have it raised on a small platform with steps up to it, they're space-efficient too. Their rounded shape and deep slot can give the feeling of settling down into the hot tub at your local spa. Add jets to create an even more luxurious experience, or even consider choosing a corner whirlpool bath. Keep reading to find out more about Whirlpool baths.
A whirlpool bath is a luxury choice, with wonderfully relaxing water jets and even stylish colour changing LED lights. Keep reading to find out more about this lavish type of bath.
Available in variety of shapes and sizes, you can even indulge in a whirlpool bath big enough for two people. A whirlpool bath is essentially an indoor hot tub and therefore, can be enjoyed in a similar way. You can even enjoy as many as 26 relaxing water jets on larger models, such as out stunning corner and deep whirlpool baths.
We all hate it when a relaxing bath goes cold too quickly and that’s why you have the option to add an inline water heater to your whirlpool bath, which helps to keep the water at a steady 40 °C.
If you have a small bathroom and aren’t prepared to lose your shower, don’t panic, as whirlpool baths even come in handy shower bath options, allowing you to enjoy a relaxing soak or shower at the end of a long day. We guarantee you’ll be dreaming about this all day long.
Baths are available in a variety of materials, from classic acrylic to steel and copper. For the positives and negatives of all materials keep reading.
A steel bath is a great option if you love a long hot soak as it’s designed to retain heat. Gone are the days of a short lukewarm bath, with a steel bath, you can enjoy a relaxing soak for as long as you like. Steel baths are also highly durable and easy to clean.
If you’re looking for a bath that doesn’t cost the earth, then acrylic is a wonderful option. Not only are acrylic baths cheaper than steel and copper options, but they are also lightweight. While you may not think the weight of a bath to be an issue, it can cause issues with installation and transportation. However, weight shouldn’t be an issue with an acrylic bath.
Acrylic baths are also easier to keep clean, with no long-standing upkeep like with a copper bath. Simply wipe down after each use to reduce water stains and give it a good weekly clean but remember there’s no need for abrasive cleaning products.
If you’re looking for luxury, then copper is a great way to go. Not only do copper baths look stunning, but they also feature antibacterial properties. Therefore you will have no need for the use of harsh cleaning products.
Copper baths do, however, have longer upkeep than a standard acrylic bath if you want to keep yours looking as fresh as new. The video below shows the best ways to keep your copper bath sparkling.
What size is a standard bath?
With baths available in a wide range of shapes and sizes it might be difficult to work out exactly what size a standard bath is. In the UK the average standard bath size tends to be 1700mm in length and 700mm wide.
It’s worth noting, just because this is the standard bath size for the UK that it doesn’t mean it’s the right size for your bathroom. You may need something smaller if you’re short on space. This is where 1500mm, small bath comes into its own, still providing plenty of space for a relaxing soak but on a smaller scale.
However, if space isn’t an issue, then you might even be able to enjoy an 1800mm length bath, providing plenty of space for not just one but two people to enjoy a relaxing soak.
How much does a bath cost?
The cost of a bath can vary massively depending on the style you choose. For example, you can find standard single-ended baths for as little as £170, but if you’re looking for a more luxurious freestanding bath you could find yourself spending nearly £4000.
When choosing the ideal bath for your bathroom there are plenty of considerations to take into account, including some that we may have touched on earlier in the post and others not mentioned yet.
Keep reading to find out more about the areas you might not think to consider when purchasing a new bath.
Weight of the bath
While the weight of a bath might not seem important at first, this is something to seriously consider especially if you’re thinking of choosing a bath made from steel or copper.
If you’re looking at a bath on the heavier side, you need to consider where it’s going to be positioned and how you will transport it there. For example, a gorgeous freestanding copper bath might look pretty in an old cottage, but can the flooring take the weight, and is it possible to get the bath upstairs in the first place?
Capacity of the bath
If you’re looking for a bath that allows you to enjoy a long soak with someone special, you need to make sure the bath has a large enough capacity not only to fit two but to provide sufficient water coverage for you both as well. The last thing you want is a cramped bath with only half the water capacity you’d like.
Positioning of the bath
If you’re planning to move the position of your bath, then you need to ensure the plumbing and pipework are suitable. For example, if you currently have a corner bath but would like to install a freestanding bath in the centre of the room, it’s likely the plumbing will need to be moved.
We advise contacting a professional plumber before purchasing a bath in this situation, to ensure the work is possible and if so, how much it’s likely to cost, and how long it might take.
Type of tap needed
The type of bath tap you need will depend entirely on the type of bath you choose. Therefore, we would always advise choosing your bath before purchasing your taps.
For example, most standard baths or shower baths come with just one deck-mounted tap hole, making them suitable for a deck-mounted bath mixer tap. However, with most freestanding baths you can’t install a deck-mounted tap, making freestanding taps and wall-mounted taps your only options.
Are bath panels needed?
Once you’ve chosen your bath you need to know if it comes complete with bath panels, if they need to be bought separately, or if they’re not needed at all.
If you need to purchase bath panels to go with your bath, you need to ensure you get the right size. In most cases, however, purchasing bath panels separately gives you a greater design choice. For example, most standard baths come with matching white bath panels, but when bought separately you can find wooden, grey, and even black bath panels.
Thickness of the bath
The thickness of a bath is probably something most of us wouldn’t give a second thought, but bath thickness isn’t a standard size in most cases. You might be wondering, why does the thickness of my bath matter?
Bath thickness can make a huge difference to both the quality of the bath itself and the quality of your bathing experience. Generally, the thicker the bath the longer the bath will retain its heat, resulting in a truly relaxing soak. A good bath thickness can also be a sign of a high-quality bath.
If you're looking for more information on the different types of baths, take a look at the following posts - Freestanding Baths Guide - Corner Baths Buying Guide - Shower Baths Buying Guide.
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