Baths Buying Guide

Where to start

Do you love indulging in a long, hot bubble bath after a stressful day? There’s nothing better than lighting some candles, getting a glass of your favourite wine and enjoying half an hour of bliss.

We don’t replace our baths very often, so when it’s time to get a new one, it’s worth investing in one that will stand the test of time. You’ll want one that is durable, easy to clean and if you love bubble baths, has room for you to lie back and relax.

Relaxation aside, choosing a bath can get quite technical with back to wall baths, shower baths and corner baths – not to mention P shaped, L shaped and square ended baths (especially if you’re a bath novice!) Whichever bath you choose it needs to fulfil the needs of everyone in your home.

We think choosing your next bath should be an enjoyable experience so we’ve created this guide to make your next purchase a doddle! We’ll highlight some of the different options available, outline the pros and cons and hopefully give you all the tools you need to find your perfect bath.

As you begin your search, there are three questions you should ask yourself:

1. Space & position – How much space do I have available?

Your first priority should be to measure your bathroom. Whether you want to go for a more statement piece or conserve space to leave more room to roam, you need to check how much space you have available so you can choose a bath that will fit.

2. Shape – What shape do I like?

Baths are available in a wide range of different shapes and depending on whether you want a shower and a bath all in one, you might feel drawn to certain shapes of bath. You’ll of course have to consider the shape of your room too, you won’t be able to have a corner bath if you don’t have a free corner.

If you’re not sure what shape of bath you like, then don’t worry, as you read further on into this guide you should get a better idea as we’ll highlight the pros and cons of the different shapes available.

Whichever type you go for, it needs to fulfil all your requirements, just looking good won’t cut the mustard. For instance, if you’d love a bigger bath but find you’re always in a rush, then you need to consider the amount of time it will take to fill up a larger bathtub.

3. Style – What style of bathroom do I want?

If you dream of having a cutting-edge modern bathroom then you’re going to want a bathtub that reflects this, such as our exclusive Maderno Free Standing bath. Likewise, our Edwardian bath will perfectly reflect a bathroom with traditional styling.

If you’re planning on updating your sink and toilet as well as your bath, then make sure you check out our range of bathroom suites. If you’re looking to have an eclectic mix of products, rather than products with similar styling then you might prefer to buy everything separately so you can get the exact look you want.


Choosing the right type for you…

If you’ve only just begun your journey to choosing a new bath, then you’re probably not aware that there are five different types to choose from. We are going to highlight the pros and cons of each so it makes deciding a little bit easier.

The fantastic five

As well as highlighting the pros and cons of each bath type, we’ll also give you an indication of the price you can expect to pay so you can find a stylish bath that fits within your budget.

It’s worth bearing in mind that a plumber will normally charge on average between £124-£220 and take between 3 and 5 hours to fit your new bath, according to a Which? survey. This is something you might want to consider when you’re calculating your overall bathroom refitting costs.

Single ended and double ended baths

Single ended baths are probably the most popular type of bath, with taps at one end. The most common dimensions of a single ended bath are 1700 x 700mm but we also stock 1600 x 700mm and 1800 x 700mm. Double ended baths are very similar but have their taps in the middle with two sloping sides so you can choose which way to face.

Pros: They are cost effective baths that won’t go out of style.

Cons: Double ended baths are usually larger than single ended so you might end up using more water (but on the upside you’ll have more room to lie down!)

Cost: £90 - £150 (single) or £130 - £170 (double)


Shower baths

If you’re more of a shower than a bath person but still would like the option to take an occasional bubble bath, then a shower bath might be perfect for you. These baths, which often come in an L or P shape, are also a practical family choice.

Pros: This type of bath is extremely popular as it saves you having to have a separate shower, perfect if space is at a premium in your bathroom.

Cons: If you are looking for a statement piece, this type of bath probably isn’t for you.

Cost: £100 - £200 (plus shower set £60-£460)

 

Corner baths

A corner bath is – yes you guessed it – a bath that fits into the corner of your bathroom. They’re curved at one end.

Pros: They’re perfect for small bathrooms or bathrooms that aren’t rectangular in shape. Great for quick bathers or those with small children.

Cons: They’re 100mm wider than straight baths (800mm instead of 700mm) so you need to make sure that this works for your bathroom.

Cost: £140 - £250

 

Freestanding baths

If you want a bathroom with the wow factor, then a freestanding bath is ideal.  They’re statement pieces and you don’t necessarily need to break the bank to be able to afford one.

A freestanding bath is situated in isolation, often in the centre of the bathroom so it can be admired from every angle. If your bathroom isn’t quite big enough to do this, then you can always opt for one whereby you can position the back of the bath along a wall instead.

Pros: Stylish, elegant and will offer a premium spa feel to your bathroom.

Cons: You’ll need a large bathroom so there’s enough room to move comfortably around your bathroom. Installation might cost slightly more as the plumbing will have to be modified to allow the bath to be used in its central location.

Cost: £140 - £1000

 

Roll top baths

If you fancy stepping back in time and going for a period-looking tub, then a roll top bath is a must. This style of bath is perfect for bath lovers, thanks to the bath’s rounded corners which provide its classic design.

Pros: Perfect for period homes as their classic look is very charming and makes a big impact.

Cons: This kind of bath needs a big bathroom so there is space to admire the bath from every angle. Make sure you check with a plumber that your bathroom is suitable.

Cost: £280 -£400


Make the most of your space

Baths can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and so you’re bound to find one that’s just what you’re looking for. Small baths are perfect if you only have a small bathroom or for bath and shower combinations. They also use less water which can be good for the environment and for your energy bills.

 In this section of the guide we’ll discuss three of the options available.

Dimensions – Good to know 

An average bath in the UK is 1700mm x 700mm wide. Small baths are between 1400mm and 1500mm in length and large baths are 1800mm or more in length.

D-shaped baths

A D-shaped bath is a bath that has two sloping ends and a straight back. It looks like a capital D from above. Back to wall baths are usually D-shaped.

Pros: Great for creating equal amounts of space. Perfect for bathing with another person.

Cons: Often larger than standard bath size so uses more water.

Cost: £140 - £600


L-shaped and P-shaped baths 

If you’re planning on having a bathroom with a modern feel, then an L-shaped bath or a P-shaped bath could be the one for you. An L-shaped bath is a shower bath with a larger cubed area at one end, giving the bath the shape of a capital L. A P-shaped bath is virtually the same, with a large curved area forming the shape of the letter P.

Pros: Both styles look really stylish and give you more space when showering. They’re multi-purpose and suitable for smaller bathrooms where a separate bath and shower might not be an option.

Cons: Uses more water than a straight bath.

Cost: £149 - £400


Choosing a bath and taps in the right style

Almost 2 in 5 people admit that their bathroom is the only place in their home where they can have time to themselves so it’s important to create a sense of bliss and relaxation. You could choose to have a spa style bathroom, a country bathroom or something modern, it’s completely up to you.

We are now going to focus on four of the most popular bathroom styles and suggest which baths and taps are most in keeping with these styles.

Often people decide to choose a bath, basin and toilet from the same range to keep the look consistent but you can mix and match to create an eclectic look if you prefer.

Baths and taps for contemporary and modern bathrooms

If you want to an eye catching modern bath, then you should opt for the Burnham Back to Wall Bath, an L shaped Bath or the Vittone Black Freestanding Bath.  Alternatively there is the minimalist and sleek Maderno Freestanding Bath - one of our best sellers designed exclusively for Bathrooms.com

Make sure you choose modern style taps that compliment your chosen bath, we particularly like the Neumann, Vaux and Monaco ranges.


Baths and taps for country and seaside bathrooms

This style of bathroom is all about rustic charm and you want to create a place where you feel relaxed and comfortable.

Soft edges are a must, so why not opt for a P shaped Bath or the Edwardian Freestanding Bath? If you only have a small room, then the Burnham Corner Bath could be the perfect choice.

Taps wise, you’re best opting for Edwardian Hot & Cold Bath Taps, the Edwardian Bath Shower Mixer or the Edwardian Floorstanding Bath Shower Mixer.


Baths and taps for spa style bathrooms 

If you want to feel like you’re visiting a top hotel or spa every night, then you’ll need to choose a bath with a luxurious feel. If you have space for a freestanding bath, then you really should indulge in one as they are a great statement piece in any bathroom.

We highly recommend the Erith Freestanding Bath and the Pearce Freestanding Bath. Alternatively, you could opt for a Coates Double Ended Bath or the Janssen Back to Wall Bath… the choice is yours!

With a spa style bathroom, you want to choose taps that are real cutting -edge, statement pieces. We recommend the opt for the Neumann or Cascade Bath Mixer, the Dewez Floorstanding Bath Mixer or the Provost Floorstanding Bath Mixer with Hand Shower.


Baths and taps for traditional bathrooms

If you want a timeless bathroom, then you should look for a bath with traditional styling. If you have space for a freestanding bath, then you should consider the elegant Slipper Freestanding Bath or the classic Victorian Freestanding Bath. They are perfect for achieving a period feel.

With this style of bathroom, we recommend you choosing a tap from one of our Victorian or Edwardian ranges.


Important things to consider

Before you buy any bath, it’s really important that you think about whether it’s within your budget, will fit in the space available and whether it suits your lifestyle. If you’ve decided to opt for a non-acrylic bath, then you may have to consider getting your floor reinforced. Always seek advice from a professional or call one of our experts who will be able to advise.

You also need to consider the following:

How to measure for your new bath

A common mistake people make when measuring their existing bath is that they measure wall to wall. They find that their tub is 1685mm long, rather than the standard 1700mm. Then, when they look for a bath that’s 1685mm long they can’t find any.

Their existing bath is often 1700mm but because they’ve measured wall to wall, they’ve not considered that the bath sits underneath their bathroom tiles. If they removed the tiles, then re-measured, they would find their bath is 1700mm after all. If you can, please double check your measurements are correct before purchase.

How will the bath look in your bathroom?

You need to be able to picture what the bath will look like in your bathroom before you buy it. If you download the Bathrooms.com app, you’ll be able to see a 3D picture of your chosen bath in your bathroom so you can double check that it looks great (and show other people too!)


Do I want a mixer tap, pillar taps, wall mounted taps or a floorstanding tap?

As mentioned in the section above, there are many options available when it comes to choosing the taps for your bath and you need to choose some that complement the style of your bath and your whole bathroom. For instance, if you’re going for a Freestanding Bath then you’ll probably choose some matching Floorstanding Bath Taps.

None of our baths come predrilled which offers you the freedom to decide whether you want a single mixer (1 tap hole) pillar taps (2 tap holes), wall mounted taps (no tap holes) or a floorstanding tap (no tap holes).

Before you buy your taps, you’ll also need to consider the current pressure of the hot water system in your home and depending on how high or how low it is you may need to choose a slightly different style. On every tap product page we state the minimum, maximum and recommended pressure.

For further information, please check out our Taps Guide >

Whichever style of bath you go for, there are some great tap designs to choose from. You can expect to pay between £30 - £150 for your mixer/taps or £150 - £250 for floorstanding ones.


Good to know

As well as choosing your perfect bath, you’ll also have to consider the following things:

Bath Panels

Unless you choose a freestanding bath, you’ll need a bath panel to run alongside the side of the bath and hide the plumbing and pipes from view.

They are really easy to fit and it only takes a matter of seconds to remove in case you or a professional need to check under the bath.  

Bath panels come in a range of colours and materials, not just white acrylic. You could choose an eye catching bath panel in black or wood effect if you prefer.

Cost: £20 - £100


Bath Shower Screens

Bath shower screens are a must-have if you have a shower bath as they protect the rest of your bathroom from splashes when you’re having a shower. They are a lot more attractive and easier to clean than a shower curtain!

You can choose a single, double, three, four or a five panel folding bath shower screen, depending on how much coverage you want to have or how strong the water flow is. Click here to see our range >

Cost: £70 - £170


Bath Wastes

A bath waste is an essential part of any bath as it links the plughole, plug and overflow pipe together. Depending on which style of bath you go for, you may choose a particular bath waste. For instance, straight baths usually have a pop-up waste whereas freestanding baths usually have a plug and chain as standard.

Cost: £15 - £80


Summary

Buying your new bath will be a much easier task now you have a clearer idea of the style and practicalities to take into consideration. Have fun exploring the different options and don’t forget to download the Bathrooms.com app to help you visualise how your chosen bath will look in your bathroom.

For help on choosing your sink, toilet, and shower enclosure, please check out our other handy guides.


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