Which bath shape?
Investing in a new bath? Which shape, material and size is best for you?
Baths are generally split into four main categories: freestanding baths; rectangular baths; shaped baths and shower baths. Of these bath types, a freestanding bath will give your bathroom the most design-led look.
Freestanding baths come in a range of lengths, depths and widths, and in both contemporary, angular or organic shapes, and traditional, roll-top styles. Some sit on feet, others on a plinth.
If you have a large bathroom, you can choose any generously proportioned bath that suits the style you’re looking to create, whether contemporary spa or traditional retreat. However, if your bathroom is tiny, more compact, round-edged roll tops or those that sit on feet will heighten the feeling of space.
What size bath to buy?
Classic bath sizes are 1700mm x 700mm and 1700mm x 750mm. However, for smaller spaces, 1600mm lengths are available, as are 1800mm lengths for more generous rooms. Bath depths vary too – with shallow baths a good option for rooms with low or sloping ceilings (such as loft bathrooms), and deeper models ideal for spacious rooms. Before you buy, measure your room carefully and, in a small bathroom, assess whether choosing a shorter or narrower bath would allow you to work more storage space into the room. Equally, if you like to luxuriate in your bath at the end of the day, consider a deeper bath.
Check that your new bath’s capacity won’t stretch your boiler, and ensure the floor beneath is strong enough to take its weight.
Where to position your freestanding bath?
Freestanding baths are the most versatile of the four bath types in terms of positioning within the room. These baths look fabulous in a central position in a large bathroom, sat symmetrically in front of the bathroom’s focal wall, centrally in front of a window, or even at an angle in a corner. In a small room, you may only have one choice of position for the bath, but ensure the look is balanced by putting the bath in a central position in relation to the wall behind it.
Wherever it sits, bear in mind that you’ll need to access behind or around it for cleaning – so ensure that the gap between the bath and the wall is big enough to push a mop behind.
can step up to the tub
Buying taps for your bath
Many freestanding baths come without holes for pillar taps, so consider floorstanding taps or wall-mounted taps instead. Whichever taps you choose, a shower mixer attachment is practical to include, since it allows you not only to wash your hair or shower off after your bath, but also clean and rinse the bath easily.
Buying waste fittings
Gone are the days of a plug and chain – baths now come with stylish pop-up wastes that can be as much of a design statement as the bath itself. If you are buying a freestanding bath on legs, bear in mind that the waste beneath the bath may well be visible from elsewhere in the room, so swap plastic fittings for those with a stainless-steel finish. Ensure, too, that you have the right fitting for your bath and don’t forget to include it in your order because it will be sold separately.