- What should I look for when buying a bath?
There are a few things to consider before you buy a bath including size, comfort and usage. A few questions to ask yourself are:
What space do I have in my bathroom for a bath?
Do you need a shower and bath combination?
Is the Bath going to be a feature piece?
Baths can be functional and practical or be an indulgent purchase for a stylish centrepiece and the main focal point in your bathroom.
- What material are baths made from?
Acrylic is by far the most popular and widely used material for bath tubs due to its durability and versatility. It provides good heat retention so your bath water will stay hot for longer and can be polished or repaired should the finish show any surface scratches over time. Due to the nature of acrylic it is more resistant to chips than the likes of a steel bath which makes it a good option for busy households.
Enamelled steel is one of the least expensive materials used for bath tubs and it provides a very strong bath tub, however, the enamelled coating can be very brittle and can chip very easily should something be dropped on it. Rust can begin to form on the tiniest of chips or scratches and can become very unstable. Due to the thin layer of steel used in the manufacture of steel baths they do not offer any heat retention and therefore bath water will lose its heat faster than an Acrylic or Cast Iron bath.
Cast Iron is becoming a less popular option for bathtubs due to the expensive price tag they carry and also their weight. Due to the heavy weight of a cast iron bath they can be difficult to get into location if for example in an upstairs bathroom in a smaller home and they will also require a strong floor capable of carrying the weight of the bath full of water. Cast Iron still proves a popular option for customers wanting to achieve a truly authentic traditional Victorian bathroom look, generally using a Cast Iron Freestanding bath. They provide a durable thick enamelled coating, provide great heat retention and can be re-surfaced after many years of use if desired.
Natural Stone is another option for freestanding baths. Like cast iron it is very heavy and will require a strong floor capable of carrying weight but also provides great retention. Natural Stone baths are made using a mix of natural stone and minerals, mixed with a strong resin.
- Bath types explained:
Straight baths are exactly that, straight in shape. The most common size of straight bath is 1700mm x 700mm, however you will see there are now a huge range of sizes available in straight baths ranging from 1200mm long right the way up to 2000mm long. It is possible to add a bath screen to most straight baths for the purposes of showering in your straight bath.
You may choose to tile around your bath or use bath panels. Bath panels come in a range of styles and finishes and are generally sold separately as front panels and end panels. If your bath is between two walls you will only require a front panel, if however, your bath is in a corner you will require the front panel and the end panel.
Single Ended Bath
Single ended refers to a bath which usually will have a gentle slope at one end offering back and shoulder support for comfort. The other end will generally be straight, the waste and overflow will be at this end as well as the taps.
Double Ended Bath
Double ended refers to a bath where the waste and overflow are in the centre of the bath. Both ends will have a gentle slope offering enough room for two people to bath together. Both ends will be identical meaning you can face either direction in comfort.
Shower baths are a popular option for smaller bathrooms where it’s not possible to have a separate shower and bath. Shower baths will generally be larger at one end providing more space for standing and showering, and they will have a dedicated bath screen to fit the bath which keeps water splash from showering within the bath.
Shower baths generally fall in to two main designs – Curved and Square based on their shape however there are also some straight baths which larger internal areas specifically for showering such as the key hole shower bath.
Freestanding baths are increasing in popularity for customers with the range of sizes and styles ever increasing, there are more options available for smaller bathrooms and with bathrooms growing in size in new builds, many customers will choose a freestanding bath as a focal point in their new bathroom.
Free standing baths will generally not sit against or be supported by a wall, the gap between the bath and your wall could be anything from a few inches to a few feet depending on how big your bathroom is. The two main options are freestanding baths with feet, which generally tend to be more traditional however there are a small number of modern designs available with feet. Freestanding baths with feet will always have a gap between the bottom of the bath and the floor and so will need a little more maintenance.
The other option is a single piece freestanding bath, these tend to be more modern in design and you won’t see a gap between the bottom of the bath and the floor. The bath will be supported on the floor by adjustable feet which are hidden by the outer skin of the bath giving you a sleek modern look with minimal maintenance.
Whirlpool baths are a popular option for people who enjoy their bath time and want all the relaxation and health benefits like improved blood circulation and muscle and joint pain relief.
Whirlpool baths work by circulating the bath water through a powerful pump and forcing the water back into the bath through water jets. A heater can be added to the system to heat the water so you can enjoy your whirlpool bath for longer without the water going cold. Underwater LED lights are a very popular option and help turn your bathroom into a peaceful oasis.
- How do you measure for a bath installation?
Organisation and planning are key when deciding where your bath will fit. Ordering the wrong size of bath is more common than you may think, so get the notepad and tape-measure out –we want to be meticulous! Measure the edge of the tub from one side of the bath to the other. Do this for both height (the top edge of the bath to the floor) and width (the most outer edge or widest curve to the front of the bath). Then measure the depth (on the inside of the bath, measure from its deepest point to the overflow point. Always remember to measure from the most outer point of the bath’s edges.
- How to fit a bath?
Once you’re completely sure that your bath will suitably fit your bathroom, it’s time to get hands-on. However, unless you’re confident in your DIY & plumbing skills, we’d recommend letting the professionals get hands-on to ensure the utmost quality and product longevity. It’s a hefty job but if you’re considering taking it on, there are a few points to consider. Replacing an existing bath will limit the plumbing needed and the pipework might only need a few adjustments. Starting from scratch or changing where your bath goes will entail a lot more work and it might be best to call a plumber in for the rerouting. It’s also vital to ensure that your taps will fit with the pre-drilled holes in your bath and that your water supply is switched off at the mains before any plumbing work begins. Fitting a bath will vary depending on the type of bath, for example with a freestanding bath, you will also need to lay your flooring before any installation. All in all, caution is needed –you don’t want holes to be drilled in the wrong place or fixings to be overtightened, so we would once again recommend letting a professional tackle it whilst you relax and day dream about your new bath.
* Installing a bath can be a complicated job and we always advise you acquire professional help for installation.
- Do I need a large bathroom for a bath?
No, not necessarily. Baths are perhaps the bulkiest item in the bathroom but we have a range of baths that are perfect for the more compact bathrooms. Check out our Corner Baths; they’re perfect for maximising floor space. We also have a wide range of P-shape or L-shape Shower Baths for those who don’t want to choose between a bath or a shower for their smaller bathroom –it’s a decision we don’t think you should have to make!