You need to consider carefully the sort of style, shape and material you want - the size and shape of the room will dictate which bath you buy. Those who have a bigger floor area could consider the luxury of a tub-for-two!
But what shape?
At the moment, both simple rectangular baths and freestanding tubs are as popular as each other.
The best shape if you intend to have a shower above the bath is a traditional rectangular one, this is because shower screens need a flat rim to sit on. For those with a young family, double-ended tubs with waste, taps and overflow in the middle are great. A corner bath is also a good choice for families. A showerbath is one that has a rounded end and will allow you to have the versatility of a bath and a shower if space is an issue. A shortage of space might also mean that you will want to consider a shorter but deeper bath – the standard depth is 372mm but some baths are now going up to 450mm in depth. Baths with a tapered end are also a good choice for space and ecological reasons.
An elegant bath tub can be the focal point of your bathroom. It should sit at least 10cm away from the wall but it doesn't need to sit in the centre of the room. Bath tubs come in both traditional and contemporary designs - you can choose from either ornate claw-footed roll tops or sleek modern pieces - and they no longer cost the earth! Putting that extra time into choosing a new bath can transform your bathroom into a place where you will want to go to soothe away the stress of the day or just to dream and relax.
And what material?
Baths now come in all sorts of materials with cast iron, steel and acrylic being the most popular.
- Cast iron is strong, heavy and durable. If you wish to paint the outside of your bath to match your colour scheme then many of them come ready primed so that you can paint them with the colour of your choice.
- Steel is the most durable and should come with a long guarantee – even as long as 30 years. It is easy to care for and is usually scratch resistant.
- Acrylic keeps in the heat and is not heavy – it is usually the cheapest option. You do need to bear in mind that it can discolour easily and you must always choose your cleaning products carefully.