More often than not, the bath will become the focal point in your bathroom. It is a place to relax and unwind, to forget about your stress at the end of a long day.
Firstly, measure your bathroom and maybe draw up a simple floor plan to work out what size bath you can accommodate and where the bath will go. If you are merely replacing an old bath then you still need accurate measurements to make sure your new bath will fit in the same space.
Don't forget to measure your bathroom doorway too as you will have to be able to get the bath into the bathroom in the first place.
The type of taps you buy will be determined by the bath itself. Some baths will have pre-drilled holes and some won't. Some are made so that the taps can be fitted on the wall or require freestanding taps. It is also worth thinking about whether you plan to use the bath as a shower area using a bath shower mixer tap.
Many baths will come complete with wastes, bath panels, feet etc but this is not always the case. You might want to think about an extra like a bath screen which is a great alternative to a regular shower curtain that is easy to clean and offers a more modern look.
TYPES OF BATHS
Double ended baths have the taps fitted along the side or fitted to the wall in the centre, so that you have both ends free to fully stretch out and relax without worrying about leaning against taps or sitting on the plughole.
They are normally wider than a standard straight bath and have a gentle slope at each end. The freedom from taps at either end means they work well for taller people who need that extra space. They are also handy for bathing children as there is more room to maneuver.
Shower baths are forever popular because they give you the best of both worlds for those who don't have the space for a separate walk in shower and bath.
They have the added benefit of being slightly wider at the showering end to give you more room to move around.
Straight (or inset) baths are the most familiar option and are great for compact spaces as they fit neatly into the corner against the wall. They are usually surrounded by a bath panel to give a more polished look and can be used with a shower fixture if you don't have the space for a separate shower.
Traditionally they are singled ended with space for one person but these days you can find double ended inset baths with some being large enough for two people.
Corner baths can be handy for smaller rooms or those in an awkward shape. They come in right or left handed so think carefully about where you want to position it before you buy.
Some models come with built in seats which are perfect for those with mobility issues or small children. Like the straight bath, you will need a bath panel to complete the look.
Freestanding baths are the ultimate in luxury and carry a heftier price tag than regular baths. They are better suited to larger bathrooms as you need room to manoeuvre around the entire thing. You need to think about the amount of hot water you will need to fill a bath of that size and whether your existing boiler can handle it.
Freestanding baths look amazing but they are very heavy so you have to ensure that the floor can take the weight of the bath itself plus the weight of both the water and your body once it's in the tub.
Although not as popular as acrylic baths, steel baths have a variety of benefits. Made from a steel sheet that is pressed into shape and then coated with a hard-shine and durable enamel - they are great for retaining heat (despite being cool to the touch) but like freestanding baths, they are heavy so need a sturdy base.
They are super easy to clean, scratch and stain resistant so don't harbour as many germs. Since steel is a natural material it can be recycled at the end of its life so it is an environmentally friendly option.
Cheaper steel baths are easy to chip if you drop something on them and it's more difficult to repair than it would be to fix a little nick in an acrylic bath so it's more cost effective to purchase a better quality one.
Whirlpool baths - for when you need the ultimate, indulgent bath experience.
A whirlpool bath is like a regular bath but filled with water jets arranged around the interior that, when activated, create a Jacuzzi effect massaging your body. Some come with LED light systems, others have integrated essential oil diffusers or the ability to connect to Bluetooth to play music while you relax.
The jets are controlled at the touch of a button, The amount and placement of the water jets affects how good of a massage you'll get. The power of the pump will also impact performance - the higher the wattage, the more efficient the features will be .
Also known as spa baths, whirlpool baths require a qualified electrician to make the electrical connection in the bath so this is an extra cost to factor in when thinking about your purchase.
Bath panels serve the function of hiding unattractive plumbing and pipework beneath your bath and giving a more polished look to your bathroom. Some can add extra storage with doors and shelves built in. They can be found in a variety of finishes from classic white to wood effect.
Always check that the bath panel you want is compatible with your choice of bath before you purchase.
A bath screen is essential if you want to prevent water splashing all over the bathroom when using a shower.
They are much easier to clean than a shower curtain and can create a sense of light in even the smallest room.
Single panel bath screens have one pane of glass that can be fixed or moved with a hinge or pivot bracket to open like a door. They are often frameless and come in either square or curved designs.
Two panel bath screens consists of two glass panels that are connected in the centre. You can get a version where one panel is fixed and the other moves or ones where both panels move.
Three and four panel bath screens can be folded away completely when you only want a bath so that you don't have to compromise on space and can enjoy a full bathing experience.
The most common style is the standard plug and chain waste fixed to the overflow grate.
Push button (or clicker) bath wastes work by pushing down the button to fill the bath and pressing it again to let the water out.
Pop-up bath wastes are controlled by a switch that covers the overflow which you twist to open and close the waste.
Exposed wastes are used specifically with freestanding baths. The waste pipe runs outside the bath and conceals the overflow pipe which connects to the waste.
Although most standard baths will come with the required fittings - you should check before you buy what is included. If you have opted for a freestanding bath, there are some extra things to consider:
Stand pipes - designed for baths that do not have tap holes, these raise the taps over the side of the bath.
Pipe shroud - used to cover the pipework of the taps on freestanding baths.
Bath feet - although most baths have feet that elevate them above the ground these will be hidden on a regular paneled bath so bath feet will be plain and functional.
With freestanding baths, bath feet are on show and therefore more decorative. These can be ornate or more simple.
The standard size for a bath in the UK was 5'6" in length but with the introduction of the metric system this became 1700 mm in length x 700 mm in width.
Standard straight baths - 1500 mm - 1800 mm in length x 700 mm - 800 mm in width.
Freestanding baths - roughly 1800 mm long x 800 mm wide.
Whirlpool baths - depending on the model anywhere from 1600 mm - 1800 mm long x 750 mm - 850 mm wide.
Corner baths - they can be from roughly 1200 mm - 1600 mm long x 900 mm - 1400 mm wide.
Small baths - 1400 mm - 1500 mm long x 700 mm wide.
Finally, those little finishing touches that help to make your bathing experience complete. Whether it's a bath rack to prop up your favourite book or a cushy bath mat to dry off on when you get out. To find out more and to learn about safety features you can have in your bathroom like bath rails check out our bathroom accessories buying guide here.