Baths are available in a number of different materials. Traditional cast-iron is very durable, but also very heavy, so if you are considering one you may need to get your flooring reinforced. Cast-iron helps the bath water stay warm and has some sound-insulating qualities. It also bonds much better than synthetic materials with the enamel finish that would be put on it, therefore making it much more stain and scratch resistant. However due to its weight there are fewer shapes, styles and sizes available than if you were to go for an acrylic or pressed steel option.
Pressed steel is the cheaper version of cast iron and it too also comes with an enamelled finish. It is lighter, and comes in lots of different colours and sizes. There are also now available, styles that have been pressed with a roll top to make it look much more like a cast iron-model. However, pressed steel doesn’t match the same insulating qualities that cast-iron does.
Acrylic used to have a bad name, but now there are some excellent designs to choose from. One of the great advantages of acrylic is that it is great for precise and detailed sizing, which means it can be moulded into all kinds of shapes. It is also much lighter that cast-iron, which mean you can opt for a larger bath, which is not always an option with cast-iron as it will be fairly heavy. But make sure you get one made from reinforced acrylic, as this will give it a rigid, well-insulated finish.
Stainless steel is a fourth option, once only used in hospitals, designers have now turned their attention to its sleek, chic qualities. This means that baths, and whole bathroom suites for that matter are now available, attractive and comfortable.
Once you have decided on the material that is going to work best for you, the next thing to think about is colour and style. Corner baths are very useful in odd shaped or small rooms and the choice of stylish styles we have is well worth a look if you think it may be a good space saving option. Asymmetric baths also make use of odd dimensions and give you a wider place to sit than where your feet go, this would be an excellent choice if you live in an older house where the walls are not quite square. Double-ended baths are great, especially if you bathe small children together, also great if you like sharing a bath as the taps are situated in the middle, which means no more fighting about who has to sit at the tap end, on the plug-hole, with a hot and cold tap as a backrest.
Sunken baths look more glamorous, in a sort of early 1970’s way, which is great if you are into the vintage look. A few things you need to remember though are just how difficult it may be to clean sunk into the floor, secondly if your floor is going to cope with having a hole cut out and then a relatively heavy bath fitted into it. A structural engineer will be able to check that out for you. Another idea if you fancy something a bit different is to raise your bath up on a platform either against a wall or in the middle of your bathroom, then box it in and build steps up to it on at least one side.
When your buying your bath, the golden rule has got to be, big is better. The average bath measures 1700mm long, but if you get one that is 1800mm long it will make all the difference, as you will be able to lie down and stretch out comfortably. If you have a large budget and you are a big bath fan then getting a really good-sized bath is definitely a good idea. However if you really are not too keen on baths and prefer a shower, then maybe a sit down tub with a shower over is the best option for you. These are also better if you have mobility problems as there may be a walk in option that will make getting in and out much easier for you.