Help & advice

Freestanding or standard bath?

Baths and showers are accountable for the highest water consumption in the home - effecting your power and heating bills as well as water usage.

  • A short shower with an efficient shower head generally uses less water than a bath. However, beware some power showers may actually use more!

  • Contoured baths provide the feeling of a deep bath without using as much hot water

  • Switch to an aerated or low flow shower head to reduce the amount of water used

Selecting the right type of bath is an important decision that can significantly impact the overall look and functionality of your bathroom. Two popular options to consider are freestanding baths and built–in baths. Each has its own set of pros and cons.

Freestanding Baths

Freestanding baths are standalone fixtures that are not attached to any walls or platforms. They often come with a decorative base or feet, providing an elegant and luxurious appearance.

Freestanding Bath

Pros:

  • Freestanding baths are often chosen for their visual impact. They can serve as a focal point in the bathroom
  • They can be placed anywhere in the bathroom, providing more flexibility in terms of layout and design. They don't require walls for support, allowing for creative placement options
  • Freestanding baths come in a wide range of styles, from classic clawfoot tubs to modern, sleek designs. This variety allows you to choose a bathtub that complements your overall bathroom aesthetic
  • They are available in various materials, like acrylic, cast iron and stone. This allows you to choose a material that aligns with your aesthetics preferences and creates a sense of luxury and sophistication
  • Many freestanding baths are designed with well-proportioned shapes, comfortable backrests and higher sides allowing for a deeper, more comfortable and relaxing bathing experience

Cons:

  • Freestanding baths often require more space since they are not tucked against walls. Ensure you have ample room in your bathroom to comfortably move around the bath
  • The location of your plumbing and the type of flooring in your bathroom can impact the ease of installation. Changing from a built-in “standard” bath to a freestanding bath will require adjustments to plumbing
  • Freestanding baths are often bigger and heavier than built-in models, so you will need to consider how you will get the bath into the room and whether your floor structure is able to take the weight of the tub
  • It's generally more challenging to install a shower over a freestanding bath due to the lack of adjacent walls for shower fixtures. This limitation may influence your decision if having a combined shower and bath is a priority
  • Freestanding baths tend to be more expensive
  • You might need to consider purchasing more expensive fixtures and fittings if they are going to be exposed so that they don’t detract from the look and feel of your bathroom

Traditional Freestanding Baths

For traditional or “claw foot” freestanding baths, all of your pipes are exposed, so you’re unlikely to want them to be white plastic.

Traditional Freestanding Bath with feet

You'll need an exposed bath overflow pipe, "p–trap" and p–trap connection pipe, and potentially a floor mounted tap column (depending on your choice of taps). Who knew!

Freestanding baths, best for larger bathrooms and for those that love to soak for hours in the tub!

Built-in Baths

Built-in baths, also known as alcove, recessed baths, inset baths or standard baths, are designed to fit into a specific space against one or more walls.

Built-in Bath

Pros:

  • Built-in baths are an excellent choice for smaller bathrooms as they utilise existing walls, maximising floor space
  • Cleaning around a built-in bath is generally easier since there are fewer exposed sides and the flooring underneath is hidden! This can be particularly beneficial for households with children or those seeking a low-maintenance option
  • Built-in baths are generally a cost-effective choice compared to freestanding options
  • The installation process is often simpler (plenty of space to hide pipes etc.), potentially reducing labour costs

Cons:

  • While built-in baths offer a clean and integrated look, the material and style options are more limited compared to freestanding baths
  • You will potentially also need to purchase bath side and end panels, depending on the specific bath that you choose and where in the room it’s going to be positioned

Built in baths, best for smaller bathrooms, lower budgets and those with children or generally more people needing to get in and out in the mornings!


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