Baths come in two main materials Steel and Acrylic with acrylic baths there are more shapes to choose from as steel has its limitations in manufacturing, steel baths are pressed from one single piece of plate metal so edges and shapes will always be limited.
When it come to designs acrylic does come in to its own gone are the days of creaky 3mm thick baths that could crack and break, as we are now in the white bath era colour fading is no more an issue the Arco freestanding bath from Pura is a typical design for the larger bathroom where there would be the space for a freestanding bath.
With acrylic baths you get to see the edge detail to show how acrylic bath shapes can differ from steel so they now fit into the modern clean lines of today’s bathroom design market, Acrylic baths tend to have a warmer texture to there feel on a cold day, they can also be cheaper for like to like shapes and designs but they do have there down sides durability.
With the hard water that we suffer from in the UK the surface of the baths no matter what the manufacturers claim of there technologies involved in there construction acrylic baths do not keep there luster when cleaned, they tend to get dull with age like skaters on an ice rink lots of tiny scratches appear. You can buff up an acrylic bath but this is hard work a bit like having to tee cut your 7 year old car.
Steel Baths Like the Kaldewei the Centro Duo shows how much the manufacturing of steel baths has moved on, The fold lines down from the edge of the bath have been increased in angle and sharpened keeping up with the acrylic shapes. The strength of a steel bath is unquestionable even in the contract cheap 2.3mm thick baths once they are installed they should be there for life. The surface of a steel bath is enamel a hard warring durable finish that can be cleaned over and over again.
There are great choices of styles to choose from in bath design and a huge variety of sizes also we will be going through the pros and con’s of the designs for both acrylic and steel to help you select the correct product for any design.
Bath Styles are in different categories.
Standard baths Like the Betteform shown here from Bette are the most commonly sold baths and are used in lots of new build situations the most popular selling size is the 1700mm x 700 mm baths with a bathing at one end and a tap end, or optional purchase with no tap holes, For this type of bath you can buy a steel contract bath for under £100.00 once installed this will last you for many years also for under £80.00 you can get Acrylic at this end of the market I would always go for the steel option. Other sizes are available but tend to cost more as they are manufactured in smaller numbers but are still very reasonably priced. You can shower in these quite comfortably but if it’s a shower you mainly use then a proper shower bath is going to be your best option.
Double Ended Baths come in a large variety of sizes and designs by the fact of the name the idea is that there is two bathing ends to the bath so rather than a tap end these would be filled centrally either via a bath overflow filler, wall mounted spout or a deck mounted tap set. for these baths to be worth the idea you really need at least an 1800mm in length to be comfortable and is a great bath for stopping the arguments between the kids over who does not want to be at the tap end. They look great with no taps mounted on the top of the bath giving a smooth clean look between the edge of the bath and the wall tiling, it always keeps your brassware looking good when they are not mounted on the bath as they do not suffer from hard to clean parts were limescale can sit.
Showering Baths are where you have a bathing end at one end and a showering end at the other usually larger base of the bath and flatter for standing in. Shower baths you can get these from very small sizes up to extremely large some come as a rectangle shape and there are lots of versions which will be bowed out to create an even larger shower area, they can be as skinny as 700mm but for a good shower end you are best with at least 800mm which is as good as a small shower enclosure, shower baths are becoming more common nowadays as better designed bathrooms are not trying to squeeze too much into the room by having a separate shower area, leaving room between wc’s baths and basins always works better and is less cluttered.
To Be Continued……. and maybe even separated..
Roll Top Baths