Before you buy a bath

The definitive guide to the best design-conscious bath shapes and cutting edge materials

‘Never buy a bath on a whim,’ warns Jonathan Carter, marketing manager at Victoria & Albert. ‘To ensure you’re happy with your investment, reserve time for choosing the right one.’ The first things to consider are space and budget, and how much of each you have. As a general rule, a freestanding bath will take up more inches and more pennies than a built-in number.

Combined bath and shower
Think about who will be using your new bath and in which way. ’Showers are seen as a bathroom essential, but you may still want a bath for those chill-out moments or for small children,’ says Mike Wilson, marketing manager at Kohler. ‘So if space is tight, you may need to combine showering and bathing in one functional space.’ If this is the case, consider a P-shaped bath, which has a curved shower screen and a larger, anti-slip end for showering in.

Separate bath and shower
If you have a separate shower, you may not use your bath every day, which means you can indulge in something a little less functional. Think about whether you like to sit up, or prefer to lie down and soak. Do you have children who will use the bath? Do you want an extra-deep tub? Or maybe you’d like room for two? In which case you might want to opt for a double-ended bath where no one has to sit on the plug or in front of the tap.

Test it out
‘A bath is a big investment,’ says Jonathan Carter. ‘Choosing what’s best is a very personal thing. A metre-deep Japanese tub with dead straight sides is a totally different bathing experience to a low-slung, contemporary bath where you’re nearly lying horizontal. The British can be reserved about trying things out, but you wouldn’t buy a bed or a car without testing it first, so don’t be shy – get in and see how it feels.’

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