Here you will find information to help you choose your bath, some of the broad styles of freestanding baths and where to find them on this site
are described and resources presented that will help you choose the right bath for your circumstances.
First Considerations 1: What Style?
Freestanding baths come in a whole load of different styles, the purpose of this section is to describe broadly what these are
so that you can direct your search according to your needs and find the bath of your dreams that much more easily.
So find out what variety there is, and then, if you are curious follow some of the links here and imagine what you could have
in your bathroom.
Many people feel that they clearly want either a traditional or a contemporary style bathroom. If you are one of these people then this is a good
place to start and to help you Classical Baths classifies all its baths as either traditional or contemporary or in a few cases both (where a bath
has a combination of features which might make it specifically suitable to both) and it has a special page for contemporary baths and one
for traditional baths. You may want to visit those pages now or read on to find out a bit more about the lie of the land in the world of
freestanding baths. Here's a table of links, the same links as on the traditional and contemporary bath pages. From here you can browse
all the baths on the site, and below you can find a bit more about the various types of freestanding baths.
Double Ended/Single Ended
A single ended bath is one where the plug hole and overlfow hole are at one end of the bath known as the foot of the bath, the other end being the head
of the bath. When you lie in a single ended bath the plug hole is at your feet. A double ended bath on the other hand is one where the plug and overflow
are midway along the bath lengthwise so when you lie in the bath the plug and oveflow are to one side of you half way down the bath. Rarely the plug is
dead centre in the bath but usually it is over to one side next to the side that the overflow is on. There are many examples of both single and double ended
baths for both traditional and contemporary style bathroooms.
Roll Top/Flat Top
The term roll top bath is sometimes used to mean almost any freestanding bath. Traditionally however roll top baths have been baths where the edge of the
bath can be specified by a radius which describes the arc of a circle. In contrast to this there are other freestanding baths on which the edge of the bath
is more or less flat. Most but not all traditional baths are roll top baths, most but not all contemporary baths are flat top baths. Many roll top baths
have a part of the bath edge that flattens out so that tap holes can be drilled and taps fitted to the edge of the bath (taps cannot be fitted onto a rolled edge).
When this is done the flattened part of the bath edge is known as the tap platform. The most important difference between a roll top and a flat top bath is that
it is easier to balance a cup of coffee on the edge of a flat top.
How the Bath Stands on the Floor - Feet/Plinths/Cradles/To Floor
An important distinction amongst baths is how they sit on the floor. On this site we divide the options into four types described below:
The classic traditional cast iron ball and claw foot is the one the instantly spings to mind but there are many more styles,
both traditional and contemporary, in all sorts of finishes including cast iron, chrome, brass, gold and paintable. Be aware that bath feet by
different manufacturers are not interchangeable and you must have the right feet for the right bath, some manufacturers do however provide a
wide variety of foot styles for many of their baths and you may have a choice of six or seven styles in two or three finishes. For some baths
front and back feet may be different and you should always be careful to refer to the manufacturers instructions provided with the bath when
fitting them. If in doubt ring us.
- Wooden Plinth
The wooden plinth is a more or less contemporary style often but not always associated with an Oriental or Japanese style of bath. We include
in this category baths on four wooden blocks or feet. Wooden parts for baths are usually veneers of beech, maple, oak, wenge, cherry or chestnut
on a wood composite or in some cases solid wooden blocks.
- Metal Cradles
Another contemporary design is to have the bath supported by a metal cradle of one style or another. Good in a clean-lined ultra minimalist
bathroom or wherever else your imagination can put it.
- To Floor
Within the category of baths that go right down to the floor we also include baths that sit on single long plinths made of the same material as
the bath, this includes many of the traditional boat baths. Most of the other baths the go right down to the floor without feet or plinths or cradle
are more or less contemporary styles.
Freestanding/Tile In and Shower Baths
Paradoxically there are some freetsanding baths that are designed to tile into the wall. These include some shower baths. These baths are all
still freestanding in the sense that they could be plumbed in away from any walls but in practice they are designed to tile in, this may be
along one side or along two sides where a bath is being tiles into a corner. If a bath is designed to be tiled into a corner then it will
come in both left and right handed forms. Within this site a shower bath is used to mean a bath shaped to have a shower area, usually a 'P'
shaped bath which is intended to tile in and for which a glass shower screen is available. There used to be keyhole shaped baths
that were used away from any walls as a shower baths, but in most circumstances plumbing these baths in in a satisfactory manner is tricky
as custom exposed chrome pipework may be needed, so most manufacturers have stopped making them.
Traditional Styles - Boat Baths and Slipper Baths
There are a small number of traditional styles that have becomes so well known that they have names that describe the style of bath.
Chief amongst these are the Slipper Baths and Boat Baths.
A slipper bath, sometimes called a french slipper bath, is a single ended roll top bath on feet where the head of the bath is hihger than the
foot of the bath.
A boat bath is a double ended roll top bath typically but not always without
feet but going right down to the floor. What's essential in a boat bath apart from being double ended is that the lowest part of the
bath is in the middle and the bath is symmetrical and higher at either end. A boat bath looks a bit like two head ends of a slipper
bath stuck together hence boat baths are sometimes known as dounble ended slipper baths.
First Considerations 2: Does Size Matter?
Well, if you are standing in your bathroom with a bunch of plumbers who you are paying by the hour and a bath that does not fit into the required
space, then size does indeed matter. So always make sure that your bath will fit your space. To be safe you should always give yourself an absolute
minimum of 10mm play at each end of the bath and even then be aware of your space and that it can be hard to fit a bath in a space barely large
enough for it. Many of the baths on this site are hand finished so there are small margins of error, this margin should not exceed 10mm in total.
When measuring distances between walls
always ensure that you are measuring at the height at which the bath will be at its longest/widest. Walls cannot be assumed to be absolutely
vertical. Also remember when measuring unplastered and/or untiled walls that you must take these things into account for both walls between which the
bath will fit.
Of course you may just want a big or smaller bath for other reasons and for this the capacity of the bath to the overflow can be a good
guide, along with its shape, to how spacious a bath is.
Bearing these things in mind have a look at the table below. Its full of links to baths sorted by length, width or capacity in either
ascending or descending order and looking to the row headings on the left you can see that you can also choose to list all baths or just
traditional or contemporary baths
N.B. Where a measurment is shown as 0 this means that that measurement is unknown
| ||Length (mm)||Width (mm)||Capacity (ltr)|
Next Steps 1: Where is Your Bath and Why Does it Matter?
In the olden days you either had a huge bathroom with slaves to look after you or you lived int' shoe box int' middle o' road. Nowadays
we mostly have something in between, thankfully, but many of us do have relatively small bathrooms. For this reason most freestanding baths are
these days installed very near or practically right up against a wall. There are a couple of broad differences in the fittings and plumbing of a bath
that can be affected by where your bath is situated in your bathroom. Here's a brief description of them and some of their consequences for the
baths on this site.
Waste Through the Floor Or the Wall
If the bath is away from a wall so that you can walk right around it then the waste pipe must go through the floor under the bath, if however
the bath is more or less next to a wall then the waste can go across the floor and out through a wall, for baths that go right down to the floor
it is usually possinble to cut a mousehole in the plinth or outer skirt of the bath on one side through which the waste pipe can be led to the wall.
Follow the manufacturers instructions and ring us for advice if you have any doubt. If you have a solid floor then you cannot take a waste pipe into
it and this means that you probably have to situate your bath more or less next to a wall.
Exposed or Concealed Waste Kit
When the bath is situated in such a way so that the overflow pipe and trap and outlet pipe cannot be seen which is often the case when the bath is
more or less against a wall, then all these components can be plastic or metal without the need for chrome, waste kits like this are called concealed
waste kits. Waste kits were one or more of these parts will be visible are called exposed and the all the visible parts are chrome. In general exposed waste
kits cost more than concealed ones. In both exposed and concealed waste kits all the parts that are visible when you are in the bath are chrome, the
difference is in the pipework on the outside of the bath. Look at the next section about choosing waste kits to find more out about this.
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All information given here is given in good faith but is the opinion of the author only and the author and Classical Baths do not accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for any losses resulting from any actions taken on the basis of information or advice given here or anywhere else on this site.