Frequently Asked Questions about Bathrooms and Showers

This section of the site is new and will be evolving over the next few months. So, at least at first, you may not find answers to all your questions here, but fear not we are just a phone call away from 9:30am to 10pm every day on 0113 2360214.

Painted Baths

Here you will find answers to some of the most often repeated questions we hear about our painted baths. Because, I believe, that your time is better spent choosing a bath and colour scheme rather than reading my blurb (informative and erudite though it is) I have added after each question in parenthesis as brief as possible and answer and then a much fuller answer follows beneath.

Which of your baths can be painted? (all of them)

All of our baths can be painted. So all of our acrylic baths, stone cast baths, fibre glass and gel-coat baths can all be painted. The exterior only of the bath is painted, the interior and top edge of the bath are left unpainted. Where baths have feet the feet can also be painted if required, either in the same colour as the bath or a different colour (see next question below for more details of that).

Can the bath feet be painted? (yes)

All the bath feet supplied with our baths can be painted. Some manufacturers such as Burlington supply most or all of their bath feet in finishes other than chrome onto which we can paint directly, for example white. Other manufacturers, such as Royce Morgan, supply most of their feet only in chrome. In these cases we cannot paint with wet paint (like Farrow and Ball) directly onto the metal surface of the feet as the paint would just run off. So instead we powder coat them first and then paint on top of that. Powder coating is a process which paints using a dry powder that sticks to the surface of the metal which is then baked in an oven. It is great on its own as a final finish for matt black or matt white feet but it also provides a stable surface onto which we can paint with Farrow and Ball or other suitable paints.

What's the lead time for a painted bath? (3 weeks-ish, but we can also do emergency painting)

Usually the lead time for a painted bath is between 2 and 4 weeks. In cases of great urgency (which are many) we can often be quicker than this and we will do out best to meet any deadlines you have.

What Paint Manufacturers and Colours can you use? (any)

We know our paint, and what we don't know we can find out. So the short answer is we can use all (paints) and any (colours) as long as they suitable and if dont know that already we can find out. The most popular brands of paint we are asked to use are Farrow and Ball, Little Greene, Fired Earth and Paint and Paper Library - over 700 colours to choose form between them. We can also paint in any RAL Colour including metallic finishes and we can match colours (using a spectroscope) to any sample you can supply. We generally use a matt eggshell finish which is knock-resistant and washable and performs well in a domestic bathroom but we can use gloss, and other suitable finishes. If you have a particular requirement not mentioned here call or email us and we will help you get what you want.

Can you give any useful advice on how to choose colours? (yes)

The main issue when it comes to choosing a paint colour is to get an accurate idea of how the paint will look when its on your bath. The worst way of doing this is to just use the colour as shown on a computer screen as a guide. The way in which colours are specified for computing, whilst covering a very large number of different Red-Blue-Green combinations, cannot capture the richness of the wavelengths reflected by quality paints such as Farrow and Ball. In addition different computer screens will render colours quite differently.

A far better way to start is with a colour swatch or colour card from the manufacturers. We keep Farrow and Ball swatches so ring us for one if you need one, or you can order one directly from the Farrow and Ball website, likewise for other manufacturers. Typically a swatch or colour card will show you each colour accurately reproduced on an area about 1 or 2 be aware that when the colour is on a larger area whatever qualities it seems to have on a small area will be more impact-full. Light colours will look lighter. Deep, dark colours will look deeper and darker.

So the next stage if you really want to work hard making your decision is to order sample pots of paint from the manufacturers, these can be bought directly from the manufacturer at low cost. Once you have your sample pot, paint a piece of card or paper of at least A4 size (the bigger the better) with it and look at it in your bathroom under the various lighting conditions that you will have in there. This will give you a really accurate understanding of what kind of experience your chosen colour will give you. If you need any help or advice don't hesitate to ring or email us.

How does a painted bath stand up to normal use? (very well)

We generally paint using an eggshell finish. This is the same kind of finish you might use on skirting boards, window boards or interior doors so it is washable, knock-resistant and relatively hard-wearing. It will last in the same way and withstand similar usage to the same paint on your doors and skirting boards. So with care you can expect it to last 10 years or more.

What's the best way to clean marks off a painted bath? (a damp microfibre cloth)

If you get dirty marks on the surface of the paint use a soft damp cloth - a microfibre cloth is by far the best kind to use - be as gentle as you can be but you can be quite robust with it if you need to be and this will remove most marks.

What if the paint gets scratched or scuffed, can it be fixed? (yes)

If this happens ring us for advice, sometimes its possible to fix a scuff by careful use of a solvent such as t-cut, at other times the best way is to use a small atomiser to respray the affected area. If you need this we can send you a suitable atomiser pre-loaded with paint.

How do you paint them? (with great care and expertise)

First the surface of the bath is prepared. This means rubbing the bath down to provide a key for the primer, during this phase tiny faults that can't be seen on a gloss white surface but that can be seen when the surface is painted with a matt finish are filled and corrected. The bath is then expertly sprayed with two coats of primer. The second primer coat is then matted down - that is, it is rubbed down all over with fine abrasive paper by hand to provide a fine and even surface. The bath is then sprayed with two top coats, matted down for a second time and then sprayed with a third and final topcoat to give an unsurpassed finish.

Do you paint anything other than baths? (yes)

We paint bathroom furniture as well as baths, we also paint some (stonecast) countertop basins which match many of our baths. Follow these links to find out more about custom painted bathroom furniture and custom painted basins.

If you have some other accessory or matching bathroom item that is paintable and that you wish to match with your painted bath speak to us, we may be able to arrange to expertly paint that for you too.

Can I paint my bath myself? (yes, but not as well as we can)

If your bath is a roll top such that the edge you will be painting to is under the roll edge of the bath then the answer is yes, if its a contemporary style bath with no roll then you would have to create the painted edge and that is a job for an expert only. If it's a roll top you've got and you want to do it yourself then this is how you do it...
  1. Rub down with P240 abrasive paper (wet-n-dry) to provide a key for the paint.
  2. Paint with suitable primer, use a 4" roller
  3. Paint with Top-Coat (minimum of 2 top coats)
Paint Type: Use eggshell - which is knock resistant and washable or any paint suitable for skirting boards/interior doors. Use primer suitable for use on wood and with the top coat chosen.

We fix any tiny faults we find as we prepare the surface of the bath, invisible on a gloss white bath, these can show up more on a matt painted surface, you probably won't do this. We spray 2 coats of primer and matt down after the 2nd coat (go over it by hand with fine abrasive paper to get a fine finish on the surface). But you do not need to do this. We spray 3 top coats and matt down again after the second coat, you also do not need to do the matting down but you can if you like doing that kind of stuff and have time. You can get 75% of the result we get and your bath will look great, but the extra 25% is the bit that's hard to do and that gives your bath the top quality professional finish that the centrepiece of your bathroom deserves.

Shipping Overseas

Can you ship a bath to me in mainland Europe?

We can ship to all European countries and to most mainland European addresses including non-EU countries like Switzerland. The main restriction to addresses that we can ship to in these countries are accessibility for the large articulated lorries on which our palletised overseas deliveries are made. If you have a doubts contact us with your address and we will let you know if we can delivery to you.

How much will it cost?

The cost of delivery varies greatly across the EU from £not-very-much to £rather-a-lot and not always how you might expect. To get a rough idea have a look at the lists of example prices on our bathrooms shipped overseas page but to get a proper price email us your country and postcode (or full address if the Republic of Ireland) and we will send you a quote in just a few short hours.

How do your overseas deliveries work?

For smaller items such as taps and metal shower parts we usually ship by UPS and once dispatched from us we email you a tracking link where you can follow its progress on either a next day or 2 to 5 day delivery. For larger or heavier consignments including baths, WC's, basins etc. we ship overseas on pallets. Delivery is by a large articulated lorry to the nearest public access point that is accessible. The local carriers who do the last leg of the delivery will ring you in advance to book in the delivery for a specific day. You need enough person power to move your delivery into your property. We keep an eye on the whole process to make sure you get a quality service every step of the way and we are constantly available to answer any queries you have. you a tracking link once the item is dispatched.

How long will it take to ship a bath to me to mainland Europe?

Preparing a consignment for dispatch usually takes 1 to 5 working days then roughly speaking from dispatch shipment times are for Western Europe 1 to 3 working days; Southern Europe 3 to 4 days; Scandinavia 3 to 4 days Eastern Europe: 4 to 9 days; Gerogia: 25 days; Russia: 12 days; Turkey, Ukraine, Serbia: 10 days.

Can you ship baths to Mediterranean Islands, for example Ibiza or Skopelos, how much does it cost and how long does it take?

The short story is yes we can, it can cost up to double what similar onshore deliveries may cost and take an extra 5 to 7 days than would an equivalent mainland delivery. The longer story is that for some of our least expensive baths where the profit level in the bath is low then way may decline shipments where the cost of shipping is very high. We have to have a reasonable ratio between the profit in the sale and the cost of shipping. Ring or email us with your details and we can confirm if we can do it and get you a quote.

Can you ship to continental European countries that are not in the EU, e.g. Switzerland, Russia?

Yes, this is no problem, you will not have to pay UK VAT but you may have to pay local import taxes, however this is easily done and we can advise on all matters relating to this kind of thing.

How The Far East, China, Australia, New Zealand (we have not forgotten you), North Africa, South America or the US?

We can send taps and shower valves and bath and shower accessories to almost any worldwide destination. Ceramics, baths and shower enclosures are trickier because of their size and weight, but we are happy to attempt to quote for any destination.

I am in a rugged, mountainous area served by narrow, treacherous roads that only goats and trained mules can navigate, can you deliver a bath to me?

Our overseas bath and ceramics deliveries are made by large articulated lorries so the answer I'm afraid is no. Maybe in 20 years drone technology will have advanced to the point where you can have your bath delivered within hours, but not yet. Whilst we wait for that glorious day perhaps we can find a local business who can take delivery on your behalf and who your builders/plumbers can then collect from?

I am buying a cooker/sofa/fridge/tiles/other-large-item(s) from another UK Store? I need to get that shipped overseas too, can you help?

We can usually help with things like this. Contact us with details to find out.

I am in the EU, if I buy from you will I have to pay VAT?

If you are a private citizen in the EU then you must pay UK VAT when buying from the UK. If you are buying on behalf of a VAT registered EU company then supply us with your company details and VAT number and you the do not have to pay VAT.

I am outside of the EU, if I buy from you will I have to pay VAT?

If you are outside of the EU including Switzerland then you do not have to pay UK VAT, so to find the price you will pay divide the price shown on the website by 1.2. For example, if an item costs £100 on the web site, you will pay 100/1.2 = £83.33. You may have to pay an import customs duty when the item is delivered to you and this will depend on your local national tax laws. We can help with any queries you have about this or anything else to do with shipments outside of the EU.

Bath Waste Kits

Can you supply the correct waste kit for my free standing bath?

We can supply waste kits for all contemporarily manufactured free-standing baths. It's possible we may have difficulties with some antique baths.

Can you supply a pop-up or click-clack waste for my extra thick bath?

Yes, our CC01 pop-up waste will fit baths up to 40mm thick.

Nickel Plating and Brushed Nickel Plating

What are the differences between the chrome, nickel and brushed nickel finishes?

Most people are familiar with chrome plating which has a mirror like surface with no colour of its own, polished nickel plating is just the same as chrome with a mirror like finish but it has a slight yellow hue to it. Its a subtle but noticeable difference. In general polished nickel also sometimes called bright nickel is a consistent finish that will match existing polished nickel items of nickel item from other suppliers/manufacturers. Brushed nickel is polished nickel that is then brushed by hand with a fine wire brush on a wheel to give a matt finish. Again brushed nickel has that yellow hue but it can sometimes be a subtle colour difference, depending on the colour of incident light etc. Brushed nickel always has a matt finish but because brushing is done by hand the exact finish can vary between items done at different times by different suppliers/manufactures. Having said this we don't get people coming back to us with problems matching brushed nickel taps so our assumption is that in general these also match fine.

How much extra do the nickel and brushed nickel finishes cost?

This varies from product to product but typically for a bath shower mixer you would add about £120 for polished nickel and about £150 for brushed nickel. Although for some taps and on some orders we can reduce this extra cost, ring or email for details.

What warranty is there on the Nickel and Brushed Nickel plating?

We provide a 3 year warranty against plating on all the nickel and brushed nickel plating. Although we do occasionally get small plating faults that have to be fixed, these have always been faults that are visible from the start. So far in 10 years of nickel and brushed nickel plating we have never had a problem that was caused by the plating degrading in any way after the plating process is completed.

UK Mainland Deliveries

How long will it take from ordering my bath to delivery?

The usual delivery time is 5 to 10 working days but, once we know your postal area we can give you a choice of specific delivery days. If its urgent we can often deliver much more quickly, including with next day or 48 hour deliveries.

What size van is the delivery on (we live down a narrow lane)?

Our usual carriers deliver on a luton vans or large transit vans so they will get down most of the roads or lanes that a large car can get down.

Will we be given a time when the delivery will take place?

With our usual carriers you get an approximate delivery time the working day before the delivery occurs, we can also have them ring you on the day when they are a short distance from you.