Traditional Freestanding Baths
Traditional baths are, on the whole, baths that have been modelled on original Victorian and Edwardian English cast iron baths or French cast iron baths of the same period. Most traditional baths will fall into one of several styles including the classic flat double and single ended baths with claw feet and the traditional slipper, boat and bateau baths which rise up either at one end or both ends and which may or may not have feet. There are, in addition, several other styles of 'traditional' bath which are really more modern interpretations of what might have been and which might not necessarily have much in common with genuine traditional baths, but these can also look great.
The best advice I can give for beginning your search for a traditional bath is to concentrate first on establishing the general style that you want, then the size, then get advice about the detailed differences between the options you have left and the various constructions and quality differences between baths from an expert (that would be me - ring 0113 2360214!). Of course price matter too and here you should remember that there are other costs than the bath itself, most importantly you will need a waste kit. Most traditional baths will be fitted with a correspondingly traditional waste kit which usually means a plug and chain waste, the waste also includes the overflow pipe and on traditional baths this usually runs from the overflow hole down the outside of the bath and then underneath to just under where the plug is, if this pipe will not be visible (e.g. with a double ended bath that is more or less against a wall or in an alcove) the the pipe can be plastic which brings the cost down otherwise you will need what is called an exposed (as opposed to concealed) waste which has a chrome pipe and which is somewhat more expensive. In general with cost often there are undiscovered options and alternatives that can reduce cost with little or no compromises, so if in doubt always seek expert advice (that's us again!).
Of course traditionally these baths would have been made from cast iron which would have been enamelled with vitreous enamel on the inside and painted on the outside. When they are done properly cast iron baths with vitreous enamel are the most authentic and arguably the most high quality traditional bath except perhaps for polished copper and tin baths. On the other there are fewer shapes and sizes available on cast iron than there are non cast iron baths and traditional cast iron baths are also generally, more expensive.
Finally the Victorians and Edwardians were fond of their colours and although all our traditional baths come complete and finished with a polished white exterior any of them can be painted either by us before we ship to you or by yourself or a painter who you hire. For a traditional look you might want to try something like Farrow and Ball Estate Eggshell paint which is available in a wide range of traditional matt colours, we also regularly use Little Greene and Fired Earth paints on behalf of our customers but for a tougher even more resilient gloss finish we can spray paint with two-pack car paint which can be colour matched to other paints or objects you already have (the colour match is approximate and will not have the same depth and complexity of colour in the original paint).
We can also do custom special finishes and colours on most manufacturers bath feet including powder coating (most popular colours for this are matt black and matt white), painting with Farrow and Ball, Little Greene and Fired Earth paints (this is done on top of a layer of powder coating when on polished metal feet), and polished nickel and brushed nickel plating.
For more advice on any issues relating to traditional baths please do not hesitate to ring or email us.