Your guide to 7 basic bath tub shapes

Updating your bathroom can be an exciting and daunting project, with many decisions needed to achieve a space that’s both relaxing and practical. Bath tubs are a case in point. Typically the focal point of the room, you need to carefully consider which style and shape to choose – and it’s often the size and shape of the room itself that can dictate the options open to you.

Before you get carried away with the range of beautiful baths on offer in the showroom, take accurate measurements of your bathroom to get a clear idea of the amount of space is available. If you are thinking of a free standing bath, now is the time to decide whether the room really is big enough, bearing in mind that you need plenty of space all around for other bathroom fittings and to be able to move around with ease. If your bath will be positioned against a wall, measure the available space for this.

Armed with proper information, it’s time to go window-shopping.

  1. Single ended bath

1 single ended bath

Single ended baths are the traditional bath design that we all know and have probably grown up with. This bath has a deeper end on the side where the waste and overflow are positioned, while the other end is sloping. The deeper end is great for showering, while the sloping end is perfect for reclining against.

The term ‘single ended’ is a bit confusing (there are, after all, two ends) and is used to distinguish this bath from its ‘double ended’ cousin.

  1. Double ended bath

2 double ended bath

If you like the idea of a long soak in the bath à deux, a double ended bath is the answer. No need to toss a coin over who gets to sit at the tap end, these baths look symmetrical so there are no arguments. Designed to be comfortable for two people to use, there are two sloping ends and a central position for the waste, overflow and bath taps.

Of course, you don’t have to share your double ended bath if you don’t want to – there should be plenty of space for one bather.

  1. Shower bath

3 shower bath

A very popular option, particularly for smaller bathrooms, a shower bath gives you the option of having a relaxing soak in the tub or an invigorating shower. Some shower baths even have an integrated shelf or ledge for keeping shower gels, shampoos etc. close to hand.

Most shower baths tend to be either L shaped to give a square, clean look, or P shaped with a gently curvy design on the ‘shower’ side. However, you can also create a shower bath by installing a shower screen to one side of a straight single or double sided bath, thus making it suitable for all bathroom sizes.

  1. Corner bath

4 corner bath

Corner baths are having a bit of a moment after many years in the style doldrums. The advantage is that they can be fitted on shorter wall spaces than straight baths, and can be tucked into a corner where a regular bath simply would not fit. As a useful and stylish space-saving feature, a corner bath can open up the centre section of your bathroom, allowing traffic to move freely.

What’s more, there’s usually enough space to fit a shower over the bath, while built-in seating adds extra comfort. Corner baths often use more hot water than regular straight sided baths, so do check before you buy.

  1. Whirlpool bath

5 whirlpool bath

A whirlpool bath is surely the ultimate indulgence. At the touch of a button, the water is drawn from the bath and then forced back through the whirlpool jets with a powerful, invigorating effervescence that you can control to suit your needs.

Hydrotherapy offers many health benefits for the body in a supported environment that relieves pressure on muscles and joints. From a gentle massage for overall relaxation to re-vitalising ‘treatments’ to sooth muscular discomfort and general aches and pains, a whirlpool bath can be your ‘go to’ place after a hard day’s work.

  1. Traditional roll top bath

6 roll top bath

For an indulgent bath soak in true decadent style, traditional roll top baths are hard to beat.

These old fashioned free standing baths have a curved ‘roll top’ edge and decorative, often ‘claw foot’ type feet that give them a classic appearance. This bath tub design is often found in period homes and traditional bathroom design schemes. That said, classic roll top baths can also be used as an accent piece in contemporary design schemes where they may be supported by cradles or raised on a platform for a feature look.

  1. Modern free standing bath

7 modern freestanding bath

If you have a large bathroom to work with, a modern freestanding bath can make a fantastic design statement. Why not give an otherwise humdrum space the sophisticated feel of a luxury spa with a beautiful contemporary free standing bath tub that is the envy of all your friends?

Whether you prefer straight, square sides, organic curves, teardrop, egg or slipper bath shapes, you’ll have a wealth of different sizes and shapes to choose from – but you do need plenty of space for access all around.
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