The Bath Buyer’s Guide

Published by: Kevin Sears

22nd June 23


Reading Time: 5 mins 23 secs

Baths and bathtubs can bring class, sophistication and even a striking centrepiece to your bathroom. 

Freestanding Bath

But not every bath is right for every bathroom. Beyond looks alone, you need to consider the size of both your dream bath and your bathroom, the bathing experience you want to create, and your bathtub’s maintenance and longevity.

This buyer’s guide will cover everything you need to know about choosing the ideal bathtub for your home. 

Three important questions to answer when buying a bath

How much space can you give to your new bathtub?

Like with any major new bathroom fixture, the key first question to ask yourself is the one of space – specifically, how much space you can spare this new bathtub. 

You shouldn’t only be thinking about how much space the tub alone will require, but more importantly how much space it will need for you to use, clean and maintain it both comfortably and conveniently.  

For example, with Freestanding Baths a good tip is to ideally have 200-300mm of empty space from the tub base on every side (not including the distance to your freestanding taps). However don’t rule freestanding baths out if that isn’t possible in your space – we commonly see freestanding tubs that are much closer to the wall on one or two sides and remain easy to maintain.  

Figuring out required space is a great first step in determining the style of bathtub that will work in your bathroom, so get your tape out and start measuring!

Who will be using the bathtub? 

This is typically an easy question with a straightforward answer, but despite its simplicity it’s one that can often be neglected.  

Thinking about exactly who will be using your bath is important because different styles and designs work for different people and requirements. 

For example, a bath combined with a bath shower mix tap is perfect for a young family – making washing a baby or young child so much easier and more enjoyable. On the other hand, bath handles make baths much more user friendly to both younger and older people – enabling them to get in and out easily and safely.

Freestanding or stand alone bathtub?

This is one of the major decisions to make when it comes to purchasing a new bath.  

Do you go with the standalone statement piece that is the freestanding bath? Or will you choose the more space-conscious fitted bathtub? Your answers to questions one and two will undoubtedly prove very handy in helping you answer this one.

The different types of bath

Let’s explore the qualities of luxurious Freestanding Baths and long-lasting Steel Bathtubs the two most popular types of bathtub today.

Freestanding baths

They may be inspired by a classic design, but freestanding baths are the ultimate focal point for the modern bathroom. Beautiful, sophisticated and the height of affordable luxury, freestanding baths make a statement in every bathroom. And they come with many other benefits beyond their looks. 

Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, freestanding baths are flexible to your needs and the needs of your bathroom. 

Installing a Freestanding Bath

Freestanding baths can be very easy to install compared with built-in tubs – so long as the plumbing doesn’t need to be repositioned – but they’re also heavy, and so it’s very important that you make sure your bathroom floor is able to withstand the weight of the bathtub. That said, our range of freestanding baths weigh 30 per cent less than standard

Stone baths

At 34 St John, our entire range of freestanding baths are solid stone, made with resins from organic, rapidly renewing cultures – enabling a 30% weight reduction that cuts carbon emissions during transportation. 

Stone is the perfect material choice: durable and low maintenance, it helps to create baths that are extremely hard-wearing, long lasting, smooth to touch and naturally warm – preserving water heat 12 times longer than conventional methods.  

Stone also comes with acoustic benefits – reducing water noise to create a gentler, more soothing bathing experience. 

View our collection of stunning solid stone freestanding baths.

Steel baths 

Popular for their heat conductivity, durability, easy maintenance and much more, Steel Baths provide a dependable and classically beautiful aesthetic that’s hard to resist.  

Made from steel metal that’s often coated with ceramic or porcelain, steel bathtubs will bring class and sophistication to your bathroom for decades.

Steel Vs Acrylic Baths

Compared with acrylic – another common material used to create bathtubs – steel can gain heat faster and retain the heat for longer, ensuring that bath water stays warm. Steel’s other key property is its toughness, which helps to ensure the long-lasting durability of steel bathtubs.

Cleaning Steel Baths

Steel baths are easy and straightforward to clean, providing an unfriendly environment for mould, bacteria and other unwelcome guests, and ensuring that limescale creates very few problems. The glazing on our range of steel bathtubs makes them extra resistant to dirt and bacteria. 

By being a natural raw material, steel is completely recyclable, which means your steel tub can be given a second life once its use finally comes to an end.

Installing a Steel Bath 

Installing a steel bathtub requires the same process as any other fitted bathtub. The process, however, does change in complexity depending on whether you’re directly replacing an old bathtub or not. Replacing an old bathtub is typically straightforward as the plumbing and pipework shouldn’t require any major alterations. 

At 34 St John, our range of titanium steel bathtubs are coated with a wafer-thin layer of glaze, which helps to enhance many of the steel bath’s standard benefits.  

The protective glaze makes the bath’s surface harder than marble, plastic and steel alone – creating a strong resistance to chips and scratches – and also fireproof and non-flammable.  

When it comes to maintenance, the glazing makes our range of steel bathtubs extra resistant to dirt and bacteria, and damage caused by cosmetics and bath additives.  

Explore 34 St Johns range of premium glazed titanium steel bathtubs. 

Single-ended vs double-ended baths

A big part of choosing the perfect bath for your bathroom is deciding whether you need a single-ended or double-ended bath. 

The main difference between the two is the positioning of the taps and bath waste. With single-ended baths, the taps, drain and overflow are all at one end of the bath, and the other end is shaped and sloped for comfort. Double-ended baths, on the other hand, feature all three in the centre of the tub, with both ends sloped to accommodate up to two bathers at one time. 

The stylistic differences between the two lead to changes in how they are used. While single-ended baths work best for single bathers, double-ended tubs can accommodate two people at once, and provide a single bather with the flexibility to comfortably recline into either end of the bathtub. 

What else you need to know when buying a bath

Bath taps

Bath taps are the finishing touch to the bathtub of your dreams, which is why it’s vital that you find the perfect fit. 

Choose between attention-grabbing Freestanding Bath Mixer Taps designed specifically for freestanding baths, and design-focused Bath Filler Taps popular for their simple, minimalist style.  

Freestanding bath wastes

Freestanding Bath Wastes are specially designed for the style and needs of freestanding bathtubs.  

As with any bath or basin waste, a freestanding bath waste is an essential plumbing fixture. It enables water to leave the bathtub through both the plug hole and the overflow, and does so by connecting the bathtub to the drain pipe. 

You’ll often find that this plumbing is visible with freestanding baths – even sometimes used as a design feature.


Kevin Sears

About Kevin Sears

Kevin Sears is a bathroom and interior design blogger here at 34 St John. He creates original content utilising his extensive knowledge of the bathroom industry and latest trends.

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