The Bath Buyer’s Guide
Baths and bathtubs can bring class, sophistication and even a striking centrepiece to your bathroom.
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
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
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.
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 are the finishing touch to the bathtub of your dreams, which is why it’s vital that you find the perfect fit.
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.
Overflow bath fillers are an interior designer’s best friend. With two purposes and an entirely streamlined aesthetic, they’re the perfect addition to a modern bathroom that exudes both style and functionality. In this guide, we look at them in more detail, examining their benefits before looking at answers to frequently asked questions from our expert team. What is an overflow bath filler? An overflow bath filler is a plumbing fixture with a built-in spout that allows you to fill the tub and features an overflow feature to stop the bath from (you guessed it) overflowing. While a traditional bathtub requires two separate fixtures — a filler spout and an overflow drain — an overflow bath filler allows you to create a more streamlined look and bathing experience. You’ll avoid the need for additional plumbing connections and hardware and never have to worry about enjoying a dip a little too much and causing ceiling damage! What overflow bath filler options are there? At 34 St John we have two versions of an overflow bath filler. The first type we have is bought separately. I.e. You’ll need to buy the filler itself, then additionally you can purchase the bath mixer valve to control it. This option of bath filler gives you the flexibility to either wall mount the mixer or deck mount it onto the bath. The second option is a wall mounted bath mixer tap, which comes with everything you need. It not only includes the overflow filler but also comes complete with a shower kit too. This option allows you to customise your bathroom to your preference. Incorporating the hand shower into the kit, allows for a comprehensive and luxurious bathing experience. Add an image of the wall-mounted bath mixer tap. Advantages of an overflow bath filler: An overflow bath filler is an incredibly popular option in modern bathrooms, particularly for those looking to adopt a minimalist and contemporary style. Here we explore the reasons why. Save space Unlike traditional setups that require separate fixtures for filling the bathtub and managing the overflow, this innovative fixture combines both functions into a single unit. This streamlined approach not only conserves valuable bathroom space but also provides a cleaner, clutter-free aesthetic. Position your taps for your convenience With an overflow bath filler, as opposed to a traditional system that requires extra plumbing, you gain the flexibility to choose the placement of your hot and cold taps. This means optimal convenience and accessibility. For example, if you prefer to recline in your bathtub, you can strategically position the taps within arm's reach so you can adjust the water temperature and flow without effort. Find the perfect temperature An overflow bath filler allows you to control the temperature of your bath as you soak. Simply reach for the built-in knob and set it at the perfect temperature rather than having to spend time finding the balance between hot and cold. Manage water pressure & flow rates When overflow bath fillers first emerged, they were only suitable for high-pressure systems. These days, with the inclusion of a pump, you can perfectly manage water pressure and flow rates easily. Overflow Bath Filler FAQs Do I Need Taps With An Overflow Bath Filler? With an overflow bath filler, you still need to purchase hot and cold water taps or a digital smart valve separately. These will supply the water to the overflow bath filler to allow it to function properly. As mentioned above, our complete overflow filler and shower kit comes with everything you need, so there is no need to buy separate mixer taps. Are Overflow Bath Fillers Slow? The speed at which an overflow bath filler fills your tub can depend on several factors, with one of the key factors being the size of the supply hoses connected to it. Larger supply hoses can deliver water at a faster rate, which speeds up the filling process. However, it's important to note that the flow rate may also be influenced by the water pressure in your plumbing system. The speed of the water with an overflow bath filler, will be no slower than if you fitted a tap. How do you fit an overflow bath filler? The bath you purchase will dictate where you can have your bath filler fitted. Many baths come with pre-drilled holes, like some of ours. This saves you the hassle of having to hire a plumber to do the job, meaning more expenditure on your renovation. If you already have a bath and would like to fit an overflow bath filler, you should hire a professional plumber. They will select a suitable location, make necessary holes and connect the hot and cold water supply. After this, they will secure the filler to prevent leaks, connect the overflow drain and test. 34 St John’s experienced design consultants can help you create the bath of your dreams. Discover our overflow bath fillers today.