CHOOSING A BATH
First and foremost the bath in your house should reflect the washing habits and needs of your family. Shape and size are therefore important to get right; if members in your family are tall or you have children who bathe together, consider a larger-than-usual bath. Check if the front and the side panels are inclusive in the price of the bath. With rectangular-shaped standard baths they are usually extra. Decide if you need to buy the panels. You may want to continue the floor covering in your bathroom on the side of the bath or even panel the bath with decorative tiles.
Taps are additional buys and can be quite pricey – especially the more modern ones. Check where the tap holes are on the bath, and ask if you can choose where they are sited, and if you are going to fit a shower over the bath check that the bath surface is non-slip.
Consult a plumber early on in your plans or you could end up buying a cheap and cheerful bathroom suite only to have to spend much more money sorting out plumbing problems. Make sure the plumber is well established and try to find one who is a registered member of the institute of plumbers.
Cast iron is a traditional base material for baths, but these days, steel is a cheaper and lighter alternative. The bath shape is moulded from iron or steel and it is either sprayed with or dipped in porcelain enamel or vitreous china and fired in a furnace. This gives the sanitary-ware a smooth and hygienic surface and results in a rigid and very hardwearing bath. It is, however, cold to the touch.
Use a non-abrasive bath cleaner and mild cream cleaner to clean. Treat with care, as enamel can chip off and can only be repaired by re-enamelling the whole bath.
Acrylic is easy to mould and so is ideal for making interesting and unusual shaped baths. The acrylic itself is reinforced with fibre glass to give it strength and mounted onto a galvanised steel frame. It makes light, easy-to-install baths, which are warm to the touch, but can be scratched. Check the thickness of the acrylic – if it is too thin, it tends to crack and split – the thickness is reflected in the price.
Clean with a liquid cleaner never use harsh abrasives. Remove stains with washing-up liquid or soap. Slight scratches can be smoothed out with liquid metal polish.
Baths made of fibre glass make up a small but luxury end of the market. They are built by hand in layers on a mould and. as only the top layer is coated with colour, any deep scratch shows up, revealing the base colour.
The British Standard bath size is 1700mm x 700mm wide and the average height is 500-610mm. Lower sides are usually better for small children, but the elderly often prefer higher sides to climb over – they don’t have to bend over so far when getting in or out. Try a bath for size in the shop before buying it.
The British Standard bath size is 1700mm x 700mm, but there are longer and smaller versions on the market. If you are going to shower in the bath, the flatter the base is the better.These are usually fitted into a corner, but it is possible to them at right angles to a wall, allowing access to the bath from both sides.
These are usually made of acrylic because it moulds into shape so easily. Allow 1400 x 1400mm space for a corner bath in you bathroom. Look out for models with built-in shelf/seat ledges. Corner baths hold slightly more water than the average bath.
Usually made in acrylic, these baths are shaped or waisted in the middle, tracing the outline of a human body. They are very comfortable and are more economical on hot water than the standard shaped bath.