The Nook: modern Bathroom by Hall + Bednarczyk Architects

Baths: the homify guide to choosing them well

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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When it comes to the bathroom, it's no secret that selecting the right bathtub, absolutely needs to be at the top of your priority list. We'd even go so far as to venture that ANY professional bathroom designer would say the same thing, stating that from corner baths through to small baths, there is a perfect choice for every room and every client, but you need to have a good think about all the options before you even start thinking about adapting your plumbing. 

Thought it's very common in other countries for bathrooms to be without an actual bath tub, bathrooms uk-side are far more likely to always include a fabulous luxuriating spot. We've talked before about the different styles of baths that are available, here, but we wanted to get to the very bottom of all the pertinent issues that could affect your final decision, which is why we've curated this handy guide. By the end of this article, you'll have no trouble when it comes time to invest in some incredible suite items, so let's get started.

Bathtubs and bathroom suites; what's the big deal?

So many people believe that a bathroom doesn't rank very highly on the home revamp priority list, but when you discover that a chic and timeless installation can add up to 4% to the value of your home, it's absolutely worth investing time and money into your haven of self-care and we don't just mean with a few nice tiles.

Experts have been explicit in their assessment that a home without a bath will be worth less than one that has included a tub and less attractive to prospective buyers, particularly if the property is large enough for a family. The issue will be a little less critical if the home is small or designed for single occupancy. By and large, it is thought that investing in a bathtub will not be a waste of capital, but a savvy decision. 

Would a shower bath combination be better?

This is a really important question to ask yourself, when trying to decide if you want a bath or not. If space is your main stumbling block, you might be thinking about trying to decide between either a shower or a bath, but with some creative space manipulation, you can have both. A wall-mounted shower, over a bath, gives you the best of both worlds, so when you need a quick spritz, you can use the shower but when a longer soak is just what the doctor ordered, you can enjoy that too.

Over-bath showers really don't have to cost the earth, as you can negate the usual expensive enclosure and simply select a bath-mounted screen, meaning that for maybe as little as £200 extra, you can have a very multifaceted bathroom.

Are you a fan of freestanding baths?

Shoaling Fish: modern Bathroom by Jo Downs
Jo Downs

Shoaling Fish

Jo Downs

Let's be honest; who ISN'T a fan of freestanding baths? Perfect for creating a heritage look in an older property, freestanding roll-top baths are gorgeous, comfortable and have a timeless charm that makes any bathroom look instantly more expensive, but you don't have to fork out a fortune. If a cast iron tub is too expensive, given that they retail at over £1000, you could choose a composite version that offers the same look but for far less.

Don't worry that you have to choose a traditional style of freestanding tub, as modern varieties are astoundingly chic, eye-catching and offer up a very spa-like aesthetic. a freestanding design can work terrifically well in smaller bathrooms, where a built-in surround might not be viable.

Be sensitive to your home's style before choosing a radically-shaped bath

Master Ensuite: modern Bathroom by CATO creative
CATO creative

Master Ensuite

CATO creative

There are a lot of very unusual bath shapes to choose from including P-shaped, L-shaped baths and even square ones. It's not a joke to say that we've even come across a clamshell-shaped one, whilst researching all the baths on offer, but is it advisable to give into something of a fashionable or trendy shape? Not always! 

You absolutely need to think about and take into account the age and wider styling of your property, as a whole, before choosing a style of bath to install in your bathroom. No room is an island in a larger dwelling, which means that an element of cohesive design is essential. A very modern and unusual tub would not look right in a period home and in a contemporary minimalist mansion, a reclaimed cast iron tub would stick out like a sore thumb. 

How can it be integrated?

Bath & Shower View : modern Bathroom by Daman of Witham Ltd
Daman of Witham Ltd

Bath & Shower View

Daman of Witham Ltd

If you would prefer to have a built-in bathtub, you need to be aware of all your options and respectful of the fact that the actual tub shape itself isn't as important as it would be if left exposed. 

The most common ways to disguise a tub and the requisite plumbing are wood cladding, plastic panelling and tiles, all of which can create a beautifully sleek and unfussy finish. Plastic bath panels are by far the cheapest option, with wood cladding coming next and tiles being the most expensive and you can go as crazy as you like. For the ultimate in luxury finishes, large granite or marble tiles would be ideal.

Include hardware considerations in your bathroom ideas brainstorming.

Victorian Townhouse: modern Bathroom by Etons of Bath
Etons of Bath

Victorian Townhouse

Etons of Bath

Choosing a bath is not where the process begins and ends, as you definitely need to think about the hardware that you select as well. When it comes to taps and drains, you'll need to choose not only the perfect colour and material, but also styling, as these elements can absolutely make or break your investment.

For a modern finish, polished or brushed chrome hardware is very in right now, but something with a warmer tone suggests a nod towards heritage styling. When it comes to taps, the modern approach is to choose wall-mounted or freestanding plumbing, but these options aren't for everyone. 

Choose the right material for your budget.

Luxury Bathroom: modern Bathroom by DeVal Bathrooms
DeVal Bathrooms

Luxury Bathroom

DeVal Bathrooms

Finally, your bathtub can be constructed of a host of different materials, each of which will have a significant impact on the final cost that you'll have to pay. Cast iron and ceramic (stone) tubs are commonly the most expensive options, but acrylic and fibreglass offer more flexibility in terms of shape. Enamelled steel is a cost-effective option that can recreate the gorgeous looks of traditional cast iron baths at a fraction of the cost.

It's a really good idea to calculate what you can, reasonably, afford to spend on a new bath before you start looking at styles to choose from, s it will help you to manage your expectations right right from the start.

For some more fantastic bathroom inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Bold baths and bath screen ideas.

Have you made a decision about the bathtub you want now?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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