Posted: 20th February 2018
Free-standing Baths versus Built-in Baths
Although fewer people take a regular bath nowadays, most preferring a shower, the bathtub often remains the centre piece of the bathroom. In more recent years, there has been significant demand for freestanding bathtubs where space permits, so we thought we’d just compare the benefits and disadvantages of freestanding baths versus built-in baths.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a free-standing bathtub is it’s like having a work of art in the room – they just look stunning. From original claw foot baths to striking modern designs that offer the ultimate in bathing experiences. These (usually) large bathtubs are stand alone pieces with nothing around them, so they are very easy to clean and can be accessed from every side. They are also very simple to install and can be installed pretty much anywhere in the bathroom.
The disadvantages of free standing bathtubs are they are generally more expensive than fitted baths, usually because they’re made of more expensive materials. They have no storage places for your bottles and candles etc (although you can buy portable storage pieces). Finally, and sometimes the deal-breaker, they are usually so heavy that often the floor has to be reinforced to support the weight of the bath tub.
The main benefits of the more traditional style of built-in baths are … their efficient use of space as they fit very neatly into a corner of the bathroom; they are usually cheaper, they conceal all of the pipework within the ‘frame’ and most of them double-up as showers.
The downsides are, fewer options in terms of siting and appearance – built-in baths must go against a wall (usually in a corner) and despite the vast range of brands and colours, they all look pretty similar once in place. Installation is more challenging than with free-standing, often requiring extensive work on the surrounding walls and frame.
As with many things, some people will have their choice dictated by their property or individual room although there are usually solutions to be found for both freestanding and built-in baths in most situations. So, it’s largely a matter of personal choice so long as you’ve considered the main points here.
Our advice? Weigh up all the factors. Think carefully about living with whatever you choose for the next few years. Do lots of browsing – ask for expert advice and look at many different room settings to help you visualise what your bathroom will look like. As ever we’re here to help in any way we can.