The bath has a long history, starting out as little more than a tin tub and developing into the built-in style that was common for decades in the western world. The first full-size baths were free-standing, held off the floor by four feet which were often elaborately carved. The style that immediately comes to mind is the Victoriana style with its claw feet. Freestanding baths are enjoying renewed popularity, with many homeowners electing to have one installed during a bathroom renovation. As with most things, they have points for and against them, so we will look at some of these pros and cons.
The style of freestanding baths have changed in recent years. There is still the traditional ones with the feet but now there are also ones that are solid to the floor, creating clean lines and a sleek, modern look. So, the first advantage to a free-standing bath is the ability to coordinate it to the décor of the room and the rest of the house. If you have a vintage theme throughout your home, you can now have modern fittings in your bathroom that match this style. Similarly, if you have a modern style of home, you can still have a freestanding bath that fits in with the rest of the home.
Another great thing about this type of bath is the wide range of styles that are now available. Whether you want a classic or modern style there is lots of choice in size, depth and shape. Consider who is going to be using the bath when deciding on size and depth; if you love a good, long soak in the tub, go for more depth and size to enhance this experience but if the bath is for children, it would be safer to choose something shallower.
There is also a choice in the materials used to manufacture the bath. Old baths were enamelled metal, usually cast iron, and these are still available but tend to be more expensive than those made of acrylic. The advantage with acrylic is that it doesn’t chip like enamel, although these days, enamelled baths can easily be repaired by a professional.
One main disadvantage of the freestanding bath is the space it takes up in the room. A built-in bath stands against a wall or in a corner and is quite space-efficient. To look their best and achieve the greatest impact, freestanding baths need to be placed away from the wall. If your bathroom is small, this could pose a problem for accessibility. Installation may also cost a little more with a freestanding tub.
One of the biggest disadvantages with freestanding baths is their weight, especially the cast iron models. You need to be sure that the floor can support the weight or opt for a lighter acrylic model; these look just the same as the cast iron models but weigh considerably less.
It is important to consider these pros and cons of freestanding baths when you are planning your bathroom renovation, to help you make the best choices for your situation. A professional bathroom renovating company will be able to give you excellent advice and help you make the right choices.