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No-one can deny the appeal of freestanding baths. Gone are the days when you needed an acre sized bathroom and a trust fund to own one.
Without question they are undeniably beautiful and can instantly add a touch of glamour and elegance to any bathroom, but what exactly are they and how do they differ from a standard bath?
To put it simply, a freestanding bath is a stand alone bath, which sits either directly on the floor or is mounted on feet without being attached to a supporting wall structure.
For most people, when you envisage a freestanding bath you imagine it to be the focal point of a bathroom with oodles of space all around it.
That is still true to an extent as most freestanding baths are installed away from the wall, however, with the variety of sizes and styles now available, space isn’t quite the issue that it used to be. Indeed, there are designs that do allow the bath to be located along a wall even though the base of the bath is away from it.
Freestanding baths tend to fall within two camps, traditional and contemporary. This isn’t a rigid definition as some baths have elements of both within their design. Traditional freestanding baths have that period feel about them and consist of slipper baths and roll top baths.
Slipper baths are characterised by their shape, with one end being higher than the other.
The period feel is further enhanced by the supporting claw feet, adding a touch of gothic drama to the whole look.
A more modern take on the slipper bath allows the bath to rest directly onto the floor creating a seamless structure allowing for a more contemporary feel.
Roll top baths, as the name suggests, features a curved roll or lip as a design feature at the top of the bath and unlike the slipper bath both ends tend to be of equal height.
Contemporary freestanding baths feature outstanding curves, smooth lines and a clean, minimalist design, the kind of bath that you would expect to see in a luxury hotel or spa retreat. The simplicity of the design aids a feeling of tranquillity and relaxation. Modern designs feature unusual shapes adding an ever more creative edge to your bathroom.
Although the issue of weight doesn’t really apply anymore as most baths are made of lightweight acrylic and also the joist structure within modern homes can support an increased load, weight may be an issue when purchasing a stone freestanding bath. As this material is heavier and denser than acrylic it would be advisable to check the maximum load of your bathroom floor as obviously the weight increases further when filled with water.
Another issue to consider before even purchasing a freestanding bath is whether or not the installation of the bath is part of a complete remodel of the bathroom or whether it is simply a re-fit, that is removing one bath and replacing it with another.
If it is a complete remodel of the bathroom then during the planning stages steps can and should be taken to accommodate the necessary plumbing and waste concerns.
If the freestanding bath is intended to replace a standard bath tub then the implications of moving the waste system has to be given greater consideration as unlike with a standard bath fitting, where the waste system is housed underneath the bath, with a freestanding bath installation, the waste sytem is housed below floor level.
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