A freestanding or fitted bath, which is right for you? While your eye might be drawn to the glamour and luxe of a freestanding roll-top bath placed majestically in the middle of a bathroom, the more discreet yet equally stylish fitted tub has much to offer, too.
It can be more practical in certain situations and can fit perfectly with your bathroom scheme. So, weighing up your available space and your style agenda, which style of bath should you choose? Here’s a selection to tickle your fancy.
Five Reasons to Choose a Freestanding Bath
1 – You’re drawn to smooth, contemporary curves
Freestanding baths aren’t all vintage roll-tops and cast-iron pieces these days. If contemporary style is more your thing, you’ll have no trouble finding a design to fit perfectly into your super-sleek bathroom.
Smooth, egg-shaped baths are fuss-free and roomy, so you can enjoy a luxurious soak. Pair with a freestanding tap for the ultimate showstopper.
2 – You like the idea of an accent colour
One of the great plus points of choosing a classic, roll-top bath is that you can have it customised in any paint colour you wish, to give it that bespoke look. Opt for a muted, stylish grey if you want something classic that will work in almost any room, or choose an accent colour from the room and paint your bath to match, as these homeowners have done.
If you’re feeling particularly decadent, choose a design in copper. Go for a penny-bright polish, or try an un-lacquered finish and let a natural patina develop and dull down.
3 – You’re aiming for a Victorian vibe
The classic roll-top, claw-foot bath is a must-have for a Victorian-style bathroom. If you love this design, but need it to multi-task as a shower without ruining the look, fear not. Position a large, circular shower rose above it and a ceiling-mounted curved shower rail around it and voila – a Victorian-style shower bath. The result is functional yet packed with vintage charm.
4 – You love old-fashioned glamour
Fans of old-style glamour will adore a French-style bateau bath. This design oozes vintage elegance, with its deep interior and burnished cast iron exterior. Pair yours with a Venetian-glass mirror and twinkling chandelier for a bathroom you’ll never want to leave.
5 – You’d relish an ergonomic design
A bath that fits like a glove is a boon for anyone who enjoys a relaxing soak at the end of a long day. This Cabrits bath from Victoria + Albert is contoured to fit the body, so you can lie back and unwind.
You don’t need a palatial bathroom to fit in a freestanding tub like this, either: a low-lying design won’t dominate a small room, and if there isn’t space for a floor-standing tap, simply wall-mount instead.
Five Reasons to Choose a Fitted Bath
1 – You want it to blend seamlessly with your décor
If you’re looking for something to fit in perfectly with your scheme, choose a fitted bath and clad it top-to-toe in a beautiful (and water-resistant) material, such as marble, tiles or treated wood. It will give the room a streamlined and cohesive look, and the panelling will cleverly disguise any unsightly pipework.
Finally, you could add in a ledge or nook for your lotions and potions. Remember to build in a hinged access panel for any maintenance issues that may crop up.
2 – You’re keen to minimise sightlines
One of the wonderful things about fitted baths is that they can come in any shape, size or design. If you’re thinking of renovating your bathroom, and have the appropriate space and budget, try sinking yours into the floor for something chic and contemporary. It will also create the illusion of space by not blocking sightlines – perfect for smaller spaces.
Furthermore, we recommend you stick to a simple palette of natural greys and whites for an elegant, pared-back vibe. Alternatively you could go for something a little bolder if you’re feeling brave.
3 – You could do with some extra storage
One of the beauties of the built-in bath is that many casings offer a great additional storage opportunity. This tub has been cleverly fitted with skinny pull-down compartments, perfect for stashing anything from slippers to spare hand towels out of sight.
This scheme also shows how a panel can neatly merge with a basin vanity unit to create a seamless bathing space.
4 – You want to maximise a small space
If you’re struggling space-wise, you can’t beat a built-in bath, which these days come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t have room for a full-length tub? Worry not. Opt for a shorter, deeper model that will offer just as good a soak as the bigger designs. You could add in a shower above the bath for flexibility.
5 – You’re looking for a bespoke design
A fitted bath needn’t be dull. Built-in baths can also be crafted from all manner of materials, including wood, to create a bespoke piece. Though do bear in mind it will come with a heftier price tag. Traditional wooden soaking tubs like the one above can be built in to small spaces to give you a spa-like mood. Even in a narrow bathroom.
Which is your favourite type of bath – freestanding or fitted? Share your thoughts and photos in the comments below.