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Want a freestanding bath? This is what you should consider

Having a freestanding bath is a wonderful way to add elegance and personality to your bathroom, but there are a number of things to think about before taking the plunge. Consider these nine points to help you decide whether a freestanding tub is right for you and your home. 

Weigh it up
Freestanding baths are often very heavy, especially if they’re made from stone or cast iron, so you must seriously consider the weight before you decide to install one. Take into account how heavy it will be when it’s full of water and you are in it, as well as its empty weight.

If you’re in doubt about the structure of your house and the strength of your floor, do check with a builder or structural engineer before you decide to install a freestanding bath. 

Plan your position

Decide where in the room your bath will go. A good place to put it is close to a window – locating a bath next to or under one really adds to the bathing experience.

Often the window area is an awkward spot. Here, for example, the glazing is too low for a basin, shower or loo to be fitted, but the bath fits perfectly in the alcove. It’s the ideal spot for an indulgent soak while enjoying the beautiful view. 

Factor in storage space

Storage is something that’s easy to overlook when choosing a freestanding bath. It’s really important to make sure you have space to keep all the necessary ingredients for a relaxing soak. Here, there’s a shelf next to the bath to stash the important basics, such as soap and shampoo.

If you don’t have the opportunity to plan your storage at an early stage, don’t worry: you could simply keep a side table or stool next to the bath.

Check out these bathroom storage solutions for your lotions and potions

Choose your style

There are many styles of freestanding bath to choose from. You could go for traditional or modern, or opt for one with feet or one without – the list is endless.

When choosing your tub, think about the impact you want your bathroom to make. The bath in this image cleverly fuses traditional and contemporary. If you’re feeling brave, you could choose something really unusual, like the marble one shown earlier, which would be a great way of adding personality to your bathing space.

Use it to save space

While recently working on a new loft extension, Planning Permission gave us less volume than we’d expected. There was only room for a shower, loo and double basin in the master bathroom. However, we managed to fit a freestanding tub under eaves – a space that was otherwise unusable.

Here, the bath sits beneath a roof window, which is perfect for gazing up at the stars, and helps the bathing area feel less cramped.

See more loft bathrooms that use space brilliantly 

Pick a colour

A great thing about freestanding baths is that you can be flexible with colour. Cast-iron tubs usually come painted with an undercoat, ready for you or your decorator to add the final shade. This allows you to paint it in the perfect colour to match your scheme.

The bath here has been painted a lovely dark hue that picks up the colour of the wood under the basin and ties the scheme together. You could equally try a vibrant colour for a bold centrepiece.

Chosen your bath? Decide on the sink, too, with bathroom sinks on Houzz

Traditional bathroom, EnglandGrade II listed, Hertfordshire Home, Part 2Photo by Cherie Lee Interiors - Look for traditional bathroom pictures 

Make a statement

If you really want to make an impact, choose a bath made from copper or stone. It would become the focal point of your bathroom and you could style the rest of the space accordingly.

This wonderful tub makes a real statement, while the rest of the scheme forms a soft, muted backdrop. 

Select your taps

When you’re buying a freestanding bath, make sure you pay careful attention to the taps. Bath-mounted ones are the most cost-effective option, and you can choose to have them fitted at the end of the bath or in the middle. You could also opt for a floor-standing design, as these homeowners have done, or ones that are attached to the wall. Your decision will depend on the space available, your budget and your preference.  

Consider also whether you’d like traditional-style taps or modern ones. The finish is also important, with chrome being the most affordable; silver nickel, brass and copper are the more expensive options. Once you’ve chosen the taps, don’t forget to check the bath you’re buying has the tap holes in the right places.


Think outside of the bathroom

Freestanding baths are quite simple to install and can be fitted pretty much anywhere there’s a water supply and waste. It could be fun to create something unusual and personal in your home, either in the corner of a bedroom, as these homeowners have done, or anywhere else that would work for you.

Laura Butler-Madden, Houzz Contributor

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Houzz Experts

Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world.

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