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Is a Freestanding Bath Suitable for My Bathroom?

Selecting the right bathtub for your bathroom renovation can be a lot of fun! But it’s also an important decision for functional and stylistic reasons. 

A freestanding bath can be the centrepiece of a freshly renovated bathroom, giving a truly luxurious feel. It’s also a very popular option; in our experience, roughly 70-80% of clients prefer a freestanding bathtub over a built-in bath. In this blog, our expert interior designers will share all you need to know about freestanding baths. 

What is a freestanding bath?

A freestanding bath does not typically sit flush with the wall. Instead, it stands alone, without meeting any adjoining surfaces. This type of bathtub will either sit directly on the floor or be supported by feet. Usually, this feature is determined by design rather than functional factors. 

While many may dream of a round bath sitting in the centre of their bathroom, with yards of space on every side, this isn’t feasible for most bathrooms. Instead, the best course of action is to place your freestanding bath close to a wall, while still allowing for just enough space to aid in cleaning. 

In terms of style, freestanding baths generally fall under traditional or modern. 

The traditional freestanding bath will commonly be a slipper bath or roll top bath, both classic shapes that add a little aristocratic flair! A roll top bath will often feature a roll or a lip along the rim of the tub, while a slipper bath is a unique shape, with one end higher than the other. Claw feet are another common feature of traditional stand-alone baths. 

On the other hand, modern freestanding baths are more minimalistic, without accentuated shapes. They feature smoother lines and functionality, with one of the most popular options being an oval shape freestanding bath.

What are the benefits of a freestanding bath?

There are several benefits to selecting a freestanding bath for your bathroom. One of the biggest positives is that there are so many designs and styles to choose from, meaning there is a freestanding bathtub to suit anyone’s taste.

  • A freestanding bathtub will not need to be fixed to a wall, which makes installation much easier. This can also provide more accessibility, particularly if there is enough space to move around each side of your tub. If that is the case, cleaning should be a breeze!
  • Your freestanding tub will look fantastic. It adds a luxurious feel to any space and, as mentioned earlier, can suit a modern or a classic aesthetic.
  • A freestanding bath often means a larger, deeper bath. This equates to not just a luxurious aesthetic but also a luxurious experience for the user. High-backed baths provide even more comfort, and a round bathtub means more space to splash around.
  • The rim of the bath is also worth considering, if you’re bathing small children then a thicker rim to lean over or perch yourself on is a plus, not to mention it acts as a ledge for the myriad of bath toys to live.

Are there downsides to a freestanding bathtub?

While there are many benefits, there are also some disadvantages to selecting a freestanding bathtub for your bathroom renovation.

  • Freestanding baths are generally more expensive than their built-in counterparts. This is often because they are considered a more luxurious option, along with the materials used to make freestanding bathtubs, such as natural stone, cast iron, and stainless steel.
  • Stand-alone baths can be more difficult to clean. If your freestanding bath is placed close to the wall but without adequate space to manoeuvre, cleaning that side of your tub will be difficult.
  • Storing soap and bath supplies can be a headache. With a built-in bathtub, you’ll benefit from a ledge and perhaps a wall recess. On the other hand, all a freestanding tub will have is the rim of the tub itself… or the floor! 
  • Installing a freestanding tub is easier, but moving the tub into position is usually more difficult. This is because many freestanding tubs are heavy, particularly those made from cast iron or stone. 
  • A freestanding bathtub can take up more space, both physically and visually. This can impact the functionality of your bathroom and make it feel smaller or more cramped.

Is a freestanding bath better than a built-in bathtub?

This is a big question, and the answer isn’t exactly simple. It depends on a wide range of factors and almost always comes down to your situation, such as your requirements, the existing space, and your budget. Every bathroom is different, and you may need to opt for a built-in bath over a freestanding bathtub… no matter how badly you want the latter!

But it’s not all bad news… in fact, we believe that you can certainly still achieve a wow factor with a built-in bath. Quality tiling can go a long way to creating a stunning bath, and savvy placement can exacerbate the amount of space in your bathroom. Plus, built-in baths do have the added benefit of storage space.

What is the best brand of freestanding bath?

We recommend a few different products to our clients when they ask for a freestanding bath. For example, Kaldewei baths, available from Reece, are made from pressed metal and are of exceptional quality. Highgrove offers wonderful back-to-wall baths, which deliver the freestanding look but are much easier to clean. For an off-the-wall freestanding bath, Decina Valentina is an excellent option.

So, should I choose a freestanding bath?

It’s important to consider your needs before choosing either a freestanding or a built-in bathtub. 

How often will you use your bath? Do you have enough space in your bathroom, or will a freestanding bath eat up too much of it? Eventually, you’ll need to make a decision, which is best done with the help of industry experts.

We work with homeowners every day, helping them select the right bath for their dream bathrooms. For example, whether or not a large bath or a large shower is more appropriate for your needs, whether it’s for use or simply to add value, and much more. 

Expert advice and insight never go astray. With that in mind, get in touch with smarterBATHROOMS+ today. We love working with homeowners, and our team is ready to make your bathroom renovation a reality. Call us today on 1300 662 838 to speak to one of our experts or book your FREE in-home consultation with one of our interior designers today!

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