Whether you’re buying a new shower enclosure or bathtub, we’ve come up with the 5 key questions you need to ask…plus a few more you may not have thought of.
When planning your bathroom, one of the biggest decisions will involve choosing between a bath and shower, or perhaps including both. Whichever route you go down will have an enormous effect on your daily cleaning routine for many years to come, so you need to think carefully.
There are many factors to consider, relating to the design and proportions of your bathroom, your needs, your family’s needs and your own personal preferences.
To help you come to the right conclusion, here is a breakdown of the 5 key questions you need to ask yourself when buying a shower enclosure or bathtub.
1. How much space do you have available?
Some bathrooms simply won’t be able to accommodate a full-size bathtub and you need to look at the proportions of the bathtubs on the market and measure your space carefully to see which, if any, can fit. Most master bathrooms are designed to fit at least a standard sized bath, however trying to retrofit a tub to a cloakroom or ensuite may prove impossible.
If your bathroom is of a certain size, you may simply have to install a shower enclosure rather than a bathtub. Choose an enclosure with sliding shower doors and good quality shower door seals to make the best use of space.
What should I look for when buying a bath?
There are several things to look out for when buying a bath. Here’s a handy checklist for you to use:
- Dimensions—check these carefully against the space you have available in your bathroom
- Material—Most people opt for an acrylic bath, but steel is another popular material. You can find out the relative merits of a steel versus acrylic bath.
- Design—Do you want a regular straight bath or something more luxurious, like a freestanding or roll top tub? Could a shower bath be more suited to your needs?
- Style—Are you looking for something modern and contemporary or a bath that is more traditional, to complement a vintage interior theme?
- Accessories—Some baths come with essential additions like panels, taps and a waste. Always check though, as you may need to purchase separately.
2. Do you even need to choose?
If you have space available for a full-size bathtub and don’t want to limit yourself, a shower fixed above the bathtub, with an accompanying shower bath installed, may be the perfect compromise.
A shower bath will help you save valuable space, meaning no need for separate installations. Plus, they are great for busy family households, where your individual needs may differ.
3. What are you realistically going to need?
Some live fast-paced, busy lifestyles and simply don’t have the time to take a relaxing bath every morning. If you’re one of these racy individuals, you don’t want to cut yourself off from the time-efficiency of a shower enclosure. Likewise, if you’re a more peaceful creature, and need your morning relaxation sanctuary, you won’t want to confine yourself to the energetic rush of the shower.
What is the best type of bath to buy?
The “best type of bath” depends entirely on your own personal circumstances. For those working to a tight budget and a tight floorplan, a straight bath offers excellent value for money, functionality and durability.
For those who are blessed with a slightly larger than average bathroom and a slightly bigger budget, why not consider a freestanding bath or even a whirlpool design?
If you’re really looking to push the boat out, why not consider a bath that’s made to order, with a specific colour or on-trend metallic finish?
4. What does the layout of your bathroom require?
There are strict safety regulations governing the arrangement of your bathroom. These are particularly stringent regarding electrical fittings.
You’ll need to consult bathroom safety guidelines to find out where you can place your shower or bath. This may affect whether you’re able to fit a shower enclosure or a bath into the room since you need to keep water fittings a certain distance from electrical appliances such as lights.
What type of shower enclosure is best?
In answer to this question, it all comes down to the space you have available and the layout of your bathroom. For those with a small floorplan, it may be a case of simply adding a shower door and tray to an existing recess or squeezing a quadrant enclosure into a corner. In both cases, sliding doors ensure optimum use of space. A square shower enclosure with a bifold door may work better for certain layouts.
If you have a little more room to play with, you may wish to consider a rectangular enclosure, perhaps even a walk in design or an offset quadrant enclosure, which gives you a bit more room to manoeuvre.
There are plenty of additional options when it comes to choosing the best type of shower enclosure for your bathroom, including shower cabins and open plan wet rooms.
5. Do you just want it all?
If you have a particularly spacious bathroom, you may be able to fit both. With a fairly flexible budget, perhaps you should consider partitioning an especially large bathroom?
Will you really use a bathtub and a shower enclosure on the same morning? Splitting your bathroom may be an excellent way to save your precious morning-time, especially if you have a larger family and you may also want to consider walk in or wet room options to give you access to both a shower and a bath but not necessarily in the same room.
Shop baths and shower enclosures
Here at Victoria Plum, we have a great range of baths and shower enclosures, including space-saving, compact options. Our staff are always happy to help, so why not speak to us about your bathroom needs and see if we can help you decide whether you need a shower enclosure or a bathtub?