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Freestanding and roll top baths buying guide
Buying guides

Freestanding and roll top baths buying guide

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 2 years ago 10 min read

If you’re looking to create a beautiful and luxurious bathroom, there’s no better choice than a freestanding bath, but with so many different styles and designs where do you begin? In this expert guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know.

Whether your bathroom is contemporary or traditional in style, a freestanding bath will add that extra special touch, offering you the perfect place in which to relax, unwind and let the stresses and strains of the day wash over you. But what is a freestanding bath? And come to think of it, what is the difference between a freestanding bath and a roll top bath? Is a freestanding bath even right for your bathroom? And which style should you choose? Read on, as we answer all these questions and more…

What is a freestanding bath?

Though they come in many different designs and styles, the basic principle of a freestanding bath is the same. They are self-contained and self-supporting baths that don’t require panels to complete their look. They include designs such as classic roll top baths with decorative feet and ultra-modern freestanding baths that sit directly on the floor. If you want to find out more about different bath designs, why not head to our bath buying guide for a quick overview?

Orchard Wharfe freestanding bath

The Wharfe freestanding bath from Orchard Bathrooms is one of our bestsellers. The perfect example of a contemporary, freestanding bath

These days, you’ll also find hybrid designs, which have the appearance of a freestanding bath but are designed to sit neatly against a wall—perfect for smaller spaces. These hybrid designs can also include a shower screen, so you can use as a multi-functional shower bath.

Is a freestanding bath the right choice for you?

At one time, before bathrooms became a common sight in UK homes, the freestanding bath was one of the most popular designs available. Usually the reserve of more affluent households, a roll top or slipper bath was a real status symbol, whilst the average family made do with a tin bath or even a trip to public baths once a week. In the post war period the history of baths took a new turn, as all new homes were built with a bathroom. To fit these new, compact houses and flats, the straight bath (designed to fit against 2 or even 3 walls) dominated.

And that was the way things were, until recently. With more demand than ever placed on our everyday lives, many of us have begun to change our views on what we need from our bathrooms. Instead of serving a purely functional purpose, the humble bathroom is now being transformed into a private retreat, where we can lock ourselves away for an hour or 2 and focus on our own health and wellbeing. And, with this new-found sense of rest and relaxation, many of us are looking to swap our straight baths for something more luxurious—the freestanding bath.

Of course, depending on the size and layout of your bathroom, a freestanding bath may simply not be practical. In most cases, you will need a decent amount of space around the tub. There are minimum clearance guidelines which you can find in our article on bathroom layouts. However, if you find your bathroom is too small, all is not lost! As we’ve already mentioned, a hybrid design, like a back to wall bath (pictured below), still gives you all the finesse and opulence of a freestanding or roll top bath, yet is designed to sit against the wall, like a straight bath.

Mode Cooper back to wall freestanding bath 1700 x 800

A hybrid design is a great idea for small bathrooms

Another reason why a freestanding bath may not be practical is your lifestyle. For example, if you prefer a shower first thing in the morning, but don’t have space for a separate shower installation in your home, a shower bath may be a better option. The same applies if you have small children—the steeper sides of a freestanding bath may not be suitable for them.

However, if there’s nothing stopping you from owning that luxury tub you’ve always dreamed of, the next question is “which style should I choose?”. Let’s take a look at the different designs on offer, here at Victoria Plum…

Freestanding bath styles

All our freestanding baths have that special quality of luxury and style, but there are many different designs you can choose from to create the perfect centrepiece for your bathroom.

Traditional roll top baths

The classic roll top bath can make a stunning addition to a traditional bathroom, creating a feeling of period style and luxury. The Traditional double ended roll top bath from The Bath Co. perfectly embodies that classic look, with a sleek and simple shape set atop stunning decorative feet, and available in a choice of sizes. The taps can be deck mounted or freestanding, depending on your preference.

The Bath Co. Traditional double ended roll top bath

The Bath Co. Traditional roll top bath features intricately detailed feet which raise the tub off the floor

Contemporary freestanding baths

We have a wide range of contemporary freestanding baths to suit a sleek, modern bathroom too. The simple yet stunning Harrison freestanding bath from Mode Bathrooms (pictured below) would make a beautifully contemporary centrepiece, coupled with a modern freestanding tap to complete the look.

Mode Harrison freestanding white bath 1790 x 810

With a simple oval shape, the Harrison freestanding bath is a luxury you can afford

Depending on the overall design of your suite, you may be looking for something more angular in its shape. If so, we have plenty of options to choose from, including the gorgeous Foster freestanding bath from Mode Bathrooms (pictured below), which comes complete with a bamboo bath bridge—a handy place for that book or even a glass of wine!

Mode Foster freestanding bath with bamboo bath bridge

Complement an angular bathroom suite with a square freestanding bath, like the Foster

Slipper baths

The slipper bath, like the roll top bath, is a design that harks back to an era when baths were the sole preserve of the very wealthy. The shape, with one end higher than the other, owes its existence to the fact it offered a little privacy in a household where servants were coming and going. You can find out more about the history of the slipper bath in our blog post.

You’ll find a range of traditional designs here at Victoria Plum, including the popular Traditional single ended slipper bath from The Bath Co. (pictured below). Complete with Victorian style ball and claw feet in a chrome finish and space for deck mounted taps, it is the perfect centrepiece for any vintage style bathroom.

The Bath Co. Traditional single ended slipper bath

For a true touch of elegance, The Bath Co. Traditional slipper bath is a popular choice

If you like the design, but not necessarily the style, we do also offer a contemporary style slipper bath in the shapely form of the Hardy freestanding single ended slipper bath from Mode Bathrooms (pictured below).

Mode Hardy freestanding single ended slipper bath 1600 x 750

The Harding slipper bath is a contemporary bath with a twist. It has been designed to replicate the look and feel of a more traditional slipper bath

Back to wall baths

As we’ve already mentioned, if your bathroom is a bit on the small side, there’s no need to miss out! A back to wall bath comes with all the stunning features you’d expect from a freestanding or roll top bath, yet is designed to sit against a wall, saving on space.

At Victoria Plum, we offer a wide range of back to wall baths to suit modern bathrooms, including the designer Carter back to wall square bath from Mode Bathrooms (pictured below). Complement with a contemporary freestanding tap or even wall mounted taps for that sleek, minimalist look.

Mode Carter back to wall square bath 1700 x 750

With a back to wall bath, like the Carter from Mode Bathrooms, you can easily replace a standard straight bath

Of course, there’s something for all you fans of vintage style too. Take the Dulwich freestanding single ended bath from Orchard Bathrooms (pictured below). This classic tub looks and feels just like a classic roll top tub, yet fits within the footprint of a standard bath size. Fit a glass screen and, hey presto, you have a multi-functional shower bath.

Orchard Dulwich freestanding single ended bath

Practical yet stylish, the Dulwich freestanding single ended bath from Orchard Bathrooms fits snugly into the corner of your bathroom

Finally, it’s not all about functionality. If you’re simply going by stunning looks alone, the Dalston back to wall freestanding bath is surely one of the most elegant designs you’ll ever see. Available with a choice of antique bronze, chrome and white ball and claw feet, why not accessorise with matching wall mounted taps?

The Bath Co. Dalston province blue back to wall freestanding bath with antique bronze ball and claw feet

Add a new metallic finish to your décor with antique bronze feet and matching tap from the Dalston collection

Different colours

Aside from the usual whites, greys and black, if you're looking to add a splash of colour to your bathroom decor, we offer a range of fabulous coloured baths, including pink, orange, yellow, green and blue. The Totally Turquoise cast iron bath from the Artist Collection (pictured below), is one of our absolute favourites, and goes perfectly with other colourful products from the exclusive Louise Dear collection.

Artist Collection Totally Turquoise cast iron bath

Bring a fresh pop of colour to your bathroom with any of the baths from the Artist Collection

Something extra special

If you’re looking for something extra special…you know, that unique centrepiece which elevates your whole bathroom to another level entirely…why not consider a bespoke, hand-finished freestanding bath from The Bath Co.? Made to your exact specifications, each of these baths are made from traditional materials, including cast iron, copper, nickel and enamel.

The Rembrandt copper and nickel bath from The Bath Co. (pictured below), for example, is made from luxury copper, hand-beaten by craftspeople, and expertly polished for a truly outstanding appearance. The interior is nickel-plated, maintaining water temperature more effectively than other materials.

As each one is made to order, it truly is unique to you, creating a lasting impression on anyone who sees it and an even longer-lasting impression on those who bathe in it!

The Bath Co. Rembrandt copper and nickel bath

Choose from our range of extra special made-to-order freestanding baths, like the Rembrandt copper and nickel bath

Measuring for your freestanding bath

Check out this quick video so you get the right measurements for your new freestanding bath:

Taps for freestanding baths

Many freestanding baths require the use of a freestanding tap, as their sleek design doesn’t leave room for tap holes. This can create a really beautiful look, both for traditional and contemporary styles. There are also freestanding baths that do feature tap holes, so always be sure to check the description and full specifications carefully to see what your chosen bath requires.

For traditional roll top baths, you can make use of standpipes along with a classic bath shower mixer to create a gorgeous traditional look. Or, why not consider wall mounted taps for an unobtrusive, minimalist style?

For further advice, check out our freestanding taps buying guide.

Shop freestanding baths

If our buying guide has provided you with all the information and inspiration you need, why not browse our full range of freestanding baths and roll top baths today? Simply click on the image below.

Shop freestanding baths

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in Buying guides | 2 years ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 10 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

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