Need to know's

What is a standard size of bath?

There is not such a thing as a standard size of bath, however, the most common size is 1700x700mm. Other popular sizes are 1700x750mm and 1800x800mm. Other sizes are also available. It is more than possible in most installations to squeeze a bigger bath in by chipping out the wall, but of course the installer will need to confirm this before you make your purchase.

What materials are baths made from?

Baths are generally made from one of 3 materials: steel, acrylic or cast-iron. Specialist baths can be made out of all sorts of materials including copper, concrete and fire clay.

Steel baths – what do I need to know about them?

Steel baths are pressed, heated to a high temperature, and then enamel coated (this gives a glass type finish). The finish on steel baths tends to be uniform from the very light weight bath to the more expensive heavy duty baths. We recommend heavier duty steel baths. These baths tend to be made of thicker steel and have a heavier and thicker enamel coat. A bath is a very expensive thing to change. If a customer wants to save money, it is advisable that they do so on the brassware or china not the bath or the shower tray.

Steel baths – what are the benefits?

Imagine dropping a heavy shower head into the base of a thin steel bath. The steel would give and the glass coating would shatter producing a chip. This is much less likely to happen in a thicker bath although it is possible to chip a heavy bath. The type of impact that is needed to do this could well split an acrylic bath. A large proportion of the cost in producing steel baths is setting up the press to shape the steel. That is why shaped baths cost more money. If looked after, the finish on a steel bath could well last a lifetime. People sometimes have preconceived objections that the water in a steel bath cools down quicker than in an acrylic bath. This is actually true, however, it is only notable under scientific conditions and is so minimal it really is not an issue. There is very little movement in a heavier bath, and nothing worse than the creaking of a poorly fitted acrylic bath.

Steel baths – what are the disadvantages?

Although very strong once fitted, steel baths are very vulnerable to chipping and damage during transportation, storage and installation. Combine the weight of a steel bath and knock it against a corner of a brick, or drop it onto a stone, or drag it by it’s legs, and the bath could flex and in turn chip. That is why we ask our customers to check the bath over carefully at time of delivery. Steelbaths are usually limited as to where you can put taps and we usually reccommend that you purchase your bath with the tap holes already cut out . Make sure that any cleaning products you use are suitable for use on enamel otherwise you could damage the finish on the bath.

Cast Iron baths - advantages and disadvantages?

Cast-iron baths are made along the same lines as steel baths, although due to the nature of the material, the enamel coating is not as polished and perfect. It is this rippling effect that is the beauty of the cast-iron bath. Once fitted, it is very difficult to chip this type of Bath and they are super rigid. Cast-iron baths can be really, really heavy. You will have to check that your floor can take the weight of the bath plus the added weight once filled with water. The other point is that the finish on a cast iron bath will not last as long as that on a steel Bath. And, in the same way as steel baths, they are vulnerable during transportation and installation. Please check that you have adequate access to get the bath into its final position – bearing in mind how many people you are likely to require on site to help position it.

Acrylic baths – advantages and disadvantages?

The great thing about acrylic baths is the variety of shapes and sizes available. They are generally supplied without tap holes. Depending on the shape of the bath this can give you more choice as to where you can fit your taps. They can be polished back to new. There are very few suppliers of acrylic so the quality tends to be uniform. The strength in an acrylic bath is not the plastic itself but the reinforced material that is attached to the plastic.

In most cases the bath is pressed, then turned over and sprayed with reinforcing glue. Because the pressing process stretches the acrylic it no longer has a uniform thickness. This is one of the reasons for an acrylic bath squeaking as it is stretched by our weight. Of course the other reason is the bath being poorly fixed and supported.

Some specialist acrylic bath manufacturers get around this issue by using a specialist computerised spraying technique. Where the acrylic has been stretched thin the reinforcement is sprayed thicker. The end result is a uniform thickness. These baths tend to have all the heavy duty qualities of a steel bath and benefits of an acrylic bath.