How To Choose The Best Bath

How To Choose The Best Bath

A bath adds value to your home – no questions asked and always an excellent option to include a bathtub in your bathroom if you have room.

Here are the top 7 things you should consider when choosing a beautiful or functional bath for your bathroom.

  1. Purpose – how will the bath be used
  2. Space – there a many design options to help with fitting a bath into your bathroom
  3. Style – The design, fashion, shape and drain configurations are all things to consider
  4. Material – Acrylic baths, stone baths, metal baths, composite baths, enamel baths, Cast iron baths
  5. Budget – all choices have a price tag – what’s your price tag for a bath
  6. Timing – do you need it now or have you planned for manufacturing lead times of the bath
  7. Hot Water – Do you need a larger Hot Water unit to cope with the extra demand.

Why should you consider a bath in your bathroom?

Whether your bath is for the main bathroom, your ensuite or the kid’s bathroom, it will be used in different ways. If you are renovating to sell, you might try to plan for the needs of your new homeowner, and if you are renovating your forever home, then you will be preparing for your future needs and have a higher number of options available.

Baths can be used for your relaxation. A deep bath, facing a window, freestanding style is a great choice.

Baths can be used for washing the kids (or the dog)! A tub with low sides is more comfortable to reach into, maybe a drop in inset bath with a tiled seat area and shelf space is helpful. Low baths can also be much easier to step out of at any age!

Do you have enough space for a bath?

Most bathrooms can fit in a bath of types; however, the size and space can limit your options.

If you have a smaller bathroom, you may consider a bath in shower combination, which can be a square bath or a rectangular bath shape. A bath-in-shower combination will help maximise the space in your small bathroom. Bath-Shower Baths are easy to step in and out of.

If you have a medium-sized bathroom, you may have enough space for a free-standing bath or a bath that is against a wall.  Freestanding baths are available in 1400mm length and an excellent space-saving option for a feature point. You might consider utilising corner to position your bath to save some space.

Larger bathrooms provide you with the most options for deciding where to place your bath. You may consider placing the bath in the centre of your bathroom for the authentic day-spa bathroom.

Remember to consider your plumbing positions when choosing where to position the bath in your bathroom and think how much space you will need to clean around your bath.

Baths come in different designs, shapes, sizes, materials and all offer a different design or function which will help you create your dream bathroom.

You can create a beautiful bathroom in small sapces as easily as you can create in larger spaces.

What are the different types of baths?

Free Standing Baths

Free Standing Baths: As the name describes, freestanding baths are designed to be a feature in the bathroom and do not need to be placed against a wall or recessed into a tiled frame. Freestanding baths are finished on all sides and create a luxurious, relaxing day-spa feel to your bathroom. You can choose to have base curtain surround to cover the drain or position the bath on claw feet. A floor-mounted bath tap is used to fill the bath when placed in the centre of the room.


  • Makes the bathroom appear larger
  • Allows for more versatility in bathroom design, as a bath is not fixed to a wall
  • Creates a relaxing spa retreat feel
  • Gives a contemporary look
  • Models designed to suit any style
  • Adds value to any flip
  • Compact 1400mm baths available for smaller spaces


  • Often very deep sides, making it harder to bath children or step out of when older
  • Higher plumbing costs
  • Sometimes very heavy, requiring extra floor reinforcing
  • Limited with storage options as baths are usually positioned away from the wall.
Back To Wall Free Standing Bath

Back-To-Wall Free Standing Bath: A variation on the traditional freestanding bath where the bath is positioned against the wall or corner. An excellent option for smaller bathrooms and requires less cleaning behind the bath.

Decina Drop In spa

Built-In, Island, Inset or Drop-In Baths: Is placed inside a tiled “island”. These can be positioned against a wall or in the centre of the room and provide great shelf space for soaps, candles or bath toys!

Shower Baths: Are designed to catch and re-direct the flow of shower spray back into the bath. The re-direction minimises additional moisture on floor and corner joints, helping to protect the walls from moisture damage.

Sunken baths: Often called Drop-in baths, the sunken style is recessed into the floor to provide the sunken indulgent feel. This design requires additional floor depth and framework.

What are the different styles of baths?

Traditional baths: Traditional or vintage style of baths usually feature detailed lips and trims are often available with claw feet. Claw feet can be coloured to your choice and are usually a dress trim that covers the load-bearing pillars of freestanding baths.

Contemporary or modern baths: A modern bath usually features simple lines, curved or geometrical lines and are usually very flexible in design choices.

Round baths or pool baths: are luxurious and round and often feature as a centrepiece in the middle of the bathroom.

Spa baths: Spa baths were very popular and offered an additional benefit to your health. The hydrotherapy function of spa bath is an option that should be considered if you are creating a wellness bathroom for relaxation and depressing.

What are the different types of bath materials?

There are many options in material choices for baths. This choice comes down to your personal preference and how much weight your bathroom floor can hold. Remember to consider the weight of the bath when it is filled with water and include the mass of people using the bath.

Acrylic Baths:  Are made with a sheet of acrylic, vacuum-formed into shape and reinforced with fibreglass underneath. Acrylic baths are lightweight and offer a greater range of shapes and styles. Acrylic baths also retain the heat better.

Steel Metal baths: There are a few variations of names for metals baths, pressed metal baths, steel baths, enamel baths, porcelain on steel baths. The baths are pressed from a sheet of thin steel and coated with a layer of hard-wearing porcelain enamel. The technique and finish vary between brands, and you should ask about the quality of the steel and the thickness of the finish before choosing. The surface can withstand many cleaners and are relatively hard-wearing. The baths are heavier than acrylic and can be cold to touch, however, retain the heat well.

Cast-Iron Baths: The life-time bath. Cast iron baths are very durable being resistant to chipping, scratching and denting. Cast Iron baths are made by pouring molten iron into a mold/cast, and it is smoothed and coated with a thick enamel finish. The cast iron baths are heavier than most and may require additional floor reinforcement.

Solid surface baths: One of the most popular finishes on the market right now. Solid surface baths are made from a mixture of acrylic, resins, minerals and synthetics that are poured into a mold. The baths are seamless, luxuriously smooth and have excellent heat retention properties. The surface is non-porous and naturally resistant to stains and mildew. The surface is highly durable and can be easily repaired if needed. Solid surface baths have a very long life span and can be recycled—an excellent option for shapes, styles and durability. Baths can be lightweight or heavy, depending on the composition of the material mixture.

Stone Baths:  Usually made from crushed limestone or marbles mixed with a resin. The stone baths are finished with a protective coating. Stone baths are usually very heavy, and consideration should be made for floor reinforcement and movement of the bath from delivery and onsite can be expensive.

Wood Baths: Baths made of wood provide an exceptional wow factor in any beautiful bathroom; however, they can be quite expensive and require an exceptional amount of maintenance. Baths are usually constructed from laminated timbers and hand-carved to create a unique piece of furniture.

How to choose a bath that suits your budget

Choosing a high-quality bath for your needs shouldn’t empty your renovation budget. Once you’ve selected the needs, shapes and style of your preferred bath, the team at Hardware & General Bathroom centres will be able to show a range of baths in different price ranges. Together we can find the perfect bath for you.

The price range would start with versatile, drop-in, inset baths that are acrylic or enamel and shorter in length and increase as material choices, design and size increase. Your most expensive options would be customer made baths.

Price start as low as $100 and can extend past $10,000

If your bath is the centrepiece, then you should increase your budget to reflect this

How much lead time should you allow for ordering a bath?

The answer to this is based purely on the bath you choose. Some baths are kept in the warehouse and can be delivered within the next working day, and other baths could be specially made for you and require up to 6 weeks.  Some baths may be imported and can take up to 3 months to be delivered. It’s important that you ask the question when you are choosing your dream bathtub. Once you’ve ordered your bath, always advise you plumber of the delivery date so he can plan for installation and labour assistance onsite.

Do I need to upgrade my hot water system when I buy a new bath?

When you’ve completed your dream bathroom, you naturally want to enjoy it! Make sure your hot water unit is going to cope with this level of enjoyment by every member of the household!

Hot Water systems are usually purchased to suit the needs of the existing occupants. If you are renovating a home that you’ve just purchased, it’s a good idea to identify the model and the age of the hot water unit. Talk with your plumber about your family’s needs and discuss the capacity of the bath and how many times it will be used. Consider the use of hot washing in the Laundry and usage in other bathrooms.

These Are Popular Choices for Baths and are on display in our Hardware & General Bathroom showrooms







Victoria & Albert

Villeroy & Boch