When it comes to choosing sanitaryware for your bathroom, much depends on the space you have to work with, the bathroom design scheme you want to create and how you use it — is it a family space or a master suite, for example.
Baths, sinks and WCs are usually split in to two bathroom design categories — built-in and freestanding. From contemporary to classic, there’s a plethora of designs out there. So where do you start? Read our pros and cons guide to help you decide which option, or a combination of the two, will work for your bathroom.
The Oasis drop-in bath, £1,795, from Waters Baths of Ashbourne, is part of the Botanics range, and is made to be enclosed.
Built-in baths are designed to sit within a cradle, which can be bought along with the bath. Alternatively you can get them with adjustable ‘legs’. You can buy acrylic side and end panels to fit around the bath, which tend to be a cheaper option, but aren’t always the most aesthetic.
Another option is to build a timber frame for it to sit in. The frame you build can be as deep as you like — the more space you provide around the bath, the more space you have to keep toiletries to hand.
Don’t forget the frame will conceal pipework so make sure there’s access to the plumbing in case it needs attention. For a more luxurious look you can cover the frame with painted timber panels, or plasterboard and tile it.
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This freestanding Clearstone bath finished with a modern stainless steel outer, £4699 is part of the Clearwater range available from the Pure Bathroom Collection.
Freestanding baths include the classic roll-top, along with a whole host of new designs — from bateau baths, contemporary slipper-style baths to creations formed from stone.
They can certainly create a real focal point in the bathroom.
But bear in mind freestanding baths sometimes require a wall or floor mounted tap so you’ll need to make sure the plumbing can accommodate it. As a result this option can be more expensive than deck mounted ones.
If you want a freestanding bath but are worried about the practicalities of one with a shower over, many now feature one straight edge so you can actually sit it against a wall.
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The Self Countertop ceramic basin, £115 from Frontline Bathrooms, sits above a unit like the example above. A great option if you’re after a boutique look.
Built-in sinks sit within a vanity or storage unit moulded into contemporary countertops or period-style basins set into timber or marble units. The often wide edge around the sink provides space for toiletries.
The Ellipse freestanding curved sided sink, £795 from Waters Baths of Ashbourne, stands proud in this bathroom.
Freestanding sinks include pedestal, semi-pedestal and wall-hung basins. They tend to come out cheaper overall, with standard pedestals being amongst the cheapest — although there are some higher priced designer versions out there.
The SensoWash Starck C Shower-Toilet Seat from Duravit with Darling New WC, around £469, is a wall hung system with pipework hidden behind the wall.
In contrast to the freestanding designs, built-in WCs have their cistern and pipework built into a stud wall, or a unit built out from the wall. They have a sleeker, more contemporary look with just the pan visible, along with what is usually a push button flush mounted on the wall. Wall-hung WCs fall into this category too.
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The freestanding Lima Close Coupled Toilet and Basin Cloakroom Suite, £139.97 from Bathroom Takeaway
This design includes low-level models and traditional high-level designs that come with a chain flush. They are the cheaper option and less time-consuming to install, but can lack the seamless and more modern appeal of built-in designs.