Free standing baths

Whether it’s the period drama of a claw-foot slipper style or a stunning contemporary design, a free-standing bath is guaranteed to take the starring role in your bathroom.

“A centre-piece bath never fails to impress,” says Gavin Derighetti, of Victor Paris Bathrooms whose showrooms in Edinburgh and Glasgow are home to a huge variety of free-standing designs, from classic to ultra-modern.

“A free-standing bath should take centre stage, positioned as the focal point in the room,” he says. “You do need a bit of space to get that wow factor. However, it’s also a very flexible bathroom solution as they can be angled to fit into a space that might have been difficult for a normal bath. “If it’s in the middle of the room, the bath may need free-standing taps. Or for something out of the ordinary, it can be filled from a panel in the ceiling.”

And don’t worry if your bathroom is on the compact side. “You don't need a huge bathroom,” assures Graham Ball, chief executive of KBSA (Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialist Association). “Some are designed to be tiled in on one wall.”

There’s a huge range of baths on the market, from elegant roll-tops to baths that have been carved from a single boulder of granite. The theme of your bathroom will naturally dictate the style of bath you choose.

Modern rooms will look great with clean symmetrical lines, so look for egg, oval and square shapes, while traditional decor will work in harmony with slipper or boat designs. Colour wise, you’re not only restricted to white. Baths can be painted in bold shades like purple and black to match your decor or to add contrast, while gold and silver leaf finishes provide a dramatic, fashion-forward look.

Material matters too when you’re buying a free-standing bath. You can choose from cast iron, acrylic, stone, wood or even glass. “One of our brands, Victoria + Albert, has a lovely bath made from volcanic limestone, which looks great and is perfect for retaining heat without being too heavy,” says Gavin Derighetti. If you do opt for a heavier design, like cast iron, it is important to check that your bathroom floor can withstand its weight.