How to choose the perfect bath

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Most of us love to have the perfect bath. If chosen correctly the perfect bath can help you to relax, unwind, de-stress, ease aches and pains as well as aid in a good night’s sleep, so it’s no wonder we are all drawn to a good bath! However, choosing that perfect bath is not an easy decision and as it can be an expensive one it deserves some serious consideration beforehand. Below are some of the factors you should consider before you purchase your bath.

Dimensions

If you are in the market for a new bath then you need to consider the dimensions of space that you have. Don’t make the fatal mistake of purchasing your dream bath without first checking whether or not it will even fit. Many people make the mistake of buying before they have checked and it can prove to be an expensive error if the company you buy from aren’t prepared to do a straight exchange for you.

Shape

There are now various shapes on offer when it comes to the perfect bath. With everything from the traditional roll top to a P shaped, L shaped, circular or even corner bath, the choices are endless. You may have an idea of what you think would look best in your bathroom but ensure the shape is right for the space you have.

Material

The materials on offer for baths are now quite vast and you have a multitude of options available to you. It is best to go and see different material baths and consider your decision. With everything from cast iron, acrylic and steel to copper and fibreglass, each having their unique benefits.

  • Copper baths – Ideal for their durability and low maintenance. Not only is copper easy to maintain but it also looks unique and stylish but can be expensive.
  • Steel baths -Are durable and solid. They can be cold when you first get in but are hard wearing and have a traditional and elegant look.
  • Cast iron baths – These baths will retain heat and are extremely durable lasting for many years. Cast iron baths are also not as easy to scratch, dent or chip.
  • Acrylic or fibreglass baths – These are by far the much cheaper option. They are light in weight because of the way they are constructed but can discolour very easily. They are the most commonly purchased baths.

Quality

Always consider the quality of a bath before you buy. You can find some real bargains on the market but these can often compromise on quality. You don’t want to have to replace your bath within a couple of years due to discolouring, scratches or cracking. Be aware that with acrylic baths there can be different thicknesses so it is advisable to check this before you commit to a purchase. When it comes to the perfect bath, sometimes it is worth those extra pennies to ensure it lasts.

Comfort

Make sure when you are purchasing your bath that you don’t forget comfort. Often people like to buy baths because they look unique, modern and stylish but then find that they are most uncomfortable to actually use. If you are going to purchase a new bath then it should be something you can use and enjoy. Don’t be afraid to visit bath stores and actually take your shoes off and lie down in the baths to test how they feel. Check the bath offers you the support you want and need.

Added extras

Baths are now becoming more and more advanced and added extras are something you need to consider. Baths now come with all kinds of added extras, from whirlpools and jets to i-pod docking stations and lights. Before you go ahead and purchase something very expensive with added extras, consider first the cost and how much you may use them. If you like to lie in a relaxing bath and listen to music then an i-pod docking station is a great extra for you to have. Think hard about what makes your individual bath perfect and go for that.

Bathroom trends of 2013

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For many people, their bathroom is their little haven and get-away from the rest of the world, a place for relaxation and pampering. 2013 bathroom trends are centred on this idea of luxury and sanctuary, bringing high end styling to every home.

Our favourite bathroom designs this year are incorporating rich stonework and tiling, beautiful elegant lighting and deep freestanding bath tubs perfect for long bubble baths. This year, much like last year, the idea of putting furniture in the bathroom where space is available is still very popular. Bathrooms are becoming a space for relaxation which whilst sometimes deeply private, can also be a lovely environment for sharing conversation with loved ones.

In the bathroom, practical lighting is a necessity – but that doesn’t mean aesthetically pleasing lighting solutions can’t also be used. Brass and gold have made a huge resurgence for 2013, so brass pendant lights or vintage styles will look on trend as well as providing necessary illumination. Brass and gold features are also seen in the metalwork of the bathroom, such as taps and faucet combinations being incredibly popular although not much has changed this year in sinks. The traditional elegance of white porcelain in various shapes from the conventional to more modern designs are working wonderfully well to provide contemporary luxury in the home.

Again, luxury is the driving force behind shower technology – shower head designs themselves are incorporating the latest techniques for temperature control, rain fall simulation and various pulse settings. Contemporary stone surrounds and tiling unite the look. This year, home bathrooms are tending to look more like high end spa facilities and give a real deluxe finish. Freestanding bath tubs epitomise opulence and glamour, combining modern fixtures and shapes with a wide range of more traditional fittings available. Under floor heating further augments the luxury appeal, keeping feet warm and also saving on energy bills too.

Fabric and accessories have got two main choices this year: subtle sheers are popular, particularly in linen fabrics for windows which allow natural light through but give privacy and obscured vision into the bathroom, whilst on the other end of the trend dramatic Russian balloon drapery in voluminous layers add excitement and in 2013, there is a huge variety of colour choice being seen in design. Bold patterned fabrics and Indian or Moroccan inspired prints are being turned into shower curtains as well as window draping, combined with solid colour towels and accessories to unite the look without overwhelming with pattern details.

5 mistakes to avoid when designing your new bathroom

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Renovating the bathroom can make an enormous difference to the entire home, but there are common mistakes people make when updating their home which can be easily avoided.

1. Improper toilet location. Be careful when planning the bathroom design that the toilet should not be placed directly facing the doorway. Even turned ninety degrees is a better option if there are no alternative locations, but if the toilet is facing the doorway and someone happens to open the door, they get a much more explicit view than if the toilet was not in their direct line of sight. In some small areas this may not always be possible, but where it is a consideration think carefully about how likely it is that someone will interrupt and enter upon a sight you’d rather was hidden.

2. Remember that plumbing will need to be accessed from time to time, in the event of any faults or problems with the system. Although you want to conceal the necessary plumbing, it needs to remain accessible without damaging the flooring or walls. Design floor coverings with a section that can be lifted, or put the relevant piping into more convenient locations. Essentially, don’t forget that although the bathroom is a beautifully designed space it also has an integral functionality, and should this be compromised it will need rectifying no matter the impact on the immaculately tiled floor or walls.

3. Leaving insufficient storage space. Bathrooms naturally require certain items: towels, hygiene and beauty products, toilet paper, bathroom cleaning supplies all need to be in easy reach and yet discreetly concealed. Well designed towel racks can keep them looking good whilst being available, but for other items a certain amount of cupboard space or other storage solutions will need to be considered. Don’t make the mistake of designing a beautiful bathroom only to find it is not ultimately very practical.

4. Consider your lighting. The bathroom tends to be the place where people apply their makeup and prepare themselves for the day, but is also a place of luxury and relaxation. You need to find the right balance of functional lighting and atmospheric options to make the room ideal for all of its intended purposes.

5. Electrical sources in the bathroom can be dangerous. Some modern bathrooms include radio systems and televisions, as well as the traditional shaver points, but be aware that electrical equipment does not combine well with water and needs careful consideration before installation to eliminate risks.

The most extravagant historical bathrooms

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Baths have been recorded in use as far back as 3000 BC. The ancient inhabitants of Mohenjo-Daro, one of the first civilised cities, had baths built of brick with drainage in the floor connecting the bath to the large local drainage system. These were more advanced than most people would ever associate with such an ancient culture. When we think of historical bathrooms, the common stereotype of communal public spaces in the Roman style is perhaps what comes to mind most immediately. However, not all early bathrooms were of this nature. The Palace of Knossos in Crete made use of an incredibly sophisticated plumbing system not very divergent from that which is used in modern homes today. Similar bathrooms excavated on the Aegean island of Thera have found alabaster bath tubs with twin plumbing fittings, bringing separate hot and cold water. Separate hot and cold taps did not become widespread in Great Britain until the 20th Century.

Whereas bathroom facilities and actual bathing previous took place wherever necessary, designed for convenience rather than in a specific designated room, eventually it was decided there should be a room for the wet equipment and people began to convert the purpose of an existing bedroom into a specific washroom. At this point, everything was wooden. The highest quality bathrooms were built to look like they were full of fine furniture, intricately carved. Only the wealthiest individuals could afford bathrooms, so designs were created catering to this specific market.

One of many legends revolving around historical bathing practices is concerned with the ancient queen Cleopatra and whether or not she bathed in milk. Though evidence is scarce, research suggests there might have been benefits to the treatment. An unusual bathroom for which we do have plenty of evidence, however, is the solid 24 carat gold bathroom of Hong Kong’s Lam Sai-wing, in which absolutely everything is made of solid gold and gemstones. In the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most expensive toilet, it is not simply the toilet itself which is golden but rather the entire room. The mirror frame, accessories including toilet brushes and paper holders, the wash basins, the wall tiles and even the floor are made from solid gold. The bathroom, worth approximately £7million, is a popular tourist attraction – though visitors must wear protective shoes to prevent damage to the golden floor, and pay to use the solid gold toilet.

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