This article goes through the main types of bathtubs you could buy. As a summary, we recommend you use a shower enclosure instead. If you really need a bathtub, consider a freestanding one. If you need a shower bathtub, use a P shaped bathtub.
Do you really need a bathtub?
If you’re using a bathtub mostly for taking showers, we recommend you to consider a shower enclosure/walk-in shower or even wetroom. These are much are more comfortable to use and better at preventing the water from escaping the shower area.
We get many requests to transform a bathroom into a shower room, but almost never the vice versa. Except for some special situations (for example small children), there is little use for a bathtub (unless you like to use a bathtub, some people still do).
Different types of bathtubs
|Cast iron||○ very solid/long lasting||○ water temperature drops quickly|
○ hard to fit
○ no longer available to buy, except for some reconditioned items
|Steel||○ solid built|
○ easier to fit compared to cast iron and still available to buy
|○ water temperature drops quickly|
|Acrylic (with panel)||○ easy to fit|
○ insulating material, it feels warm to touch and keeps the water warm for a decent amount of time
○ If not used as a shower, you can use MDF bath panels that match the rest of the units in the bathtub
○ they come in different forms: straight, corner shaped, L shaped, P shaped
|○ fragile compared to the metal versions|
○ the panels are really bad (for straight bathtubs we can replace this with UPVC shower panels, but we can’t do this for P shaped/L shaped bathtubs)
○ The white won’t match the ceramic white or composite resin white in the rest of the bathroom.
○ the MDF bath panel unit will get water damaged if used with a shower
○ the glass shower screen looks great, but is pretty ineffective
|Acrylic (freestanding)||○ relatively easy to fit if you have the space for it|
○ moderately priced
○ they look great since they come in a single piece, sometimes in various computed designed shapes
○ have good insulating properties
|○ you need a decent amount of space for these|
○ you can’t use them with a shower above
|Carrotinite, Eternalite, Tungstenite||○ slightly better than acrylic options with panels, stronger and better insulating||○ still just a fancy name for an acrylic bathtub, just some extra layer of acrylic on top |
○ they can be quite expensive for not much extra
Most people choose an acrylic bathtub, a normal or freestanding one. You can see an example of a freestanding bathtub we fitted. We recommend using something similar if you have enough space for it and you don’t use it as a shower.
Modern bathtubs tend to have movable glass screens. This looks great, but they don’t actually do their job properly. The worst of all is the L shaped bathtubs and the only one that does a decent job of keeping the water inside are the P shaped ones. The curved screen means that most of the water will get back inside, but some water will still escape.
The old curtain, as old fashioned it might seem, actually does a much better job compared to glass bath screens.
This is an example of a P shaped bathtub that we fitted. If you really want a shower bathtub and you take into consideration all the advantages/disadvantages, this is probably the best option.
As a conclusion: use a shower + a freestanding bathtub if possible. If you really need a shower bathtub, then consider a P shaped one with a curved screen.