Both freestanding and built-in designs suit contemporary and classic bathroom schemes.
Built-in baths sometimes come with adjustable ‘legs’, or are designed to sit within a cradle, which can be bought along with the bath Otherwise, you can just build a timber frame for it to sit within.
- You can buy cheap acrylic side and end panels to fit around the bath (these aren’t always attractive however)
- Try covering the frame with painted timber panels, or plasterboarding it to take tiles for a more luxurious look
- Access should always be considered in case the plumbing needs attention
- The frame you build can be as deep as you like — the more space you provide around the bath, the more space you have for the toiletries that amass here.
Freestanding baths include the classic roll-top, along with a whole host of new designs — from bateau baths, contemporary slipper-style baths to creations in stone. Freestanding bath makes a great focal point. If you want a freestanding bath but are worried about the practicalities of one with a shower over, many now come designed with one straight end for placing against a wall. Also, remember that freestanding baths sometimes require a wall or floor mounted tap which can be more expensive than deck mounted ones.
The Linear Bath from Frontline Bathrooms, £185
Built-in Baths Pros:
- They offer lots of storage potential
- They can be tiled to match the rest of the bathroom
- They tend to work out cheaper than freestanding baths
- Less opportunity for ‘wow factor’
Acrylic Striped Boat Bath from BC Designs, £2,450
- They are the ideal way to create a focal point
- There is a huge choice available, from traditional roll-tops to contemporary stone models
- They can look more elegant than a built-in bath and can take up less space
- They tend to lack the storage opportunities that built-in baths offer
- They are not always practical where a shower over the bath is required
Freestanding basins encompass pedestal, semi-pedestal and wall-hung basins. Built-in, however, refers to those basins which sit within a vanity or storage unit. It tends to be freestanding basins which come out cheaper overall, with standard pedestals being amongst the cheapest — although there are some costly designer versions out there. Pedestals make it easy to conceal all the pipework, are simple to fit and come in a huge range of styles. Built-in sinks, such as those moulded into contemporary countertops or period-style basins set into timber or marble units, provide storage around the basin.
Better Bathrooms’ Vigo Right Hand Corner Combination, £499.95
- They offer huge storage opportunities
- They look sleek and are available in materials such as timber or composites, to compliment the rest of the suite and interior scheme
- They can be set at whatever height you wish
- They can take up more space than freestanding
- They tend to work out slightly more expensive
The Rodinia Cameo basin from Pangea Bathrooms, £249
- Standard designs are cost-effective
- Easy to conceal unsightly pipework if they feature a pedestal
- Perfect for traditional-style bathrooms
- No space is provided for storing bathroom essentials
- Full pedastals are at a set height which may not suit everyone or every bathroom
Built-in WCs have their cistern and pipework built-in to a stud wall, or a unit built out from the wall. Wall-hung WCs fall into this category too. Built-in WCs have a sleeker, more contemporary look with just the pan visible, along with what is usually a push button flush mounted on the wall. Freestanding WCs include low-level models and also traditional high-level designs featuring a chain flush. Freestanding WCs are the cheaper option and less time-consuming to install, but can lack the seamless and more modern appeal of built-in. They also create a few more nooks and crannies to clean.
Ideal Standard‘s Concept Space range
- Ideal for creating clean lines
- Possibilities for creating storage space
- Needs to be built-in into a stud wall or unit
- Can work out as a more expensive option
Aliseo WC from Frontline Bathrooms, £680
- Generally work out cheaper than built-in
- Suit traditional-style bathrooms really well
- More spaces to get lodged with dirt
- No space for storage