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Selecting the right bath: built-in, back to wall or freestanding?

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

There is something just so relaxing and luxurious about taking a bubble bath after a long day. It is really no surprise that so many of my clients have bath tubs at the top of their wish lists when it comes to designing their dream bathrooms. However, there are actually three different types of baths to select from, and knowing the pros and cons of each can help you select the right option for you!

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For me, this is the best option if you are hoping to create a really luxurious look in your bathroom or ensuite. However, they do require more space than a normal inset bath so it can be tricky to fit into a smaller room. This is because as well as the footprint of the bath tub, you need to take into consideration the clearance between the bath and the surrounding walls. We recommend to allow at least 100 - 150mm clearance - any smaller than this and you will find it very difficult to clean between the bath and the wall.

Back-to-wall freestanding

These type of freestanding baths have the luxurious appearance of a freestanding bath from the front, however the back of them sits completely flush against the wall. This means you need a little less space, and it is a lot easier to clean since you don't have to clean behind it. If your bath is going into the corner of the room, there are also corner back-to-wall freestanding options to suit!


Inset bath tubs require a hob. This is a timber structure that supports the bath, which is plastered, waterproofed and tiled. This makes inset baths a lot more practical and easy to clean. The top of the hob surrounding the bath also creates additional space to store things, which makes inset baths very popular for families with young kids and all their bath time toys!

Inset baths also give you a bit more flexibility with heights. Whereas freestanding baths have a set height, you can often make inset baths a little lower. This is very helpful when designing a bathroom for young kids, the elderly or someone with a disability.

I hope this blog post has been helpful in selecting a bath for your renovation project. If you want to find out more about how we can help you design the perfect bathroom, you can get in contact with us using the link below:

Have a wonderful week!

Nina xx

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