From the first bathtubs of ancient Greece to the onsen of Japan, bathing has always been considered a restorative experience. Choosing a new bath for your bathroom can turn a functional room into a spa-like sanctuary that soothes and unwinds you at the end of a hectic day.
Choosing the right style, size and type of bath
There no comparable experience to sliding into the comfort of an Imperial Bathtub. Single ended, double ended, freestanding and slipper baths can all be found here, ready to elevate your bathroom space to one of utmost luxury. Imperial's impressive premium British hand-made baths are the perfect investment in both style and substance for your bathroom. As you'll see from the range of baths they offer, there's plenty to consider when choosing which bath is right for your bathroom. The bath is the main focal point of any bathroom so it's important to take the time to consider the shape, style and type of material you'd like. If you're fortunate enough to have the space, you can take your pick from an exquisite range of stunning luxury freestanding baths or chic bath panels that will forever ruin the idea of standard plastic bath panelling.
Let's start with functionality. What do you want from your bath? For instance, do you want traditional claw feet in keeping with the feel of your older property, or jets for a spa-like experience? Baths come in a host of different materials, including acrylic (a cheaper option) and steel. Steel and cast iron baths tend to retain heat better, which, for many people, makes them a superior choice.
Single-ended simply means that the waste and overflow pipes are connected at one end, rather than in the middle. For comfort, this often means that there's a sloping end and a steeper side (the end with the taps). This also has the added benefit of making showering easier by allowing you to get closer to the wall.
If baths are so enjoyable, why enjoy it alone? By positioning the taps, waste and overflow midway along the side of the bath, you free up space to enjoy taking baths as a couple or just for someone who wants to be able to stretch out while they soak. They're also arguably more pleasing to the eye as they create symmetry.
Traditional roll-top baths
A roll-top bath is exactly that: a freestanding statement bath tub with edges that gently curve over at the top to create a distinctive rounded effect. First appearing in the private bathrooms of the elite in the 1800s, they did not go into mass production until later in the 19th century when bathing became an essential component of every home. Roll-top baths were considered fashionable and remained an opulent option for wealthier homeowners and hotels well into the 20th century when modern plumbing opened up the accessibility of freestanding baths to the masses. Considered classic and timeless, they often appear in period designed bathrooms and refurbished historic homes. However, they can also be used to offset the sharp edges of a glossy modern aesthetic, perhaps supported by cradles or raised for a fresh take on old meets new.
Known for their distinctive asymmetrical shape, slipper baths are an iconic style that actually originated in the more humble surroundings of the Victorian bathhouses. At the time, cleanliness and regular bathing were promoted as a way to improve general health and reduce disease amongst the population. Slipper baths allowed the working classes to bath with relative modesty in either hot or cold water when they visited the hugely popular bathhouses. Later on, slipper baths found their way into the home and remain popular, particularly in restoration and period homes.Slipper baths include the Hampton, Sheraton and Ritz models, each with their own unique character. Fitted with a range of feet, and compatible with numerous brassware options, they can be given that final customization to fit your tastes.
Traditionally with one end deeper than the other with the taps located at the shallower need, slipper baths provide space and comfort for the bather to relax. It also affords a level of privacy and keeps the water warmer for longer than other types of bath. Hard to integrate, they have found popularity as statement freestanding baths that create a focal point in the centre of a larger bathroom. Usually designed with a roll-top to enable easier entry and exiting, they also commonly stand on feet to raise them off the floor. A more recent variation is the double slipper bath (otherwise known as a "boat" bath) where both ends are elevated and the centre holds a dip for entry, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing symmetrical form.
Modern freestanding baths
Indulgent and luxurious, a modern freestanding bath can be a real talking-piece. Giving you that elegant, sophisticated feel, they'll sweep you away to the feeling of being at an expensive spa. There's also a trend for putting freestanding baths in bedrooms, recreating the look of a swanky five star hotel suite. Requiring plenty of floor space, it's important to think about symmetry in the room and having equal space at all sides to walk around the tub. There are also the practical considerations that come from plumbing in a freestanding bath - ask us for help.
While white is still the dominant colour when it comes to baths, modern freestanding designs incorporate a wide range of colours. Choose a bold colour for panelling or a stained cast iron finish, burnished feet or a wooden cradle to add a splash of character. You can then build the rest of the design of the bathroom around your dream feature bath tub.
When it comes to choosing your new bath, there's more to think about than the tub. Imperial have crafted a range of functional yet equally stylish fittings that will perfectly complement your Imperial bath tub. Especially useful when fitting a freestanding bath, s-traps and shrouds will help to make a feature of your otherwise unsightly pipework. Choose from a variety of high quality polished finishes, including antique gold and high shine chrome to fit with your other metalwork. Durable enough to handle even the wettest of conditions, they'll help you to create a look that others will envy every time they use your bathroom.
Bath panels don't have to be boring and white. In line with Imperial's attention to detail, they've designed bath panels that will enhance the look and feel of any bathroom. Wooden and glass styles create a confident and continental style, hiding away the ugly underside of a standard bath and its pipework neatly. To give the recessed bath tub an exquisite finish, the Imperial series of side and end panels are a natural choice. Raised and Fielded bath boards have a fine panelled effect, while Cuda and Linea feature glass inlays to create a fine, two tone finish in appealing materials. Available in different wood grains, finishes and colours, you'll find the right bath panel style to complement the rest of your elegant bathroom.
Spoilt for choice
There's nothing quite like sinking into the depths of an Imperial bath tub. Hand made in Britain, they represent significant, timeless quality. Outstandingly designed, the freestanding, single-ended, double-ended, slipper baths and high quality fittings will elevate your bathing space to a first class space you can truly enjoy.
Imperial's Mortlake, Marlowe and King Charles tubs are standout pieces, designed to steal the show in any bathroom, creating a strong focal point. Echoing classic shapes with a modern twist, they evoke the ambience of the world's best hotels in the comfort of your own home. The curvaceous Sheraton, Ritz and Hampton styles are slipper baths, adding real character and indulgence to any space. Complete with a wide choice of different brassware and feet options, they can easily be customised to fit your space and tastes. Or, for something truly special, the Imperial Baglioni is hand made to order from beautiful cast iron, skirted with copper in a choice of luxurious finishes.
Then there are the panelling styles. Elevate any bath with Imperial's series of end and side panels. The Fielded and Raised board styles have a chiselled panelled effect, adding real attention to detail. The Linea and Cuda styles add something new with a mix of wooden frames and frosted glass inlays, creating a powerful two-tone finish with a quality feel.
The Astoria Deco range
Evoking the design heyday of the exuberant 1920s, Imperial's classic Astoria Deco range embraces assertive geometric styling. The perfect complement to the rest of the Astoria Deco range, the bath tub includes different panelling styles to match your individual aesthetic.
Cast iron bath tubs
The immortal appeal of the cast iron bath sees new heights with Imperial's range of traditional and modern styles. Their luxury collection includes individually hand-crafted designs made to order from the highest quality metalwork and using some of the most opulent exterior finishes ever made for a bath. Burnished copper and aluminium create a variety of different looks, all as individual as you are. The Baglioni cast iron bath is even available in a grey primer paint so you can customise the colouring and finish to your exacting requirements.
Ritualistic, curative or religious, bathing has always been and will always be about more than just hygiene, and this continues to apply to today's bathrooms. A space that must be strongly functional, it's also a haven to retreat to at the end of a hard day and somewhere to relax and soak away the stresses and strains of everyday life. The bath, as the biggest piece of sanitary ware in your bathroom, is always a focal point. For many, a simple white bath with durable plastic panelling may be enough. However, with so many styles, finishes and statement pieces available, if you have the space and the budget, why wouldn't you choose a beautiful bath from Imperial?