Ah, the traditional white-enamel bathtub.
This is a feature steeped in our English historical roots and is a hangover that has long outlasted its usefulness. Finally we are seeing the bathroom trend catch up with usage and now bathtubs are finally disappearing from the modern bathroom.
Bathtubs are increasingly being seen as a luxury item reserved for high-end ensuites. Mothers kneeling on the hard tiles of the bathroom floor to wash the kids is becoming a thing of the past. In my experience, most parents prefer to use the shower for children’s bath time. For babies and toddlers, the laundry tub has evolved to become part of the bath time ritual.
A pet hate by many buyers and tenants is the shower-over-bath combination. Whether in a corner or with a low-profile tub, there is no hiding the fact that they are awkward, often impractical and low on the aesthetic scale. Renovators are re-purposing this redundant space to expand the shower footprint with clear glass doors and panels to accentuate the extra room. The addition of a functional wall niche is also a good way to remove the invasive traditional soap dish. Floor-to-ceiling tiles and custom stainless shower roses complimented by adjustable shower heads are also a key feature for visual appeal and functionality including cleaning.
In an ensuite, a stunning bathtub can make or break the overall design. For traditional homes, a claw-foot bath with brass tapware is a classic statement testament to the character and charm of the property. In contemporary homes, an extra deep, freestanding bath with clean lines and a minimalist feel will allow the bathtub to be the standout feature of the room. If a bathtub must be retained, we recommend replacing it if its worn. Although plenty of reno experts pitch a quick paint job, this should really be done by a professional. Too often the paint work scratches easily and leaves a real mess that is tricky to rectify in retrospect, especially when the property is leased. New is best if the budget and time frames permit.
Last but not least, old bathtubs can serve as a wonderful garden feature when used effectively. If in doubt, try selling the tub or taking to the local tip. Who knows, it could just be another person’s treasure!