The Different Types of Baths You Can Buy: How to Choose the Best Tub for Your Bathroom

At Showers to You, we pride ourselves on offering a wide range of different types of baths to suit all tastes, budgets, and personal needs.

Baths come in different sizes and shapes—from small to large tubs, and from standard straight baths to walk-in designs. Different types of baths can also be made from different materials, offer different features, and present their own advantages. However, this vast choice can make choosing the right bath confusing and overwhelming.

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the different types of baths to help you choose which shape, size, and style of tub is right for you.

Standard Straight Baths

Straight baths are the most popular type of bath. They come in various shapes and sizes and are therefore a great choice for both small and large bathrooms.

Straight baths can be further narrowed down into different design subtypes: single-ended, double-ended, small and steel baths.

Single-Ended Baths—Ideal for Smaller Bathrooms

One of the most common types of baths, single-ended baths feature taps and a drain at one end of the tub. They often come with a showerhead affixed to the same wall as the taps (see more about shower baths below), which makes it a great space-saving option if you also want to include a shower.

The opposite end to the taps tends to slope for optimum back support. But, being single-ended, this type of bath is only suitable for one bather at a time.

As single-ended tubs are usually inset (fitted between bathroom walls) and offer the option of a wall-mounted shower head, they’re a great choice for smaller bathrooms.

Double-Ended Baths—Great for Larger Bathrooms

Double-ended baths are another popular type of bath that feature taps and a drain in the centre of the tub. Both ends of the bath usually slope in for back support so it can be used by one or two bathers at the same time.

Double-ended tubs tend to be better suited to larger bathrooms as they often don’t rest flush against a wall, due to their oval shape. Shower heads can be included, but they are usually handheld and not able to be wall-mounted. However, double-ended baths can give a more luxurious finish to your bathroom than your standard single-ended bath.

Read more: Single and double-ended bath buying guide

Small Baths—A Versatile Choice

The most common type of small bath is the standard straight bath (see above), but L-shaped shower baths and P-shaped shower baths are also great space-saving options. L-shaped baths offer a larger showering space within the lower end of the tub and P-shaped designs include a rounded shower screen fitted alongside the curved end of the tub.

Other types of small baths include freestanding and twin-grip baths (see more about freestanding baths below).

The obvious advantage of small baths is that they are ideal for smaller bathrooms, but they also add style to any sized bathroom.

Steel Baths—Durable and Economic

Steel baths are a sturdy, durable and economic choice for your bathroom. These tubs are made of steel metal that’s covered with a layer of porcelain or ceramic for an attractive finish.

This type of straight bath provides far more heat retention than your standard bathtub (which is made of acrylic) and steel baths can even be recycled, making them an economical option.

Learn more about steel baths in our expert buying guide.

Shower Baths

Perhaps the most versatile type of bath, shower baths are the best choice for bathrooms that can’t accommodate a separate shower enclosure and a bath. This all-in-one solution has many advantages, including:

  • It saves valuable bathroom space
  • It is perfect for families with different needs
  • The shower head makes it easier to keep your bath clean
  • There are plenty of different shower bath designs on the market to meet your needs and taste

Compromising on a freestanding bath and separate shower enclosure can be worth it—the money you save on buying just one bathroom unit can be put into choosing a more luxurious design.

Corner Baths

Corner baths are a reliable choice of bathtub. Not only do they add a stylish finish to any sized bathroom, but corner baths can also save space in more awkwardly shaped bathrooms.

Corner baths are a great way to free up bathroom floor space and efficiently take up odd angles or dead space that would otherwise be a waste.

Learn more about corner baths in our buyer’s guide.

Freestanding Baths

If you’re looking for the type of bath that’s going to bring luxury into your bathroom, then a freestanding bath could be the answer. Their elegant design is sure to brighten up bathrooms of any shape or style. Freestanding baths are also more flexible than other tub types as they don’t need to be fixed to a wall or into a corner.

Read more in our freestanding bath buying guide.

Spa Baths

Spa baths, also known as whirlpool baths, add a special treat to any bathroom. These baths are designed to bring wellness and relaxation to your home, featuring adjustable jets positioned to help massage muscles, improve blood flow and encourage healing.

Spa baths come in different designs, from double-ended to freestanding tubs.

Walk-in Baths

If accessibility is what you’re after, then take a look at walk-in baths. This type of bath is designed to offer a practical unit that offers great features, with attractive designs to choose from.

If you or a household member has difficulty with a standard bath, a walk-in bath is a safer choice. Entry is via a toughened safety glass door that allows bathers to walk in and out of the bath easily, rather than climbing in and out of a regular tub.

This type of bath also features a cushioned headrest and a pop-up bath plug for easy use.

How to Choose the Right Type of Bath for Your Bathroom

There are several considerations you need to take when choosing the right type of bath for your bathroom. Size, shape and cost are just a few of the important factors you need to decide on.

If you’re looking for further advice, check out our guides on how to buy a bath and how to pick the right-sized bath.

You can also talk to one of our expert team at Showers to You for any bathroom advice. Contact us via email (, phone (01472 242 159), or via our online contact form.