What type of bath is best?

My client runs a B&B by the coast and is refurbishing the rooms. He is going to replace the old cast iron baths but is now undecided which type of bath material to select. Can you advise?

There are a number of materials and loads of designs to choose from when selecting new baths for domestic or commercial use. Two main materials are currently used – porcelain enamelled steel and reinforced cast acrylic sheet. But there are other materials. Each has its strengths and I weaknesses, features and benefits and many of these are listed on the BMA’s website.

Your  client will need to select the material which best suits his needs. Porcelain enamelled steel baths are known for being extremely robust. They are available in different thicknesses generally the thicker the bath the more robust (and of course heavier) they are. The glossy enamel coating is bonded to the steel both physically and chemically during heat treatment in the production process. The resulting surface is hard wearing, long lasting and resistant to most. household chemicals.

Acrylic baths are generally more shapely, since the plastic material can be easily manipulated during manufacture. They are lighter in weight and the acrylic surface is warm to the touch. However the surface can be prone to scuffing and in a commercial situation may lose its gloss. Experience has shown that steel baths are generally better suited to commercial situations but in a well-cared for B&B acrylic baths have their place since they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and may add just a touch of glamour.