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Bath buying guide

Soak or shower in style with our selection of top tubs

There’s nothing more relaxing after a busy day than a long, hot soak in a bath filled with bubbles. But modern baths aren’t just for relaxing unwinds, they also need to cater for the chaos of children’s bath times and washing down pets. With lots of homes strapped for space in their bathroom, they can also combine with showers to create an all-in-one washing space.

Before you begin

Where are you going to put your new bath?

bath buying guide

Whether you’re doing a complete bathroom refit or just replacing your old bath, you’ll need precise measurements of your space to make sure the new one fits.

Getting a direct replacement may mean that you have to get one the same size, but that doesn’t mean that you have to have the same bathing experience. Explore replacing your bath with a new set of taps as well as moving the position of them, or you could choose a new style of bath with some innovative features.

For those who are starting from scratch, think about how big you’d like your bath to be and then check out our options. If you’ve got the space, don’t feel as though your bath has to be in a corner – consider having one further out in the room for a different look that’s more luxurious.

how to choose baths

Choosing your bathroom taps

It may feel odd to do so, but before picking your bath, you need to have decided what sort of tap is right for you as this will affect how many tap holes your bath will need. A mixer tap will only need one hole, while separate taps will need two. If you decided to have taps that are fitted to a wall, or to the floor and reach over the bath, you’ll need no tap holes at all.

Some of our baths come with tap holes already cut in, saving you the trouble of drilling them while others don’t. This gives you the flexibility to drill in the number you’ll need for your chosen bathroom taps or leave the bath as it is. It’s up to you.

You’ll also need to think about whether you’ll be using the bath as a shower area, and if you need a bath and shower mixer, or whether these will be separate. We have two types of bath and shower mixers, mechanical or thermostatic. Mechanical mixers are standard, whereas our thermostatic mixers have easy and accurate temperature management, avoid burn risks thanks to a 38°C blocker and have an automatic water stop in case of cold water supply problem. You can also find models with cold body mixers which are cool to touch and the perfect choice for families and the elderly.

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Left-handed and right-handed baths

Some of our shower and corner baths will be labelled as left or right-handed. It’s important to make the right choice, or else it may not work in your room.

Picture where you’d like your new shower or corner bath and imagine you’re looking at it from the front. Spin the bath so that the widest end (the short leg of the L or the loop of the P for shower baths) is at the top. If it points right, it’s right-handed; if it points left, it’s left-handed.

When looking for the right bath for your bathroom or en-suite, be sure to think about what you need to use it for, as well as the space you’ve got to play with – have your measurements to hand.

bath buying guide

Straight baths

The most common type of bathtub, straight baths can fit in the most compact of spaces. Available in either steel or acrylic, they’re slim in design with a classic shape that works well in most layouts. For smaller bathrooms, this style is also available in a space-saving model.

This type of bathtub is usually surrounded by a bath panel to finish off the look, and is usually installed against a wall, or in a corner to save space. This also means you can use your bath as a shower if you add a bath screen or curtain.

Our straight baths are guaranteed for 10 years and can hold between 150 and 230 litres of water.

double ended baths

Double-ended baths

Relax at either end of your twin-ended bath without worrying about sitting on the plug or resting against the taps with a twin-ended bath. Normally a little wider than a standard bath, this type of straight bath features the plug and taps positioned in the centre.

Our twin-ended baths have guarantees that last between 10 and 30 years and can hold between 185 and 220 litres of water

shower bath buying guide

Shower baths

Ideal for the smaller space, shower baths combine the practicality of a shower with the luxury of a bath, while only being slightly bigger than a standard bath. Shower baths come in either a P or straight-edged L shape to create a showering and bathing area in one.

All our shower baths are made from acrylic and hold between 170 and 230 litres of water. They’re guaranteed for between 10 to 30 years.

corner bath buying guide

Corner baths

Another great choice if you’re short on space and want to combine your bath and showering area, corner baths, as the name suggests slot perfectly into a corner. The corner bathtub is usually wider and shorter than a straight tub, making it easier to set up. Also known as triangle-shaped baths, they can cleverly double up as a shower due to the extra width they offer. Plus, some models have a built-in seat – perfect if you want to get into the bath to help wash small children or pets.

Symmetrical and asymmetrical models are available, with the angle of the bath offset to the left or right. Corner bathtubs also require a bath panel to finish the look.

Our corner baths come with a guarantee of 10 years and hold between 160 and 230 litres of water.

freestanding bath buying guide

Freestanding baths

If you’ve got plenty of space to play with and want a feeling of luxury, choose a freestanding bathtub. They don’t have to be placed up against a corner, allowing them to become a real showstopping feature in your bathroom.

Available with ornate, traditional styling or in more sleek, modern designs, there are a variety of features to consider. Opt for a slipper bath where the back of the tub is higher than the rest of the bath for extra comfort. Look out for roll-top baths where the rim scrolls over the edges of the tub for a period look or flat-rim tubs that are more streamlined. And why not add feet to your freestanding tub for that authentic claw-foot style?

Whether installed directly on the floor or on feet, a freestanding bathtub doesn’t require a finishing panel. However, the drainage and island bathtub fittings may require professional installation.

Our freestanding baths are guaranteed for 10 years and hold between 175 and 220 litres of water.

accessible baths

Accessible baths

For added peace of mind, accessible baths boast a number of safety features. You’ll find easy-to-use leakproof doors, twin wastes for quicker drainage and an anti–slip base.

Otherwise known as walk-in baths, our accessible baths are made of acrylic and available in straight, L and P shapes. They feature a modern contemporary design offering practical solutions that the whole family can enjoy.

spa bath buying guide

Spa baths

There’s no need to pay for pampering – have a relaxing and luxurious experience in your own home thanks to a spa bath.

Whirlpool system spa baths can be added to any Cooke & Lewis bath with the exception of steel, twin skin acrylic, or our freestanding bath range. You can also choose extra options such as LED lights to make bath time even more relaxing.

Many of our systems can be pre-fitted with a Wellness system, so that you can have the spa experience whatever style you’re going for. We have various different whirlpool options so you can create a relaxing atmosphere that's right for you - don't forget to check that your preferred model is compatible.

Spa systems explained

  • 6 jet whirlpool - Jets feed water into the bath at pressure to offer an invigorating bathing experience. 6 jet system with 3 adjustable midi jets down each side Pneumatic switch. Engineered legset. Pop up waste and overflow included. Optional LED lights.
  • 12 jet AirSpa - Air bubbles are released into the water producing a gentle, calming, massaging fizz. 12 jet AirSpa system, situated in base. Pneumatic switch. Engineered legset. Pop up waste and overflow included.
  • Chromatherapy system - Combination system offering the best of a jet system and AirSpa system. Can be run in unison or independently to aid relaxation or help invigorate. 8 AirSpa jets in base, 3 adjustable midi jets down each side, 6 adjustable back jets, and 2 directional foot jets. Also includes a Chromatherapy light system, which runs down each side of the bath - choose between 7 colours depending on your mood. Pneumatic switch. Engineered legset. Pop up waste and overflow included.

With all these bathtubs available, getting the right size for your space is key to make sure you won’t be disappointed

Straight / rectangular bathtubs

There are a wide range of models, from 150-180cm long and 70-80cm wide. You can install a straight bathtub as long as you have a wall about 180cm long

Corner bathtubs

These are generally between 120-160cm long, but are wider than straight baths at 90-140cm wide. However, corner baths can more easily optimise the corner of a bathroom, and can be installed beneath a sloping roof

Space-saving bathtubs

Space-saving models are designed with smaller bathrooms in mind, in a straight / corner format, making it easy to enjoy a bath without cluttering your bathroom. The smallest size for a space-saving bathtub is 105 x 70cm. You’ll find variations in length, from 120-140cm for a straight tub and 150-160cm for an asymmetrical corner tub.

Freestanding bathtubs

Traditionally, freestanding bathtubs were reserved for large bathrooms, but less spacious models are now available. On average, our freestanding bathtubs are 170cm long, 80cm wide and 50-60cm deep. With these standard dimensions, you can easily install an island bathtub in 10m² of floor space.

Whirlpool bathtubs

These baths are relatively large, but available in a range of different formats, such as 170 x 75cm / 180 x 85cm / 180 x 80cm for straight baths and 160 x 90cm / 140 x 140cm for corner baths

The vast majority of bathtubs are no longer made of metal but of synthetic materials such as acrylic, Toplax® or Duoplax® and resin which are lightweight and easy to maintain. We also have a variety of steel baths on offer.

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A great budget option, acrylic baths are easier to install than steel baths and as such are available in a wider range of shapes. They’re a sturdy option, usually having a wooden frame and baseboard, as well as the underside being reinforced with Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP). So, gone are the days when acrylic baths were flimsy and would bend when you stood in them. Unlike steel, acrylic bathtubs always feel warm to the touch.

Acrylic baths aren’t porous, making them easy to clean and any scratches are easy to polish out. However, be careful not to drop heavy items in your bath as it could crack

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If you’d like all the benefits of a traditional cast iron bath as well as the latest features that acrylic has to offer, explore our Supercast range. Supercast significantly reinforces an acrylic bath, making it incredibly strong and hard-wearing like cast iron, as well as having better insulation meaning your bath stays hotter for longer. And, like acrylic, it’s got a high gloss finish, is easy to clean and is lighter than a cast iron or steel bath.

Supercast is available on selected models and is covered with a 30-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

This revolutionary factory-applied coating gives you the comfort and warmth of acrylic with the strength and durability of cast iron.

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Steel baths

Made from a single piece of recyclable steel sheet, steel baths are made by being pressed into a mould to form the chosen shape. It’s then covered in a hard-wearing and high shine enamel coating to make sure it looks great and stands the test of time.

Steel baths conduct heat well and heat up quickly, but they’re initially cold to the touch. Consider if this is the right choice for you and your home as if the bath’s not filled, its sides will be quite chilly which may impact how relaxing it feels.

Our steel baths come with two pre-drilled tap holes, so will only work with pillar (also known as hot and cold) bath taps.

Having picked the type of bath you want, as well as the material it’s made from, let’s go through some of the items you may need to add that finishing touch.

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Fittings and feet

Almost all our baths come with all the required fittings provided – check before you buy to see what’s included. However, if you’ve bought a freestanding bath, there can be a few further accessories to consider.

Check out our range of bath feet to complete your chosen look and consider exploring pipe shrouds or stand pipes. A pipe shroud is used to cover the pipework for the taps on freestanding baths with tap holes.

Stand pipes are designed for baths without tap holes – raising the taps so they rise over the sides and into the tub.

Bath wastes

Wastes, or plugs, are not only an important part when it comes to the functionality of your bath, but also how it looks. Bath wastes come with an overflow attached – this helps prevent you from overfilling your bath.

For the traditional bathroom, choose a plug and chain waste. Or if you’re looking for a modern style, opt for a pop-up or clicker waste. The pop-up bath waste is controlled by a switch that covers the overflow: you simply twist to open and shut the waste. A clicker waste works by just being pressed in or out, like a button.

Be sure to check your chosen bath to see what wastes will work with it.

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Bath screens and shower curtains

If you’re planning to use your bath as a shower, you’ll need a screen or shower curtain to prevent water splashing out into the room when in use. Many of our bath screens are fitted with towel rails or integrated storage helping you keep your bathroom neat and tidy and the towel within easy reach after washing. They’re available with frames or without, in safety glass or acrylic, in transparent, opaque or frosted finishes and can be either curved or straight in style. Choose from a single, two or four-panel design with the straight screen option.

A single panel opens out as a normal door would, so some water will escape when it’s open. A two-panel design has a fixed section closest to the taps, offering a little more protection from splashing when the shower is on. Look out for models that offer side access to the taps so that you can control the shower without getting wet. Four-panel options fold back completely, enabling you to save space when it’s not in use. Screens with multiple panels are handy when you’re having a bath as they can be folded completely and kept out of the way.

Curved screens are great if you’ve chosen a bath with a curved edge or just want slightly more protection from splashes than a straight screen may offer.

Bath panels

Depending on your choice of bath and where it has been placed, you may want panels to finish off the look of your bathroom. We offer front and end bath panels in wood-effect finishes such as oak and walnut, and white designs including tongue and groove.

Our acrylic bath panels come in a variety of sizes from 1500mm to 1800mm, and can also be cut to size. If you want to add a splash of vibrancy your bathroom, check out our paintable MDF bath panels which can be customised to any colour!

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Bath panels not only help to cover up any plumbing or pipework you don’t want to see, they can also be used to add extra storage or further design interest to your room.

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Bath safety

To prevent slipping and sliding in and out of the bath, invest in a bath mat. We stock fabric floor mats to mop up any spillages and ensure it’s safe to get in and out of the tub. As well as rubber mats with anti-slip grips to ensure safety when standing in the tub to use the shower.

For those who need extra support when using the bath, take a look at our range of bath rails, steps and seats – helping everyone use the bath safely

Bath accessories

Lastly, don’t forget all the little things that will help finish off your new tub. Think about getting a bath cradle to help keep your toiletries in check. Or dot some delicious scented candles around to help create an atmosphere of relaxation.

Our installation service

Our installation service makes it even easier to bring your dream bathroom to life. We work with approved installers to coordinate your project from start to finish.

As well as fitting your design to your specification, our installers can complete the finishing touches to save you the hassle.

We provide a 2-year workmanship guarantee in addition to any product guarantees. We hope you’ll never need to use our guarantees, but peace of mind is always a good thing to have. Plus, our range of flexible payment and finance options means you can find a plan to suit you.

Find out more about our installation service and book a free planning appointment to get started.