A shower is the fastest way to get clean but when you have a bit more time, the bath can be a relaxing alternative.

“Baths have become more than a place to wash. In addition to getting your family clean; baths are a soothing reward, a meditative reprieve and provide a truly personal experience,” says Debra Retief marketing manager at Tile Africa.

With a multitude of styles, choosing the right bath to suit your family’s need can be difficult. Consider the following factors before making a decision.

• How much room is available?

Determine the exact dimensions of the space where the bath will be placed. “The golden rule is to measure your space. Nothing could be worse than finding that your ideal bath is 10 centimetres too long for the space you’ve allocated. Don’t forget to include space for opening doors and moving around in the bathroom,” says Retief.

• What colour and types of material will look best

In terms of colour, think of one that will best fit your style. Materials used to make bath tubs also vary and options can range from acrylic which is light and will make your bath less heavy to crystallite which is highly chip and stain resistant and can withstand harsh handling.

• Is the bath comfortable?

The best trick is to lie down in a bath before purchasing to make sure it feels comfortable.

Types of baths:

Freestanding baths

Freestanding baths provide flexibility when it comes to placement and don’t require any special faucet drilling. If you would like to make your bathroom look bigger, a freestanding bath is the ideal choice as it can make a space look more spacious. “Freestanding baths add a touch of luxury to any bathroom and are the perfect retreat where you can pamper yourself, daydream and recharge your batteries,” says Retief. Although freestanding baths don’t offer a base on which to place accessories such as bath crystals, bubble bath and hair products, an alternative is to place a bench or vanity cupboard in close proximity to the bath.

Corner baths

Corner baths are the affordable option and are also the perfect choice for saving space. “Whether you have a small or large bathroom; corner baths are great for maximising the floor space and getting the most out of your bathroom,” says Retief. The placement of a corner bath opens up the centre section of the bathroom allowing traffic to move freely throughout the rest of the space. A corner bath can also fit a roof shower over the bath. This provides an added extra which functionality wise will help you out on those busy mornings when you don’t have time to bath.

To add a special touch to your chosen bath; consider adding steps leading up to the bath. One can also introduce an element of colour with a line of mosaics or tap handles with pops of colour.