Sleek. Elegant. Timeless. Functional.
If you are considering remodelling your bathroom, these are no doubt some of the adjectives you are using to describe the vision you have in mind.
After all, this is a project that is likely going to cost you £3000 – £10,000 – possibly more. You’re certainly not going for gaudy and impractical.
Slipper baths will achieve all four of the aforementioned descriptors – and serve as the centrepiece of the bathroom of your dreams.
Just what is a slipper bath? Why should you consider it for your bathroom redo?
Keep reading for answers to these and all your slipper bath questions.
What Are Slipper Baths?
Picture Cinderella’s slipper: A high heel that gives way to a rounded toe bed.
In profile, the slipper bath closely resembles the princess’s footwear – hence the name.
While today the baths are popular for their stylish lines, they were actually created for the most practical of purposes.
During the Victorian era, members of the public were told to bathe regularly to wash away disease.
However, only the wealthiest families owned baths. Members of the general public, if they bathed at all, would do so in small, rustic baths that they would place in front of their fireplaces.
This all changed with the creation of public bathhouses outfitted with slipper baths.
Why were these baths ideal for public bathing spaces?
The high walls of the “heel” end provided bathers with extra privacy, which was comforting even though bathers were assigned to private stalls or cubicles.
Also, because of their high walls, these baths hold more water. More water makes for a cleansing bathing experience that lasts longer and stays hotter than those offered by rival designs.
Of course, the water would eventually cool down, and historical accounts of bathhouses are full of amusing anecdotes of bathers calling out to bathhouse attendants, asking for a warm refresh.
“Amusement was caused at this stage if it was discovered that the water was either too hot or too cold. The procedure, in this case, was to call out the cubicle’s number to the attendant with a request for more cold or hot water, who would come and turn on the appropriate tap, acting on shouted instructions from the occupant,” Ken Chambers wrote in “A Visit to the Slipper Baths.”
Later, the slipper bath’s design allowed for the convenient placement of the controls at the bather’s feet.
These baths were also perfect for ailing individuals who might have found it difficult to climb in and out of other bath designs.
The “heel” end of the slipper bath stands taller than the “toe” end, providing additional support for bather’s back and shoulders. Additionally, the “heel” end often features a rolled edge, allowing for easier entry – just slide right in!
For these reasons, and the fact that they are freestanding, and therefore can be positioned at angles, at the centre of a bathroom, or in the narrowest of spaces, slipper baths are experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
What to Consider?
By now, you’re probably imagining yourself enjoying a nice, long soak in a slipper bath.
You’re so ready to feel that warm water that you’ve already picked out a spot for your spa-like centrepiece and you’re ready to call a contractor.
Just a moment, please.
There are numerous factors to consider before running out and buying a slipper bath.
First, they are heavy. Some versions can weigh as much as 225 kilograms, depending on the material of which they are made. And of course, that’s not including dozens of gallons of water and a body.
Originally, these baths were made of cast iron with an enamel coating, and these versions are still readily available – but they are also by far the heaviest.
Modern slipper baths are available in relatively lighter-weight materials such as copper and acrylic.
To avoid structural damage to your home, it is important to select a slipper bath that it can support it in terms of weight.
You’ll also want to give thought to the location of your slipper bath.
Yes, they are freestanding, and therefore perfect for creative placement. Picturing a bath at the centre of your sprawling bathroom? That’s a look you can easily achieve with a slipper bath.
But remember, these baths do have very high walls. These baths can easily overpower a small space, making your bathroom look cramped and uncomfortable.
Wherever you decide to place your slipper bath, you’ll want to make sure that you have room to rest your arms on both sides because that’s part of what makes the slipper bath experience so relaxing.
You’ll also want to make sure you have enough room on either side for all your various bathing necessities, such as towels, soaps, and bath salts.
Because believe us, this is a bath you’re going to want to luxuriate in, so all those items need to be within arm’s reach.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that these baths are not the easiest to outfit with showerheads. They are primarily intended for bubble baths, and it is neither easy nor inexpensive to have them double as a shower.
Finally, keep in mind that these baths are typically raised off the ground, which can make cleaning underneath them a challenge.
All in all, if you are looking for a stylish, relaxing bathtub, you can’t go wrong with a slipper bath, but it’s a big investment, and you would be wise to consider all the pros and cons before investing in one for your home.
Ready to Slip In?
Ultimately, slipper baths will provide you and your family with endless hours of luxurious relaxation, and they are also a unique feature that may attract buyers when it comes time to sell your home.
Now that you’re a slipper bath expert and you’ve weighed the pros and cons of these baths, are you ready to get started on your bathroom makeover? Ready to get soaking right away?
Shower Enclosures UK has a great range of freestanding baths including slipper baths for that perfect centrepiece.
Hello, my name is Dean.
Together with my business partner we own and operate Shower Enclosures UK.com Ltd.
We’ve been running the business for over 9 years and have amassed a reasonable amount of knowledge and expertise on the subject of shower and bathroom hardware. Enough that we’ve been able to put together a series of blog posts that should make buying bathroom goods that little bit simpler and help answer all the most popular questions.
If there’s anything that doesn’t make sense or needs expanding on please let us know in the comments. You can also reach out to me on LinkedIn
Thanks for taking the time to read our posts.