The rise of the 'showpiece' bath - Misc. NZ
The rise of the 'showpiece' bath

The rise of the 'showpiece' bath

A bath is the focal point of a bathroom; it’s the centrepiece and the star attraction. These ‘showpiece’ baths can make or break a space – so it’s important that the right steps are followed when choosing one.

Words by Stonebaths

So, you have decided on installing a beautiful, freestanding stone bath for your upcoming bathroom project. You’ve workshopped your layout to the nearest millimetre, collected tile samples, chosen your tapware and have an ArchiPro design board visualising how it will all finally come together.

Now to order that beautiful centrepiece freestanding bath! While the task of selecting finishes such as tiles and tapware may feel like the most important job when designing your bathroom, visually, the largest item in the room is your bath. Choosing the right shape, length, finish, colour and composition to suit your needs is something that can greatly affect the overall aesthetic of the finished room and how it will ultimately be enjoyed.

The nuances of the composite stone bath may not be something you and your clients have spent hours deliberating over, and given the rapidly moving trends in bathroom design, how do you know that the bath you select today will stand the test of time and trend 5, even 10 years down the track?

Showpiece baths have been getting more popular in the last decade.

The changing trends

If you were building or renovating your bathroom in the early 2000s in New Zealand, there were few options in the marketplace to replace that old acrylic built-in bath or yellowing corner spa. Chances are today, if you are renovating a bathroom from 20 years ago you may still be removing an old acrylic tub with a tiled surround, such was the continuing trend.

Seeing a gap in the market in 2004, Jim Bedwell, head of design and director of Stonebaths, began importing a small, capsule collection of oval and organic-shaped freestanding baths that complimented the trend towards a ‘showpiece’ bath – the Justina, Vivienne and Jolanda.

The factors of size, composition and shape can really change the final look and feel of your bathroom. While our three original baths are still hugely popular, we now have a range of over 300 styles and shapes.

Firstly, consider how much room you and your clients need to spread out. If you have a smaller space, but still want room for two, a 1600-1700mm bath is ideal. But if you have the space, by all means use it. An 1800mm bath will always be a selling point with enough room for two, those who are taller or those families with multiple children to bathe all at once.

We are frequently asked about the durability of our baths, and this is something we have worked on closely with our manufacturers over the years. To this end, we can offer assurance that any scuffs, scratches or stains can be easily removed. In fact, the durability of a stone bath can outdo it’s acrylic counterpart with its ability to sand back any minor damage. A plus when it comes to the harsh realities of family living!

The longevity of the freestanding stone bath style is testament to the manufacturing of our baths, and when you choose a polymarble or solid surface bath from our extensive range, you’re sure to have many years of happy bathing ahead.

Stonebaths has a range of sophisticated baths suited to contemporary bathrooms.

Bold colours and shapes

So do you follow the trend or stay with a classic? One of our most popular baths in 2021 was the Sylvia ST13 round bath. This is definitely a trend to watch, with round baths being selected as an alternative to the two person 1800mm+ style bath. Home Magazine’s House of the Year on Takapuna Beach created an absolute masterpiece with this bath as the centrepiece. The round bath is also being used more for outdoor areas, and we’ve worked with designers on several high-end Air BnBs and luxury eco lodges.

The soft-touch finish of our baths is incomparable to acrylic, and designers are taking that into consideration even when a fully freestanding bath isn’t necessary. This shift toward composite stone built-ins has so far this year seen us quote solid surface and polymarble built-in baths at a private golf club in New Zealand and a new apartment block in North Bondi in Sydney. As we’ve seen, the built-in bath will always be a necessity in particular projects, so without sacrificing a quality stone finish this is a fantastic option.

Coloured baths are still hugely popular for their ability to transform a bathroom into something truly spectacular. Black, grey and concrete hues dominated last year, and as a result of demand from our architectural client base, we have created a new range of coloured cast concrete baths and basins launching later in 2022. The unique, raw finish of hand poured cast concrete has been an emerging trend for several years and is a natural progression of the unexpected colours textures and finishes entering the bathroom area.

These are just a few things to consider when choosing your stone bath. As experts with nearly 20 years’ experience in the market and backgrounds in, we are available for phone consults and will guide you and offer advice on which bath will suit your needs and lifestyle. Talking through the benefits of a freestanding bath, a back-to wall or even a large round bath with us can often lead to a complete change in direction when it comes to the design of a bathroom. Let your imagination run wild with the possibilities… until of course, it is time for that long, relaxing soak.

Learn more about Stonebaths and its range.

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