Design and install a wet room from scratch or turn your existing bathroom into a dedicated shower space.

sunken bath design - sunken baths: design practicalities to consider - home improvements - 

Image: West One

Consider the practicalities if you want a sunken bath as part of your bathroom design, says Pereen d’Avoine, architect and founding director of architecture firm Russian For Fish.

Key measurements

Most baths measure around 500mm in height, so in order to install one to submerge yourself in you need to accommodate a change in level. This works well in spaces where you’d usually step down, or where the ceiling is high enough to raise the surrounding floor. Alternatively, you could create a raised nook in which to sink the bath. 

sunken bath modern bathroom -  sunken baths: design practicalities to consider - home improvements -

Image: Bette

Strong foundations

A full bath is heavy, so make sure the void into which it is to be sunk is robust or suitably reinforced and, of course, watertight. A reputable bathroom designer and fitter will be able to advice you on this.

Easy access 

Think about maintenance access. You need to be able to reach the pipework – most of which will be low down – without cutting holes into a beautifully finished floor or wall. If you choose to install a shop-bought tub, take care to ensure the joints between the bath and the surrounding material are sealed perfectly

Read more: Spa bathrooms: how to create a therapy room

sunken bath in wood floor -  sunken baths: design practicalities to consider - home improvements -

Image: English Blinds

Stylish materials

You can decide to have the tub and surrounding floor fabricated from the same material: perhaps Corian, resin, terrazzo or even tile – a look not unlike a small swimming pool. When selecting the material, think about tactility: do you want something smooth and luxurious or textured and earthy? 

Safety first

Introducing a subtle lip to the edge of the bath, or using a different floor texture around the edge, can help quietly indicate a tub’s presence. How you get into the bath is also important – entry has to be safe and non-slip. If there are older or unsteady members of the household, you might want to consider fitting grab handles. 



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