Showstopper baths to transform your bathroom 

Given the oldest baths date back to around 3,000 BC, we’ve been bathing for quite some time. These showstopper baths will take one of our favourite ways to unwind to a new level.

Think about how you use your space: do you want a free standing slipper bath? A bateau? Or even a circular bath? Then there are fixtures, single-ended or double-ended? But what’s really come into its own in recent years, is exterior design. This round up of scene-stealing tubs runs the gamut from purple fabric to stone fluting to copper oxide finishes.

There have also been vast improvements in tech, including the Toto floatation tub, which has been designed with integrated massage jets you can control with a button and an integrated whirlpool feature on the shoulders.

On the opposite end of the scale, a showstopper bath doesn’t always need to be cutting edge. Sometimes classic is the best, and there’s a range of variations on the traditional bath, like an eye-catching tin tub in an outdoor bathroom. Whatever you choose, cleanliness is next to Godliness, as the old adage goes.

Experiment with a burnished finish

The Albion Bath Co. launched in 1996 with one goal in mind: “To create fine bath tubs that combine the best qualities of cast iron but without its inherent drawbacks”, and they’ve done just that. Firstly, each bath is less than half the weight of a traditional cast iron bath. Secondly, they’re made from a unique iso-Enamel material, which means your bath will retain the heat for a long soak, as they have a pumice-stone like core.

Each of the baths are handmade in the village of Weeley in Essex and come in a wide range of sizes, from 1200mm for the most bijoux bathrooms to a generous 2000mm long.

Their Apollo Free Standing Bateau Bath (pictured) is a combination of modern and classical styles and has soft curves, perfect to relax back against. You can get the bath painted in any Farrow and Ball or Dulux shade of your choice, or you can go for the burnished finish, which uses a four-part coating process for your bath to have an iron, gold or bronze finish.

Think of different materials for your showstopper bath
Image credit: Albion Bath Co.

Bring in a fluted edge

Baths have come a long way in style over the years and have gone way beyond pure function. Harrison Bathrooms are a family-run company who have been working in the industry for over 100 years, and even worked with Thomas Crapper in the late nineteenth century.

Try their chic Labyrinth Fluted Freestanding Bath for a showstopping centre piece. Fluting has seen a comeback in a big way and is tipped as a big interiors trend for 2024. Described as “long, usually rounded groove incised as a decorative motif”, fluting was often seen on columns in classical architecture for elegance. It’s been brought into the home as a way of adding texture, depth and a sophisticated feel.

Think of texture and adding fluting into your bathroom
Image credit: Harrison Bathrooms

Go high-tech with a floatation tub

If you’ve been dreaming of turning your bathroom into a spathroom, Toto’s new floatation tub might just help you seal the deal. TOTO’s founder Kazuchika Okura launched Toto in 1917 in Kitakyushu in Japan and the company has been developing sanitary ceramics for over 100 years. They even have a museum (which you can tour online) to discover the evolution of their earliest designs to the state-of-the-art, like their new floatation tub.

The Toto freestanding floatation tub (pictured) is the ultimate in wellness. It’s been designed to allow you to relax in “zero dimension“, which is essentially the position of the body in weightlessness. It has an adjustable pillow, an integrated waterfall around the shoulder area and a Hydrohands massage jet whirlpool effect, which means you can experience a full back massage in the bath with the flick of a button on the control panel. Thought-out LED lights mean the lighting is optimum for relaxation for a full spa experience at home. Bliss.

A spa like tub at home will make for many relaxed evenings
Image credit: Toto

Create a showstopper bath scene

Take showstopper bath inspiration from Roper Rhodes and create a scene-stealing floral installation above it. The Roper Rhodes tub pictured is the sleek double-ended back to wall bath in a classic oval shape and is super deep. While dried flowers aren’t the best for a floral installation in a bathroom, due to the humidity levels, hanging plants above the bath is a genius idea to make soaking in the tub more enjoyable.

Get super creative and make a planter chandelier to hang from the ceiling using an old ladder, tension rods or even an old-fashioned ceiling clothes airer, which will hold a significant amount of weight. Plants that thrive in the humidity of a bathroom include asparagus fern, philodendrons, peace lilies, spider plants, majesty palms and calathea.

Rhoper Rhodes back-to-wall baths look fab with a statement floral display above
Image credit: Rhoper Rhodes

Add a pop of colour

Renaissance at Home’s Galleon Cast Iron Hurlingham double slipper baths all come in hard-wearing vitreous enamel and rest on a gently sloping plinth. While you can have it painted in any shade of your choice, from Farrow and Ball’s muted tones to your own custom colour, you also have the option to have it gilded or wrapped in fabric or leather. The Hurlingham pictured has been finished in a decadent purple from Osborne & Little.

Why not opt for a bright purple bath
Image credit: Renaissance at Home

Play with circles

If you want to throw all convention out the window, why not opt for a circular bath? A circular bath will feel less daily ablutions and more luxury spa experience. And there are some truly fabulous ones on the market.

The Circulo round bath from Living House is made from rigid stone resin, holds up to 216 litres of water, and comes with or without an air jet system for an extra bubbly soak. Sybaritic Lusso has a fabulous range of free standing circular baths, from the fluted stone Jadore III, to the smooth clean lines of the stone Notion 1500 and the truly showstopping Arabescato marble soaking stone bath.

Try a chic, black bath tub for a dramatic look
Image credit: English Blinds

Try an angular tub

Not all showstopper baths have to be soft and flowing with curved edges – the angular bath can make a real impact. They’re also more practical space wise, and can fit smaller bathrooms (as much of the UK’s bathrooms are). An L-shaped bath is a good choice if you have a shower above the bath, as it gives extra room for showering. This Drench bath comes with the black shower screen and panel (pictured).

Have a think about whether you want a single-ended or a double-ended bath too. Drench says that “single-ended means the waste and overflow position is located at one end, rather than in the middle. It also tends to mean that one side has a slope, and the other end (the one with the overflow and waste holes) has a steeper side, ideally suited for showering as you can get nice and close to the wall”.

A double-ended bath has the central waste and overflow position in the middle and is better if you’re bathing à deux.

Try an angular tub in your bathroom
Image credit: Drench

Invest in a showstopper outdoor tub

Who says your showstopper bath has to be inside? Creating an outdoor bathroom is one of the most covetable interiors ideas as we continue to blend the indoors and outdoors, and bring biophilia into our lives. Founded in 1998 and operating from the Cotswolds, Indigenous has a full range of tactile pieces, from walls and floors to freestanding tubs.

Their tin bateau bath (this style dates back to the late 19th century, for bathing in front of the fire) has symmetrical sloping ends and also comes in antique bronze, nickel, copper and the very cool oxidised copper, which has a gorgeous green and turquoise blue patina, made by applying salt to the metal and heating the surface. You can bathe in the tin bath pictured by booking a stay at the Workers Cottage in Norfolk.

An outdoor tub will be a showstopper in your garden space
Image credit: Indigenous