Perhaps the most important consideration when deciding the design and bath styling is where it will be installed. This will quickly provide the maximum size of the bath in both dimensions and whether there are any restrictions due to a toilet or wash basin etc. The installation location may also impose requirements on the shape of the bath (e.g., rectangular, corner, circular) as well as its overall sizing.
In addition, a larger bath will hold more water and its overall weight will be increased. It may be necessary to check whether the floor of the installation location needs any reinforcement to support this extra weight. If in doubt, check the weight of the bath when filled with water and get the advice of a structural engineer.
Ask yourself who will use the bath and how often the bath will be used. This will help you decide whether you opt for a single person or two-person bath. A child may comfortably fit into a small bath now but will this be the case in 5 years time?
Typically, a hot bath will comprise of 1/3 cold water and 2/3 hot water from your boiler or hot water tank. If you have a hot water tank then what is its capacity? Will there be enough hot water in this tank to fill 2/3 of the bath that you are interested in purchasing?
Type/Style of Bath
The style of bath chosen will largely come down to budget and personal preference. In the trade the finished acrylic side of a bath is referred to as an apron. The main types of whirlpool bath you can choose from are:
- Recessed: A bath that has one finished apron and 3 open sides that is designed to be installed in an alcove.
- Drop-in: Either installed in a raised platform or sunk below the floor level. Typically, these baths have no aprons and can be tiled or finished using a décor that matches the bathroom and provides a popular bespoke finish for whirlpool baths.
- Corner: Typically, a finished corner or crescent-shaped apron on the front with two open sides against the walls.
- Freestanding: These baths will be finished on all sides (often with legs) allowing them to be installed off of the wall. Make sure you have suitable drainage and water supply piping at your chosen installation point.
In addition, consider access of the bath piping for maintenance should a problem occur.
In most situations a drain can be moved or a natural recess below the bath can allow pipes to run to the rooms drainage point. However, in some situations it can be very costly or prohibitive to move the drainage point. Therefore, in these cases your choice of whirlpool bath may be affected.
Usually, a whirlpool bath will come as one complete piece that cannot be broken down into smaller sections. Therefore, when refurbishing it is important to check whether the bath will fit through all doorways, around corners and hallways when maneuvering the bath to its chosen location. For a new build it may be necessary to move a large bath into the room before the wall or doorway is finished.
A majority of the Maya Bath whirlpool baths use a 1HP water and air pump. In the scenario where the pumps are operating at a combined 2HP this would equate to 2 x 746 Watts = 1.49KW. Therefore, operating the bath jets for 30 minutes at 10p per kWh would cost just 5.6p. The other main cost would relate to heating the water using your boiler system.
Heating the Water
Typically, a whirlpool bath is designed to be emptied of its water once you have finished a bathing session. Therefore, a water heater is not necessary as hot water can always be added during the bath session. However, the air below the bath that is drawn into the air pump will generally be warm and the process of pushing the water through the water pump can have a heating affect due to the friction, which will help slow the natural cooling process of the water.
Stock & Delivery Cost
To save money, many suppliers carry limited baths in-stock. Once they aggregate enough orders they will then start your order. Be careful as this will result in a long lead time of 8-12+ weeks and often further delays can be incurred due to unforeseen circumstances.
A bath will constitute a bulky and heavy item that will cost a significant amount to deliver. When comparing prices look to see if the price includes the delivery as this can considerably affect the final price.