Single Ended vs Double Ended Baths
When choosing a new bathtub, one of the major questions you'll need to consider is whether to choose a single or double ended bath. These different models can lead to a variety of different designs but it's also important to consider the practical differences between the two, both in terms of installation and how it'll be used afterwards.
Single Ended Baths
The more common design for inset tubs, single ended baths feature taps and waste at one end of the bath, in most cases with the taps directly above the waste area. The tap end of the bath will usually be a straight vertical, while the opposite end is sloped for back support when relaxing. These baths are usually designed for an individual person to use and they are a great choice for bath showers, as the shower valve can be installed above the taps, creating a shower enclosure in the corner of your bathroom.
Double Ended Baths
On a double ended bath, the waste and taps are fitted either in the centre of the bathtub or attached to the adjacent wall. Thanks to the absence of taps at either end of the tub, both ends can be gently sloped, leaving enough space for two people to share the bath. In most cases, double ended baths are symmetrical so it's possible to face in either direction without having to worry about hitting your head on taps, something that also gives you more leg room in case you want to stretch out. This makes a double ended bath an excellent choice for taller homeowners, as there's no wasted space in the tub. Double ended baths are great for homes with small children, as there's space to bathe two at once thanks to the extra space and taps not getting in the way.
Freestanding baths are commonly double ended, as the freedom of tap placement they offer is beneficial to more traditional bath designs, which then fit beautifully into the aesthetic of old-fashioned bathrooms. At the same time, plenty of inset baths are double ended, particularly in spaces where you can't find enough room for the necessary taps and plumbing anywhere other than at the side of the tub.
Which style of bath is better ultimately depends on your personal needs. Double ended baths are the more versatile of the two and undeniably more useful for families with young children. At the same time, for people who live alone or only use the bath as an occasional treat between showers, a single bath is probably sufficient and requires less water to use. There's no right or wrong answer; your choice of bathtub should be based on your lifestyle and the room you're installing it into. As many modern baths are supplied undrilled, you have considerable freedom in tap placement, so this isn't necessarily an important factor in which you choose..