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What is a Roll Top Bath: A Guide to All Roll Top Baths

Freestanding bathtubs are popular for a reason: they’re large, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and only add to the value of your home. But not every bathroom can fit the standard freestanding bathtub, and for those that have a decent sized space, there’s the roll top bathtub. These bathtubs fit in a small niche roll as they tend to be smaller than the standard freestanding bathtubs, but their unique design still allows you the classic feel without losing too much. 

What is a roll top bath?

A roll top bath is a type of freestanding bath where the edges are curved at the top, providing a rounded look around the front and rear of the bathtub. This design is meant to provide a comfortable area to lounge in during bathing, while also removing any sharp corners that my appear in other designs.

roll top bathtub example.

Generally, roll top baths are lumped in with traditional freestanding bathtubs, because essentially they are just that-the classic freestanding clawfoot bathtub, though their size is a bit more modest, making it ideal for smaller bathrooms. Made popular since the mid 18th century among the aristocracy of Europe, roll top baths are an iconic staple of any bathroom. 

Who should consider a roll in bath?

While roll top baths are appropriate for a multitude of ages, they are more for older individuals. That is because the outer edge or lip of the bathtub is designed to be laid upon, helping one relax while bathing. Children obviously can’t utilize this feature as they are too small to reach over the sides of the bathtub. That being said, this type of bathtub is safe for all ages as the lip designed for lounging also makes it safe getting in and out of the bathtub as the sides have been smoothed out. 

What’s the main difference between a roll in and a regular shower 

Like most things, roll-in bathtubs has several advantages and disadvantages over the regular shower, but the first disadvantage would be space. A shower is generally more compact, providing you a wider range of options for fitting in a small, medium or large space. While it is smaller than other freestanding tubs, roll top bathtubs are still considered freestanding tubs and will require a decent sized bathroom to fit inside.

On the other side, a roll top bathtub is aesthetically more inviting as it is a freestanding bathtub and thus will be much more attractive than just a simple shower. The rolled over edge also makes it much more comfortable for lounging and sitting compared to standing in a regular shower. Price point wise, they are quite similar, so there isn’t much discussion there.

Conversely you could always attach a shower curtain and a wall faucet and combine your roll top bathtub into a shower combo, grabbing the benefits of both. 

roll top bathtub examples.

 Roll Top Bath Materials 

Roll top bathtubs are available in these materials: 

  • Acrylic-Stronger than fiberglass, very popular, has decent heat retention while being lighter than Cast Iron, Copper and Stone Resin
  • Fiberglass-The cheapest option, fiberglass is relatively flexible and easy to use although it has low durability and heat retention
  • Cast IronA workhorse material, Cast Iron bathtubs have the best heat retention and durability of any material on the market. Unfortunately these bathtubs tend to be the heaviest, so additional weight supports are recommended.
  • CopperOne if not the most expensive materials on the market, copper bathtubs tend to be quite unique due to their Patina as they age. Excellent heat retention and durability-these bathtubs can take a beating while still being quite unique, though you pay for that unique quality. 
  • Stone ResinTaking the appearance of natural stone, Stone Resin is a material that carries many of the benefits of that aesthetics while being much more affordable than real granite or limestone. These bathtubs have excellent heat retention and high durability while also being quite easy on the eyes as well. 

How much do roll baths cost?

Roll top bathtubs vary in price, but most generally cost between $500-2,000, depending on the size and material used. A fiberglass roll top will cost between around the $500-600 range where a cast iron or Stone Resin will generally push the $1,000-1,200 barrier.

As with most things, you get what you pay for, and with bathtubs, the steeper initial investment will always save you from future headaches down the road. 

What are common accessories with roll top baths

  • Shower caddies
  • Drain Catches & Strainers.
  • Drain Stoppers.
  • Splash Guards.
  • Bath Trays
  • Bath mats

Freestanding bathtubs provide an excellent compliment to any bathroom. For those that have limited space and still want a bathtub with a classic look, consider a Roll Top Bathtub.

 

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