How much does a bath cost to buy and install
Installing a new bath in your bathroom can be a great way to add value if you choose to sell your home or simply a spot to relax at the end of a long day.
But with so many moving parts to consider, such as installation costs, labour, bathtub types, and materials, it's hard to gauge the price of a new bath.
That's why in this article, we'll go into detail on all of the above issues as well as other obstacles you may or may not have considered on the way to your new bath.
Costs Associated With Getting A New Bath
There are two main costs associated with fitting a new bath: the bathtub and the bath installation cost.
The cost of a bathtub can vary massively depending on your choice.
A simple acrylic tub can cost as little as £100, but a fancy cast-iron free-standing bath can cost as much as £1000.
More elaborate options like a walk-in bathtub or whirlpool baths will be expensive to purchase and mean higher installation costs.
When deciding to fit a bath, it might be tempting to attempt it yourself. With a host of instructional websites and videos on YouTube, it could be a way to bypass the installation costs.
However, this DIY approach may throw up a host of issues an untrained person isn't prepared for. Furthermore, the labour cost isn't as expensive as you might think, and a bathroom fitter can generally fit a bath for between £250-£400.
Factors Affecting The Cost Of A New Bath
The size of your bathroom will affect the size of the bath you can install in it.
A smaller bathroom will stop you from installing a large luxury unit and may make fitting any bath in the room more complicated and costly for the fitter. It may also stop more than one fitter from working in the bathroom at once, which may mean smaller costs of installation per labourer but an overall longer installation. You can also view our key guide relating to room dimensions.
Type of Bathtub
The range of bathtubs you can choose from is enormous, and so is the price range. If you have a big budget, you could look at spending over £1000 in some cases. The cost can be a tenth of that with a simple acrylic tub.
Options like a whirlpool bath will incur further fitting costs due to more extensive plumbing requirements.
If you have existing plumbing from a previous bath, the cost of installing new plumbing will be negated as the fitter can simply connect the water supply to your new tub.
Ideally, the plumbing in your house will be new enough not to have galvanised, but if it does and it isn't causing any issues, it may not need to be replaced. If it does, copper or plastic pipes are easy to fit and have long-lasting life.
Depending on where you live, the cost of labour will vary. City prices may be higher due to more competition and the general cost of living in a city. Still, more minor, less-populated areas will usually be home to lower labour costs.
Impact on other components
This factor depends on the scale of your bathroom renovations. If you replace an old bath, the impact on existing bathroom features will be minimal. If you are planning extensive bathroom renovations or adding a more oversized bathtub, its impact on your current bathroom setup and the added difficulty may increase the cost.
Some bathtubs are explicitly designed with movement in mind, like cut-out or walk-in baths or baths with built-in benches. In other cases, you may need to pay a little extra to have your bath fitted out to be more accessible with handrails.
Your budget will restrict your options if you don't have much to spare on your new bath, but if you've saved for this renovation or your budget can handle any extra luxuries or unforeseen costs, you don't need to worry.
Either way, it's good to get a solid quote on your plans before you make any moves to ensure your budget doesn't trip you up.
Types of Bathtubs
Standard bathtubsare a terrific way to make room for a great bathroom because they are a practical solution that is easy to clean and maintain and are available in a variety of sizes.
Standard baths, almost always rectangular in shape, are the most common bath in most homes as they can be situated alost anywhere in pretty much any bathroom aspace. Standard baths come mostly with a single-ended tap configuration.
View our full range of standard bathtubs.
Estimated cost: £126 - £781.99
A shower bath is a popular way to combine two washing methods into one space. With this option, you can choose to relax in your bath or wake up under an electric shower.
It's common to see people using this handy combination to save space and increase utility. Furthermore, you may choose you simply install a bath for now and a shower at a later date.
The plumbing of both the taps and the shower and installing bath panels to keep in water will increase the installation cost, but saving the space while maintaining both utilities will be worth the price.
View our full range of shower baths.
We can better estimate this based on PlumbNation pricing range anywhere from £159.99 - £353.99.
A freestanding bath is an excellent choice if you make a bold, aesthetic statement. This option can incorporate various styles, from a classic claw-foot look to a sleek modern design.
Most freestanding baths are made from lightweight acrylic or cast iron with a clean porcelain finish, which is heavier. You may need a structural engineer to confirm your floor can take the weight when choosing rich baths.
The style is usually much more significant, contributing to the weight and meaning a much deeper soak.
A freestanding bath is flexibly positioned anywhere in your bathroom, provided the plumbing is accessible; if not, then it will need to be adjusted by your fitter.
Freestanding baths are usually costly as they are a larger and more luxurious option.
View our full range of freestanding baths.
Estimated cost: £162.99 - £2185
Let's look at a breakdown of the different materials and how they affect the cost of your bath.
The most common material used for a bath, acrylic, is cheap, durable, and versatile. Acrylic is long-lasting and, while not in the same class as stone, or cast iron will retain its shape for many years.
They come in many shapes and styles, including whirlpool, freestanding or accessible baths.
Acrylic is also light and easily fitted.
A cast iron bath is a timeless specialised choice. They are a classic choice that will fit the aesthetic of any bathroom style you choose, making an impressive focal point.
While the water in acrylic baths will lose heat quickly, a cast iron bath will retain heat over a more extended period, though before the water is added, cast iron is much colder to the touch than acrylic.
A cast iron bath will be prominent and heavy, sometimes up to a few hundred kilos. This means you'll need to factor potential structural re-engineering into the bathing cost if you decide on this striking option.
A brass bath lends a classic "rustic" feel to any bathroom. Brushed or polished brass has a classy, sophisticated look, but if left to oxidise or "patina", its greenish colour can create a warm industrial feel.
A brass bath will mean extra maintenance that will require studying and additional costs, which is worth considering if you want a polished finish.
Brass is more expensive, and if you choose this look, it can be challenging to match it with stainless steel fittings.
A stone bath is about as bold and luxurious a choice as you can make when selecting your bathtub.
Some stone baths have a classy modern look, while others have been designed to look like they've been carved straight from a boulder.
The material is smooth and retains heat perfectly, the feel of the stone creating a relaxing experience like no other. They are, of course, powerful and will suffer little to no superficial damage but will require specialised maintenance.
As you'd expect, they are cumbersome and are only worth considering for a ground-floor bathroom. A stone bath's cost is at the upper end of the price range - if money is an issue, they are out of the question, but if money is no object, they will make a fantastic memorable choice.
Steel is a nice halfway between acrylic and cast iron.
It's much lighter than cast iron but doesn't compromise on strength and durability. Steel is also much cheaper and easier to mould into various shapes. It's more environmentally friendly than acrylic while achieving the same versatility.
Building Regulations For Bath Installations
If you are simply replacing an old bath with a new one, there are no building regulations, as long as there is no plumbing or electricity involved.
If you are adding a whole new bathroom or making significant renovations, then you may be subject to building regulations.
The sections that may relate to your renovations are
- Part H - Waste disposal and drainage
- Part F - Ventilation
- Part P - Electrics
If you choose a heavy bath like stone or cast iron, Part A, which regards structural safety, will also concern you.
Most plumbers and electricians who are approved will be able to self-certificate that whatever work they do has been done correctly and following regulations.
Can You Install A Bath Yourself?
Installing a bath yourself can be a frustrating choice, leading to several issues such as leakage, water damage, and incorrect installation, all of which will entail wasted money.
If you have done the proper research and preparation, installing an acrylic or fiberglass bath may be possible. Still, anything heavier or more complex, like corner baths, would be out of the question.
It may be tempting to install a bath yourself, but it's worth considering whether the money saved by hiring a plumber is worth the effort. Generally, the cost of fitting a bath is between £250-£400 at the upper end, so it may not be worth the extra time it would take you to do the job yourself, coupled with the risk of things going wrong.
Your questions answered on bathtubs
How do I estimate the cost to install a new bath?
When evaluating the cost of your new bath, keep in mind the plumbing requirements and the impact on your existing bathroom. Most fitters, bath showrooms, and vendors will supply you with a reliable quote without the need for an estimate.
How much do bathroom installers typically charge to put in a new bath?
Bathroom fitters usually charge between £250-£400 and potentially more for specialist cast iron or stone tubs. Baths generally cost different amounts depending on the materials used.
Is there any way to reduce the installation costs of a new bath?
You could do the work yourself, though it's advisable to make sure you're thoroughly researched and prepared as you may end up costing yourself more money than if you had hired a plumber.
Should I get a shower or bath installed in my new bathroom?
If you're struggling to choose, any bath can be adapted, so it has a shower attached. This ultimately may cost more to plumb but will save you plenty of space in your bathroom. You can even have a power shower over your bath.