What Is A Bateau Bath?

Taking it's name from the French word for boat, a bateau bath is a stunning style of bath that stems back to the decadence of the 19th century in France; but are now becoming an increasingly fashionable statement piece as the focal point of attention in many bathrooms.

Bateau bath tubs were initially developed by companies like Riget & Cie of Lyon towards the late 19th century; they were considered to be an object of the wealthy; and at the time would often be a feature in a master bedroom rather than bathrooms.

Design Of A Bateau Bath

The term bateau comes from this style of bath's instantly recognisable boat shape. However some people suggest that the shape was developed from the style of bath that would have been found on ships at the time. This is because the deep roll top stylings of the bath are aimed to prevent water from spilling over the sides of the bath.

As mentioned previously a bateau bath has roll tops which means that it has a symmetrical appearance with rises at both sides, unlike a slipper bath which only rises at one end. The taps of this style of bath tend to be in the middle which allows for two people to bathe in luxury. The convention is for bateau baths not to have tap holes, and instead to have freestanding standpipe style bath taps that curve over the curves of the bath tub.

Unlike some roll top baths; traditional boat baths don't tend to have claw feet or similar, instead they are integrated with a plinth which raises the bath up from the floor. This helps with the visual effect of the bath, and carries the additional benefit that you can hide any of the unsightly pipework that is necessary with a bath.

What Are Bateau Baths Made From?

Boat baths come in a variety of materials such as copper cast iron or acrylic. Traditionally, a bateau bath would be made form copper, as it is a material that easily absorbs heat and also will also retain heat. In the days before hot water they would be near a fire and as such this was a necessity.

In terms of modern bateau baths; then there are finishes to suit all manner of tastes and styles of bathroom whether you want a classic look or something more contemporary. When you want to get the traditional look, then a copper bateau bath is the ideal option as the traditional polished copper look is a homage to the traditions of 19th century France. If you want the modern decadent feel, then a high gloss plated or cast iron bath is the ideal choice.