For some people it's simply there because the bathroom would look odd without it. For others, it's an absolute godsend after a long hard day at work.
Choosing a bath is therefore a very personal decision, and the right one for you will depend on how often you use it, how much space you have and the overall design of your bathroom. So what should you think about when buying a new bath?
Often the shape and size of your bathroom will dictate what shape bath you can buy, but even a standard rectangular bath can come in different designs. For example, you could opt for bath with angular corners and gently sloping ends which will provide better comfort, especially if you're taller. Or if you love immersing yourself completely in the water, you might want to choose a deeper tub.
Do you plan to have a separate shower enclosure, leaving your bath purely or bathing, or will you be installing a shower above your bath to save space? If it's the latter, then a shower bath may be a good option as is gives you extra room at one end. But they may take longer to fill up if you do fancy a dip, so bear that in mind too.
Free-standing or built-in?
If you have a big bathroom, lucky you! You can install a free-standing bath. Alongside large walk-in showers, these are seen as the ultimate luxury and can act as a focal point in your bathroom. But they're only really an option if you have plenty of space. A bath that fits snugly against a wall or into a corner will be better suited to a smaller room.
Baths are available in a wide variety of materials, from cast iron to marble and even wood. But two of the most common types are steel baths and acrylic baths. The latter is a popular choice as they retain height and are lightweight. They're also pretty inexpensive compared to other bath types. Steel baths, on the other hand, are incredibly durable and hardwearing, so will last for years.