A roll top bath is a freestanding bath with edges which curve at the top, providing a distinctive rounded effect around the edge of the tub. Roll top baths are available in a wide range of styles, to satisfy various design needs, and many bath manufacturers produce them in a dizzying array of materials. It is also possible to purchase restored vintage baths, if an old-fashioned look and feel is desired.
The defining feature of the bath is the curved edge of the tub. Rounded edges make it more comfortable to lounge in the bath, as they eliminate sharp corners which can be painful. They also reduce the risk of injury while getting in and out of the tub. In some cases, bath companies also manufacture surrounds for their roll top tubs; these surrounds fit snugly against the side of the tub, insulating it and eliminating the lip which is created by the rolled edge.
In order to be a true roll top bath, a tub must also be freestanding, and by tradition it is elevated on feet which help to keep the floor dry, reducing the risk of rot and mildew. The tub may have a tap panel, allowing people to mount taps directly to the tub, or consumers may be expected to install taps in the wall above the tub. Roll top tubs are typically oblong in shape, and they can be deep or shallow, depending on personal taste. It is also common to find slipper baths in a roll top style.
Many people think that the look of a roll top bath is sleek and very classic. These tubs often appear in restored historic homes, as they are considered historically accurate. They can also be featured in more edgy modern design schemes, in which case they may be supported by cradles or raised on a dais for a more modern look. Typically, roll top tubs are very deep, making them luxurious and comfortable for people of a wide range of sizes.
The materials used to construct a roll top bath vary widely. Enameled metals are common, as are some untreated metals, like copper. It is also possible to find roll top tubs in porcelain, wood, and sometimes even glass. Many manufacturers offer lower cost options made from plastic or acrylic; these baths can be quite elegant and pleasing to look at, for a fraction of the cost of traditional roll top tubs.