A double ended bath is a bath which has been designed to accommodate bathers facing in either direction. Typically both ends of the bath are identical, and they are sloped to create back support, making it comfortable for the bather to sit and lounge in the bath. When this type of bath has tap holes, they are located in the middle of the bath.
The materials used to make a double ended bath can be quite varied. Enameled metal is the classic choice for tubs, although they can also be made from porcelain, acrylic, plastics, other metals, and sometimes even wood. Typically, these baths are at least roughly oblong in shape, although they may have specially designed curves and divots designed to make bathing more comfortable and to create a desired stylish look.
One advantage to double ended bathtubs is that it can comfortably seat two bathers, who face each other across the bath water. Some are actually specifically designed for this purpose, and they are made extra-long to ensure comfort. Tall bathers sometimes seek out such tubs so that they can stretch out fully in the bath.
Double ended baths may be free standing or built into a bathroom, depending on the design and personal taste. Baths without tap holes must typically be located close to a wall to access internal plumbing. Like other tubs, double ended ones can also be turned into showers, by installing a rack to support a shower curtain and plumbing a pipe and showerhead. In this instance, a valve is typically built into the plumbing, allowing people to switch between the bath and shower functions as needed.
Installing a double ended bath requires no special skills beyond those needed to install any other sort of bath tub. You should carefully consider the potential locations for the bath in a bathroom, however, because the centrally located taps can cause a plumbing conundrum, as most bathrooms are designed to accommodate baths with taps at one end of the tub. If you happen to be building a bathroom from scratch and you want a double ended bath, let the plumber know so that he or she can plumb appropriately.