A Guide to Bath Wastes

When you are putting together your dream bathroom, it is important to keep in mind; the little things make a big difference. Your accessories, your finishing touches and even your more utilitarian, functional parts can have a huge impact on your chosen look. Bath Wastes are a prime example of this.

If you are unsure what we mean by the term Bath Waste; it basically means the plumbing that provides your water with somewhere to go once it flows down into your plug hole. This can include the plug, any parts behind the bathtub, and the overflow system.

Bath Wastes may not be the first thing to jump into your mind when you set about designing a bathroom and planning your decor, however, it can be well worth the time it takes to think about your options and choose one that fits your style and functional needs.

The benefits of an effectively working waste system are obvious, and we stock a wide range of quality, attractive Bath Waste Systems so you are sure to be able to find something that will complement your bathroom style, while achieving an efficient, hassle-free level of performance.

To help make your choice easier, we have compiled a list of the different styles and functions available for Bath Waste Kits, so think about what you would be happy to live with and use in your day-to-day routine.

Bath Plug and Chain Waste / Retainer Bath Wastes

The traditional style waste and plug - Bath Plug and Chain Wastes used to come as standard on British bathtubs. A slim, ball or link chain connects the bath plug to the overflow and you put the plug in and out of the waste with your hand. Often, they will be Retainer Plug and Chain Wastes; these have a recessed overflow so you can store the plug away neatly while the bath is not in use.

Plug and Chain Waste Kits have a very nice, vintage charm to them, and look great in an empty bath with the delicate, glinting metal and classic style. Best utilised in a traditional bathroom - e.g. Victorian Inspired, or the Traditional Country look.

Pop Up Waste

This continental import was the traditional choice for stylish French and Italian bathtubs for years before the British adopted them. A hugely popular choice, a Pop Up Bath Waste usually features a chrome dial that sits just above the overflow hole. The dial will often have flattened or grooved edges, so you can turn it when it is wet and soapy. A turn of this dial and a simple lever behind the bath lifts the plug to allow water to drain out, turn it back and it drops back down and forms a watertight seal.

The benefits of this system are that if you need to let some scorching hot bath water out in order to balance the temperature out with some cool water, then you can avoid plunging your hand into the hot water.

Pop Up Waste Kits are a versatile option; the chrome dial adds another eye-catching accent to your bath, the design is more modern than Plug and Chain designs, while the European-inspired style makes these Bath Wastes as at home in traditional elegant bathrooms as they are in smart, contemporary ones.

Click Clack / Sprung Plug

This particular fitting goes by many names - Click Clack, Sprung, Push Button - but the mechanism is fairly simple; push on the plug and it springs up. Similar to a Pop Up Waste, the Click Clack keeps the working parts tastefully hidden behind the bath.

Often the Click Clack plug will be removable, to make these Bath Waste Kits easy to clean and easy to maintain - adding to the streamlined, fuss-free style of contemporary modern bathrooms.

We find these Waste Kits go beautifully with contemporary style bathrooms, where extraneous pieces and visible moving parts can detract from the cool, sleek look.

It is worth noting that this time, if you need to release some hot water, you may have to put your hand into the bath to push the button.

What You Should Know

Here are some key terms you should be familiar with when you are on the look out for a stylish new Bath Waste Kit to finish your bathtub..


The Overflow is the part of your bath that helps prevent, well, you guessed it, your bath from overflowing! Usually a small hole or grill, the overflow is not only functional but can add to your overall look.

Integrated Bath Fillers

This is a combined unit of a Waste Kit and a Bath Filler. Providing your bath with an even more modern look, these Integrated Bath Filler Waste Kits give you a side-fill function that removes the need for a traditional spout or bath filler. Instead, a (usually chrome) overflow unit doubles up as both bath filler and overflow - a clean, sharp look that is great for contemporary bathrooms.

Invisible Overflow and Waste

More often used in free standing bathtubs, an invisible overflow removes the need for a classic overflow, and instead utilises a tastefully hidden mechanism. At once elegant and minimal, they are a popular choice for period and traditional bathrooms.

Exposed Bath Pop Up

With free standing bathtubs, your plumbing becomes an accessory. Free standing taps with curving, graceful lines, Victorian-inspired faucets and chrome-finish Exposed Bath Wastes add authenticity to a Period-style bath tub.

An Exposed Waste sits outside the freestanding bath; a functional yet attractive piece of metalwork that adds to the elegant crafted look of a traditional bathroom.

Your Bath - Your Choice

A bath is an investment and not the kind of change you make often. You will spend a significant amount of time in or looking at your bath as you go about your daily routine, and so it is important to consider any changes or updates to this area carefully.

Hopefully, you are now more aware of the different styles of Bath Waste and Overflow Kits available for your bathtub, and with the different looks and functions each can bring. We recommend spending some time looking through our Inspiration Albums and Product Pages and dreaming up your ideal bathroom.

Choose a look that brings the room together - pick one style to create a harmonious, cohesive look that will flow across your whole bathroom. This extends right down to your functional accessories.

So perhaps for your traditional, country house look, a classic Plug and Chain, or Exposed Bath Waste Kit will work best. Whereas, in a sleek, contemporary look, or luxury urban living decor, a Click Clack or Pop Up Waste will work best. Whatever look you decide, we are sure to cater for your tastes.

Thank you for reading, and remember to come back soon for more DIY tips, how-to’s and style advice.

See you soon!

Alex, Victorian Plumbing