A Guide to Bath Wastes

By Alex

15th Oct 2021

3 mins read

DIY & Technical

Our Guide to Bath Wastes will help you get the little things right when planning your dream bathroom.

A Guide to Bath Wastes

If you are unsure what the term Bath Waste means; it is basically the plumbing that provides your water with somewhere to go once it flows down into your plug hole. In other words, it's an essential part to ensure the bath waste can escape from the bathtub to the drainage system. 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.

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.

The benefits of an effectively working waste system are obvious, and we stock a wide range of quality, attractive Bath Wastes 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, then it's as simple as manually putting the plug in and out of the waste when needed. 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 simple yet fascinating charm to them. They can be known as a 'freestanding bath waste' as they are an ideal choice for Roll Top or Slipper baths thanks to their delicate, shiny appearance and classic style. Best utilised in a Victorian or Traditional Country style bathroom.

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 is a Pop Up Waste, also known as a pop up bath plug mechanism.

These generally feature a dial that sits just above the overflow hole. The dial comes in many sizes and colours to suit your style or bath and often include a flattened or grooved edge to ease turning as they tend to get wet and soapy. A turn of this dial and a lever hidden 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 concealed 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. Also available in other colours, you can coordinate your bath waste with other bathroom features for a harmonised, uniform 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.

If this introduction to bath wastes has enticed you into looking further into their minimal yet functional designs, why not browse our collection, here. For all other bathroom inspiration, keep an eye on the Victorian Plumbing blog.



Alex is one of our bathroom bloggers here at Victorian Plumbing. You'll find him regularly blogging about fun bathroom ideas and trends as well as writing expert 'how to' step-by-step DIY guides.

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