The fundamental equipment for bathing treatments is the bath. There are baths designed for a single type of bathing and there are multifunctional baths which can be used for various different kinds of treatment. In bygone times, wooden or faience baths were employed; however, they have now passed completely out of use. Iron and enamelled baths are used, but increasingly rarely. Baths made of acid-resistant steel have also remained in use.
Nowadays, baths made of plastics of every description are most frequently employed. The hardest-wearing of these plastics is acrylic, on account of its excellent heat-insulation properties. In comparison with their steel counterparts, acrylic baths are characterised by better insulation and, in addition, their users experience no unpleasant sensation of chill. From the viewpoint of bathing equipment, acrylic also has many another advantageous property. Its structure is smooth and homogenous. It is resistant to the action of chemical agents. The disadvantages of this material, however, lie in the fact that it is not all that rugged and its resistance to mechanical factors is poor.
There are baths for various applications; small baths for partial bathing, baths with a capacity of around two hundred litres for full bathing and considerably larger ones for the purposes of underwater massage. The largest of all, designed for water gymnastics, are known as Hubbard tanks.