Tom recently covered ‘installing a sink’ on our blog, so I thought I’d take the chance to offer advice on how to install a bath too. Read on to learn more!
Having a lovely new bath in your bathroom turns a functional room where you just get clean into somewhere to luxuriate in the tub after a long day at work. You can buy a new bath for less than £100, and install it yourself with limited DIY experience. Of course if you want a top of the range designer bath, or a spa bath the costs and complex nature of the job will be higher, but don’t be put off installing a new bath because of the idea that it’s something a plumber has to tackle, as it’s really quite simple.
The simplest way of installing a new bath is just to swap the old one for the new one, keeping it in the same position in the bathroom. Moving the bath to the other side of the room or swapping a corner bath for a standard one is going to be more complicated and something it might be better to get the professionals for. Measure your old bath and take the measurements with you when you log on or go shopping for a new one. Try to get something which is more or less the same size wherever possible. Remember too that you will have to buy taps for the bath, as well as any basic DIY tools which you don’t already have.
Removing the Old Bath
Turn off the water supply at the mains, and take the bath side panel off so you can get a good look at how it is attached to the walls and floor. Drain your water system by running the taps until no more water comes out. Remove any wooden framework around your old bath and discard. There will usually be adjustable feet on your bath which you can lower to make removing it easier, and you will need a hammer and chisel to work it free from the wall. Take great care when removing a bath from the wall as you could easily damage the tiles. Disconnect the pipework around the taps and drainage pipe, then discard your old bath and taps.
Preparing the New Bath
The first job in installing your new bath is to fit the feet on the bottom. Most modern baths will come with full instructions about how to install them and with everything you need to do the job, so it is always a good idea to read through all of the instructions before you start to identify the process and the tools you will need. Fit any handles to the sides of the bath, install the waste outlet and seal it with silicone and then fit your new taps to the bath, tightening everything up as you work.
Spread the Load
A full bath is extremely heavy, and most manufacturers recommend that you fit joists of wood to the floor to support your bath and spread the weight across the entire floor. The supporting joists should run at 90 degrees to the joists in the floor. Screw or nail them down and then carefully position the bath on top. You will then have to adjust the bath’s feet to make sure the joists are supporting it, and use a spirit level to make sure your bath is perfectly level, both along the length and the width.
Using flexible hoses which you have already or have bought new, connect up the taps of your new bath to the existing pipework, and do the same with the waste trap and outlet. If you need to cut the pipes, use a proper pipe cutter and always remember to seal up the connections as tightly as possible. Once everything has been connected up and is in place, you can turn the water on an check that your new bath is not leaking.
There are lots of different options for bath panels for your new bath, and you don’t just have to stick to plain old white. Use a brightly coloured bath panel to inject some colour into your bathroom, or look out for bath panels which pivot to provide additional storage space. You could even build your own bath panel with tongue and groove panelling, then paint it whatever colour you choose to personalise your space.
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