8 Tips on Installing a Bathtub 8 Tips on Installing a Bathtub

When installing bathtub hardware and plumbing, take care and measure carefully to ensure a sturdy watertight result for the safety and comfort of your family. Take advantage of these 8 tips when installing either a freestanding claw foot tub or an enclosed ceramic, steel or fiberglass bathroom tub.

Tip 1: Install the Same Kind of Tub You Removed

Installing an enclosed tub or claw foot tub is much easier if you are replacing a similar type. You will not have to adjust plumbing, move drains and taps, or build an enclosure where one did not exist before.

Tip 2: Check the Soundness of the Floor and Walls Before Installing

Be sure the floor and walls in your bathroom are able to support the weight and length of pipes and the tub itself before installing a bathtub. If you are unsure about the flooring, add extra ceiling joists to the room directly below the bathroom.

Tip 3: Disconnect the Water Supply to the Bathroom

Always ensure the water supply to the bathroom has been disconnected before replacing a bathtub or installing one for the first time. You want the area around the pipes and under the tub itself to be bone-dry and watertight before you close up all the connections to the plumbing. Once mold gets into walls and floors of a bathroom from leaky plumbing or water spills during installation, it is nearly impossible to eliminate.

Tip 4: Check the Fit of the Bathtub in the Intended Space

Set the bathtub into the space where you want to install it before you open up walls for pipes or build an enclosure. If it does not fit or cannot reach the water connections, you can then make adjustments to the space before the tub is in place.

Tip 5: Get All the Plumbing and Water Supply Lines in the Correct Places

Measure carefully to ensure accurate fit for the pipes, shower mechanism, faucets, taps and spigots before you make any holes in the walls and floor. Recutting and extending pipes can result in unintended leaks that will wreck your bathtub installation. This is one task you really want to do right the first time. If you are unsure about your plumbing skills, consult a licensed plumber or hire one to do the plumbing rough-in.

Tip 6: Set the Tub in Place and Level It

Now is the time to set the bathtub in its designated spot. Use thin plywood shims to level it if it is crooked. With an enclosed tub ensure the tops of all sides are level. For a claw foot tub, get each foot level so the tub is perfectly stable. Build the supporting enclosure for a round bottom tub up to the plumbing wall, so you can see to hook up pipes and faucets.

Tip 7: Attach the Plumbing When the Tub is in its Permanent Spot

Attach all the plumbing hardware to the piping system and to the tub once you have settled the bathtub into its permanent spot. Caulk around the full edge of an enclosed tub, and around all pipes for a claw foot tub.

Tip 8: Reactivate the Water Supply

Turn on the bathroom water supply and test all faucets and shower hardware.

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