How to Install a Bathtub

Four Parts:Measuring the Bathroom SpaceRemoving the Old BathtubPreparing to Install the New BathtubSecuring the Tub

Installing a tub can be a difficult job to complete, and may be a job for a professional plumber. A tub is large and heavy and bathrooms may be awkward in shape and are not usually all that large, which can make removing an old tub and installing a new one a real challenge. However, bathtubs can get worn over time and need replacing. You will need help for this project to move the tub. Read the steps below on how to install a bathtub.

Part 1
Measuring the Bathroom Space

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    Ensure the new bathtub will fit in the space. Measure the old bathtub and the doorway. Sometimes in the construction of a house, the bathtub was placed in the bathroom before the walls were completed, causing a problem when you need to remove it. Make sure you can get the old one out and the new one in.
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    Buy a new tub with the drain on the same side as the old one. If the new tub is not exactly the same as the old one, you will have to modify the plumbing later.
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    Realize that the toilet, sink, and cabinet may also have to be removed during this process, in order to get the new tub into the room.

Part 2
Removing the Old Bathtub

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    Turn off the water supply and drain the water supply lines by opening a faucet below the level of the bath.
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    Expose the piping and remove the hot and cold water faucets back to the supply connections.
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    Disconnect the tub drain using an adjustable wrench. Then loosen the slip nut connecting the overflow pipe that runs from the bathtub drain pipe.
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    Remove the spout, the drain and the faucet. You may have to remove some of the wall surrounding the bathtub in order to do this. One course of tiling around the tub is enough to remove. Take care and protect your eyes whilst chipping off the tile.
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    Disconnect all the piping and pry the old bathtub out. Use pieces of wood as skids for moving this heavy tub.
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    Make good the wall surface. Remember that normal drywall cannot handle moisture, so use correct cement backer board.

Part 3
Preparing to Install the New Bathtub

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    Move the tub into the space where you want the bath to sit and mark where the top is on the wall studs. You will need to use wooden skids and helpers for this move.
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    Mark under this where the top of the ledger will be (1 inch below the last marks). This narrow board will support the edges of the tub where it touches the walls of the bathroom.
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    Install the ledger board, using drywall screws. Make sure it is level.
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    Turn the tub on its side and assemble the “shoe fitting,” which will go under the waste pipe and the tub. Dry fit the drain and water supply pipes.
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    Put together the overflow pipe and fitting and put in place. Check that this will align with the tub openings.
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    Apply a ring of plumber's putty around the drain flange, tape up the drain flange threads, insert the washer on the shoe and carefully position it. Then screw the drain flange in the shoe and tighten it.
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    Attach the drain to the tub and screw it securely in place.
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    Install the overflow cover, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This covers the overflow on the bath and will allow for extra inches of water.

Part 4
Securing the Tub

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    Spread mortar on the subfloor where you will place the tub, 2 inches (5.1 cm) thick.
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    Position the new tub in the correct place and check that it is level. If it isn’t level, you will have to place wooden shims under the bath to get this accurate and ensure that the new tub does not rock.
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    Nail 1 inch (2.5 cm) galvanized nails through the holes in the flange to secure this to the studs. Care is needed with this so as not to damage the tub. If the flange has no holes, nail just above the top of the flange, so that the nail heads will secure the flange.
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    Connect the drain and water supply pipes. Pull down the slip connection on the drain pipe and tighten the slip nuts.
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    Seat the drain in the tub in plumber's putty, press into place and tighten the cap.
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    Screw both the hot and cold water faucets onto the supply pipe fittings. Seal the male threads with joint compound as you tighten.
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    Screw on both the hot and cold water faucet handles.
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    Reinstall other fixtures you may have had to remove.
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    Turn on the water supply and check for leaks.
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    Finish the wall around the tub, using cement backer board and then tile.

Warnings

  • Consult a plumber if you are unsure about any of this installation. You may not notice if the tub is leaking.

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Categories: Furniture and Cabinets