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How to install a new bathtub at home

A bath installed next to a window

If you’re in the process of renovating your bathroom, then one of the main jobs you’ll need to do is install your bathtub. The bath is often the centrepiece of the bathroom so it’s important an important job to get right.

In this article, we’ll show you what you need to do in order to install a bath correctly.

Prepare your bathroom

Before you actually start the process of fitting your new bath, there’s a few things to do in advance to make your life easier and safer.

  • Decide exactly where you’ll fit your bath.
  • Check if the pipework is in the right place or if it needs rerouting.
  • Check the walls by the bath for any hidden wiring or pipes so you don’t accidentally drill into anything you shouldn’t.
  • Lay down towel or rugs to protect your floor and your bath from getting scratched.
  • Turn off your mains water supply to avoid any spillages

Tools for the job

Tools - a drill, spirit level, screws wall plugs and tape measure

As with any DIY job, it’s a good idea to ensure you have everything you need nicely laid out before you start. It’s very frustrating to get to a critical part of the process and suddenly realising something’s missing.

  • Power drill and drill bits
  • Crosshead and flathead screwdrivers
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure
  • Towels/rags
  • Silicone sealant and gun

Many baths now come with brackets for fitting the bath to the wall. If yours doesn’t you’ll also need to cut (or buy) some wooden battens.

The bath installation

Though there are many commonalities, some installation steps can vary depending on the type of bath being installed. It’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that any quirks of your bath are catered for.

Step 1 – Flip the bath and secure the frame

Hopefully you’ve laid down towels or a rug as previously advised. You need to tip the bath upside down so having something on the floor will protect the bath from getting damaged.

The frame should slot into place fairly easily as they will be some recognisable slots and channels on the underside of your bath. Screw in the appropriate screws to secure the frame to the bath.

If necessary and adjust the feet to make sure they’re horizontal and level, which you can check with your spirit level. You should also measure the distance from the rim of the bath the the feet to ensure you’re happy with the height of the bath.

Step 2 – Move the bath into place and mark up

Possibly with help from a second person, turn the bath the right way up and manoeuvre it into the desired location. This is another good opportunity to check it’s sitting flat and that the bath is the correct distance off the floor.

Now is also a good opportunity to connect up the waste pipe, taps, overflow and waste. You can also remove any protective cellophane that might still be on the bath.

Use your pencil to make marks on the wall in the spots where you’ll be drilling to secure the bath to the wall. For floor fittings and any wooden battens, also mark them up.

Step 3 – Drill your holes and secure the bath

For better access to the wall, it’s normally a good idea to move the bath out of the way before using your drill. If your bath is quite heavy, get a second person to help you move it away from the wall.

Noting where you’ve put your pencil marks for the bath fittings, use your drill and drill bit to make the right-sizes holes. Any wall or floor plugs should not be sticking out from the wall and must be flush against it. If they aren;’t quite flush then carefully use your hammer to move them back.

Move your bath back into place and line it up with the holes you’ve just drilled. Make sure it’s level and use one of your screwdrivers to fix the bath to the wall.

Now you can fully attach the waste pipe to the outlet and connect your taps. Turn the mains water on and fill your bath. Check underneath for any leaks, including in the overflow.

Step 4 – Seal with silicone sealant

To waterproof the edges of your bath and stop any excess water from seeping underneath, take your sealant gun and put silicone sealant where the bath meets the wall.

Take your time doing this and wipe off immediately if you make a mistake. The sealant should have dried and be ready to test again after 6 – 8 hours.

Professional bath installation

A modern bathroom with black tiled floor and freestanding bath

If the steps above seem too complicated or are not compatible with the level of DIY experience, then it’s always best to call on the services of a professional plumber.

Fitting a bath is usually a fairly straightfoward task for a plumber and probably one they’ve done hundreds of times. Rather than spending the time and risking a shoddy job yourself, get a plumber it to do it for you.

Additionally, many retailers that sell bathroom suites will usually have an installation service they can provide. This is often the easiest option as it means you can choose your new bath and make an appointment to have it installed all at the same time.


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