INSTALL A BATHTUB AND SHOWER

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
Completion Time: 1 Week

Renovating the bathroom with a new bathtub and shower not only elevates the pleasure and convenience but is a worthwhile investment in the home. However, it does take patience and having a helper to move around the tub is a big advantage. The project also requires knowledge of the plumbing system including the drainage, water intake and venting.

This project entails installing a steel, acrylic or vinyl bathtub and shower in a framed area where the walls have either been removed or the place of installation is in an area of new construction. With the pipes exposed, it is easier to plan the renovation than to try and find the pipes.

TOOLS

  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • 24" Bubble level
  • 12" Pipe wrench
  • Pliers

  • Drain wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Hacksaw
  • Utility knife
  • Silicone dispenser

MATERIALS

  • No. 8 1½" stainless steel screws
  • Galvanized nails
  • Bathtub overflow and drain pipes
  • Pencil
  • Plumber's putty
  • Shims

  • Tub and shower faucet
  • Wood strapping
  • Drywall and taping supplies
  • Kitchen and bath silicone
  • Rock wool insulation
  • ABS pipe glue
BEFORE ASSEMBLY
PROJECT SCOPE

This project covers the installation within 3 walls surrounding the bathtub. The wall frames should be built prior to the installation. In the case of a renovation project the walls should be stripped and the location of water inlets and drains marked. The choice of bathtub may be limited depending on where the utilities are located and if they can be moved if necessary.

BASIC PLUMBING IN PLACE

The steps that follow will show you how to install a bathtub where the basic plumbing already exists. This includes hot and cold water supply and drain pipes.

A PROJECT FOR EXPERIENCED DO-IT-YOURSELFERS

Installing a bathtub can be a difficult task and we recommend that an experienced do-it-yourselfer should attempt this. If you decide to undertake the job, be sure to have someone on hand to help, because bathtubs are heavy and difficult to move around.

CONFIRM FLOOR SUPPORT

Make sure your bathroom floor is strong enough to support the weight of a tub filled with water. The joists may need to be doubled and plywood added to the floor to strengthen If in doubt, consult with your renovation centre or a competent builder.

PROTECT YOUR FIXTURES

Leave the protective film on the new bathtub until the job has been completed. This includes the taps and bath and shower accessories.

ELECTRICIAN FOR OUTLETS AND WHIRLPOOL HOOK-UP

When installing a whirlpool bath or other type requiring electricity have an electrician install a GFCI-type wall outlet (ground fault circuit interrupter) that will automatically cut off power in 1/40 of a second in case a problem arises.

ACCESS PANEL

An escape panel should be built to allow access to the plumbing so the walls do not have to be opened up if a problem occurs.

STEPS
1.1 Turn off the water supply.

1.2 Measure the area and the bathtub and make sure it fits.

1.3 Position the bathtub.

1.4 Level the bathtub using wood shims. The level should be set on the top of the tub because the bottom of the tub been angled with a sloping bottom for drainage.

1.5 Mark the top of the nailing flange on all the studs around the bathtub.

1.6 Move the bathtub away from the walls

1.7 Nail 1" x 4" wood strapping on the three walls just under the marks showing on the studs. This will act as a ledger or support board. Allow space for any pipes that could get in the way.

PREPARE THE SITE

PREPARE THE SITE

PREPARE THE SITE 

2.1 Assemble the drain and overflow pipes in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

2.2 Attach the drain and overflow pipes to the appropriate opening on the bathtub. These fittings are sold separately at your renovation centre.

INSTALL THE DRAIN AND OVERFLOW PIPES 
3.1 Soundproof the wall area behind the tub with rock wool insulation. Unlike fiberglass insulation, in case of a leak, rock wool will not absorb water and does not promote mold growth.

3.2 Place the bathtub into position. Make sure the drain pipe and overflow plumbing are aligned.

3.3 Secure to the wall studs through the holes in the nailing flange with galvanized nails or No. 8 1½" stainless steel. If there are no holes, drive the nails into the studs, just above the flange, overlapping the nail's head over the flange. Some bathtub manufacturers supply installation clips as well. Be careful not to score the tub finish with the hammer.

FIX THE BATHTUB TO THE WALL 
4.1 Apply plumbers putty to the lower edge of the strainer and drop it in its opening.

4.2 Screw the strainer firmly into the tailpiece of the drainpipe and tighten.

5.1 Hold the tub shoe on the bottom of the tub and align it up with the drain.

5.2 Slide the rubber gasket between the bottom of the tub and the tub shoe.

5.3 Apply plumber’s putty to the bottom rim of the drain pop-up mechanism, or tub basket, and screw in using the specialized drain wrench.

5.4 Install the cap and use long screws to screw it in the overflow pipe mounting.

5.5 Connect the drainpipe tailpiece to the P-trap using ABS pipe glue. You may have to saw off part of the pipe in order to connect the two. If that's the case, use a hack saw or pipe cutter.

INSTALL THE OVERFLOW 
6.1 Finish the walls with a waterproof membrane. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

6.2 Install ceramic tile with a quality wall adhesive and grout

6.3 Install the faucets.

6.4 Turn the water back on and flush the toilet to clean out any accumulated dirt that may have settled in the pipes during installation.

6.5 Put silicone around the tub where the ceramic tile meets the tube.