Before you get started
Always use a cable, pipe and stud detector to help find safe and secure fixing points in the wall and floor surfaces.
When ordering a bath, make sure that the taps you choose are compatible with the number of holes in the bath. In some cases, you may need to cut the holes in the bath rim yourself.
Changing over an old bath for a new one is a straightforward job if you are easily able to isolate the water supply, and both waste and supply pipes do not need major alterations in positioning.
The direction of bath waste pipes can be adjusted by using new lengths of waste pipe connected with push-fit joints.
For closed in baths, where you will be using a panel of some nature, it is not necessary to extend your chosen flooring under the bath. However, for standalone designs, where the underside of the bath is open, you need to fit the flooring before the bath in order to achieve a neat finish.
To protect the bath surface, the manufacturer will often wrap the bath in a thin plastic film. Keep this on during installation and remove once the bath is ready to use. However, make sure you have peeled it back from the edges when you use silicone sealant to secure the bath in place.
Different types of bath trap (as found beneath the plug) are available if the new bath requires a lower level design, for example.
If you plan to fit a shower over the bath, get the plumbing put in when the old bath has been removed, before you do any other work. Also, choose a bath that has a flat rim, so that any fixed shower screen that you fit will be able to create a good watertight seal along the bath rim when the shower is being used.
If you plan to alter your bathroom, always ask a qualified electrician to advise whether or not the bonding and earthing arrangements in your home need to be improved for safety reasons.
Fit a bath & taps
Check you have all the necessary parts for assembling the bath, including any legs (if required) as well as the taps and waste system.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to assemble the bath legs. This normally involves screwing the leg frames to the bath rim as directed.
Position the feet and make sure that any central support feet are screwed into place. Always double-check the specified screw length.
Turn the bath over and use a spirit level on the rim to level up approximately to the required height, adjusting leg height as required.
Connect up the waste system fitments. Firstly you will need to position and screw the overflow assembly in place, ensuring a snug fit.
Put the plughole assembly together, paying particular attention to any washer positions. In some cases you may need some silicone sealant.
If the bath has any hand grips, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to bolt them in place either side of the bath through the holes provided.
Place the correct washers and gaskets (seals) on the openings on top of the bath rim at the tap end and slide the taps through the holes.
Tighten the nut(s) on the taps below the rim, again paying close attention to correct washer position and order of placement. Do not overtighten.
Move the bath to the exact position against the wall where it will be fitted. Make sure it is level and draw a pencil guide around the rim.
Move the bath away from the wall and apply a thick bead of silicone below the pencil line. Some manufacturers may stipulate positioning brackets too.
Reposition bath against wall. To fit bracket(s), position as directed, marking pilot holes with a pencil. Drill holes and plug according to wall type.
Check again that the bath is level before screwing the brackets in place to secure the unit against the wall. The bath should now be held firm.
Connect up the waste. If you are carrying out a straight changeover, this should simply involve tightening compression fittings (joints) in place.
Connect taps to the water supply pipes. The most straightforward option is using flexible tap connectors and compression joints.
Turn on the water at the isolation valves and turn on the taps to test for leaks on both the taps and in the waste system.
Screw bath to floor through the holes in the bath feet. Use short screws that won’t penetrate below flooring, which could damage cables and pipes.
To position a bath panel, use a spirit level, held vertically at each corner of the bath, to mark positions for where a wooden floor batten will be placed.
Draw a guideline slightly back (normally 1cm) from the marks, to allow for the bath rim width. Use short screws, again, to fix battens in place.
Slip the panel(s) in place under the rim. You may need to use small screw fixings into the batten to hold the panel(s) secure. Mirror screws are ideal.
What you’ll need
Bath and taps
Cable, pipe and stud detector
Drill/driver and bits
Water pump pliers
Wall plugs (type dependent on wall/floor surface)
Mirror screws (if required for bath panel fitting)
Order of work
When removing an old bath, a good basic order to follow is:
- Gain access to taps and waste by removing any panelling.
- Turn off the water supply at the shut-off valves. Run taps until they run dry.
- Disconnect taps at connection.
- Disconnect waste.
- Unscrew any wall fixings and any holding the bath feet in place.
- Ease the bath away from the wall surface.