Following our how to fit a bath guide can help you save time and money if you’re competent at DIY, but if not we recommend hiring a professional to avoid any costly mistakes. Fitting a new bath isn’t too much of a challenging project as long as you plan well and work methodically.
Fitting a bath: preparation
How to remove the old bath
Remove any panelling so you can gain access to the taps and waste.
Turn the water supply off at the shut-off valves. Run the taps until no more water runs out.
Disconnect the taps at the connection.
Disconnect the waste.
Unscrew any wall fixings and any that may be holding the bath feet in position.
Ease the bath away from the wall surface.
To help locate fixing points in the wall and floor surfaces always use a cable, pipe and stud detector.
When choosing a new bath, ensure the taps are compatible with the number of holes in the bath. Many baths don’t have any tap holes, which means you’ll need to drill the holes yourself, unless you opt for a wall mounted tap.
Replacing an old bath for a new one is pretty straightforward if you can easily isolate the water supply, and both waste and supply pipes do not need major alterations.
You can adjust the direction of the waste pipes by using new lengths of waste pipe connected with push-fit joints.
If you are fitting a bath with a panel you won’t need to extend the flooring under the bath. But for freestanding baths, you’ll need to fit the flooring before the bath to ensure a neat finish.
When you receive your new bath it will be wrapped in a thin plastic film to keep the surface protected. Keep this protective layer on during installation and remove it once the job is complete. Just make sure to peel back the edges when using silicone sealant.
If you’re fitting a shower over the bath, get the plumbing put in when the old bath has been removed. It’s a good idea to choose a bath that has a flat rim, so the shower screen creates a watertight seal when you’re using the shower.
If you are altering the bathroom, ask a qualified electrician to advise whether or not the bonding and earthing requirements need to be improved for safety reasons.
Fitting a bath
Cable, pipe and stud detector
Drill/driver and bits
Water pump pliers
Mirror screws – if needed for bath panel fitting
Step 1 connecting the pipework
If you are fitting your new bath in a different position to the old one, or if the new bath has the tap holes in a different place, then you will be faced with the task of installing new pipe work.
The best time to fit new pipework is when you’ve removed the old bath and before you’ve fitted the new one, this way you’ll have plenty of space to work.
But before doing anything with the pipework, make sure the water is turned off.
Measure where the new bath will fit, and mark the position of the pipes, as well as the waste pipe.
Now you can fit any new supply pipes if required. Ensure the pipes finish no more than 300mm away from where the bath taps will be fitted, so that you have plenty of room to manoeuvre when connecting the taps to the water supply with flexi-hoses.
Step 2 fitting the feet to the bath
Now you can fit the feet to the underside of the bath. The best way to do this is to position the bath upside down.
Keep the protective covering on the bath when doing this to prevent any damage. It’s also a good idea to lay a protective sheet on the floor. To ensure the feet are in the correct position, refer to the fitting instructions that are supplied with the bath.
It’s important to fit the feet in the correct position, as getting it wrong can result in adding extra stress to the bath, which could lead to cracking.
Step 3 levelling the bath
Place the bath against the wall and use a spirit level to check it is level. Further adjustments to the legs can be made as required. You can now attach the wall fixing brackets as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 4 fitting the bath taps
Once the bath is in place it will be difficult to fit the taps and waste, so make sure to do this before moving it into the required position.
When fitting your bath taps, position the sealing washer over the tail of the tap before fitting it through the tap hole. The washer will fit between the rim of the bath and the base of the tap. If you are fitting separate bath pillar taps ensure the hot tap is on the left and the cold tap is on the right.
Once the bath taps are in position, fit the nut over the thread of the tail and tighten. Next, connect the flexi-hoses to the tap tails. It’s a good idea to check for any leaks.
Fit bath taps, install a bath panel, seal a bath, fit a bath screen, make bath bombs…
Baths are designed to accommodate a combined waste and overflow unit. There are two types – a banjo unit and a compression unit.
A banjo unit features a separate overflow connection that attaches to the bottom of the trap. A compression unit is connected directly to the trap, which makes it almost impossible to get it wrong when fitting one.
When fitting a banjo waste, fasten the overflow pipe to its inlet and fit the rubber washer onto the overflow grille, before place the overflow boss into the overflow hole in the bath, and then screwing it to the grille.
Position the rubber washer on the tail and add silicone sealant to help prevent leaks before fitting the waste outlet.
Now you can fit the waste outlet in the waste hole and connect to the waste fitting. Apply some plumber’s tape around the thread at the bottom of the waste fitting to prevent leaks. Now you can tighten the trap onto the tail of the waste fitting using the plastic nut.
Step 6 fix the bath to the wall
The bath can now be slotted on to the brackets and fixed into position before sealing.
Step 7 seal around the bath
The last step in fitting a bath is to apply the sealant with a sealant gun; this is an important step as it will stop water from leaking.
Before using the sealant, wipe clean the bath rim and surface. Fill the bath ¾ full to allow for any movement that may occur during usage and to reduce the risk of the sealant cracking.
First cut off the nozzle at the right place so that an appropriate amount of sealant can flow out. Using a smooth motion, apply the sealant where the bath meets the walls, don’t squeeze the gun too hard.
Work on a length of 45-60cm at a time and use a wet fingertip to smooth the sealant down for an even finish. Have a damp cloth to hand to clean your finger after smoothing each section.
Wait for the sealant to dry for around 4-6 hours, and then empty the bath.
DIY is a great way to save time and money, however to avoid disappointment, invalidating your warranty, and potential injury we recommend hiring a trained professional. This guide on how to fit a bath is for your information only and if you do decide to be bold and try it, we cannot be responsible for any outcome.
Hi, I’m Liz, an interiors blogger. My main focus area is the bathroom, where I aim to inspire anyone who’s planning and designing a new bathroom – you’ll find plenty of tips, how-to guides and a wealth of ideas!
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