How to Install a Bathtub: Tips and Tricks for a Seamless Experience

a bath painted pink in the bathroom with victorian style tiles, grey painted walls and white metro tiles around the bath

Having a bathtub adds an extra layer of luxury and relaxation to your bathroom experience. Bathtubs provide a great way to relax and unwind after a long day and a good soak can help improve circulation and reduce inflammation. If you don’t have a bath in your bathroom, have you ever wondered how to install a bathtub yourself? 

We have always had a bathtub in our bathroom. They can become the main feature of the room and can easily be incorporated into your design. In our last bathroom, I painted our bath pink to make it stand out. 

This blog post will give you a walkthrough on how to DIY the installation of a 1700mm bathtub. With the right tools, safety precautions, and the tips I’ve laid out below, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t done it sooner.

How to Install a Bathtub

Installing a bathtub is a great DIY project that can help to upgrade the look and functionality of your bathroom. With the right tools and some basic plumbing skills, you can install a bathtub on a weekend. 

1. Choose Your Bathtub

pink bath in the background with a pink vase and flowers in the foreground in the bathroom

Choose the right type of bathtub for your needs. You can choose from various types of bathtubs, including freestanding, drop-in, and alcove bathtubs.

2. Select the Proper Tools and Materials

Before starting the installation process, you will need to check if you have all the necessary tools and materials at the ready. Select high-quality materials to make sure that everything is strong and durable.

Tools and Materials needed: 

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Hole saw
  • Level
  • Pliers
  • Pipe cutter
  • Caulk gun
  • Bathtub
  • Bathtub surround or tile
  • Drain kit
  • Overflow kit
  • Faucet and handles
  • PVC pipes and fittings
  • P-trap

3. Measure the Space for the Installation

Before beginning the installation, you must measure the space where the tub will be installed. This step is crucial as just one faulty measurement can lead to difficulties and add extra steps to the installation process, requiring additional adjustments and, in some cases, a complete reinstallation.

Be sure to measure the bathtub location’s length, width, and height, as well as the available space for access and maneuverability.

Taking the necessary time to measure the installation site before starting the installation process is a simple but critical step that can save any DIY enthusiasts valuable time and prevent additional expenses in making modifications or purchasing a new bathtub.

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4. Plumbing

Ensure that the plumbing and electrical connections are in place. You need to have access to the water supply and drain lines, as well as the electrical wiring if you are installing a bathtub with a built-in motor or jets.

Remove any old bathtub or shower fixtures. This includes removing the old drain and overflow fittings, as well as the taps and handles.

5. Prepare the Floor and Walls for Installation

a stripped-bare bathroom with Victorian tiles on the floor
Make sure you strip the area before you install the bath so you can get proper measurements

Preparing the floor and walls helps to ensure the bathtub is installed securely and won’t shift or move after installation. First comes leveling the floor and then cleaning it thoroughly to ensure it’s free from any debris or dirt.

Next, measure and mark the positions for the feet of the bathtub, with the purpose in mind that they are aligned and level to support the weight of the bathtub.

It is always a good idea to install the bathtub surround or tile before you install the bath. This will give you accurate measurements and make sure your walls and floors are protected from water damage.

6. Follow Manufacturer Instructions for Installation

Following manufacturer instructions is an absolute no-brainer. Even though instructions may vary by brand and model, it’s essential to read and understand them thoroughly before even having a go at installing your bathtub.

Do your absolute best to follow the instructions precisely, and do not take any shortcuts, as that can damage the bathtub or other components. This should also help avoid going against warranty and maintenance policies which you’ll need for the years to come.

7. Installing the Bathtub

a bath being installed in a bathroom

Once you have prepared the space and read the manufacturer’s instructions, you can start installing your bathtub.

  • Place the bathtub in its final location. Use a level to ensure that it is leveled and adjust the legs of the bathtub if necessary.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the drain and overflow fittings. Use PVC pipes and fittings to connect them to the existing plumbing.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the taps and handles. You may need to drill holes in the bathtub for the tap and handles.
  • Use screws and brackets to secure the bathtub to the wall studs. Make sure that the bathtub is firmly attached to the wall.

8. Finishing Touches

a painted bath in pink

Once you have installed the bathtub, you need to complete the finishing touches. Apply caulk around the edges of the bathtub to seal it in place. Use a caulk gun to apply a bead of caulk around the edges of the bathtub.

Finally, test the bathtub to make sure it’s functioning properly. Fill the bathtub with water and check for leaks or any other issues. Make sure that the drain and overflow fittings are working correctly.

pink bath in the bathroom standing on patterned tiles with metro tiles surrounding it and grey painted walls

Installing a bathtub is a great DIY project that can help to transform your bathroom. Although it may seem challenging, installing a 1700mm bathtub is doable, as long as you have the proper tools and knowledge.

Remember to choose the right type of freestanding bathtub for your needs, prepare the space properly, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the fittings and fixtures. With some basic plumbing skills and the right tools, you can install a bathtub that will provide you with years of relaxation and enjoyment.

Q. Is it hard to install a bathtub?

A. Installing a bathtub can be a challenging task, but it’s not impossible to do as a DIY project if you have some basic plumbing skills and the right tools.

The difficulty of the installation will depend on several factors, including the type of bathtub you are installing, the condition of your existing plumbing, and the complexity of the installation process.

As with everything, the key is to prepare properly and measure and measure again. If you are comfortable with plumbing and have some experience with home improvement projects, you may find that installing a bathtub is a manageable task.

However, if you are unsure about your plumbing skills or are not familiar with the tools and materials needed for the job, you may want to consider hiring a professional plumber to help with the installation.

Q. What type of bath is easiest to install? 

A. Alcove bathtubs are often the easiest to install because they are designed to fit in a three-wall alcove and typically require less plumbing work than other types of bathtubs.

Q. How long does it take to install a bathtub? 

A. The time it takes to do a bathtub installation will depend on several factors, including the type of bathtub you are installing, the condition of your existing plumbing, and the complexity of the installation process.

Typically, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to install a bathtub.

Q. Do I need a plumber to install a bathtub?

A. It’s possible to install a bathtub as a DIY project if you have some basic plumbing skills and the right tools.

However, if you’re not comfortable with plumbing or are unsure about the installation process, it’s always best to hire a professional plumber to ensure that the job is done correctly.

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