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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tub Installation Success!

I was able to install the tub today at the bathroom renovation I'm doing in Inglewood. I was a little surprised at how smoothly it went. I guess it helps that I've done it a few times. Here are a couple tips to installing a tub right, the first time:

1. Go buy the tub before you even think about framing. Each tub is a little different and you want to make sure your rough-in measurements are right. For example, this particular tub is around 31.5 inches wide, however, the drain is located only 14.5 inches from the wall because it has a wide lip on the front. This is very important to know because the drain, faucet and shower head are all centered on 14.5 inches from the wall so that they will line up with the center of the tub.

2. Double check those measurements. The tub came with instructions, which are helpful and worthy of reading, but I like to measure the tub for myself. For a perfect fit, you have to make sure the opening is right. Our tub was 60" long. I made the opening 60 1/16" so that I'd have room to slide it in. You also want to make sure that you have a stud along the edge of the tub where the drywall will meet the tub surround, whether it will be tile or acrylic or whatever.
3. Your framing must be level and square! This is basic to any framing, but super-important for installing a tub. Do what you have to before hand to get that rough opening as good as possible or it won't fit right, which means your surround won't fit right and other problems will haunt you as well.

4. Make sure you have access to the drain if at all possible. I was able to squeeze into a downstairs bathroom closet and access my tub drain from underneath. Once the tub was in place, I attached the P-Trap with compression fittings. Don't forget the plumber's putty under the lip of the drain in the tub!

5. Try to test your drains before moving on. I like to test things if I can to see if there are any drips or other problems that I can address while I'm in the mood and the pipes are fairly accessible.

6. When attaching am acryllic tub to the studs make sure you follow those directions and drill the holes before you nail. Otherwise you are likely to crack the tub. I used galvanized roofing nails because of their large flat heads and resistance to moisture and they worked great.

Tomorrow, I finally get to do some drywall on this project and cover up that nasty rock wool insulation...


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