Installing a double bath with pros is one of the easiest ways to add luxury and functionality to a bathroom. A bath designed for drop-in installation usually has a self-contained rimming surface that rests directly on the drain-side deck material like stone or tile that surrounds your new bath or whirlpool. Many kits are also available for use with your new drop-in bath even in an under mount installation.
A popular choice for single Bathtubs is a drop-in type bath with the tub installed inside the wall, with no surround to detract from the beautiful finish and functionality of the bath. The beauty of this bath is that it is easily installed wherever you want it, without blocking your walkways or affecting your home’s exterior. It’s also more cost-effective than having a second bath installed, saving you money over the life of the tub. This option is more easily accomplished than an above-ground bath, which is much larger and requires more excavation work. These types of installations should only be attempted by professionals to ensure all the necessary work is done correctly.
For an above-ground installation, the bath must be dug into the ground at least three feet from any surrounding walls or pipes. One way to make the job easier is to purchase a kit that comes with everything you need to get your bath up and running including the necessary hardware such as drywall screws and cast iron drain fixtures. Once installed, these items should be fastened to the wall by drywall screws or epoxy glue. After securing the items to the wall, you may opt to install the tub using drywall screws to fasten it to the drywall directly. If the bath were attached to the walls while being assembled, then drywall glue should be used to attach the items to each other and the drywall screws drain.
The most difficult type of bath installation is an in-place installation or one where the bath is actually placed in the area you want. In-place installations are most often permanent because the bath cannot be moved or repositioned once it is installed unless a bathtub drain hole is drilled directly into the floor. In this case, it is recommended an above-ground installation using a drop-in bath kit, although many do choose to have an in-ground installation if space is an issue.
A pre-cut hole is made in the floor to allow for plumbing to connect the pipes and drain fixtures. The bathtub drain can be inserted and connected at this time. Once installed, you can begin to work on positioning the walls. The walls can be placed in a variety of places depending on your bathroom design. For example, for corner installations, corner walls are usually installed first so that they fit against one another perfectly and provide you with adequate floor space.
Most acrylic baths will come pre-drilled with drain holes, and this allows you to install the walls one day after you receive the bath. Some bathtubs come with a special acrylic liner that is applied over the drain holes during installation to help seal the seams. This liner is a very thick and durable plastic, but it does require a bit of patience and work to apply. It is not recommended that you remove the liner before installing your walls, so if you don’t feel up to the job you can call in a pro.
If your old bathtub has a shower surround, the plumbing for this type of enclosure is slightly different than the installation process for a new bathtub and surround. Even though the plumbing for the surround is the same, it must be cut as per local building codes. You will need a tape measure to determine the distance between the corners of the new bathtub and the edge of the old tub surround. Measure the distance from the drain hole to the corner of the new bathtub and then add four inches to that measurement.
You can then prepare the area for the drain by cleaning the surrounding walls thoroughly. Once the area is ready, you can begin to install the plumbing. Once the plumbing is installed, you will need to drain all of the water out of the tub and walls. You will need to create an opening in the drain to allow the water to flow into the new tub or shower area.