Anyone looking at replacement tubs will be astounded at the range of types, colors and materials that they’re available in. It is rarely possible to install a replacement tub on its own, rather than as a larger bathroom refurbishment or renovation project. The reason for this is simply that, with the possible exception of a totally free-standing tub any existing tub will be against a wall and have tiles meeting it.
Types of Replacement Tubs
It would be quite impossible here to cover all the different types and materials of tubs you can buy. However, the three most popular configurations are: Traditional, Corner and Freestanding.
Traditional tubs – are basically a tub encased in a rectangular box that is fitted against at least one wall, they are quite often located in a corner against two walls and can even completely fill a wall of a small bathroom, going from one corner to another.
Corner tubs – will occupy one corner of a bathroom and can be quite effective in saving space in a bathroom. However, you can also get quite enormous ones. Corner baths are usually encased in a box of panels.
Freestanding tubs – are extremely popular at present and have come to represent something positively luxurious in bathing. They can be installed anywhere in the bathroom that the plumbing can be accessed. Originally these tubs were made from cast-iron and so tend the look ‘heavier’ than modern designs and often stand on ornate feet. Freestanding tubs are usually bigger compared to other designs of tubs.
You can, if the construction of your home allows it, still get sunken tubs, tubs with whirl-pool effects and even tubs with doors and seats for people that are infirm.
Things to Check
The type of tub you buy will be determined according to your needs and the effect you want to create in the bathroom. However, you need to make sure that the tub will fit into your bathroom and will be not look odd compared to the other fittings in your bathroom.
Whilst most people will buy a bathroom suite to ensure that everything matches, you can buy different makes and styles – just make sure they don’t end up looking unsympathetic to each other.
Also, having designed the layout of your bathroom, do measure up the tub you want to buy – to make sure that it will fit into the space you want for it and that the plumbing can be routed to it. Finally, don’t forget to buy faucets that will both fit into and complement the tub itself.
Fitting a Replacement Tub
Typically you’ll first need to turn the tub upside down and fit the feet to it, do this on a dust sheet to avoid scratching the tub surface. Get the tub right way up and insert the plug-hole then screw the bottom of the waste assembly to it. Insert the overflow plate and connect it to the overflow pipe, then connect that pipe to the waste assembly overflow inlet.
Fit the faucets over their gasket and tighten their retaining nuts. You can now maneuver the tub into position and using a spirit level lengthways and across the width of the tubs rim, level off the tub by using the screw adjustments on the feet; you can then screw the feet into the bathroom floor.
Fix the support brackets for the tub to the wall and then to the tub; lastly connect the water lines to the faucets. If your tub has any side-panels you might need to create a timber frame for them to be secured to. The panels themselves can easily be cut and shaped to size with a hand-saw or jig-saw.
See Also: Acrylic Clawfoot Tubs