Are you considering installing a bathtub without access underneath? It may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools, careful measurements, and some basic knowledge, you can successfully install a new bathtub and save money on hiring a plumber.
In this post, we’ll guide you through the steps of installing a bathtub without access underneath, from preparing the location and installing the support brackets to connecting the plumbing and ensuring a water-tight seal.
We’ll also provide tips on troubleshooting leaks and securing the final connection. By the end of this post, you’ll have the confidence on how to install a bathtub without access underneath and enjoy a relaxing soak in your newly installed tub. So don’t worry, you’ve got this!
Table of Contents
Tools you will need to install a bathtub without access underneath
- Tape measure
- Drywall screws
Having these tools on hand will make the installation process smoother and the job more efficient. Before starting the installation, it is important to gather all the necessary tools and materials to ensure that you have everything you need to complete the project.
You may also want to consider purchasing extra screws and shims in case you need them during the installation process
Preparing the location for bathtub installation is crucial for ensuring a smooth and hassle-free process. Here’s how you can do it
Measure the space to ensure the tub fits properly
Before purchasing a new tub, it’s essential to measure the space where you plan to install it. This step ensures that the tub fits correctly, preventing the need for any unnecessary adjustments or returns. Measure the length, width, and depth of the area and compare it to the tub’s dimensions to ensure a proper fit.
Remove any old fixtures or debris
If you’re replacing an old tub or shower, remove it and any surrounding fixtures, including the drain assembly and overflow drain. Once you’ve removed the old tub, clean up any debris, such as old mortar or caulk.
Ensure the floor and walls are level and solid
A level and stable base is critical for the bathtub installation. Ensure that the floor is level and can support the weight of the new tub. If you’re installing a cast iron tub, reinforce the floor with additional supports to avoid cracking or sagging.
Check the walls for any signs of moisture or damage, and make any necessary repairs before installing the new tub.
Steps to Install a Tub with no Access
Step 1: Cut a Hole in the Drywall to Access the Plumbing
If you want to install a bathtub without access underneath, the first step is drill holes in the drywall to access the plumbing. You can use a drywall saw to carefully cut a hole in the wall. Make sure to measure the size of the hole needed and mark it on the wall.
It is important to wear safety gear, such as goggles and a mask, while cutting through the drywall to prevent dust and debris from getting into your eyes and lungs.
Step 2: Install Brackets to Support the Bathtub
Once you have cut the hole, the next step is to install brackets to support the bathtub. Use a level to ensure that the brackets are installed correctly and the bathtub will be level when it is placed on top of them.
Attach the brackets securely to the wall studs using screws and a drill. You can also use glue or an adhesive like construction adhesive for added support.
Step 3: Use a Leveling Tool to Ensure the Bathtub is Level
It is important to ensure that the bathtub is level before proceeding with the installation. Use a leveling tool to check that the brackets are installed correctly and the bathtub is level.
Adjust the brackets as needed to ensure that the bathtub is level and secure.
Step 4: Install the Drain Kit and Connect the Plumbing
Now that you have the bathtub in place and leveled, it’s time to connect the tub drain and plumbing.
First, you’ll need to install the waste and overflow drain assembly, which can usually be done by attaching it to the bathtub itself. Then, connect the drain to the P-trap and waste line. Make sure that all connections are secure and tight to prevent leaks.
Once the tub drain is connected, it’s time to connect the water supply lines. You’ll need to attach the hot and cold water lines to the appropriate valves, which are usually located near the bathtub. Make sure that the valves are open and that the water flows freely before testing for leaks.
Step 5: Caulk Around the Edges of the Bathtub to Prevent Leaks
Now that you have successfully installed the tub and connected the drain and plumbing, it’s time to seal the edges and finish the installation. To prevent water from seeping into the wall or floor, you should apply a rubber gasket or sealant around the tub flange.
Once that’s done, secure the tub to the brackets and screw it in place. To ensure a water-tight seal, apply caulk around the edges of the tub. This will also give a finished look to the installation.
After the caulk dries, you can install any necessary fixtures or accessories. This can include faucets, showerheads, and handles.
Make sure everything is securely attached and properly aligned. This will prevent any leaks or damage to the tub or surrounding area.
Step 6: Test the bathtub and clean up the area
Congratulations, you’ve successfully installed your new bathtub. But before you start enjoying your relaxing soak, there are a couple of final steps you’ll need to take.
First, fill the bathtub with water and test it for any leaks. Let the water sit for at least 30 minutes and check for any signs of dripping or pooling water around the tub or the bathtub drain assembly.
If you notice any leaks, you may need to make some adjustments to the drain assembly.
Once you’re confident that the bathtub is leak-free, it’s time to clean up the installation area. Remove any debris, tools, or materials that you used during the installation and dispose of them properly.
Wipe down the bathtub and surrounding area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust or grime that may have accumulated during the installation process.
Remember to follow proper maintenance and cleaning procedures for your new bathtub to ensure its longevity and continued enjoyment. With the right care, your new bathtub can provide you with years of luxurious bathing experiences.
Common mistakes to avoid when installing a bathtub
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when installing a bathtub without access underneath:
- Failing to measure properly: You need to measure the location where you want to install the new tub to ensure that it will fit in the space.
- Ignoring the tub flange: You need to ensure that the tub flange is secured properly to the studs in the wall.
- Not using a rubber gasket: A rubber gasket will create a water-tight seal around the drain assembly, preventing leaks.
- Over-tightening the drain assembly: If you over-tighten the drain assembly, it can cause cracks in the cast iron tub or damage to the plumbing.
- Not using enough mortar: If you don’t use enough mortar to support the weight of the tub, it can cause the tub to drop and potentially lead to leaks.
- Failing to hook up the plumbing correctly: If you don’t hook up the plumbing correctly, it can lead to leaks, which can damage the floor, walls, and ceiling.
- Not waiting for the mortar to dry: If you don’t wait for the mortar to dry before filling the tub with water, it can cause the tub to move and potentially lead to leaks.
Remember to take careful measurements, use a rubber gasket, secure the tub flange, and wait for the mortar to dry before filling the tub with water. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can save time, money, and ensure a quality installation.
Does a bathtub need support underneath?
Yes, a bathtub needs support underneath to prevent it from flexing or cracking. The support can come in the form of a mortar bed or an adjustable metal frame that attaches to the studs.
Can you have a tub without an overflow?
Technically, you can have a tub without an overflow, but it is not recommended for safety reasons. The overflow prevents the tub from overflowing and causing water damage.
How do you support a bathtub after installation?
After installation, a bathtub can be supported by attaching adjustable metal legs to the bottom of the tub and securing them to the studs. Alternatively, a mortar bed can be poured underneath the tub for added support.
How do you access bathtub pipes?
To access bathtub pipes, you may need to remove a section of drywall or tile from the wall behind the tub. Alternatively, some tubs have an access panel on the side that can be removed for easy access to the pipes.