One of the most crucial aspects of renovating a bathroom is the plumbing and electrical rough-in. Any mistakes or shortcuts will involve ripping off tiles, damaging walls and waterproof to rectify!
Firstly, place all your new fittings inside the newly demolished bathroom. Most people like to visualise exactly how the tapware positioning will look on the wall. If you can visualise this from plan then you can skip this stage.
Installing The Bath
First step you want to do is measure up the space. You need to know the exact dimensions of the bath you are going to install along with the measurements of the area you are placing the bath. Ideally you would like to maximise the bath space although keeping in consideration what you are going to do with the rest of the bathroom is vital.
The timing of your bath installation will depend on the type of bath you have chosen. There are 2 basic bath types:
- The built-in bath
- The stand-alone bath
If you are installing option1, the built-in bath then this has to be done at the “Plumbing Rough-In” which is part of Stage 6 of your DIY bathroom renovation process. If however you have chosen a stand-alone bath you should install it at the completion of Stage 11, Tiling. In case you’re wondering stand-alone baths are by far the most popular in todays bathroom renovations.
So let’s assume you have opted for a built-in bath. This part of your bathroom renovation is reasonably tricky so read the following instructions carefully.
Once you have decided on the measurements and sizing of the bath and sourced the bath itself go ahead and place it against the wall. You will need to allow approx. 100-150mm underneath the bath for adequate space for the drainage installation. Place some temporary bricks underneath the bath, mark it up against the wall and draw a line of the exact positioning. Make sure this is 100% level. You will need to chase the bath into the wall by at least 20mm. Place silicone throughout this joint. Not only will this help stability but is also a very important step for the sealing/waterproofing of the bath. Depending on the material of the bath you are using, different methods are used to ensure it sits in place.
For acrylic baths you require a mortar base underneath. This is the base of the bath which give it most of the strength. Place in a few bricks underneath as well to help minimize the cement required whilst making sure they are also installed with cement throughout.
Steel baths generally come with their own supporting legs. When screwing these legs in make sure the bath is sitting level. Make sure you follow the instructions that come with the bath as some do vary with the installation methods. You can place mortar underneath for extra stability although this isn’t mandatory.
Proceed to connect the drain and ensuring it is sealed off correctly. Test by pouring water into the bath and give it at least 5 minutes to make sure. This step can easily be mishandled by an inexperienced person so don’t hesitate to call in an expert / plumber. Remember also to keep a small amount of water in the bath to help settle the base of the bath properly into the mortar.
Start by placing your shower head, mixer / taps, toilet and all fixtures in your planned location. This also includes powerpoints and light switches. This step gives you a much better feel for how your bathroom will look when it’s finished. It also allows you to make changes to your bathroom design once you see how everything (except the tiles and painting) is going to look, Once decided, mark the walls with where each item will go. You will of course need to be accurate with heights, levels and positioning. Take as much time as you need with this stage and ALWAYS get input from the other family members who will be using the bathroom.
This stage will require the services of a licensed plumber and a licensed electrician. You should also know that it will be a very noisy and dusty stage as it requires cutting into walls and floors to install the first stage the plumbing and wiring required to accommodate your bathroom design. Ensure also that all piping is recessed (chased) into the wall so that you may render over it at a later stage. You should also make sure you ask your plumber to pressure test each pipe once he is finished. Ensure that your electrician tests all wiring for safety once he is finished. DO NOT be tempted to do this stage yourself. If you are not licensed it is both illegal and extremely dangerous. It will also void your home insurance in the event of a mishap.
If however your new bathroom design is keeping all existing plumbing and electrical outlets in their present position you can skip this stage.