Thinking of installing a bathtub in your new bathroom? Utilising basic woodworking skills and some common power tools, you can save costs by installing a raised bath yourself.
To begin, measure the height of your bath, from the floor to the lip. Add another 8-cm to this number and mark this height on the existing studs of the bathroom wall. These extra centimetres are to compensate for any unevenness on your floor. The bath will eventually rest on a cement mix which is moulded underneath to support it securely and to even out any imperfections in the floor. Manufacturers like Clearlite and Englefield Baths
often have installation instructions and diagrams on their sites, so it's always worth double-checking with these to guarantee that the baths fitting falls within the correct factory tolerances.
Use a spirit level to make sure that you have marked the line of the top of the bath frame completely level. Now, measure the gap between each of the wall studs at this height and cut a wood noggin to the correct size.
Remember that the wall studs may not be evenly spaced so be sure to measure each one. Use a square to mark the wood with a pencil to ensure a perfect cut for a good fit. Always use ear and eye protection when using power tools and a dust mask when using the circular saw. Use the nail gun to fix these into position following your guideline.
Next, measure the length of your bath. Add 14-cm to this number and cut four pieces of timber to this measurement. These will form the top and bottom of your side frames. Use an off-cut of your framing timber to mark where the first stud will go. These studs should measure 9.5-cm less than the height of the frame to take into account the width of the top and bottom pieces of wood. Cut enough studs to space them evenly about 60-cm apart. This will give both strength to support the tub and a good base for when you attach the final covering of the frame. Use the nail gun to nail the studs into place and form your two frame sides.
Place one frame against the wall; it should line up exactly with the line you drew at the beginning and with any holes for bath taps
and fittings. Secure it in place using the nail gun. Next, measure the width of your bath. Take off 3-cm from this number and position the second side panel at this distance from the wall. Make sure that it completely parallel by taking several measurements at the top and at the bottom and using the spirit level. Secure this side in position nailing it into the floor and into the end wall if there is one.
Now, you need to make the two ends of the bath frame. Check the distance between the two sides again and cut four pieces of timber for the tops and bottoms of each end. Cut six more studs the same length as the side ones and position and nail them into place to form the two end frames. Install these using the nail gun to secure them both to the side frames and to the wall. Keeping checking both vertical and horizontal edges with the spirit level to make sure that everything is completely square.
Finally get a helper to assist you to place the bath within the frame to ensure that it is correctly supported on all four sides.