Walk-in tubs are all the rage lately and they are quite an investment. Despite the hefty price tag, no one can deny the appeal of its convenience and opulence.
Some might purchase a walk-in tub purely for luxury while for others, it is an absolute need.
Whatever the reasons behind the investment are, most buyers are less inclined to pay another hefty amount for its installation. The best plan of action for these patrons is to install it themselves.
However, for such a complex installation, you need a step-by-step guide to not only install it but also to prevent yourself from doing any rookie damage to your high-priced commodity.
Test Your Walk-in Bathtub
Before you install your bathtub, make sure to test it for leakage and damage. Do this while you can access all sides of the bathtub from the outside. We suggest placing your walk-in bathtub in your yard so then it can be drained after testing.
Fill the bathtub with the garden hose and let it stay there for at least 30 minutes. Watch carefully for leakage, especially along the door. If your walk-in bathtub is equipped with a whirlpool and air systems, check to see if they are working well.
You must also connect it to an electric outlet to test out the more advanced features such as the water pump, heater etc. If you see any problem, call the company helpline immediately and ask for an exchange.
How to Install A Walk-in Tub?
You need to inspect your walk-in bathtub properly before installing it. Read the manual, count all the parts, and examine it closely. Once you have made sure that your walk-in tub has no prior damage or missing parts, follow these steps to proceed with the installation:
Step 1: Preparation
Installing a bathtub can be a messy process. If you are not careful, you can end up damaging the floor, walls, or even the bathtub itself.
You can use old carpets or thick plastic sheets to cover the surroundings and to prevent any scratches on the existing surfaces. Make sure to spread towels on the floor of the bathtub to prevent it from getting dirty during the installation.
Step 2: Site of Installation
Next, you need to prepare the space in your bathroom where the walk-in bathtub is to be fitted. If the space is empty, you can move to the next step.
If you already have a bathtub in the bathroom, then it needs to be removed. Naturally, the walk-in bathtub will take that place.
Removing the existing bathtub is slightly tricky and doing it wrong can damage the entire alcove along the walls. First off, you need to detach the drain pipe from underneath the bathtub. In some cases, the drainpipe is along the wall. Access the pipe and, using a pair of Channellock pliers, disconnect the bathtub’s drain pipe from your house valve. If the pipes are rusty and stuck, use a penetrating lubricant to remove them easily.
Once the drainpipe of the old bathtub is disconnected, move back to the bathroom and ask someone to help you lift the bathtub. The smartest trick is to lift the tub slightly and insert 1*4 wooden planks on one side. Repeat the same process on the other side. Now your bathtub is lifted up on the planks instead of on the floor. Now simply pull the tub and it will slide out on the plank, instead of on the floor.
This is the cleanest trick to take out your old tub without any damage. Once done, clean the now-empty space and remove any support beams that were fitted before.
Step 3: Alignment
Push the walk-in bathtub into the alcove carefully. If you want to protect the surface, use the same technique with the wooden planks but instead of rolling it out this time, roll in the walk-in bathtub. Once done, ask someone to lift the tub as you remove the planks.
The drain of your new walk-in bathtub must align with the drain valve in your bathroom. If your walk-in bathtub comes with hydrotherapy jets or other fittings that need to be powered by an electric motor, you need to align the electrical configuration too. You can get assistance from a professional electrician if you can’t connect with an electric source, yourself.
Step 4: Faucet Installation
Most walk-in tubs are already fitted with faucets. If not, you need to follow the manual and fit all of the faucets in their specific sockets.
Step 5: Leveling
Up till now, the bath-tub has been just lying on the floor. If your walk-in bathtub comes with adjustable legs, now would be a good time to use them to level it on the floor.
Step 6: Fitting
There’s a chance that your walk-in bathtub might be smaller than the alcove. This will leave lots of space around the bathtub and lead to poor fitting. To compensate for that space, you’ll need to custom fit the end panels along the wall with careful measurements. This should happen in a way so then the wall alcove and bathtub are become one entity. To ensure this, you might also need to paint the panels the same color as the bathtub.
Step 7: Trim and Align
Now that the bathtub is fitted, trim off all irregular edges to give it a sleek and neat appearance.
Step 8: Tidy Up
Sweep off all wood dust, wipe the floor, clean up the bathtub and that’s it. Your walk-in bathtub is ready to use.
The Benefits of Walk-in Bathtubs
Walk-in bathtubs are the kind of investment that one never regrets. It improves the quality of life of elderly people as well as those with mobility issues.
Many people with mobility issues dread baths because of the poor accessibility and safety. Walk-in bathtubs are easily accessible through the door and don’t require you to bend your knees. They also provide safety with their slip-resistant floors, grab bars, and doors.
Once you have made the hefty investment, you can easily save money on installation by following this foolproof guide.