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Home > Plumbing > How to Install a Shower or Bathtub

How to Install a Shower or Bathtub

By Karin Mangan
How to Install a Shower or Bathtub

You need three key components before installing a shower or bathtub: space, appropriate plumbing, and the proper framing to support the heavy load of a filled bathtub.

Showers and baths plug into the plumbing stack from the floor and the faucet and shower head are installed through an open wall. All plumbing for faucets, the shower head, and the drain should be ready before you begin.

Installing a Shower

  • Install a shower pan over the shower drain, using a special adhesive for showers and baths.
  • Measure from the mixing valve to determine where to cut a hole in the shower panel to accommodate it.
  • Apply the adhesive to the first shower panel, press it against the wall and use a trowel to smooth it out.
  • Install both side panels before the center track panel.
  • After the panels are dry, caulk the seams to make them water tight.
  • To enclose the shower, line up side plates, mark where holes need to be drilled, and secure with caulk and screws. Thread shower piping on glass panels to make the unit water tight. Arrange the top plate and screw it into place. Line up the door and screw it in.

Installing a Bathtub

  • Position tub while leaving a 1/8-inch gap around it.
  • Install supply lines for faucet, risers, and showerhead.
  • Slide tub into place and use plastic shims to level it. Mark the tub's nailing flange on the studs.
  • Install P-trap and drainpipe so that the top of the trap is level with the floor and will be centered under the tub's drainpipe.
  • Attach ledger boards using galvanized nails or screws.
  • Add bathtub drain plug assembly through the overflow opening and attach cover plate for overflow.

The final step for a shower or bath is to turn on the water to test plumbing and drainage for leaks.

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