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Installing a new bathtub: Things you need to consider

A new tub installation can be a nightmare
A new tub installation can be a nightmare
Morguefile / michaelnjio

When you are remodeling a bathroom, chances are you are planning on putting in a new bathtub. You might have even decided on the style and color of tub that you want without ever going to the store to look at them. When you are seriously ready to go purchase the bathtub, you'll need to consider some other factors. If you forget any of these tips, you may be in for trouble, or find you'll need to return the tub.

Write down the basics of the bathtub. If the bathtub fits into an enclosed area, measurements are very important. You'll need to know how long the tub is and how wide the tub is. You will also need to note whether it is a left-hand or right-hand draining tub. Facing the tub, are the drains and faucets on the left or right of you? Some tubs may even drain in the center, so be sure to take note of that, or you will be doing some re-plumbing work. That could be costly and time consuming.

Some tubs are just basic tubs and you will have to add a separate shower surround if you plan to have a shower. Look closely at what you have now. If it is a separate tub and shower surround you will be able to see where the sections of the surround have been joined and there will be caulking around the top rim of the tub. These types are usually purchased separately.

Are you planning to switch to a one-piece tub and shower wall unit? A one-piece tub with shower walls will look much sleeker and it will be easier to clean. The caulking on separate tubs and shower walls tends to darken and may even crumble away over time. Plus, it is a bit of a skill to run smooth caulking lines in a separate shower wall surround.

Even if you have a one-piece tub with shower walls already, there are more things to consider before you run out and buy this unit. Look around your bathroom. Do you have room to maneuver such a big unit around the toilet and vanity? The new one-piece unit I just recently bought was 77 inches tall, but we had neglected to measure the height of the doorway leading into the hall and bathroom.

The large unit had to be carefully laid over on its side. The bathroom ceiling was so low that there was barely a few inches of clearance to be able to stand the tub back up. We had to remove the light bulbs in the ceiling and still only barely scraped by. When I purchased the tub, I never even considered the height of the door it had to go through.

Measure all areas the tub will have to go through. You will need to make certain that the length, width and height of a one-piece bathtub will safely get through every door, turn or staircase you may have to navigate. Having a huge tub stuck in a doorway may be funny after a while, but it won't be when it happens, especially if you are on a time schedule to get the new tub in.

Remodeling jobs can be stressful, so taking these few extra steps may help your job to be a little less stressful. The smoother the job goes of replacing your tub, the sooner it will be all hooked up and the sooner you can sit and relax in it.