How to Install a Bathtub in Basement Bathrooms

In this article, we’re going to give you quick tips on how to install an acrylic bathtub in a basement bathroom. Now remember, this is part of our video series on how to build a basement bathroom on a concrete subfloor And in our prior videos, we showed you how to prep and self-level the concrete floor, and that makes the bathtub installation way easier So for today, we’re going to share tips on how to install the bathtub, and hopefully, these will help you out with your project.

The first step is to dry fit your bathtub without connecting it to any pipes and ensure that it sits level Okay, so we’re going to be installing a Kohler tub in a concrete subfloor in a scenario where you don’t have any access to the back of the shower, like we do here. I would definitely recommend a setup where it’s just a slip ring type of drain assembly instead of an all-glued drain assembly And the only reason. I say that is because this has a little bit more flexibility to move and get this to work with your plumbing. Whereas if you did a full glued-in fitting system, which I like to do, but if you don’t have access to the back, it’s a lot more difficult to have everything glued than it is to have a slip fitting type system.

 We’re going to use this Everbilt, so just like a big box store drain assembly, but I like the cable type because it just makes it easier Basically just put together and you don’t have to mess around with a flip lever and adjusting everything to make everything work So the cable system’s kind of nice as well For this model tub, you have to use 100% silicone for all your joints So whatever you do, just make sure it’s 100% silicone I mean that’s absolutely required for this Kohler tub So we’ll put a little bit on the bottom drain portion here.

So we get our rubber ring here, and then I’ll put a little bit more on the back end of that And then we’ll put some on this portion as well for where the receiver goes in Be generous with it because you could wipe this all off afterwards As you’re putting the drain piece in, you want to align it so that you can put your drain in over top of that silicone that was applied to the bathtub And then in this case, there’s a screw that screws the two pieces together .

You just want to get those nice and tight Just make sure your rubber gasket is sitting fine on there as well Notice how Steve aligned the pipe to make it straight as he’s tightening down on that screw a bit more; that’s really important And then also to wipe any of the excess silicone off the tub once you’re finished Just try to evaluate where this… because this drain assembly’s made for all different size tubs So you’re going to have to cut this to fit So make sure you don’t cut it too short Just make a mark and see what that looks like.

Notice how the waste overflow pipe lines up with the other two pipes And you want to get an accurate measurement so that you can use this tool This is really great—PVC cutting tool—to just cut the pipe to size Nice and accurate It only costs about $10, $20 And always make sure your gasket has the wedge edge towards your fitting Make sure all the slip fittings are facing the right direction and work properly.

Because once the tub is set in place, it’s a little bit hard to reach them just because it’s a basement bathtub And you got a lot of playroom in here, so you can just cut this anywhere within that area. So again, use your PVC cutting tool. This is really great for a bathtub installation project. Install the slip fitting and washer properly so that the tapered end of the washer faces down where it goes into the pipe And then we’re going to dry fit all of these pieces together, but we’re not going to permanently install them because it actually got in the way with our studs.

So this waste overflow, we’re just kind of temporarily fitting it So I wouldn’t tighten this completely yet because we still got to test how this is going to line up with our main drain So we’ll tighten that up once we establish that So on this type of drain assembly, I recommend just using a slip ring adapter; that’s what you need to adjust on this But I always leave this portion out until I know exactly how high I need to have this.

It’s really tough to gauge what you need So if you had a plumber, just have him stick it up wild, and then you can cut it But preferably it’d be better if he just didn’t even glue this section at all and just allowed you to cut this to fit But this is basically the easiest way to… because you basically slip this into here while setting the tub because there’s no access behind here.

So for right now, we’re going to take this off of here and just make sure that our pipe lines up with this before we go gluing anything. Because once the tub’s in, you can’t even reach this or do anything You’re basically slipping that trap into this at the same time that you’re setting the tub Dry fit the bathtub a second time to ensure that you can line up the pipe from the tub with the pipe coming up out of the floor from the P-trap.

Then apply PVC primer to all your PVC fittings, and then apply glue to them as well, and put them together So you want to piece them together; hold them in place for a few seconds For this, we’re going to be using some mortar, Masonry Cement Type M mortar We’re going to mix it up to kind of a thinner consistency And the reason why is we’re going to set this Kohler tub into that.

Now if you’re wondering, we don’t need a stringer for this; so we don’t need a 2×4 stringer on the back wall As you can see here, we lined up the pipe from the tub into the pipe coming up out of the floor And then we tightened down all the slip fittings for those two pipes And then this is something that we had to do kind of on the fly as we had to piece together the waste overflow pipe from behind and ensure that the rubber gasket was lined up with the back of the tub And then we screwed the two pieces together using that kit that we explained at the beginning of the article.

And you just want to double-check that the tub is completely level; this is important And then for acrylic tubs, you want to pre drill the flange where it meets the 2x4s Small little detail to make sure is… with this, you can see how this flange is fairly flimsy You just want to make sure that this level right here… I mean if your tub is level, this should be all sloping in towards the shower.

But you never want to put too much pressure down on this because then water could be sitting right against this edge. So just always kind of double-check this ledge. And if you even had to pull this up a little bit to screw it in, I think that’s better than obviously sinking it down and making this unlevel because the last thing you want to do is to have a whole bunch of water just sitting at the edge of your tub.

Again, same thing with this corner It’s sloping in, so you just want to really double-check that with these thinner wall tubs. We continually checked that the tub was level while we were screwing it to the studs; really helps us determine whether or not this tub was sitting correctly And then we didn’t use drywall screws; we just wanted to clarify We used galvanized screws or stainless steel screws to secure the tub to the studs.

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