If you’ve recently installed a new bathtub that fits along a wall or into a corner – you’ll probably be wondering what the best way to fix the bathtub side panels to the tub is. Creating a bathtub enclosure is an easily accomplished task for most DIY home enthusiasts. Having installed the bathtub and made sure that it is level you can then set about building a timber frame for the bathtub enclosure.
Bottom of the Bathtub Enclosure Frame
As it won’t be bearing any of the ‘load’ of the bathtub itself; using 2 inch by 1 inch timber will be perfectly adequate for the frame you need to construct. The first thing to do is to mark out on the bathroom floor an outline for the timber frame to sit on. To start doing this you’ll need to have a spirit level that is at least as deep as the bath and have an off-cut of wood that’s the same thickness as the bathtub panel.
With the spirit level perfectly vertical to the outer rim of the bathtub – on the bathroom floor place the off-cut of wood against the spirit level and underneath the batten that runs around the on the underside of the bathtub rim.
Mark on the floor where the inside of the bathtub panel will sit, according to the off-cut of wood you’ve just put in position; repeat the process at least three times along each side of the bathtub that needs paneling.
Using a suitable flat and straight edge, join these marks along each side of the bathtub. You should now have marked lines along the bathroom floor, underneath the batten running around the inside the bathtub rim, that show the line for the inside of the bathtub panels when fitted.
Constructing the Bathtub Enclosure Frame
Measure the lengths of the lines you’ve created and cut lengths of timber to act as floor battens in the enclosure frame and lay them in place. Having first taken care to ensure there’s no service pipes underneath he bathtub area, drill pilot holes through the battens and into the floor.
If necessary, insert plugs, i.e. if you’ve got a solid floor; then screw the battens firmly into place. Next cut lengths of timber to fit between the floor batten and the batten running under the rim of the bathtub. These uprights must be fitted vertically at each corner with another one in the middle between any two corners; then screw them diagonally into place through the upright and into the battens.
Fitting Bathtub Enclosure Panels
Measure the sizes of bathtub enclosure panels you need to cut – it’s always advisable to follow the old carpenter’s maxim – measure twice and cut once. Whilst cutting the panels can be done with just about any saw; you’ll find using a jigsaw is easiest and, if you need to cut anything other than straight edges, probably essential.
If you’ve some particularly ornate skirting board to fit a panel to – use an off-cut of the skirting board to draw its profile onto the bathtub panel, this can then act as a guide for the jigsaw. To position the panels onto the enclosure frame; insert the panels upwards into the rim of the bathtub.
It’s not unusual to need to cut away the top corners of the panels to get them sitting properly against the enclosure frame. Finally drill pilot holes through the enclosure panels and into the frame then screw the panels to the frame with mirror screws.