Homyze guide on how to install bathroom plumbing
A much-used room but often forgotten about in favour of the kitchen or living room when it comes to remodelling, the bathroom can be a great space to redesign and by which to add value to your home. However, many are put off by the amount of work involved (and perhaps by a lack of plumbing knowledge). But hopefully, with our helpful guide, we can show you all you need to know to have a brand spanking new bathroom without the expense of having to hire a tradesman. Of course, if you do need to hire a plumber, you can count on Homyze for a cost-effective and quality service.
How to install bathroom plumbing – the bathtub
Many avoid carrying out a bathtub installation simply over a fear of what could go wrong, though it’s often simply a matter of knowing where to start and what to do.
1) Measure up
First, you will want to ensure that your bathtub fits in the space in which you plan to install it. If your old bathtub is still in place, taking its measurements now before buying a new bathtub can be a real help. You will also want to make sure that your new bathtub has the drain on the correct side as your old one before purchasing, as this will avoid any trouble later on. If you are looking for places to ‘window shop’ for bathroom fittings, you might want to have a look at Victorian Plumbing, CP Hart or the Bath Store – we have installed products from all of these suppliers and generally found them to be of good quality.
2) Make sure your doors are big enough
Often forgotten about until it’s too late, accounting for the size of your doors in relation to your new bathtub is incredibly important. There’s nothing quite as annoying as your bathroom remodelling project being put on hold before it’s even started.
3) Turn off the water
Once you’ve got your new bathtub and you are ready to get to work, the first step you will need to take when plumbing a bathroom is to turn off the water supply. You will also want to drain any water still within the supply lines by turning on a faucet at a level below that of the bath.
4) Remove the old bathtub
Once any remaining water has been fully drained, expose the pipework and disconnect the old bathtub. Remove the slip nut on your plughole as this connects the overflow pipe that runs from the bathtub drainpipe. You will also want to remove the spout, faucet and drain. Don’t worry too much about having to remove any tiling from around the bathtub as this is to be expected. Now, disconnect any piping and remove the old bathtub.
5) Install the new bathtub
Now that your old bathtub is out the way, you will next want to move onto your new bathtub. Start by moving your new bathtub into place, making sure it aligns with the plumbing in your bathroom. Some bathtubs require a ledger board installed on the wall behind to help support it, and if yours does, the instructions with which it came will best advice on how to install.
6) Connect to the plumbing system
Next, you will want to connect your new bathtub to your plumbing system. Install the shoe fitting and drain pipe first before moving onto the overflow pipe and screwing in the drain flange. Apply a small amount of plumber’s putty to your drain flange as this will help keep it that extra-bit secure and in place. Once steady, attach the drain over the plughole and screw in tight.
7) Final checks
Once your bathtub is in place, and all the correct plumbing has been installed, use a spirit level to ensure that it’s exactly level before securing into place. Finally, turn your water supply back on and check for any leaks.
How to install bathroom plumbing – the sink
Much like installing a bathtub, putting in a new sink can be an intimidating and challenging undertaking, but it is simply a matter of having the right knowledge and confidence to see the work through. And while there are all manner of different sinks, most follow the same method of installation.
1) Make sure it fits
It may seem rather obvious, but not checking to ensure a new sink actually fits is a common mistake. The best method of guaranteeing your new sink is the right size is to simply measure up the old one and compare.
2) Gather your tools
Another key step where first-time DIY-ers often go wrong is making sure you have all the correct tools. This will help you avoid having to stop halfway through the project due to missing the right tool for a certain part of the job. For a successful toilet installation, you will need the following:
• Pipe cutter
• Pipe wrench
• Spirit level
• Adjustable pipe wrench
• Tape measure
• Pipe joining compound
• Putty knife
3) Stop the supply of water
Turning off the water supply to your sink before removing it is critical to avoid any unwanted water damage. Most valves will typically be found beneath the sink, but if you can’t find it, your home’s main water supply will need to be turned off instead.
4) Remove your old sink
To install your new sink you will obviously have to remove the old one. Start by disconnecting the supply and drain lines with the pipe wrench. Keep a bucket and towel handy to clean up any water that leaks out. Next, disconnect the large nut that connects the sink to the drain before removing the sink. You may need to use a putty knife to help remove the sink from the wall.
5) Securing your new sink in place
Now start applying a thin amount of sealant around the bottom lip of the sink before putting into place. Many new sinks will also come with connective clips to help anchor them in place. Simply follow any instructions included with your new sink to ensure a smooth installation.
6) Securing your new faucet
Adding the faucet to your new sink is a relatively straightforward undertaking and often involves little more than screwing them on. However, some do require a sealant.
7) Installing the new plumbing
Next, you will want to install your new tailpiece by dropping it through the sink and screwing from underneath. You may need to use more sealant to help secure in place.
8) Connecting the water supply
The first step to take when connecting to the water supply is to match up your water lines with your valves. These should then connect to the corresponding joints on your new taps. Finally, you will want to install the pop-up, which involves dropping into the sink from above. However, many have varying methods and as such it’s usually best to consult your instructions.
9) Final checks
Once complete, turn on your taps and check for any small leaks from any of the connections.
How to install bathroom plumbing – the toilet
The idea of installing a toilet yourself can seem like quite a scary proposition, but in fact, it’s actually a relatively straightforward task if you have the right know-how.
1) The correct dimensions
The first step when replacing any fitting in your home is to make sure your replacement will correctly fit the space where it needs to go. The best method of ensuring your new toilet, or fitting, is the correct size is to simply measure up the old one before removing.
2) Tools and materials
With all DIY jobs, making sure you have the correct tools and materials before you get to work is one of the most important parts of the job. For a toilet installation, you will need the following:
• Protective clothing
• Adjustable wrench
• Spirit level
• Old cloth
3) Remove any water
Making sure that the toilet and work area are clear of any standing water is important to avoid water damage to the rest of your bathroom. Start by switching off the supply valve before flushing the toilet to empty the basin and the bowl. If any water remains, use a sponge to soak it up before squeezing it out into a bucket.
4) Remove the toilet
You will now want to remove your toilet by unscrewing the tank bolts as well as the water supply line. Once removed, safely lift the basin and move to a convenient location. Next, remove the floor bolt caps and gently rock the pedestal back and forth to break any sealant holding it in place before removing.
5) Preparing the area
Now that you’ve removed the old toilet, you will want to prepare for the installation of the new one. Start by clearing up any remaining sealant and placing an old cloth over the drain to prevent any unwanted smells filling your home.
6) Replacing the toilet
Next, you will want to unbolt the old flange covering the drain and replace it with a new one. You will also want to install a wax ring over your flange to keep it tight and in place. Now gently lift and place your new toilet over the drain, while making sure it aligns with the protruding floor bolts.
7) Securing your new bowl
Once your toilet bowl is comfortably in place, you will want to secure it by inserting bolts through the tank and the base. Use a spirit level to ensure your toilet is balanced, before gently tightening the bolts, remembering to be careful so as not to crack your new toilet.
8) Securing your new basin
Now that your toilet bowl is securely installed, you will want to move onto doing the same with the basin. Carefully fit the new basin over the bowl, ensuring that it aligns with the bolts. Again, tighten the bolts gently so as not to crack your new toilet.
9) Finishing the job
Finally, reconnect the water line before turning your home’s water supply back on. Place a new layer of sealant around the base of your toilet to further keep it secure.
How to install bathroom plumbing – if something goes wrong
In cases of emergency when plumbing, knowing the correct steps to take can be the difference between a slightly damp floor and a hefty repair bill.
Turn off the main water valve
The first step to take whenever there’s a problem with your water supply is to turn off the main water valve. While this is a relatively straightforward undertaking, many don’t know the exact location of their home’s water valve, which can be a big problem when it needs to be turned off in an emergency. The most common location of the valve is close to the point at which water enters your home. This will usually be close to the kitchen or downstairs bathroom.
Drain your pipes
Even after turning your main water valve off there will still be water left in your pipes. To get rid of any lingering water you will want to run any taps, hoses or other sources of water to clear the system.
Call a plumber
Having carried out the previous points, the next step is to call in a plumber to locate the source of your problems. It may be tempting to try and fix any issues yourself, but without the proper knowledge there’s a good chance you will just create further damage or even put yourself or your home at risk.
Plumbing a bathroom can be tricky and without the right knowledge can lead to all manner of problems. However, by following our straightforward guide you should hopefully have built up some understanding of the steps to take to ensure any plumbing jobs you carry out in your home are a success.
Whatever you need help with, no job is too big or too small for our handpicked tradesman. Available when you need them, you can book a Homyze tradesman through our app, website, or simply over the phone.