Installing Your New Bathroom: Introduction

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You’re in the homestretch. Follow the step-by-step illustrations in this section to bring your design to life. When you’ve added the finishing touches, you’ll look around your new bathroom and wonder how you ever managed without it.

If you’re doing a full-scale remodeling job, your bath room probably looks pretty bare right now. In fact, it may be stripped down to naked walls and plumbing stub-outs. But since you planned your remodeling activities according to a timetable as well as a design scheme and budget, the new items should have arrived on your doorstep, and you should be ready to put the components together.

The first installation step includes all the rough plumbing and wiring. As mentioned in Section One, you will find step-by-step instructions for these tasks in our guide Basic Wiring Techniques and Plumbing Basics. Because the bathtub sits directly on your subfloor and usually has to be screwed to the wall studs, it goes in during this stage. If you’re building a shower stall, it, too, should be installed at this point. You’ll also want to allow for any recessed shelves, cabinets, or accessories.

When these elements are in place, close up your walls with wallboard. From here on, the order of installation can vary. One option is to finish walls and floor first and then put in the vanity. Another is to put in the vanity first and then cover the walls and floor. Which procedure you choose depends on the materials you’re using and how you want to join one element to another. For example, do you want a one-piece floor that extends under the vanity, or do you want to cut around the vanity and install a baseboard or molding strip? Because the order of these steps can vary, you may need to flip back and forth between the sections in this section to follow your own plan. Whatever sequence you follow, the toilet is always the last fixture you install because it sits on the finished floor.

A close-up of the vanity in a bathroom, shown earlier, demonstrates the importance of details in installation. Here the counter tiles are in stalled flush with the washbasins to provide a clean line. Five coats of sealant not only waterproof the wood floor but also give it a high gloss consistent with the bold aspects of this design. Yet the wood shows through, linking the room to the deck and yard outside.

For the most part, the process of installing plumbing fixtures is simply the reverse of removing them. As be fore, you will need assistance with the bathtub, whereas the toilet and washbasin really require but a single pair of hands. You will purchase almost all plumbing assemblies separately from the fixtures, so make sure that they fit and that you have the manufacturer’s installation instructions for both the fixtures and the fittings. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions, even if they differ from those in this book or in other manuals you may have read. The manufacturers know their own products best.

When tightening nuts, do most of the work by hand, and then gradually complete the job with a wrench. If you go too far too fast, you can strip pipe threads and dam age other materials. Anyplace you are making a water tight seal, use plumber’s putty; anyplace you are connecting nuts and bolts, either wrap them in joint tape or cover them with joint compound, also known as “pipe dope.” These precautions will help prevent annoying leaks. Anyplace you are wedding two pieces of metal in your plumbing system, make sure they are the same kind of metal. Iron and copper, for example, get along poorly together: They corrode one another.

Always turn your water off before working on plumbing fixtures, or you’ll find deep puddles on your floor. When you’ve finished a plumbing task, turn the water back on and test your work. It is never fun to find a leak, but it is far better to find it while your tools are out than to have it spring upon you the night of your big dinner party.

Next: Recessed Cabinets

Prev.: Repairing Wall Coverings

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Updated: Thursday, 2011-06-23 4:29