Installing a walk in bathtub is very similar to the way you would install a regular bath tub. The walk in bathtub requires a hot and cold water line to supply the tub faucet with water. The walk in tub will also require a drain pipe for the tub / shower waste water. If you are installing a walk in bathtub in a location where there has never been a tub you will have to rough in the new plumbing. If you are looking to install a walk in tub in place of your existing tub you can buy a walk in tub with the same measurements that are close to your old tub.
There are many advantages to walk in bathtubs verses the traditional style bathtub. These type of bathtubs are great for people with mobility problems and also great for adults in their senior years. Walk in bathtubs don’t require you to “step in” to the tub making it easier for you to access your bathing area.
You will need some tools to install the walk in tub. In fact you will need many hand tools, power tools and some specialty plumbing tools. You off course will need to know your local plumbing code to ensure that you are connecting the water and waste lines so they can pass inspection by the plumbing inspector after you have completed the walk in bathtub installation. Installing a new walk in tub from start to finish can cost you around $2500.00 – $8000.00 depending on what type and brand of tub you buy. You also have to remember that you will have to buy the needed plumbing supplies and possibly have to hire a licensed plumber if you do not have the skills to install the bathtub yourself.
Before you can install your new walk in bathtub you will have to remove the old tub. Depending on what is surrounding your tub will depend on how you remove your old bathtub. If you have a tub surround you may have to remove the surround before you can remove the tub. You will have to also remove the tub drain from the drain so you can pull the tub out of place. Most bathtubs just sit into place and then are tacked into place with a few nails behind the tub surround. Once you remove the tub surround, the nails holding the tub into place and the tub drain you should be able to pull the tub out. Once you pull the tub out of place you will be able to see the tub trip lever.
Once the old tub is removed you will want to measure the area you will be installing the new walk in tub to make sure it is going to fit. If the measurements all work out you will now be able to slide the new walk in tub into its place. You will of course want to make sure that your trip lever is ready to go and aligned with the drain hole of the tub. Spending a few extra minutes making sure everything is aligned will save you much needed time in the long run.
Once the walk in bathtub is in place you can now connect your drain and waste connections. If you are installing the walk in tub on a first floor and there is a basement with access to the plumbing then you may want to hook up the waste from here. If you do not have a basement or access to the underneath area of the tub you will have to connect and align most of the drain connections before setting the walk in tub into place. You will need to connect the trip lever and the p-trap to the new tub.
Once the walk in tub has been positioned into place and secured, the drain connections have been installed, you will now be ready to hook up and connect your tub faucet. You will have to hook up the hot and the cold water lines to the faucet supplies. Depending on what type of bathtub faucet you purchased will depend on how they will be hooked up to the existing plumbing. There are many bathtub faucets you can choose from and most can be installed and connected to your existing plumbing.