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Alcove Bathtub Installation Instructions

Alcove bathtubs are usually installed in such a way that they sit in a cavity surrounded by three walls. It means the wall cavity should have a frame that allows the bathtub to snugly fit in, all the way to the studs. If there's a considerable amount of gap then it will be difficult to keep the installation water-tight. The thumb rule is to set the frame to be a quarter of an inch longer than the size of the tub, so the bathtub sides just about touch the wooden frame. Here's how you instal an alcove bathtub:


  • Attach the water faucets and head fittings to the water supply and fit it to the wall by means of cross braces
  • Slide in the tub into the alcove over the sub-floor so it rests against the studs on the back wall, and shim it along the floors and walls to make sure it is leveled
  • Make markings of the nail flange heads on each of the studs before you slide out the bathtub
  • To estimate the ledger board height, measure the distance between the nail flange tips and the bottom rims, subtract the amount, and sketch a line through the length of the studs
  • Cut out ledger boards (1x4) and fix them along the length of the wall studs, under the line
  • Fit in the overflow and drain openings, and the washers and gaskets as per the manual, as well as the drain plug linkage
  • Apply dry-set mortar on the sub-floor to prep the alcove. Lay out runners on the alcove and put some grease or soap on the runners' top edges
  • Gently slide in the tub so it sits in position and then take out the runner. Impose pressure on the tub rims so they touch the ledger boards
  • Nail the flanges and attach them to studs to secure the tub in place
  • Install a roof flashing (width-4 inches) over the tub after 8 hours, once the mortar dries
  • Use waterproof drywall or cement board to install the alcove's wall surfaces and finish with bath surrounds

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