Monday, January 30, 2012

On Bathtub Replacement - Prep Work

There are any number of situations that lead to people wanting to replace their bathtub. Maybe the black grime and tarnish in the grout and sealant, no matter what you scrub and rinse it with, won’t go away. Maybe you have a crack in the tub. Maybe the very sight of your bathroom makes you feel stagnant and you very simply need a change. Maybe the way you prefer to treat yourself is a deeper tub with more room to soak or some water jets. And these are just some of the more common ones I’ve heard over the years. The reasons are endless but are ultimately moot to the actual work, unless it’s an entire overhaul of the bathroom itself.

As a local friend pointed out over the weekend, what is really important is the prep work and knowledge. What I might consider common sense as a contractor are actually things people forget in the rush of picking out new designs and colors and budgeting the project. In fact, the very first thing that should be done is extensive measuring of the tub and the space around it.  In this case, mark down all the dimensions of the bathtub itself, as you will want a bathtub the exact same size as your current one – length, width, height and depth.  You’ll also want to note the length between your fixtures, such as the length from your bath faucet and your showerhead, the curtain (front of your tub) to the ceiling and other such measurements. Have these at the quick and ready when you go to buy your new bathtub.

You should have as many measurements as possible really, for your plumber and for when you actually pick out the unit you want. Just as important, however, is remembering which side of the rub your faucet and showerhead are on. Any plumber or handyman or contractor will tell you that the plumbing for your bath is one of the first things to get done during home construction, as far as the interior goes. So, unless you’re looking to spend a great deal of money to switch the side of your bath’s plumbing, it is essential to get a design where the cuts for the overflow, drain and faucet are on the same side as your old design. Again, this might be seen as common sense to some but when prepping a sizable job such as this, the devil is in the details.