DIY acrylic bathtub installation: detailed step-by-step installation instructions

Nikolay Fedorenko
Checked by a specialist: Nikolay Fedorenko
Author: Lyubamira Lysyuk
Last update: July 2019

The advantage of acrylic bathtubs is lightness, but this point is also their drawback, since a sufficiently fragile and thin design may not withstand and burst upon impact or be damaged by the fall of a heavy object.

Agree, I would not want to spoil the new plumbing during installation. In general, installing an acrylic bathtub with your own hands is a simple task. The main thing is to understand the principle of work and adhere to technology.

Below are various ways of installing a bathtub; the procedure for connecting a siphon and a sewer supply is described. All instructions are accompanied by visual photographs and videos.

Advantages and disadvantages of acrylic bathtubs

Acrylic bathtubs are very beautiful, have an original design and a variety of colors. At the same time, they have their weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

Therefore, it will not be superfluous to find out what problems you may encounter during installation and subsequent operation, and how to prevent them.

Colored acrylic bath
Unusual colored acrylic bathtub will become a bright and original element that can decorate the interior of any bathroom

Among the advantages can be identified:

  • Plastic. Acrylic lends itself well to molding and subsequent processing. This property of the material determines the presence of a huge variety of shapes of acrylic bowls.
  • Lightness. The acrylic bath has a small weight (15-25 kg), so one adult man can easily cope with its installation.
  • Priority heat engineering. Acrylic itself is a warm material. In addition, it has low thermal conductivity, acrylic bathtubs can retain heat for a long time, the water in them cools much more slowly than in cast-iron structures.
  • Maintainability. Plumbing and generally acrylic products lend themselves well to repair and restoration.If the damage is significant, then you can restore the bath using an acrylic liner, which is made for a specific design, and then simply inserted into the old container.

As for the shortcomings, they are also present. acrylic products must not be forgotten. Following the guidelines below will help you avoid potential problems and extend the life of your acrylic bathtub.

The disadvantages of acrylic plumbing include:

  • Sensitivity to high tº. Acrylic does not withstand very high temperatures. When heated above 60 degrees, it can deform, so you should not pour too hot water into the bath.
  • Fragility. If you accidentally drop a heavy metal object, a step, a similar rough surface into the bathtub, you can pierce its bottom through.
  • Vulnerability. Acrylic bath capricious in care - it can not be rubbed with hard brushes, washed with powders containing abrasives, since the enamel is very susceptible and can easily be scratched from the effects of solid particles.

And it should be noted, if not a drawback, then the inconvenience that one who first plunged into an acrylic bathtub encounters. Due to the fineness of the material, the bottom may bend slightly under the weight of a person. However, you get used to this feature of an acrylic bath rather quickly.

Acrylic bathtub installation methods

There are several options for installing an acrylic bath. The easiest way is to mount on the legs, which are pre-installed on the strips, and then attached to the bottom of the bathroom with three to four screws.

The installation process includes a number of standard steps:

However, this option cannot be called reliable, since the bathtub is held only on four racks, while its sides remain without support. In addition, the bottom when bathing a person of fat complexion will greatly sag, which is also not very nice.

Thin-walled acrylic bathtubs require a stronger support, which is commonly used as:

  1. Massive metal frame from a thick profile pipe, manufactured in the factory.
  2. Brickwork, built under the bottom of the bath.
  3. Support legs and bricks at the same time.

Often the choice of installation option depends on the configuration. The most optimal installation method is mounting on a factory frame, but not all manufacturers complete the bathtub with a metal frame.

Foot bath
A bathtub mounted only on legs is not a solid structure. This type of installation can significantly reduce its service life.

As a rule, inexpensive products are sold either with legs or without any mounting kit. The frame can be purchased separately. You can install the bath on bricks, which is also a reliable type of fastening.

A simple way to repair an acrylic bath
The easiest way to repair an old acrylic bathtub is to install a liner that duplicates damaged walls of the tank

# 1: Installing the bowl on the legs

The installation of an acrylic bath on the legs is permissible only for standard designs of a rectangular shape. In other cases, you should choose a different installation method.

Turning the bath upside down, step back 4 cm from the edge of the reinforcing plate and mark the middle. Locate the center of the mounting rails and align it with the middle of the bath. Mark the locations of the fasteners, drill holes in the bottom and fasten the slats using self-tapping screws.

Mounting kit
The installation kit includes two metal strips, four legs with pins, wall mount, self-tapping screws and nuts. When installing the bath, use only the self-tapping screws included in the kit, specially selected sizes. Longer fasteners can damage the bottom

For fastening the legs, a rod with a lock nut is inserted into the hole on the bar and secured with another nut. Then adjustable plastic legs with thrust bearings are screwed onto the hairpin.

Now you need to turn the bath over, put it on the legs and adjust their height so that the structure stands exactly without distortions. We carry out this operation using the building level.

Foot bath marking
In order for the bathtub to stand smoothly, it is necessary to correctly markup and mark with a pencil the places of fastening of the slats in which the mounting holes are

To fix the structure, the side of the bathtub is put on special mounting plates included in the delivery, which are screwed to the wall. To determine where the fixtures will be located, attach the bathtub to the wall and mark the edge of its side with a line.

The top edge of the plate should be approximately 4 mm below the mark. For standard bathtubs, four fixtures are usually made in length and two in width. Screw the plates in the places of marking.

Mounting the bath to the wall
The plates are screwed so that there is space for the sides between them and the wall. To install the bath, it must be raised above the fasteners, and then put its sides on the plates

# 2: Mounting on a metal frame

This method of installing an acrylic bathtub is somewhat more complicated and will require more time, but it is also more reliable. Frames are developed by manufacturers for a specific model and, as a rule, are sold as a set.

For standard rectangular designs, you can purchase the frame separately or make a support frame by yourself.

Acrylic bathtub frames
Each bath has its own frame, which takes into account the shape, size, geometry of the product and the distribution of loads. The assembly of each design has its own nuances, which are described in detail in the attached instructions

The main element of the frame is the frame, on which the remaining structural parts are then attached. Often, a frame welded in the factory, but not always, is included in the package. In some cases, it will have to be assembled independently according to the manual attached to the product.

The frame is placed on an inverted bathtub, and in this position they begin to assemble the entire frame, sequentially fixing the remaining parts. The package includes racks, studs, plastic legs with thrust bearings, nuts, screws and wall mounts.

The number of parts depends on the size and shape of the bath, the more complex the design, the more elements.

To fix the vertical rack, a stud with a screwed nut is threaded into the corner hole of the frame, and then inserted into the rack and screwed into it. The top of the stud is fixed with another nut. Thus, all the racks of the frame are installed.

Attaching the frame racks
When screwing the studs, leave a small distance between the frame and the stand to adjust the height of the frame

When all the racks are screwed, it is necessary to align the frame evenly, adjusting its height and checking the accuracy of the installation with the building level. Next, the frame is screwed with screws to the bath. First, the frame is attached to a reinforced bottom plate, and then the racks are fixed in the corners of the bathtub in places where there are embedded plates.

Now it remains to screw the legs to the frame. In the places where they should be located, holes were made where the studs are screwed first and secured with nuts using the correct height. Then plastic legs with thrust bearings are screwed on them.

If you purchased an acrylic bathtub with a screen, then metal L-shaped plates for attaching the screen are additionally inserted on the legs, which will be located on the outside.

Attaching the legs to the frame
The L-shaped plate is fixed with nuts in the center of the leg. If necessary, the height can be adjusted by tightening the nuts in one direction or another

Turn the bath over, place a screen on it and adjust the height of the structure using the nuts on the legs. Put it against the wall and mark the places where the wall mounts will be located. Screw them and fix the sides of the bath on the plates, as described above.

Once again attach the screen to the bathtub, mark the places for fastening the screen along the edges and in the center of the bathtub and screw on the plates that are supplied with the screws. Fix the screen on all plates, including those that were previously screwed to the legs.

Seal the joints of the acrylic bath with the wall with silicone sealant. To do this, first clean both surfaces of dust, and then degrease with alcohol. Stick construction tape on the wall and sides of the bathtub, apply an even layer of silicone, and then wet your finger with soap and water and smooth.

Sealing joints between the bathroom and the wall
Joints can be repaired with waterproof mounting foam, and then after drying, cut off the protruding layer with a clerical knife

# 3: Option with a brick support device

If you purchased an acrylic bathtub in which there is neither a frame, nor legs, and at the same time do not want to burden yourself with additional costs, that's okay. There is an opportunity to solve this problem, if not completely free, then very inexpensively.

To do this, you will need a few bricks, some cement, a metal (preferably aluminum) corner for attaching the bathtub to the wall and plumbing silicone to seal the seams. Your task is to create two brick supports on which the bath is then installed.

Brickwork is done on both sides of the acrylic bath so that the bottom reinforcing plate rests firmly on two brick supports. Depending on the required height of the bath and the location of the sewer inlet, two or three rows of bricks are laid out.

The solution should consist only of cement (1 part) and sand (3 parts), or you can buy an inexpensive masonry adhesive.

Bricks are laid on a thin layer of mortar. During operation, it is necessary to constantly monitor the horizontal level of both supports in order to avoid misalignment of the bath

After two rows of bricks have been laid, wait for the cement to set and place an acrylic bathtub on them. If the height suits you, mark the level of the sides of the bath on the wall, and then attach a metal corner according to the marking and apply a silicone compound to it.

Put a layer of cement on the brick foundation and install the bath from above, lowering its sides to the corner and sliding it tightly against the wall. Do not forget to remove the protruding silicone from the sides and remove the excess solution from under it a maximum of half an hour after installing the bath.

There is another way to install an acrylic bath on bricks, which consists in creating a kind of pedestal on which the bowl will stand. At the same time, the bottom of the bathtub can be installed directly on the bricks, or the legs can be pre-fixed and a brick foundation can be built under them.

Brickwork is preliminarily done as described above with the only difference being that there is no space left between the bricks, but one solid foundation is made. Further, if a bathtub without legs will be installed on the pedestal, then it is necessary to lay two metal strips on the bricks and put a bowl on them.

This is done so that between the brickwork and the acrylic bath there is a gap of about 1 cm, where then, after the mortar has completely solidified, the mounting foam will be blown for mounting the bowl.

If the legs are pre-screwed to the bath, then in this case everything is simple: it is installed above the foundation, the legs are adjusted to the desired height, then the foam is blown.

Installing a bathroom on bricks
The acrylic bathtub is mounted on a metal profile, freely lying on a brick base, and is attached to the wall with aluminum corners or metal hooks

The space between the bathroom and the bricks is blown out with construction foam. To ensure optimum pressure on the foam, it is advisable to fill the bath with water.

Sealing joints between the wall and the side of the bath

The silicone sealant with which you processed the joints between the wall and the acrylic bath is a good thing, but not enough. No matter how tight the construction is to the wall, cracks still remain. In construction stores you can buy a special tape.

It is mounted on silicone and mounted on the wall and sides of the bathtub. In addition to complete tightness, it gives the design an aesthetic and complete look.

Joints can also be sealed with plastic corners. Their edges are equipped with rubber inserts that prevent water from entering. There are many skirting boards of various shapes, colors and designs, which allows you to choose a product for any bathroom interior.

Skirting bathtub trim
A plastic corner ensures complete tightness of the joints, and allows you to hide minor defects and bumps. To make an even angle, the lower parts of the baseboard must be cut at an angle of 45 degrees

Corners are attached to the bathtub and walls using silicone, which is applied to pre-alcohol-free surfaces. It is recommended to fill the bath with water before applying it and leave it filled until the sealant has completely dried. If this is not done, then in the future microcracks may appear on it.

Siphon assembly and sewer connection

We took this item to the end of the article to describe in detail the process and the nuances of connecting siphon equipment to an acrylic bath. However, this work must be done immediately after installing the legs or frame, before installing the screen and until the bath is finally attached to the wall and brickwork.

As a rule, the siphon is delivered unassembled. A large number of randomly arranged parts can even frighten a person who first encountered a bathtub connection at first glance.However, in the attached instructions, everything is described in detail and shows how the siphon is assembled, so the assembly does not cause special difficulties.

Siphon package
Unassembled, the siphon is a collection of diverse parts. The figure shows the general assembly diagram and the sequence of fastening siphon elements (+)

Installation siphon Starts by connecting the receiving pipe (4) and the protective grill (2) to the lower bath outlet. Before this, the joints should be treated with sealant and put inside the rubber gasket (3), on top of which a layer of sealant is also applied.

Then, without waiting for drying, the branch pipe is inserted into the lower part of the bath.

Next, an already assembled flexible hose (16) is inserted into the overflow outlet (13), and its other end with a pre-installed gasket (18) is connected to the upper hole of the bathtub and secured with a protective overflow grille (19).

Assembled Bath Siphon
It looks like a fully assembled siphon. To avoid its leakage during operation, it is very important to correctly install gaskets that, even with a slight bias, can move and deform

Then the part of the siphon that connects to the sewer pipe is collected. All joints are sealed. When collecting the siphon, try not to overtighten the threaded connections, as this can lead to deformation and breakage of plastic parts.

At this stage, it’s worth taking care of mixer installation.

Exterior finish methods for acrylic bathtubs

If you purchased an acrylic bathtub without a decorative screen, then this part can be done by yourself.

When performing finishing work, it is necessary to observe some rules:

  • use only moisture-resistant materials, resistant to temperature extremes, not susceptible to the formation of mold and fungus;
  • provide quick and easy access to communications under construction.

In the event that the bath is installed on bricks, it is possible to lay a brick wall on the front part in half a brick thick, and then veneer it ceramic tiles or mosaic. The upper row of bricks is made 2-3 cm below the side of the bathroom, and then blown with foam for sealing.

It is also necessary to leave the technological hole, and then use the awnings to make the door.

Brick frame for bath
When erecting a brick wall, you cannot make it a bath support. Be sure to leave at least 2 cm between the side and the top of the brickwork

Finishing an acrylic bathtub with plastic, MDF or moisture-proof drywall is very popular. The original solution is to create mirror screen. Plastic panels allow you to quickly and inexpensively make the final lining of the bath. In addition, if the panel has become unusable, it can be very simply replaced.

As for drywall, after installation, it can be finished with different materials: tiles, waterproof wallpaper, paste over with a film or apply decorative plaster.

In both cases, you must first make the frame of a metal profile or wooden beam. In this case, the metal must be treated with an anticorrosive composition, and wood - with a moisture-resistant primer.

Wooden bathtub frame
It is possible to lay panels made of plastic or MDF on a wooden frame, as well as fasten drywall with its subsequent lining with various finishing materials

To make a wooden frame, install boards around the entire perimeter of the bathtub, which will serve as the base, and screw them with screws to the floor. Make vertical racks in the corners, attach the upper horizontal board to them using metal corners and install additional vertical racks in increments of 50-60 cm.

Interesting options for creating a screen for the bath are proposed in this article.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The frame assembly and installation of the bathtub with a plastic screen are described in the following video:

Video instruction on how to properly assemble the factory metal frame for an acrylic bath:

Acrylic bathtubs of angular, round or asymmetric shape are installed only on the factory metal frame. Manufacturers attach detailed instructions according to which any man will be able to cope with this work on his own. However, it is better to entrust the installation of a bathtub with a hydromassage to specialists, since it requires the connection of complex electrical equipment.

Have something to supplement or have questions about installing a bathtub? Share your personal experience in installing plumbing and please leave comments on the publication.

Was the article helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!
No (16)
Thanks for your feedback!
Yes (104)
Visitors Comments
  1. Andrey Vadimovich

    There was the first experience of installing such a bath, rather sad than successful. I decided to install it myself, and in vain. Included with the bathroom were free fixtures for installation, legs and mounts. It took me half a day to do it, I did everything according to the instructions, in the end everything was ready to look, but due to inattention, or because of the rush when moving, I did not take into account one thing - the uneven floor in the bathroom, the bathtub rocked. I had to redo it. So, advice for newcomers to the future - check everything thoroughly from and to.

  2. Kseniya

    We also have an acrylic bathtub at home, I do not agree with the minuses that are listed above. Not so fragile, they dropped pretty heavy things. And not only did the bottom fail, but there were no scratches. Of course, it is impossible to clean with powders, but in general it is not so whimsical. They did not install it themselves, but the master who did the repair, but, in his words, the process is simple. There was a frame with legs in the kit with the bathroom, so it turned out pretty steadily. The only thing, after installation, the master filled the bath with water and forbade us to drain for three days, apparently so that the joints froze properly.

  3. Tatyana

    Why, when installing the bowl on the legs, you need to leave 4 mm. for subsidence, if she is already standing? Legs will not let her sag 4 mm.

    If on bricks with foam, then okay. And if the legs, then why? Then the legs must be aligned after. I do not understand.

    • Expert
      Nikolay Fedorenko

      Hello. Take into account the subsidence of the bath under load with the absence of wall mounts.

      Count. The weight of the bath, on average - 25 kg (acrylic), water 200-250 kg, the weight of the human body. The bath has a drawdown, the load on each leg is 25%, which is not enough.

  4. Ruslan

    Tell me, please, the mounting plates that are screwed to the wall, are located on the same level?