Old Stone House

Installing the Tub – Part Two

August 10, 2006

Filed under: Master Bathroom @ 11:37 am

tub21.jpgIf you review the photos in past posts, you may have noticed that there are no supply-lines or waste pipes roughed-in for the tub, which is because there are none. Having learned a very valuable lesson the last time I installed ceramic (it is quite tricky to install ceramic around ½ inch pipe), we chose to add the plumbing after the fact.

I spoke to a former tile installer, and asked him how to drill holes through the tiles, as I presumed that it would be easy to chip or possibly crack the tile. He confirmed my assumptions and recommended that I first buy a rasp-bit for my drill, and carefully remove the ceramic glazing from the areas I wished to drill, after which I would be able to use masonry bits to drill through the floor.

After triple-measuring the location of the new holes, I took the installers advice and slowly started grinding away at the ceramic. Of course by grinding I mean the drill is making noise and the rasp is spinning, but nothing is happening. I spent 20 minutes grinding away to no avail. I considered that I had the wrong type of bit – but it was identical to the one he showed me. So I persevered for another 10 minutes before I quit in frustration.

With a great sense of calm I retreated to the basement, found a 1/2 inch masonry bit, and returned to the bathroom. I fired-up the hammer drill and proceeded to bear down on the floor with all my weight – I expected the worst.

The bit squealed horribly, and a small wisp of black smoke began to ascend from the floor. Suddenly, the drill began to plunge into the tile, and within moments I had drilled a clean, perfect hole. Smugly, I drilled the remainder of the holes needed, including a cluster of holes for the waste pipe, and within 10 minutes I was done.

We fed the copper pipes down through the floor, and hooked them into the awaiting supply lines in the ceiling below, and installed the shut-off valves.

Finally we carried the tub into the cramped space and centered it over the holes. They lined up perfectly. Over the course of two hours we hooked up the overflow and drain, connected the trap to the waste line, finalised the vent pipe, installed the faucets and the myriad of couplings, and finally the flexible pipes.

Satisfied with a job well done, I turned on the shut-off valves and every coupling sprayed water…

I can suggest that if one decides to use Teflon paste for the first time in lieu of the traditional, more familiar Teflon tape, that you read the instructions. You need to let it dry…

Two hours after I had turned on the water, I had managed removed every fitting, cleaned off the paste, applied Teflon tape, and re-coupled all the lines. I might note that this is all being done within the 3 inch cavity between the tub and the wall, whilst laying on my side on the ceramic floor.

Again with great anticipation, I turned on the valves… Success! Nothing leaked, and everything drained properly.

Finally, the reward for all this hard work – a long hot soak in a deep old tub. After my wife…


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