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How to Build a Bath Frame
by Alex Cordier on Apr 4, 2017
All baths require the support of a well-constructed timber frame. If you’re planning on installing a new bath into your home, you will need to know how to build the bath frame to size, reinforce the frame, and install it correctly into your bathroom. Building frames for baths require a lot of care and focus. So, if you want to get it right, follow this step by step guide:
Step 1. Make a Mark on the Wall for the Top of the Bath Frame
After purchasing the required plumbing supplies, the first step is to measure your bath’s height. Add about 80mm onto this and mark that height on your wall studs. This mark represents the top of the bath frame, and the extra 80mm makes room for differences in floor height.
Step 2. To Support the Bath Frame, Install Noggins between the Joists and Wall
Measure the gaps between each of the wall joists at the height of the line. Using a circular saw, cut a timber noggin to size for each gap, then nail the noggins into the gaps using a nail gun. These noggins will help hold external linings and give the frame extra support.
Step 3. Cut the Sides of the Frame
Position the bath so that one end is sitting 70mm out from the wall. Measure the wall to the end of the bath, adding another 70mm. Then cut four lengths of timber from both the bottom and top plates of the frame.
Step 4. Mark Where the Vertical Studs Will Go for Your Bath Frame
To mark the position of the vertical studs, use a pencil to trace around an offcut of framing timber. Place a stud at both ends and space out the others evenly on the frame every 600mm. Giving them space like this will make it easier to cover the frame later on.
Step 5. Assemble the Sides of Your Bath Frame
Measure and cut eight studs. Cut them 95mm shorter than the height of your frame to get thicker plates. You could also add 5mm to allow for any variations in the floor’s height. Nail the studs between the top and bottom plates to assemble the sides of the frame.
Step 6. Install Both Sides of the Bath Frame
Position one side of the frame against the wall and place the other side parallel to it. Separate the two sides by about the width of your bath, subtracting 30mm. This allows for a 15mm ledge on each side of the frame for the bath to sit on. Nail the sides into place once you’re satisfied with the position.
Step 7. Construct the Ends of Your Bath Frame
Straighten the outside edge of the bath frame with a spirit level, then measure the distance between the two sides. This will give you the width of the frame’s end pieces. Using this measurement, cut the top and bottom plates on both ends. Cut three studs for each end using the same lengths you used for the studs previously. Then it is time to assemble each end. To do so, nail three studs between the top and bottom plate.
Step 8. Install Each End of Your Bath Frame
For the final step, use a nail gun to secure each end in place. If you find that one of the ends is unsupported by a wall, use your spirit level to ensure its vertical edges are right as you nail it. Finally, put the bath inside the frame. The frame should support all four edges properly.
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