Onoff

Bath Surround / Boxing In, and concealed pipework

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Figured start a new thread on this as it's a bit removed from "flexible tap connectors" and can stand alone 

So I'm boxing the bath in. Just doing what I can until I decide what way around the bath is going etc. It's a timber frame all screwed together so easy enough to dismantle.

Decided to taper the long bath side so when you stand close your toes will be sort of under and you'll be a couple of inches closer. It'll be tiles atop the 3/4" ply that the bath sits on. Up the side (tiled again) I was going to do 12mm ply - shown here with a bit of 12.5mm plasterboard.

First time doing anything this complex so just seeing if I'm on the right track. Only ever fitted a ready made acrylic panel or a bit of painted ply:

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(Got to shim up the faces of the central two tapered pieces with some thin ply to bring them level). Presume I can just tile over this detail?

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I doth my cap sir. Your doing a 100% 'nick quality' bathroom there mate. :) 

Word of advice, when you come to final fix all the plywood, you'll need to glue fack out of it to keep it from parting company from the framework. If you don't heed the words of the tile master ( my unofficial title, but apparently the queen saw my last job and is considering the title of Sir Tilealot ) then you'll have all the tile cuts opening up from the trims and it'll look like the San Andreas fault runs around the bath edges. Glue and screw the living day lights out of it, like a screw every 50-60mm. Sounds bonkers, but you won't say that if you don't do it and have to grout it every other month. ;)

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Cheers for the encouragement! 

I tend to use this waterproof glue now for everything, dirt cheap and seems to do the job, if anything better (for bathrooms) anyone then please shout. Every 50/60mm??? I've just been marking out at 200mm ctrs.....best get some more screws!

http://www.toolstation.com/shop/p61864?table=no

Once I'm happy with the fit of all the framework then I will indeed glue the granny out of it. Presumably using st/st screws would be going over the top? I'm going to have to have an unglued joint somewhere to enable removal of the bath if ever it leaks. IMHO there's too many lights, jet nozzles etc to think that at some point down the line in won't leak somewhere. Same goes for access to the tap connections (see other thread) if I put them "wall" side. To get the bath in I have to first screw the wall side ply on, manhandle the bath in sideways then drop it into the recess. Only then can the other half of the ply and frame be fitted. You can see the gap,pre pushing together between the two halves of the ply deck:

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I'm tempted to have a test fill of the bath (via a hose) in the very near future to see what happens "sinkage" wise. As the bath sits in a recessed 3/4" marine ply box with no tangs out into the slab, just a bit worried as to whether with the weight of all that water it'll push the ply box down into the PIR underneath.

I had to knock out and add the chamfer (dark grey concrete) post paying the floor to give me any chance of getting my arm under to reach the trap. On temporary packs at the moment but nigh on there. Add 10mm I think:

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Before it all gets finally fixed the ply recess will get a sand and varnish and the concrete under the bath a coat of grey floor paint. Just like the idea of someone looking in there in years to come and saying "Proper job!". 

Edited by Onoff
More photos etc

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I doubt it'll go anywhere as the ply shoe you've made will spread the weight proportionally across the insulation. I'd set the bath so it's just touching the tiles, literally a fag paper off and then mask around it. Lift it and apply a sealant and lower it down again. It'll be easy enough to separate that later should the need ever arise, and then a silicone overcoat for colour match / final sealing. No need for stainless imo but I do seal the ply first with a very pissy mix of water / pva. 

Forgot to mention earlier, don't use tile adhesive to fix the tiles to the ply, they'll come away as good as look at them ;) . I use cheap n cheerful silicone to stick the tiles on, with 50p sized blobs every 100mm centred. Bombproof. 

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5 minutes ago, Nickfromwales said:

I doubt it'll go anywhere as the ply shoe you've made will spread the weight proportionally across the insulation. I'd set the bath so it's just touching the tiles, literally a fag paper off and then mask around it. Lift it and apply a sealant and lower it down again. It'll be easy enough to separate that later should the need ever arise, and then a silicone overcoat for colour match / final sealing. No need for stainless imo but I do seal the ply first with a very pissy mix of water / pva. 

Forgot to mention earlier, don't use tile adhesive to fix the tiles to the ply, they'll come away as good as look at them ;) . I use cheap n cheerful silicone to stick the tiles on, with 50p sized blobs every 100mm centred. Bombproof. 

Just edited my earlier post. I can't do the tiling first and drop the bath into the hole. The jet pipes along the side are the same width as the bath!

EDIT: Seriously, ordinary silicon to fix the tiles then the grout? Reckon I could do the first half against the wall and tile it then the second half. A plan is forming.....

Edited by Onoff

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Mulling over doing the boxing in two "horseshoe" shaped sections, bolted together.....

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SCRAPPED the tapered side timbers above. £18 worth of new timber this afternoon.

New plan currently under way: Sides AND end panel tapered in by 7°. The ply  top mitred at the corner by 45° on plan as a nod to not walking into it as you go to the sink. That little return corner also tapered in by 7°. Pics to follow in due course.....don't wait up.

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So Nick's saying flexi grout sticks tiles like doo doo to a blanket if the ply's on the floor but not if the ply is up the side of the bath. I'd say it must be to do with the board orientation and maybe migration of the solvents etc in the grout. If laid flat they can "sit there" and do their thing until fully cured. 

With half my bath boxing in being removable anyway I could tile the bulk of the side panel laid horizontal (like a floor) then turn thru 90deg once the grout has set.

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Getting there. The bottom batten with be fixed direct to the concrete floor. An access tile will allow loosening of the two coach bolts and hopefully allow that "half" of the box to be pulled away so as to remove the bath. Similar detail the other end.

This batten to the floor, first thought was drill and put in studs with Fischer resin. Would CT1 or similar do as well?

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4 hours ago, PeterW said:

Just don't hit a UFH pipe....

Nah! I was proper careful. I know exactly where the envelope of the bath sits. It's even less now I'm tapering the sides!

floor_4.JPG

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The "open" end of the bath, near the sink I'm having the join mid-way. BUT the other end where the bath goes into the corner formed by the two walls I'm debating re-making the "join" up near the bath edge - see dotted line rather than in the middle as it is now. That way I'll be easily able to get to the join in the riser cupboard next to the doorway (the multi-socket is sitting basically in what will be the riser):

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I'm just about getting the angle of your dangle. The tiles will have a silicone 'grout line' at the top yes? E.g. a non-permanent watertight seal for when the boxing in is in place and the room is functional? If so, then your design certainly needs balls of steel and a damn fine tolerance in the construction. Do you propose a 'fault line' through the grout / between tiles through the top and sides at both junctions? I can only see that working if they're colour match siliconed to give the illusion of a continuous tile finish. 

Got to admire the design and logistics though :)

 

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51 minutes ago, Nickfromwales said:

.The tiles will have a silicone 'grout line' at the top yes? ü

E.g. a non-permanent watertight seal for when the boxing in is in place and the room is functional? ü

If so, then your design certainly needs balls of steel and a damn fine tolerance in the construction. ü 

Do you propose a 'fault line' through the grout / between tiles through the top and sides at both junctions? ü Yep, why I was considering bring the joint for the corner end forward, into the bathroom for easier access

 

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Then I think I can give my 'seal' of approval :D

Bonding the timber down with CT1 or sikaflex will pay dividends IMO, in addition to a couple of mechanical fixings. 

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7 hours ago, Nickfromwales said:

Then I think I can give my 'seal' of approval :D

Bonding the timber down with CT1 or sikaflex will pay dividends IMO, in addition to a couple of mechanical fixings. 

Plan is to get the woodwork all in, screwed together and "easily" removable. A dry run if you like. Then take apart and glue, screwing back together. I'll probably treat it with something too. 

Then all back and mark the concrete where the BOTTOM, fixed batten will sit. Drill some counterbored holes in the bottom batten and whack in a few st/st studs. Slightly over tighten to account for shrinkage. Shim as required. Then back it off and a good slug of Sikaflex etc. 

12mm marine ply sides shortly and figure where the removable tiles will be. Then batten behind, cut corresponding removable panels in the ply.

Was planning 5mm grout gaps, colour tba. Would it make sense, as well as bonding the tiles on with silicon to grout ALL the tiles on the box in "silicon"?

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3mm I'd go for as it's much easier to hide the siliconed joint for one, and it's much neater IMO for another. 

5mm usually for floors but you could go for 4mm wall and floor if easier. Fwiw I usually tile with Rubi 2mm spacers for a clean sharp look. Iirc your mosaic tiles have a pre set grout line in them don't they? 

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59 minutes ago, Nickfromwales said:

3mm I'd go for as it's much easier to hide the siliconed joint for one, and it's much neater IMO for another. 

5mm usually for floors but you could go for 4mm wall and floor if easier. Fwiw I usually tile with Rubi 2mm spacers for a clean sharp look. Iirc your mosaic tiles have a pre set grout line in them don't they? 

Ta. Something like this is the plan. The inset panel shown as "pebbles" is where she wants mosaics. I think I'd worked out the side of the bath tiles based on 5mm gaps but could drop to 3/4mm easy enough. Now I've chamfered the corner that end tile will be cut anyway. Not sure what the grout width was tbh on the mosaics but as they're contrasting then thicker grout lines on those might work?

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EDIT: Debating some subtle plinth lighting of some description.....

Edited by Onoff

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Just going to hijack this if thats ok.

I'm looking at doing something like this (although nowhere near as complex).  Our bath will just be a standard 1800 x 800 double ended bath rather than your 'spa' type bath.

SWMBO has demanded we try and achieve a sunken look for the bath and I have attached a picture of something she was keen on.

I'm guessing i will need wooden frame similar to what you have built to achieve this.  One hing about your frame that I was unsure about is the 'shoe' design.  Can I ask why did you go for this rather than a standard box design?

Also I have a concern similar to you with getting access to the taps should anything go wrong in the future.  I notice you have got a section with a removable tile.  How do you plan to achieve make this removable?  Is it by magnetic strips or something similar?

Another question i had was on tile position in relation to bath top.  What are the general thoughts on this is is better to have the bath top above the tile level like as shown in the attached picture or would it be better to have the tiles above the bath top level?  Any pro's/con's to either method?

LORENZO_1.fw.png

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First off.....I bet you'll finish yours before I do!

Second, does your wife know mine or in fact are they one and the same? I too have a similar picture of "what she wants".

xD

Seriously:

 I have recessed a pocket in the floor so as the floor off the bath and adjacent room floor are the same level. I'm tapering the sides so when you stand next to it you're "closer" with your feet sort of under the overhang. My taper is 7deg. The concept when you stand adjacent just feels right.

The "shoe" design, in two halves is because the spa pipes are the same width as the bath, this sort of shows it. So I couldn't "drop" the bath into a hole in the box. I'm having to fit one half of the box, slide the bath in from the side then complete the other half.

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Removable tile will be held in by magnets or some other magic, Hogwart's esque device!. Nick posted up a while back on eBuild some removable, tile-able panels. I'll try and find the link.

Ref the bath top mine will sit atop the tiles though I did toy with having it all flush. Tbh I reckon that's a recipe for disaster. I'm going to put a marine ply "lip" around the "hole" in my box that'll be pinned & Gorilla glued to the main ply deck . The bath will sit over that. 

Got to go an eat now, had an APPLE at 5am so thinking more of kebab & beer than bathrooms.

Nick will be along shortly..... 

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Thanks for the reply mate.

Your 7 degree taper is interesting and I'm trying to get my head round it if it will 'feel' better.  I just mentioned it to SWMBO and from the face she pulled she wasn't convinced! 

 

I'll just go with a standard box for mine I think (no need to complicate things if not needed).

Bath on top it is for me also as the more I've thought about it the more it makes sense.

The access thing is whats bothering me most.  One tiler mentioned the magnet panels but he said the ones he'd done before still stand out to him and you can notice it and it draws your eye to it.  The other issue I have is I'm not sure how much use an small access panel at the front would provide as my taps are at the other side next to the partition wall.

The only other option for a removable place would be on the back tiles 'shelf' which the bath will be sitting on and I guess that not the best idea.

Failing that I'm thinking it could be a case of tile it all up with no access and make sure I've bought plenty spare tiles.

Anyone got any thoughts on other methods which could be achievable?

 

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My wooden frame will be covered in 12mm marine ply. The removable tiles will be siliconed in rather than grouted. Tbh I'll probably come up with something myself to suit the tile size. Thinking:

- Ply the sides. Screwed and glued to the timber frame.

- Neatly cut the access hatch in the ply the same size as a tile

- Make frame for the removed piece to sit against

- Fit magnets

- Stick tile to ply

- Put access panel in place

- Silicon around joint

This might have been the link Nick posted:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Manthorpe-Tile-Access-Panel-GLTAP-500-DIY-Installation-Free-Delivery-/191895032192?hash=item2cadd5d180:g:AUQAAOSwqBJXXbn~

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Presume your access panel is on the front tapered panel?

If so how would your access your taps anyway because from what I can see your taps are located on the opposite side?

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image.jpeg

image.jpeg

I usually cut a section of plywood out and fix a tile on with 4 or 5 50p size blobs of mastic. The tile the gets grouted as normal and looks flawless. 

I tell the customer to keep at least one full box of tiles, and the idea is if you need to get in ever, you just cover the tile in gaffa tape and whack it in the middle to break it. Remove it and clean up, change whatever and stick a fresh tile back. 

Fwiw most modern taps are all services from above ;). I only put an access option on these kind of jobs as there was also an air admittance valve ( on top of the white pipe shown ) so was more worried about that failing tbh. 

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