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Bathroom Fitting

Is fitting a bathframe a standard practice when having a new bath put in?

I've recently have a full bathroom refurb and the majority of the job appears to be an high standard and I was happy and paid the fitter.

However, one month later I've had a leak from the bath which came through the ceiling below.

This was due to the silicone sealant which had separated from the bathtub. It was on the wall-side of the bath - where you'd put your hand to lower yourself into the bath pretty much. They have since been back and resealed the bathtub.

They said the reason this happened was that the side of the bath is 'flimsy' and had pushed down and separated from the sealant when getting in and out of the bath.

However, I have bought an extra strong acrylic bathtub which cost a lot more to avoid this issue in the first place. So I asked what was underneath the bath, and if there are any wooden supports holding and supporting the bathtub. - which I always believed was the norm when you have a bath panel fitted. The wooden frame structure behind the bath panel.

But he said that there isn't any wooden frame or supports and that it was 'just put in'.

It seems obvious that this will cause issues again in the future because the acrylic isn't supported and any reasonable weight will move it?

The fitter I used is a local reputable fitter who's post his work on Facebook and has a good name and good following. And the price charged wasn't cheap! (£2,400) for just fitting and labour. Small bathroom.

Is a wooden frame/bath frame standard practice and does this need doing ASAP to avoid further issues?

Thanks in advance

5 Answers from MyBuilder Bathroom Fitters

Best Answer

Hi Andrew short answer is yes you need a frame it’s pretty standard practice now to make sure the bath is supported correctly and doesn’t lower as the bath fills ..and the bath should of been filled when it was siliconed/mastic and left over night to stop this, all the best


Answered 25th Oct 2021

Unfortunately, sometimes builders they cut corners. They are under the impression that a bearing walls are more than enough to hold the structure together, and they forget that nonbearing walls do add the strength to the structure since they hold weight and support the structure through the loads that are distributed throughout the house. The architects have structure engineer do the calculations of the loads, therefore if the studs or structure is damage they have to be replaced or build since this is the cases that it does not have support. If the builder neglected to for-seen the seriousness of not having the support ... they will have a lot more issue coming their way because you have to guarantee your craftsmanship because it defines who you are as a builder. My suggestion to you is that they have to put support because houses do set and people are always people, sometimes we might hit it unintentionally and the problem will never change unless you take action to resolve the problem. Remember that leak will keep liking underneath and water is the worst enemy that could rotten everything underneath until its fix. If not, we will get to see the effect of water and moisture from the leak. If you have good support, then you will never have issue with water getting underneath.


Answered 3rd Nov 2021

The frame you see behind most bath panels is normally just there for the bath panel to attach to. I would say that 95% of bathrooms I have refurbished had no support for the side of the bath that’s against the wall. I personally screw a batten to the wall to support the edge of the bath


Answered 27th Oct 2021

If the bath is fitted correctly it does not need a frame. The outside edge would need a frame to support it and to support the bath panel. Some fill with water to silicone. I would just as a precaution. It should not be leaking so soon.


Answered 4th Nov 2021

Lots of talk of 'standard practice' in the answers above... what a load of tosh. Bathroom fitters know one thing above all else: if they don't do the job properly, something will fail and there will be leaks. There's many different ways to solve this particular problem and they have been mentioned in the previous answers... but a shower over a bath tub is probably the hardest one to solve. Personally I screw the bath to the wall, taking into account that I'm either screwing into masonry or have pre-battened out a partition/plasterboard wall. 95% of the frames supplied with a bath are not fit for purpose - and even though you did the right thing by purchasing an extra rigid bath, they are still not flex free, and it should be assumed that every time you get in and out of the bath, there will be movement which will degrade the silicone joint.

Whilst you've learnt the hard way that just because someone has a good facebook page, they may not be up to the job - here are my suggestions for a fix:

If you can get good access to the underside of the bath against the rear wall, put in some extra timber supports to try and minimise movement in the future ... there's a few ways to do this, but you want to provide as much support along as much of the back edge as you can (hard to describe in writing, but it's more of a carpenters job to be fair).

Clean off all the old silicone as best you can (there are silicone removal pastes), give the back edge of the bath a good sand to improve the key, then ensure a good quality silicone is reapplied (£6-7 per tube instead of the usual £1 per tube rubbish. And yes, for what it's worth, fill the bath before reseating and leave it to cure at least overnight, or 24hours if a particularly deep bead of silicone...


Answered 28th Jan 2022

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