Bathroom Handyman Tips

Boxing-in pipes

If the pipes protrude less than 50mm from the wall, the sides of the boxing can be made from 50 x 25mm timber fixed to timber blocks, which in turn are fixed to the wall using wallplugs and screws. Then screw a chipboard or plywood cover to the side pieces.

If the pipes protrude more than 50mm from the wall, or you want room to pack some insulation around them, screw 25 x 20mm vertical battens to the wall. Fix chipboard or plywood side pieces of the required depth to the battens, then pack the pipes with glass fibre insulation if desired, and fit a cover as before.

When the pipes are close to a corner, only one side piece will be required, the cover being fitted direct to the batten mounted on the side wall.

To box-in pipes running along a skirting, nail a 25 x 20mm batten to the floor, and another to the top of the skirting. Then fix plywood or timber cover panels to the battens to hide the pipes. For neatness, quadrant or scotia moulding can be fixed to the exposed corner.

Panelling a bath

Whether you are fixing a moulded plastic bath panel, or making your own, first build a framework under the bath sides to support the panels. The framework does not need to be elaborate.

A framework of 50 x 25mm battens is suitable. With a moulded plastic panel it may be sufficient to screw a batten to the floor running the length of the bath, another to the top of the panel on the inside edge where it tucks under the bath rim, and then fix two vertical battens to the walls at the ends of the bath. If the bath has an end panel, a batten is glued to the inside of the corner edge of this. Another is fixed to the top of this panel on the inside, and another to the floor under the end of the bath.

The panels are trimmed along the base to fit under the bath rim, holes are drilled into the battens, and then the panels are held with chromium plated screws fitted with chromium plated collars. Some moulded panels only require floor battens, the top –

edge being held in place by clips supplied with the panels.

For home-made panels made of lacquered hardboard or chipboard to be finished with ceramic tiles, use 50 x 25mm battens to make a side frame consisting of two horizontal rails and four uprights that will fit between the floor and under-bath rim. Hold the frame in place against wood blocks fixed to the floor and end walls.

Lithe bath needs an end frame, make this in a similar way, screwing the two frames together where they join. Next, screw the panels to the frame. In the case of lacquered hardboard, polished aluminium strips can be glued to one face of the corner joint for neatness.