Installing a new bathtub is a great way to renovate a bathroom. Unless your new bathtub comes with bath panels or an acrylic surround, you need to create your own enclosure for it. This task is not as hard as it sounds. There are ready-made acrylic panels on the market for this job or you can cut your own bath panels.
Determine how many acrylic panels you need for your bathtub surround. You can build a frame around the bathtub or you can just attach the acrylic surround panels to a wooden base. The frame is a more stable solution.
Decide whether you want to use prefabricated acrylic panels or if you would rather cut your own from blank acrylic panels. Keep in mind that you need to allow access to the bathtub's plumbing.
Buy the acrylic panels of your choice. You also need a supply of 2-inch by 2-inch lumber for the frame. Purchase screws for the wood frame as well as decorative fasteners for the acrylic surround. Also buy a tube of silicone caulking as well as a caulk gun.
Set up your work area. You need a circular saw to cut the lumber. A jigsaw can trim the acrylic panels. A hasp or file is useful to get the pieces to size. Other basic tools include a screwdriver and a level.
Calculate the frame size. Take the length of the bathtub times the width below its lip. Allow for the thickness of the acrylic panels.
Cut two pieces of lumber the desired length. Cut three or four pieces of lumber as end pieces and braces to form the width. Assemble the frame with the short pieces at the ends on the inside of the longer pieces. Space the brace pieces accordingly. Screw all the pieces securely together.
Repeat for the end sections of the tub. Connect the frame pieces together. Secure them to the floor and to the wall.
Attach the bath panels
Trim the bath panels to fit with a jigsaw. If you purchased prefabricated panels, they should be ready to attach to the frame. If you are making your own panels, make sure the corners fit securely. You may need to miter them.
Secure the panels to the wooden frame. Apply caulking around the edges between the bathtub's lip and the panels to prevent water from seeping into the cracks.
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