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Installing A Freestanding Tub On Concrete Slab: A Full Guide

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Having a freestanding tub is a great strategy to improve the bathroom outlook.

They’re available in different materials, giving you a variety of choices.

But installing a freestanding tub isn’t an easy task, especially on a concrete slab. 

How to install a freestanding tub on a concrete slab?

Start by choosing a proper bathtub that’ll fit in your bathroom perfectly. After that, you’ll have to gather some necessary materials. When you’re done, level the concrete slab and then place the bathtub. Align the tailpiece with the drain hole and install the remaining components. 

Anyways, that was the summary of the whole topic. The process itself is more complex and thus can’t be worded in one paragraph. 

There’s a lot more to discuss and many factors to consider…

2 Things To Consider Before the Tub Installation

Having a well-thought-out plan immensely helps you with the installation. That’s why you never attempt an installation without planning correctly. 

When installing a tub, a gap must be considered between it and the floor tile. There are some other factors that must be taken into account.

Fortunately for you, I’ve summarized everything and brought them under one section. 

Factor 1: Choosing a Proper Freestanding Bathtub

The first thing you’ll need to do is to choose a bathtub that matches your aesthetic. It’s a fundamental option if you care about the looks of your bathroom. 

There are about 4 types of freestanding bathtubs in the market. The most common ones are footed bathtubs and floor-set bathtubs. They’re comparatively cheaper and more affordable than others. 

There are also pedestal bathtubs and slippery bathtubs. The pedestal bathtubs are quite similar to footed bathtubs.

Except it has a nice pedestal underneath. They’re quite heavy compared to others. 

Slipper bathtubs happen to be some of the most comfortable bathtubs. They are shaped like a shoe with one side being slightly taller.

Speaking of freestanding bathtubs, here are some of my favorite picks-

Product 1
Product 2
Product 3

You can choose whichever seems the most fitting and get started!

Factor 2: Considering the Bathroom Space

Whether you like a certain bathtub or not, you can’t just buy it. Because a bathtub has to be compatible with your overall bathroom space.

Luckily, bathtubs come in multiple different sizes. This gives you all the freedom to choose a proper-sized bathtub. 

Make sure your desired bathtub fits in your bathtub and you won’t run into any problems during installation. 

Install A Freestanding Bathtub On A Concrete Slab: 10-Step Method

If you’ve chosen a bathtub and considered the bathtub space, you can go forward. Fortunately, installing a bathtub is quite easy. 

But it can get confusing pretty easily if you don’t stay on track. That’s why I suggest following the steps that I’ve gathered for you. Complete the steps one by one and you’ll be done! 

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Materials & Tools

You can’t begin the installation without having the tools. Besides tools, you’re going to need some components necessary for installation. 

It can get pretty confusing looking for different tools. That’s why gathering them first helps you install the tub without any interruption. 

The list is quite big. Have a look and get these tools as soon as you can:

  • A bathtub
  • Pieces of pipes
  • A level
  • Self-leveling epoxy
  • Notched trowel
  • Damp clothes
  • Dry silicone
  • A drain tailpiece
  • Rubber mallet
  • Drywall screws
  • Cordless drill
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Adhesives
  • Cleaning items
  • A drain body
  • Protective blanket

Make sure to gather all of these items so that you can get started. You’re going to use these items in the following steps. 

Step 2: Select the Right Spot For Your Bathtub

Selecting the perfect spot for your bathtub isn’t easy. There are many crucial factors you may need to consider. 

You can always place your bathtub close to your window. Having some natural light is quite refreshing, so it’s always a positive. You’ll also have to consider the drains. 

One big problem that people face is when their bathtub drains don’t line up. Preplanning the right spot helps you avoid some nasty problems. 

It’s best to place the bathtub close to the plumbing. If you choose to place it far, you’ll have to do some extra plumbing work. 

Step 3: Level the Floor Until It’s Even

A perfectly leveled floor is super important when installing a bathtub. Because an uneven surface may damage your bathtub in the long run.

Besides, having a bathtub on a rugged surface is going to ruin your shower experience. And guess what, concrete slabs happen to be uneven almost all the time. That’s why you must take floor leveling seriously.

Start this phase by inspecting the concrete slab closely. When you’re done, take some self-leveling epoxy and the notched trowel. 

Make sure to cover the drain hole before you start. Otherwise, some dirt and debris may enter the drain.

Apply the coating on the concrete slab and level it with the trowel. Make sure the entire area is leveled and you’re done.

In case you’re placing the tub far away, you’ll have to do some additional plumbing. In these situations, it’s better to do the plumbing before leveling the floor. Make the channel for drainage before you proceed further. 

This step is fully optional if you’re placing the tub near the plumbing installations. 

Step 4: Clean the Drain Hole

Before you proceed any further, make sure the entire area is clean. Because installing the tailpiece with dirt and debris may cause major problems. 

Remove the cover from the drain hole if you placed it in the previous step. Clean the drain hole and make sure there’s nothing inside. When you’re done, pour some dry silicone inside. 

Pour some of the dry silicone around the drain hole as well. And you’re done! Later, you can use some washing soda to clean the drain hole

Step 5: Connect the Drain Tailpiece

Since you’re done with the leveling and cleaning, you can start installing parts. The first in this list is the drain tailpiece.

Attach the drain tailpiece under the bottom side. Screw the tailpiece until it’s firmly connected. 

You’ll also have to connect and seal the other end with the drain pipe. But there are some other steps that need to be followed first. 

Step 6: Place the Bathtub In the Chosen Spot

You have already leveled and cleaned the area. The tailpiece is also installed. You can now place the bathtub.

This section might take some time to complete. Because you can’t be careless as you don’t want to damage your bathtub. Being patient will be greatly rewarded at the end of this phase. 

Make sure all the corners are correctly positioned. If you’re dealing with some unevenness, use a rubber mallet to position it. 

After that, make sure the tailpiece is perfectly positional with the drain hole. If it’s not aligned, repeat the steps.

Step 7: Screw the Bathtub To the Drywall

This step is optional if your bathtub isn’t going to sit beside the wall. But if you’re placing it beside drywall, you’ll have to attach it to wall studs. 

Take the drywall screws and the cordless drill to get started. But before you begin, check the tub’s position one more time. It’s better to recheck than to make a grave mistake. 

Screw the drywall screws with the drill that you have. After you’re done, inspect the screws whether they’re firmly connected or not. 

If everything goes well, your bathtub will be tightly attached to the wall stud. 

Step 8: Install the Remaining Components

You’re almost at the end. Since the bathtub is installed the rest of the process is easy. There are some overflow components left to be installed. 

First, take the overflow rod and install it. You can find the additional instructions in the product manual. Simply follow the steps and you’re all set. 

After that, you’ll have to install the bathtub drain linkage. Like before, follow the instructions given in the manual and connect the drain linkage. All of these have to be installed through the overflow hole. 

Lastly, there are plungers or drain stoppers to add. Luckily they’re inexpensive and easily affordable. If you’re buying a new bathtub, it should be included. 

In case you need some new plungers, I got you covered- 

Product 1
Product 2

Choose the kit that you like more and you can immediately get to work! 

After all of these components are connected, you can screw them one by one. 

Step 9: Connect the Tailpiece With Bathtub Drain

Remember the tailpiece that you connected in step 5? Well, it’s time to complete the tailpiece connection. 

Since the tailpiece is nicely aligned, you can now connect the other side. Remember to screw the tailpiece tightly with the bathtub drain.

Make sure to use the rubber sealer that comes with the tailpiece. It’s really important when sealing a bathtub drain. Without it, there’ll be leakage. 

And with that done, the bathtub installation is complete! But there’s still some work left to do!

Step 10: Test the Bathtub

If you’ve come this far, congratulations. But it’s not finished yet. Without testing the tub, you can’t call the installation a success. 

Inspect the bathtub closely for any mistakes. Make sure every screw is properly placed and has been tightened enough. Check the drain and overflow connection one more time. 

If you’re done, start the water flow and see if it’s drained nicely or not. If there’s no water leakage, your task is complete! 

Freestanding Bathtub Maintenance: 3 Tips That are Super Useful

Maintaining a drain is also really important for the durability of the bathtub. Luckily by following some advice, you can keep your bathtub pristine.

Tip 1: Check the Drain Hole Regularly

When using a bathtub, it’s pretty easy to get some dirt inside the drain hole. That’s why you can’t leave it unattended for a long time. 

Check the drain holes once in a while. This will help you avoid any massive clog problems. 

Tip 2: Use Bleach to Remove Stains

Instead of using abrasives like scrubbers, you should always use bleach. Bleach is the perfect solution for most stains. 

Apply the bleach and stay put for 5-10 minutes. After that, rinse the area with water.

Tip 3: Use Alcohol to Remove Ink or Paint

If you’ve spilled some ink or paint, bleach won’t do any wonder. Scrubbing will only scratch the bathtub.

In such cases, alcohol is the best choice for you. It removes most of the oil-based stains with ease. 

FAQs

Is the free-standing tub attached to the floor?

There is no fixed rule for attaching free-standing tubs to the floor. It’s possible to attach them to the floor. But many people leave them unattached as they’re quite heavy to move. 

Do freestanding tubs tip over?

Freestanding bathtubs are extremely unlikely to tip over. This is only a rumor and people’s weird imagination. Because freestanding bathtubs are heavy. Your sudden movements won’t move the bathtub from its place. 

Are freestanding bathtubs worth it?

Absolutely! Because freestanding bathtubs are significantly easier to install. You don’t have to create a wall around or do any mounting. Compared to normal bathtubs, they’re also more aesthetically pleasing. If you want a great outlook for your bathroom, freestanding tubs are a must. 

Take Away

That was everything I could gather and deliver on a freestanding tub on a concrete slab. I hope that this was enough to satisfy your curiosity about the installation. 

If the process seems to be bothersome, don’t hesitate to call experts. Because the last thing you want is any damage to your bathtub. Be very careful and you should be all good.

Finally, have fun installing the tub!