Fitting an Acrylic Bath Panel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Installation of plastic bath panels can often be a tedious task. However, we are constantly searching for simpler methods, and it turns out that fitting a bath panel doesn't always require complex frameworks.

There is a wide range of bath types and an abundance of bath panels available. If someone were to come up with a universal solution, they would certainly make a fortune! To explore more options, visit our comprehensive page on different bath types [Link: MY_REDIRECT_PREFIX][/Link].

Acrylic baths offer a variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from petite steel baths with exceptional strength to elegant freestanding baths. These baths typically possess excellent thermal properties, ensuring they retain heat and provide a warm touch. Moreover, they are usually reinforced with fiberglass for added strength.

Acrylic baths

Step-by-Step Guide on Installing a Bath Panel

Simplifying the process of fitting a bath panel for most bath models can be achievable with proper planning and minimal effort. Do not be swayed by instruction sheets that recommend constructing costly timber frames that exceed the value of the bath itself.

Trimming the Bath Panel

In this particular example, we have simply used an ordinary hacksaw to cut the bath panel to the appropriate size (Fig1). If the handle of the hacksaw limits the cut, the blade can also work independently, but please ensure to wear gloves as a safety precaution (Fig 2).

Using a mini hacksaw is the easiest method, as it allows the saw to do the work with gentle and slow push-and-pull motions, minimizing the risk of the plastic panel splitting.

Cutting down the bath panel to size

[Fig 1 - Image: Cutting the bath panel to the correct dimensions]

[Fig 2 - Image: Precisely cutting along the marked straight line to ensure proper sizing]

Create a Rebate Strip in Timber

Cutting down the marked straight line to ensure bath panel is correct size

Once the bath panel has been trimmed, employ a router to form a rebate in a strip of timber. In the provided image above, we have utilized a 3-inch by 2-inch timber size (Fig 3), as larger dimensions offer stability and ample space for screwing it down to the bathroom floor.

Alternatively, if you don't own a router, you can approach a local joiners shop (usually located in most Industrial Estates) and kindly request them to use a one-eighth saw blade to create the rebate. The depth of the rebate should be approximately 25mm.

[Fig 3 - Image: Slotted piece of batten specifically designed for the bath panel]

Align, Mark, Screw, and Fit the Bath Panel

To ensure the bath panel is properly installed, use a spirit level to align it with the side of the bath, marking the appropriate position for the batten or timber (Fig 4). Subsequently, screw it securely to the floor. Then, slot the top of the panel under the bath while pushing the bottom into the rebate.

Slotted piece of batten for bath panel

[Fig 4 - Image: Verifying that the bath panel remains in a straight position]

By following these steps, you can successfully install a bath panel without unnecessary complications or costly frameworks.

Checking bath panel is straight

In our future plans for this image, we have decided to tile the floor later in the year. As a result, our bath panel is currently positioned 15mm above the floor. This can be seen clearly in Figure 5. However, depending on the height at which the bath is set, this distance may vary. It is important to remember the importance of planning and drawing out your ideas beforehand. If they work well on paper, they should work in practice.

Figure 5 showcases the bath panel successfully fitted to the bath.

Fitting bath panels can present different challenges depending on the type of bath. For shower baths (shown at the bottom), as well as freestanding or traditional Victorian baths (shown below), specific difficulties may arise.

Traditional bath:

Shower bath:

Victorian baths, many of which feature clawed feet, are typically left open. However, baths with rounded sections or profiles can cause problems when it comes to fitting bath panels.

A practical solution to overcome this issue involves constructing a simple frame between the bath and the floor, and then attaching PVCu cladding to it.

To begin, cut the cladding to the appropriate length and assemble it by sliding it underneath the overhanging lip of the bath. The joint between the floor and the cladding can then be concealed using one of the many available PVCu moldings. These moldings are highly flexible and pliable, making them easy to work with.

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