Bathtub faucet installation is definitely one of the trickier projects that you can attempt as a do-it-yourself project.
I’ve tried it myself and ended up calling a professional plumber to fix my mess. He also found some potentially serious plumbing problems I would never have known to look for.
But if you would like to take a shot at installing a bathtub faucet yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind.
One of the things that you will need before starting this project is access to the area behind the faucet. Many homes will have an access panel on the wall adjacent to the bathroom. This was actually one of my first hurdles to overcome, as my townhome does not have access behind the bathtub. This required me to tear down the tile and drywall in order to gain access to my pipes.
Another important consideration is access to and the ability to use power tools. You will need to drill holes into potentially very hard materials in order to install a bathtub faucet.
It is best to remove your old faucet before purchasing a new bathtub assembly. This will allow you to match pipe sizes between your old and new fixture and avoid additional complications to your project.
Speaking of complications, talk to a salesman at your hardware store. Different faucets require different installation tools, and this may require the purchase of additional tools. This was another mistake I made.
If you can purchase an aesthetically pleasing faucet, which matches your existing pipes and can be installed with the tools that you already own or are willing to buy for the project, the actual installation should run smoothly.
But a word of caution; I mentioned earlier that my plumber noticed some other issues with my plumbing when he came to repair my botched bathtub faucet installation. There was a very small leak coming from the overflow tube on my bathtub. Had I finished the job myself, I would have missed this problem, which would have led to serious water damage and mold behind my wall (and in my townhouse, my neighbor’s wall as well.)
While there are a lot of projects that you can do yourself, it is important to understand the benefit of bringing in a professional plumber to look at all of the things that you don’t know or don’t understand.