Thu Dec 15 2022

6 Easy Steps to Install a Bathtub Drain in 2023

6 Easy Steps to Install a Bathtub Drain

Installing a bathtub, especially a freestanding tub, can be difficult if you don't have enough knowledge of plumbing. That is one of the main reasons why some people seek professional help when installing a new bathtub in their bathroom. But you can totally avoid that extra cost and focus more on investing that money in more important things, such as a better bathtub and add-ons that can help elevate your bathroom ambiance.  Some may think that installing a bathtub is easy. You just have to sit on the bathroom floor in the bathtub, and you are good to go. You are half correct, but there are important steps that you need to take before you actually get the best possible bathing experience from your investment. The main thing to focus on is installing a bathtub drain in your bathtub. This article explains a bathtub drain and how you can install one in your bathroom in six easy steps.

Bathtub Drain – What Is It?

Simply put, a bathtub drain is responsible for draining your bathtub after you take a bath. Without that, you cannot drain the used water, which could lead to various problems, such as the formation of algae and other debris over time. This could render your bathtub useless. So, the bathtub drain is an important part of your bathtub setup in your bathroom.

On paper, the explanation can look simple enough that you can finish the installation within minutes. But it is not. A bathtub drain can be a smaller add-on, but there are things to know before you start installing one in your bathtub. 

The first thing you should know is the terms that are used in the bathtub drain. You might overlook this part since most bathtubs come with installed overflow pipes and drain stoppers. But this can be helpful when you are installing a bath drain by yourself or repairing one.

Terms for Bathtub Drain Installation

Terms for Bathtub Drain Installation

  1. Drain Stopper – This is one of the most known parts of a bathtub drain. You can see the drain stopper attached to a small chain, which helps to prevent the clean water from draining from the bathtub. Either you can plug the stopper or drop the stopper down to drain the used water
  2. Overflow Pipe – This helps retain the optimum water level inside the bathtub and prevents overflow. Once the water reaches the necessary level, the remaining will directly flow into an overflow pipe's opening and reach the main drain.
  3. Drain FlangeIt is best to think of a drain flange as a drain reservoir. The drain stopper is the major part of the drain flange. Once the drain stopper is lifted, the wastewater passes through the drain flange
  4. Drain ShoeThis part helps connect the drain to the bathroom, which is then connected to the drainage system. One end of the drain shoe is threaded into the drain flange, and another end is threaded into the bathroom floor. 

Now you know the important terms which can be helpful for you to install a bathtub drain in your bathtub or even repair it. 

Types of Bathtub Drains

Types of Bathtub Drains

  • Toe-Touch – If you are looking for a bathtub that is easy to install, your second best choice is probably the toe-touch bathtub drain. It is designed so that you can use your toe to open and close the drain, thus the name. One thing to note is that, down the line, the spring system in the drain can be worn out, and you may need to replace it. 
  • Push-and-Pull – This is “the” easiest bathtub drain to install and maintain. The function is simple. The drain opens when you pull it and closes when you plug it. There are no additional items attached to it, unlike the toe-touch drain. 
  • Lifting Drain – This drain is almost similar to a push-and-pull system. The main difference is lifting it clockwise to open and counterclockwise to close it. 
  • How to Install a Bathtub Drain in Your Bathtub?

    To install a bathtub drain, it is necessary to have a set of hardware and tools. The following tools will help you successfully install the drain:

    • Drain assembly includes a stopper, flange, drain shoe, overflow pipe, overflow cover, gasket, and screws. 
    • Hardware and tools include a wrench, a flathead screwdriver, and a drain key (which is available in the drain assembly). The drain key differs based on the type of drain flange being used. It is best to ask the local hardware store to see what fits best. You should have caulk and wall putty, which you can use to seal the drain flange.

    STEP 1 – Clean the area and ensure it is free from debris. This makes it a lot easier to install a drain. Make sure that your drain assembly has all the parts necessary for the installation.

    STEP 2 – Remove the rubber gasket underneath the bathtub. A rubber gasket helps to adhere the drain in the proper position and prevent any leakage. The rubber gasket comes with the drain assembly. You can remove the old one with the help of pliers or a screwdriver. Make sure that you do not damage the surface of the tub. 

    STEP 3 – Place the drain flange in the drain hole with the help of the screwdriver. Slowly screw the drain flange by hand in its position so that it does not create a crack inside the drain hole. Ensure that the drain flange is perpendicular to the drain shoe. Use the drain key to tighten the flange against the drain shoe.

    STEP 4 – Use the wall putty to close the lips of the drain flange. This helps to set the flange in its position. 

    STEP 5 – Use the screwdriver to remove the excess putty and ensure that the surface around the drain is smooth and filled. 

    STEP 6 – Place the drain stopper on the drain as per the instructions provided in the manual. Now, the last thing to do is to fill the tub with water and drain it. This helps to check any leakage occurring from the bathtub drain. 

    How to Remove Existing Drain?

    If you are replacing your existing drain, follow these steps to remove it.

    STEP 1 – Check for the type of your existing drain, whether it is a toe-touch, lifting drain, or push-and-pull bathtub drain. Most bathtubs use one of the three as a bathtub drain. 

    STEP 2 (i) – The removal process is simple if your existing drain is a toe-touch. Set the drain to open. Once you do that, you can see the drain shaft cylinder connected to the drain opening. Unscrew it. This helps to remove the drain from the system.

    STEP 2 (ii) – If you are using a push-and-pull drain, the process is easy since there are no parts attached to the drain. Set the drain to open, lift the drain stopper, and turn counterclockwise. This helps to remove the drain from your bathtub.

    STEP 2 (iii) – If your bathtub is integrated with the lifting drain, the process is more or less similar to a push-and-pull drain. Set the drain to open. You can see the knob on the drain stopper. Unscrew it; then, you can see the set of screws. Unscrew that, too. Now, turn the whole stopper in the counterclockwise direction. This will loosen the drain from its position. Now use any flathead screws to remove the whole system. 

    Suggested Reads:

  • Bathtub Trim – What Is It? All Things to Know in 2022
  • Crack in Bathtub – How It Happens and How to Prevent It in 5 Steps
  • FAQs

  • How do you install a new bathtub drain?
  • Place the drain flange in the drain shoe. Make sure that the flange is perpendicular to the drain shoe. Slowly thread down the flange with the help of a drain key. Place the plumber putty around the gasket to prevent leakage. 

  • Do you need to replace the rubber gasket from the existing drain?
  • Yes, it is better to replace the rubber gasket if you are installing a new drain. This helps prevent leaks and ensures that the drain flange is positioned correctly.

  • How tight should a bathtub drain be?
  • Usually, tighten the bathtub drain with the help of a wrench and the drain key. With the wrench, a quarter a turn is more than enough, and use the drain key to tighten it further until the rubber gasket fully encapsulates the lips of the drain flange.

    Final Thoughts:

    Asking for professional help has its advantages since they provide tips and tricks for installing bathtubs and accessories and give insights on maintaining the bathtub. But, installing a bathtub drain can be easy with the necessary tools and a reliable guide. This article hopes to give enough information on bathtub drains and how to install one for your bathtub. Magnus home products offer a wide range of bathtubs and accessories if you are in the market looking for a new bathtub. You can click here to check out new designs and collections.