Panelling your bath can hide a multitude of ugly pipework and give your bathroom a nice sleek finish. There are many different styles for bath panels, from off-the-shelf plastic panels to wooden panelling or tiling.
One of the important factors for a bath panel is to make it removable, in case you ever have plumbing issues and need to gain access to the pipework underneath. The best way to do this is by making the long side panel removable as this will mean there is a larger access area.
Building a Frame
Whatever style of bath panel you decide on, you will need to start by building a solid timber frame that will support the bath, keeping it level and secure once in place and allow you an appropriate surface to attach the panel too.
Measure the bath length and width, along with any additional area you may want to incorporate for shelving, as well as the height of the bath. These measurements will form the basis for your timber frame, which will be a series of wooden batons attached to the wall and floor, with plinths in-between for extra support and surface areas to attach the panel. Be sure to mark out any plumbing in the floor or walls before screwing the batons, so you don’t burst any pipesin the process.
Once you have your solid timber frame, you then need to decide on the type of panel you want to attach. For off-the-shelf plastic bath panels, these can be easily attached to the timber frame and bath with simple screwing. However, tongue and groove panelling styles or tiled panels may require a little more work before being attached.
If you are opting for a tiled panel, you can buy special aqua-boards that can be screwed on and are specifically designed for tiling directly onto in wet areas. This means less chance of warping or water absorption and an easy surface to tile on too.
For tongue and groove effects, you can buy moisture resistant MDF sheets with the design and effect already carved into them. These can be cut to measure and are straightforward to fit and paint in any colour you choose. However, you may prefer the real deal, which will involve individually shaped tongue and groove wood pieces that will need cutting to the appropriate height and screwing onto the timber frames at the top and bottom. Alternatively, you can glue them onto a thin piece of plywood for an easier fit and one complete removable panel.
Finish you bath with beading or simply silicone caulking to seal it and give a nice clean finish.