Having a bathtub that is not level can lead to a variety of issues, such as water pooling in one area or causing damage to your bathroom floor.
It is important to identify the root cause of your unlevel bathtub, whether it is due to an uneven floor or a poorly installed bathtub, so you can take the right steps to correct the issue.
In this article, we will discuss the causes of an unlevel bathtub, the process of determining the issue, and the steps you need to take to fix it.
Identifying An Uneven Bathtub
Before you can fix an uneven bathtub, you need to identify the issue.
Start by inspecting the tub visually, checking for any noticeable gaps, tilting, or unevenness.
Next, use a level tool to confirm your visual observations.
Place the level on different areas of the tub's horizontal surface to ensure accurate measurements. If the bubble in the level tool is not centered, your bathtub is uneven.
Reasons For A Non-Level Bathtub
There are several possible reasons for a non-level bathtub:
If your bathtub was not installed properly, it may have become uneven over time.
This could be due to improper leveling during the initial installation or the use of incorrect support materials.
Wear and Tear
Bathtubs can become unlevel because of wear and tear from prolonged use.
Over time, the weight of water and occupants can cause the supports or the floor under the tub to shift or deteriorate.
Sometimes, the flooring underneath your bathtub can be the cause of the problem. An uneven floor can lead to an unbalanced bathtub.
In rare cases, the bathtub itself might be defective and not perfectly level from the beginning.
If this is the case, you might need to contact the manufacturer for a replacement or solution.
Checking the Level of Your Bathtub
To check the level of your bathtub, you'll need a level (preferably one that is 2-4 feet long), a measuring tape, and a pencil.
Follow the steps below to assess your bathtub's levelness.
1. Clean the Bathtub Edges
First, clean the edges of your bathtub thoroughly. This allows the level to make proper contact with the surface and provide reliable readings.
Use a cloth or sponge to remove soap scum and debris before wiping the area dry.
2. Use the Level
Next, place the level along the length of your bathtub, starting on one side and working your way to the other. Make sure it's sitting flush against the edge of the tub.
Check the bubble inside the level - if it's centered between the lines, that part of the bathtub is level. Repeat this process for the other three sides.
3. Take Measurement
If you find that your bathtub isn't level, take measurements to determine the extent of the issue.
Use the measuring tape to measure the gap between the bottom of the level and the edge of the bathtub, marking the high and low points with your pencil.
Once the measurements have been taken, you'll have a better idea of how much work is needed to correct the problem.
In some cases, repositioning the bathtub on its support structure may be sufficient.
However, more significant leveling issues could require professional assistance to ensure a safe and stable bathtub installation.
Solutions and Adjustment
Now that you've identified the problem and taken necessary measurements, here's what you can do to remedy the problem.
Loosening Supportive Nuts
Begin by loosening the supportive nuts found under your bathtub. These nuts connect the tub's legs or base to the bathroom floor.
Use a wrench to carefully loosen each nut by turning it counterclockwise.
Remember, you don't need to remove them completely; just give some space for the adjustments you'll be making.
Next comes the shimming process. Shimming involves using small, thin pieces of material (usually wood or plastic) called shims to adjust the level of your bathtub.
Place the shims under the low corners or edges of the tub where it's unlevel.
You can use a level to check the position of your bathtub as you make these adjustments.
Keep adding shims and checking the level until your bathtub is even. Make sure to distribute the weight evenly across all the shims so that the tub remains stable.
Elevating The Low Corner
Once your bathtub is level, you'll need to elevate the low corner that you initially identified.
Using wooden blocks or other sturdy materials, place them under the tub's leg or base in the unlevel area.
Make sure the material you use is strong enough to support the weight of the bathtub.
When you're satisfied with the elevation, retighten the supportive nuts that you loosened earlier.
Be sure to check the level one last time to ensure your bathtub is completely level and secure.
Testing And Final Checks
Once you have made the necessary adjustments, it's time to test your bathtub and ensure it's level.
First, place a level tool on the rim of the bathtub. Check it along the length and width of the tub.
The bubble should rest in the center, indicating a level surface. If it's not centered, you may need to adjust the support underneath the bathtub.
Next, fill the bathtub with water. This mimics the weight distribution when the tub is in use.
Recheck the level as you did before. Keep in mind that a slight change might occur when the tub is full.
If the bubble is still in the center, your bathtub is level and ready for use.
To ensure no water leaks, inspect the drain and all pipe connections while the tub is filled with water.
If you notice any leaks, turn off the water supply and repair the issue before continuing with your final checks.
It's important to address any leaks to avoid long-term damage to your bathroom.
Lastly, observe the water draining from the tub, making sure it's flowing smoothly and not pooling in any areas of the bathtub.
A properly level bathtub will drain water efficiently, preventing any standing water that can lead to mold or mildew growth.
After completing the testing and final checks, you can confidently enjoy your bathtub, knowing it's level and functioning well.
Enjoying a Bath in an Even Bathtub
Don't be afraid to consult professional help if you feel unsure about the process. Additionally, ensure that you have the proper tools and materials on hand.
In some cases, the issue might not be with the bathtub itself but with the flooring underneath.
Don't hesitate to examine the subfloor for any signs of damage, and repair them if necessary.
This will not only help with making your bathtub level, but will also prevent potential issues in the future.
Keep in mind that a level bathtub is essential for both its function and appearance.
By taking the appropriate steps and precautions, you can successfully fix a bathtub that is not level and enjoy a relaxing, worry-free bath experience in your newly leveled tub.
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