Before you undertake a job like trying to design and build a new bathroom it’s important to ensure you are complying with your countries building regulations. In New Zealand it’s not actually legal to do DIY laying of new pipes. Essentially the only plumbing you can do yourself is connecting different appliances to existing plumbing connections. See more information here: https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/diy-legal-restrictions. The main reason for this restriction on plumbing work is that it is what carries your drinking water to your home and removes your wastewater, incorrect plumbing can have serious health implications.

In this guide, we are going to help you take the first basic steps towards getting your new bathroom, including what work you can do and what work you need to employ a licensed plumber to do.

Step 1 Mapping out your bathroom 

Making sure you have enough space to position and plumb all of your bathroom fittings is of the utmost importance when designing your own bathroom. You need to ensure that all the elements of your bathroom be it the shower, sink or bath all fit in the space you have allocated. Since your plumber will have to cut a number of holes in the walls and floors to run your pipes through. It is important that the planning is done right as it could lead to difficulties with the plumber later on.

  • Plan how you would like your bathroom to be laid out. Where you want your bath, shower, toilet and vanity.
  • We highly recommend you now consult with a licensed plumber, because your bathroom layout could have a serious effect on the cost of plumbing.

Hire a Plumber

Now you need to hire a licensed plumber who will complete steps 2-9 for you.

Step 2 Making the cuts 

Your plumber will be very careful not to damage the structure of your bathroom or cut any existing systems. They will drill through the walls and floors of your room to create access holes for the piping. The old adage of measure twice cut once is definitely appropriate here as it is very important your plumber gets the cuts right at this early stage.

Step 3 Turn off the water

Unfortunately during the process you will need to go without water as your plumber will need to switch it off. While working on your bathroom it is important to ensure that your water is turned off. You want to minimise the amount of time you are without water but some of this process needs to be done in dry conditions. Therefore the water needs to go off for the whole house. Your plumber will locate the main water valve for your home and turn it off.

Step 4 Run The Water Pipes

Now that the holes have been drilled and the water is switched off, your plumber will need to run the water lines from the mains. Typically they will need two lines for every facility other than the toilet, one for hot water and another for cold water. So two for the shower, two for the sink, two for the bath and one cold water line for the toilet. Your plumber will determine the best way to run your plumbing lines either through the floor or wall dependant on how your bathroom is planned.

Step 5 Connect the hot and cold water

Next your plumber will run flexible lines for the hot and cold water you intend to use for your bath, vanity sink, shower and toilet systern and connect them to the appropriate slot. Once these have been connected to the appropriate bathroom utility your plumber will need to make the connection to the mains by gluing or welding the connection – depending on the the pipe material used.

Step 6 Connect the drainage lines

For your bathroom there will be a number of different drainage line sizes used dependant on the facilities you’ve chosen to install in the bathroom. Typically the drain lines for a toilet use approximately 100mm drain lines. After your plumber attaches the pipe to the toilet drain they will ensure that the pipe slopes downward towards the main drainage line. They will then do the same for the bathroom sink, shower and bath, making sure to use the correct pipe size for your drains.

Step 7 Setting the toilet up

Usually the toilet bowl is the first part installed for the toilet. To set up the toilet, your plumber will connect the closest flange from the waste pipe to your toilet. Making sure that it is glued it in such a way that the slots line up with the toilets bolt holes. Next the bowl is positioned over the bolts and onto the flange ensuring that the flange is sitting correctly on the toilet. While installing the flange your plumber will need to ensure that the toilet bowl stays level before tightening the nuts and washers affixing the bowl to the ground. The toilets tank is then attached to the bowl using the nuts and bolts that came with it. Once all that is done the tank can then be attached to the toilet, the water line is connected and the base of the toilet bowl is caulked to secure and seal the toilet in place.

Step 8 installing the sink

When your plumber installs the sink they will first position the stand and do a test fit of the sink. Ensuring it aligns up with the holes. Once test fitted the sink, they will mark where the floor bolt for the stand should go and drill a hole through the sink stand to fasten it to the floor (or to the wall if you have a hung vanity). Once this is done, your plumber will connect the hot and cold water lines to their appropriate taps as well as the handles, stoppers and drainage to the appropriate parts of your sink. Once your sink is all connected, they will set the sink onto its stand and glue its adapter with threads on to the drain pipe.

Step 9 Installing the bath or shower

To install the shower or bath your plumber will need to mark the outline of your tub or shower on the floor to get a good estimation of where the drain will be. Once determined where the drainage will go your plumber can run the drainage line and dry fit it. Once your plumber has run the waste line and lined it up to the tub, it will be connected to the waste line and your hot and cold water lines will be connected with your faucets.

With the help of a qualified plumber you can easily get the bathroom layout and design you are wanting. Whether you’re looking for a plumber in Auckland, or if you need a plumber in Wellington or Christchurch, it is important that hire a certified plumber to complete your plumbing work.

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