How to make a mortar bed for a bath

Tim
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How to make a mortar bed for a bath

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Project Overview

You can keep a bath from moving around inside its frame by laying a mortar bed. We’ll teach you how to set the bath firmly into the mortar. You will also learn how to mix the mortar properly and build a barrier to hold it in place while it dries.
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This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How To Install a Bath
Weigh down bath with cement bags
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00:13
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How to weigh down a bath

If you need to weigh a bath down, the easy thing to do is to fill it with water. But when your bath hasn’t been plumbed yet, use a few heavy bags of sand or cement to do the job instead.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Install fibre cement lining for the mortar bed
2 Mix the mortar for the bed for your bath
3 Make the mortar bed for the bath.
4 Place the bath in the mortar bed
  • Step 1. Install fibre cement lining for the mortar bed

    Measure the internal dimensions of your bath frame. Use a fibro cement cutter to cut lengths of fibre cement sheeting to fit. The sheeting will act as internal walls for the cradle and hold the mortar in place. They should be about 50mm higher than the bottom of the bath.
  • Step 2. Mix the mortar for the bed for your bath

    Use a shovel to mix up the mortar in your wheelbarrow. The mix ratio is four parts sand to one part cement. The mortar will be used to form a mound under the bath, so add your water in stages to make sure it doesn’t get too runny.  Check out our How to mix mortar video for tips on the best way to do this.
  • Step 3. Make the mortar bed for the bath.

    Shovel the mortar into the bath frame, filling the space about 50mm higher than where the bottom of the bath will rest. Keep a clear space where the drain will be plumbed for the bath. To make this job a bit easier, you can temporarily take out one of the fibre cement sheets. 
  • Step 4. Place the bath in the mortar bed

    Get someone to help you lift the bath into the cradle. Then make sure it rests on the frame and sits snugly in the mortar bed. Now fill the bath with something heavy to weigh it down. In this case, because our bath isn’t plumbed, we’ve used bags of brickies sand. Once the bath is firmly in place, finish the job by using your hands to mould the mortar around the base of the bath and leave it to set for 24 hours.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Dust mask
  • Fibro cement cutter
  • Gloves
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety glasses
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow

Materials

  • Brickies sand
  • General purpose cement
  • Fibro cement sheeting
  • Pencil
  • Water
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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