Unless you have a freestanding, roll top bath, your bath will need panels to finish it off: the underside of a fitted bath, behind the panels, is not at all attractive to look at.
Depending on where your bath is sited, you may need anywhere between one and four panels. A bath fitted in a recess in the bathroom will need only one front panel, while a bath fitted in a corner will need a front panel and an end panel. Bath panels come in different sizes and shapes: a standard length bath is 1770mm, so if your bath is this size it will be the work of moments to find several designs which fit, and you’ll be left with only the task of choosing your favoured style, or the style which best suits your bathroom furniture.
If your bath is not a standard size, you can opt for acrylic panels which you can then cut to shorten. Acrylic panels, which are relatively easy to cut, are also useful in a bathroom with protruding pipes or skirting boards, as you can also cut your panels to fit around these obstructions.
Adjustable panels, finally, will fit baths of different heights: one panel, for example, could be adjusted to fit a bath that is anywhere between 460mm and 595mm in height.
Alternatively, if you’re a good DIYer, you might like to craft your own bath panels. Tongue and groove panelling is a cheap but effective way of finishing off a simple bathroom suite or adding instant style to the walls around a set of basic fitted bathroom furniture. Simply panel up to mid-height on your walls and panel in your fitted bath, then use gloss or bathroom paint to complete the look. This will save you money on tiles (and a tiler) and bring a coordinated look to your bathroom that can be easily updated with a quick coat of a different coloured paint and some new handles on your bathroom furniture in a few years. modular enclosure
To fit a shop bought, acrylic bath panel, you should begin by removing old panels and cleaning the area around and beneath the bath.
Then, begin by sizing your panel. Attach the bath panel plinth to the bottom of your panel and trim the lower edge of the plinth if necessary, to compensate for any unevenness of the floor. Measure carefully and cut the panel to fit around any protrusions. Cut the panel to the correct width if it is too large, ensuring you cut the end which will sit against the wall.
Next, fix a horizontal softwood batten to the floor, the outer edge of the batten flush with the edge of the bath, and fix vertical battens to the walls. Your bath panel fits under the rim of the bath and can be screwed to these battens so that it sits neatly in place.