Project managed bathroom, en suite & downstairs loo installations

Bristan Shower Fixing Bracket For Plasterboard Walls

This article explains how to use a Bristan Wall mount 11 Fixing Kit to attach any standard bar mixer shower onto pipework in a boarded stud wall.

 

Introduction

Bristan Shower Fixing Kit With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

This item is similar to other bar mixer fitting kits and works in exactly the same way but it is installed at 1st fix – before tiling

This differs from similar kits that are installed at 2nd fix e.g. this kit and this kit.

Bristan Shower Wall Mount Bracket With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

Bristan Wall Mount Bracket Out Of The Box With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

 

I would recommend this kit for stud walls as in this example as it allows you to easily maintain accurate 150mm centres, ensuring your shower valve will easily attach at 2nd fix.

 

Process

Shower Pipework 150mm Centres With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

You should have 2 x 15mm copper pipes protruding from the wall (with the water turned off) at the intended location of the thermostatic bar mixer valve (hot on the left, cold on the right) at 150mm centres.

Both pipes should be cleaned using wire wool or abrasive mesh strips which are a bit kinder on the hands and allow easy cleaning of pipes that are jammed up against walls.

Plasterboarded Walls With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

The walls are then boarded with plasterboard or tile backer boards with holes cut to allow the pipes to pass through (and screwed to the studs to secure.)

PS Please ensure your pipe elbows are further behind the surface of the plasterboard than mine are – they will clash with the bracket otherwise (I’ll know for next time!)

150mm Pipe Centres With Hole Cutout Marked With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

Shower Valve Installation Process With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

A letterbox around the pipes is then marked to be removed – 50mm high and 230mm wide as seen above (centred horizontally & vertically on the pipes).

Cutting The Pipework Down With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

This plasterboard is then removed with a padsaw to allow the wall plate to slide over the 2 protruding pipes.

Levelling The Pipework With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

The wall plate is then secured to the plasterboard by either screwing through it into the studs behind or using the specially designed plastic lugs.

It is checked for level whilst securing.

Tightening The Compression Fitting With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

The protruding pipework is cut down using a pipe slice to ensure a square cut and the ends are then de-burred.

The olives are slid over the pipes followed by the fixing bridge – These are then tightened up against the wall plate, crushing the olive and forming a watertight compression fitting. This is exactly the same process as with other fixings kits here & here.

Shower Valve Fixing Kit With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

 

Tips of the trade
As with all compression fittings, knowing how much to tighten up the fitting to ensure a watertight seal is something that comes with experience, but if you find the spanner slipping off the fixing bridge, chances are it’s tight enough!Now is the time that you may wish to add some ¾ brass cap with a rubber washer inside to act as a stop end and turn the water on. If either of the compression joints are leaking, they may need to be ‘nipped up’ a little more before progressing.

No leaks means time for tiling!

PS I would recommend tanking the walls before tiling.

Post Tiling With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

Here you can see that the bracket has been tiled over, with the tiles being cut round the shrouds.

The shower valve has been attached (once the water has been turned off) to the fixing bridges to show how everything fits together.

To finish off the installation (aesthetically) the shower valve is removed and chrome covers are screwed onto the wall bracket to cover the union between the fixing bridge and the shower valve.

The 2 part design of the chrome covers is quite nice in that it allows a bit of adjustment with regards to different thicknesses of tile, which is important as it is installed before tiling.

Installed Shower Valve With Bathroom Installation In Leeds

The bar mixer shower is finally screwed onto the fixing bridge as shown, ensuring that all necessary rubber washers and filters are in place.

Take care not to damage the chrome plated surfaces!

Tips of the trade
PS Be sure to attach the shower hose & head to the valve when setting the height of the riser rail to ensure everything fits together properly.

 

Is it any good?

For:

  • Fairly cheap at around £25.
  • Accurate 150mm centres maintained through the 1 piece design (unlike this one and this one.)
  • Water connections are made in front of the finished wall surface (unlike traditional ‘Z’ connectors.)
  • Bar valve is secured to the wall which makes the installation more secure than some other methods.
  • Suitable for any bar valve using 3/4” female threads with 150mm centres.
  • No need for 2nd fix drilling of tiles – great for porcelain & other hard to drill tiles!
  • No risk of cracking tiles when attaching (as with other 1st fix fitting kits that need screwing to the wall AFTER tiling.)
  • Shrouds help to keep water outside the fitting and there are fewer pathways for water to migrate into the wall due to its design.

Against:

  • Only suitable for stud wall installations – NOT SOLID WALLS
  • Due to the depth of the unit, pipe fittings eg the speedfit elbows in this example must be kept 20mm back from the surface of the plasterboard or they will clash with the bracket.
  • The lip on the back of the unit (which gives it rigidity) will need trimming if a vertical stud falls within its footprint as the lip is inexplicably larger than the depth of most board materials. This is infuriating!

 

Summary

I would thoroughly recommend this kit for installing bar mixer showers in stud walls but please ensure there’s no fittings or studs to clash with the back of the bracket or you’ll have to cut it down and the plastic is quite hard so this makes it a bit of a faff.

Please see here for the manufacturers fitting instructions.

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