Bath Waste Kits Guide

Bath Waste Kits - What's it all about then? Look no further, your search is over, the font of all knowledge of bath waste kits is here...his Rick.....

Rick Says: The complete waste kit for your bath is used here to mean all the above ground plumbing required except for the taps.

The complete waste kit you need will consist of some or all of the following:

  1. Bath Waste Kit (with overflow pipe) - this is all the fittings you see inside the bath as well as the overflow pipe. The fittings inside the bath consist of the plug & chain or popup & control as well as the overflow grill. The overflow pipe is on the outside of the bath, it carries water that goes through the overflow down and then under the bath where it joins up with the pipe that comes down from where the plug hole is. The different kinds of waste are described in more detail below.
  2. Trap and Outlet Pipe - these go under the bath. The trap is short length of tubing with a wiggle in it, it attaches to where the bottom of the waste (see above) and the overflow pipe meet under the bath and carries waste water from both of these to the outlet or waste pipe. The outlet pipe is a length of piping with a right angled bend in it about 60cm long and then 25cm after the bend, it takes water from the trap either out through the floor or sideways out through a wall. The outlet pipe connects at both ends with pressure connections (rubber, push on connections). This means that it can be cut shorter at either end if required and can fit on either way round. We only supply chrome traps and pipes, in most cases where the trap and pipe are not expected to be visible you can use bog-standard plastic ones that your plumber can supply.
  3. Standpipes and Pipe shrouds - not really part of the waste kit but often considered part of the same complete kit. These cover exposed pipework that takes water to your taps. Standpipes and pipe shrouds are only required if this pipework is visible, with standard panel baths that fix to the wall these are almost never needed, however with freestanding baths they often are. Broadly speaking there are three ways of mounting your taps. Firstly taps can be wall mounted, wall mounted taps never require standpipes or pipeshrouds because all the plumbing to supply water to them is behind the wall. Next, and most commonly, taps can, on most baths, be mounted on the edge of the bath. In this case the bath will have tap holes and water feeds - either copper piping or flexible braided metal hoses - which come up from the floor and attach to the taps sitting above the holes on the edge of the bath. When these pipes are visible either because the bath is freestanding away from the wall, or where it is against a wall but can be seen by looking along and between the wall and the bath then you would use pipe shrouds to cover them. Pipe shrouds are usually chrome but are also available in other finishes. On this site the term pipe shroud is used to mean only those stand pipes that are not designed to take the weight of the tap (the tap weight is supported by the ledge of the bath that it sits on). Pipe shrouds have an adjustable attachment that allows them to fit on any bath that has ledge mounted taps. Finally taps can be freestanding, not on the edge of the bath but supported solely by standpipes coming out of the floor, like pipe shrouds the standpipes themselves do not carry any water the water feeds go up through the standpipes and join with the taps, the standpipes cover the water feeds with a chrome (usually) tube and support the weight of the taps. Stand pipes are not adjustable but are available in different fixed sizes. For monobloc taps mono standpipes are available - a mono standpipe takes both the hot and cold water feeds in a single pipe.


What Different Styles Of Bath Waste Kit Are There?

This section describes the different styles of waste kit - chain waste, popup and click-clack - and describes how each of these come in two different flavours - exposed and concealed.

  1. Chain Waste - this is the traditional chain and plug we all know and love. The ones we sell are all what are known as stowaway or retainer chain wastes, these have a kind of recessed overflow, and when the plug is not in use it will fit snugly into it, neatly out of the way. This is usually the best choice for a traditional style bathroom.
  2. Pop Up Waste - these are the ones I remember as a kid in France on holiday, but that was 30 years ago, in those days you couldn't get a popup waste or decent cup of coffee anywhere in the UK for luv nor money!! I digress. A popup waste is one where a chrome dial sits over the overflow (just proud of it so water can still drain through) - you turn it and the plug pops down and shuts, you turn it back and the plug pops up again letting the bath drain. This is the sophisticated choice - think Monte Carlo and the French Riviera.
  3. Click-Clack Waste - also called a sprung plug, this is similar to the popup but instead of using a dial you just push the plug in with your finger and it clicks shut, to open it you push it in again and it clicks open. This comes with a circular, convex, chrome plate that sits over the overflow (just proud of it so water can still drain through). This is the ultra-modern, minimalist option ideal for when you are having a soak listening to Phillip Glass and reading your Jacque Derrida!!
  4. Overflow Filler and Waste Kit - this combines a waste kit, which will either be of the click-clack or popup style with a bath filler. Combined with a (shower) valve, manual valve or pair of stop taps you can use this kit to operate the plug and to fill the bath from an outlet concealed in the overflow.


Each of these waste kits* are available in two different versions Exposed and Concealed, read on...

  1. Concealed Waste Kit - a concealed waste kit is one where certain parts of the waste will not be visible to people using the bathroom. Clearly all the parts of the waste kit that are in the bath (grills for the plug and overflow, plug, chain) are visible and so they have to be chrome (or gold or nickel...) not plastic. The overflow pipe on the outside of the bath however may not be visible for instance if the bath is against a wall in an alcove. In these cases the overflow pipe can be made of plastic and this reduces the cost of the kit.
  2. Exposed Waste Kit - an exposed waste kit is one where all the parts of the kit are visible. For example, if a freestanding bath with feet was placed in a bathroom such that a person could walk right around it then you would need the overflow pipe to be chrome (or gold,nickel etc) as well as all the fittings in the bath, this is where you would use an exposed waste kit.
*except for overflow filler waste which are only available in concealed versions


How Should I Choose a Waste Kit For My Freestanding Bath?

First some special considerations:
  • Baths without overflow: Some baths, notable some contemporary slim edged baths and some metal baths such as copper boat baths, don't have an overflow. Generally with these you would use an unslotted bath click clack waste, this is much the same as a contemporary basin waste that you might but in a basin without an overflow but is the right size for a bath.
  • Baths with integrated overflow: Some slim edged contemporary freestanding baths have an integrated overflow. A integrated overflow is one were the overflow pipe is fitted into the bath during the manufacturing process as the space where it it fitted is inaccessible once the bath is completed. In these cases you will use a slotted bath click clack waste.
  • Installing baths on a concrete floor: When the bath is to be installed on a solid, i.e. concrete floor, so that all of the waste kit must stay above ground level then especially in the case of some skirted contemporary baths that come low to the ground you may need to fit a specialized ultra shallow trap and/or cut a hole in the outer skin of the bath to take the waste pipe out of. If you are installing onto a concrete floor you should check these details when you buy the bath.
Now find out if you need an exposed or concealed waste kit:
  1. Is my bath installed more or less against a wall? Yes - Goto 2. No - Goto 3.
  2. Will it possible to see the overflow pipe when the bath is installed? Yes - Goto 3. No - Goto 4.*
  3. You need an Exposed waste kit.
  4. You need a Concealed waste kit.
*For some contemporary style baths the overflow pipe goes between the inner and outer 'skins' of the bath and so cannot be seen in any installation, in these cases use a concealed waste kit. Otherwise, for a double ended bath (one where the overflow is in the middle, lengthwise, rather than at one end) if the bath is against a wall and in an alcove so that it is not possible to get around either end of the bath and see down between the bath and the wall to where the overflow pipe is then you can probably use a concealed waste kit, otherwise you should use an exposed one.

For a single ended freestanding bath (one where the plug hole and overflow are at one end of the bath) you will nearly always need an exposed waste kit. The exception would be if the plug end of the bath were tucked into an alcove so the overflow pipe could not be seen.


Now choose the style of waste kit:


  1. Traditional - get a chain waste, exposed or concealed as recommended above.
  2. Continental Chic - get a popup waste, exposed or concealed as recommended above.
  3. Minimalism - get a click-clack waste, exposed or concealed as recommended above, or an overflow filler and suitable valve if you want to combine the bath filler as well.


And the Exposed trap and outlet pipe:


  1. If you need an exposed waste kit (see above) and your bath has feet or stands on a cradle or plinth then you will probably need this, otherwise use plastic equivalents supplied by your plumber.


And lastly standpipes or pipeshrouds if required:


  1. Are you having taps mounted on the edge of the bath (with tap holes drilled in the edge of the bath) and an exposed waste kit? Yes - Goto 2; No - Goto 3.
  2. Do you need an exposed waste kit (see above)? Yes - Use Adjustable Pipe Shrouds to cover the water feeds.
  3. Are your taps to be freestanding (mounted from the floor not the wall)? Yes - Goto 4
  4. Does your tap come with a standpipes already fitted? Yes - You don't need standpipes; No - Goto 5
  5. Are you using a monobloc tap (one which if on the edge of the bath would need only one hole)? - Use a mono standpipe
  6. Does your tap have a hand held shower attached but with no integral hook to rest it on? - Use minimalist standpipes
  7. Is you tap a traditional one either with no hand held shower or with one that rests over the top of the tap on a 'telephone style' rest? - Use 660mm or 700mm standpipes (see below**)
**In general the standpipes should be at least as high as the point on the bath over which the taps must reach, after this a higher tap will look more imposing so if you want to show off the taps you might opt for the higher standpipe.

N.B. You should take care when choosing taps for standpipes to get ones that are suitable. In particular the reach of the tap must be sufficient to nicely clear the rim of the bath. In general for traditional taps use cranked leg taps and you'll be ok and for contemporary taps as long as you don't use separate hot and cold taps and only use mixers of one sort or another you should be ok. If in doubt check.


Tips For Plumbing In Freestanding Bath Waste Kits:


  1. Many freestanding baths have limited space underneath them which means that you may need to fit a shallow seal trap rather than a standard trap. Where a shallow trap is fitted the outlet pipe cannot go back towards the overflow end/side of the bath because the overflow pipe will get in the way, therefore you must plan your plumbing to lead the outlet pipe away from the overflow pipe. Always make sure the trap you use complies with building regulations for your partcular waste system type.
  2. Where your bath goes down to the floor without feet and you are taking the waste pipe out through the floor use a flexible waste pipe then hold the bath up on blocks to connect the trap and outlet pipe, test and once satisfied fix the bath to the floor..
  3. If you are fitting on to a concrete floor and need to lead the waste out above the floor level then always check when you buy a freestanding bath that this can be done and if you will need a specialist kit to do this make sure you get it along with the bath.
  4. For baths that go down to the floor you can usually fix them down using a bead of silicon resin around the base of the bath, ideally use plenty of silicon and if possible fill the bath with water once applied so that the weight of the water presses the bath down as the silicon sets. If its not practical to fill the bath with water put a dust sheet in it and weight it down with something heavy like a bag of tile cement. Some baths can also be bolted to the floor, but this is usually not necessary. Others come with a fixing kit similar or the same as those used to fix WCs to the floor, these fis the bath to the floor at anchor points using plastic brackets.
  5. Many traditional baths come with feet that have an adjustable pad underneath which had a bolt attached that fixes into the foot casting and can be used to raise the foot up and down. Usually these baths can be fixed to the floor by applying silicon to the bottom of these pads and cementing the bath to the floor like this. Use the technique discussed in the last bullet point, i.e. plenty of silicon and weigh the bath down with water or something else whilst the silicon is setting.


Chrome, Polished Nickel and Brushed Nickel Bath Waste Kits

All the bath waste kits we sell come as standard in chrome. That is, the visible metal parts of the waste kit are brass that has been chrome plated during manufacture. We are amongst the few suppliers of replated polished and brushed nickel bath waste kits in the UK. We can have any of the chrome waste kits we supply replated and finished in either nickel or brushed nickel. If you are interested in giving you bathroom that touch of class that both these nickel finishes impart please contact us with any enquiries or queries you have. We can supply samples of both finishes on request.


All baths vary and in every case you must make reference to the individual requirements of your bath before proceeding. If in doubt take advice. All information given here is given in good faith but is the opinion of the author only and the author and Classical Baths do not accept any responsibility for any losses resulting from any actions (including and especially ordering and/or fitting of inappropriate or incorrect parts) taken on the basis of information or advice given here or anywhere else on this site.