Bath Panel - Tiling and removal.

Hello all, Bathroom is progressing quite well but I now have a problem that I know you guys will be able to help with. We decided that for the bath panels, we will used plywood covered with ceramic tiles to match the rest of the bathroom. First question: What thickness of ply should I use. I already have a full 8x4 sheet of 6mm ply but I'm worried there might be a little too much flex in this to affix tiles to. Second question: What's the best way of fixing the panels to the bath in a way that they can be removed in case of servicing later on ?
For info, the bath is a whirlpool bath so there is a greater possibility of servicing being required than perhaps on a normal bath.
We have built a timber frame all around the bath so there is effectively a 100mm shelf all the way around the bath. This too will be covered in ply & tiles. The timber frame has then been pushed into a corner and then the bath has been plumbed in/out. Obviously we can screw into the timber frame and then cap the screws but is there are more aesthetically pleasing method incorporating some kind of hidden fixings that we might be able to use? If anyone canot make sense of my description, page 21 of the current Topps Tiles catalogue shows a similar effect to the one we are trying to achieve.
Thanks.
Kevin.
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On 26 May 2005 05:01:56 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@lycos.co.uk babbled like a waterfall and said:

The only other alternative to capped screws that I have come across is the use of ceramic magnets to hold the board against the bath.
The problem with that is that the things grip so firmly that a lever must be used to remove the panel and damage might occur to the tiles.
It does solve the panel problem though and with no visible fixings, if you can get the level of grip needed without making it impossible to get the thing off.
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babbled like a

Thanks for that Eric. I was looking for a solution to hide a conduit box behind a tile, for easy access in the future. Never thought of gluing a magnet to the back of the tile. Brilliant!!! And it works perfectly.
Give that man a coconut. :-)
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On Thu, 26 May 2005 12:53:12 GMT, "BigWallop"

/me makes note in Diary.
"Helped Mr Wallop in the course of his trade"
(But the %$£^£& still wouldn't give me a discount")
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Did a similar thing last year but without the 100mm shelf around. In other words made a panel such that face of tiles is roughly flush with lip edge of bath.
The way I got round the access issue was to cut access squares in the plywood panel, but keep the cutout sections. I then fitted spring catches to the cutout sections such that they click back into place flush with main panel (the catches used were those that you used to see on old fashioned larder doors - not sure of the name).
Then tiled over panel making sure that tiles over the removable panels were stuck to the removable bit only and not the main panel if they overlapped. Made sure that the bottom edge of the lowest tiles were just above the lowest edge of the removable panel. Cut a notch in the bottom of the removable panel to form a slot when in place. Left a slightly thicker grout joint below these tiles. Used removable gasket material rather than grout around the edges of the tiles stuck to the removable panel.
So if the worst happens:
Remove gasket-grout. Insert bent wire "key" into slot below removable panel. Rotate wire key thro 90 degrees to grab back of panel. Pull firmly trying not to snag tile edge. Panel come off complete with fixed tiles. When finished, push back into place and re-"grout".
Phil
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TheScullster wrote:

Ball or Roller catch?
--
Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

"Bales catch".
If the OP can do similar, what I did was to screw a strip of varnished MDF to the top of the panel, which hooked under the lip of the bath, when the whole panel is lifted up. When the panel is lifted, a strip of timber with some quadrant glued to it is slipped under, and screwed to the floor:
Lip of bath ===./ |" MDF strip-> |# |# # <- Bath panel # # # # # #@ <-quadrant === <- stripwood
To remove the panel, just undo the screws which hold the quadrant and stripwood to the floor, pull out the quadrant/stripwood, then the panel simply drops and can be removed.
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No it's kind of an incomplete ring of spring steel, with a diamond shape male part that engages it .
Phil
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The Bath Panel manufacturer I am about to install suggested velcro - so that is the route I am taking.
Paul R

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The Bath Panel manufacturer I am about to install suggested velcro - so that is the route I am taking.
Paul R

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Thanks guys, some good ideas already. I'm not sure that magnets or velcro will work for me as the weight of a tiled panel might be to much. Can't go with Chris's suggestion either because the lip of the bath is sat on the timber frame (shelf). At the moment I'm favouring using a number of 'double ball catches' similar to this :-
http://www.screwfix.com/sfd/i/cat/94/p1387894_x.jpg
If I use at least 4 per panel, I think that should take the weight and keep the panels in place. The only difficulty I can perceive is in getting all of the catches properly aligned in the first place.
As I'm writing, it's just occured to me that I might be able to hinge the panels at the top and use these simple catches near the bottom to help with the weight issue.
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snipped-for-privacy@lycos.co.uk wrote:

So you could have:
____ "shelf" lip of bath / \ / | ######## | |#| <- "#" is a 1/2" sq. batten screwed to |@| underside of "shelf". MDF strip -> |@| <- "@" is a packing piece, screw through | MDF strip to secure all to panel. | | <- bath panel to be tiled. | | | [] is a timber screwed to []|\ the floor as a "stop" []== <- quadrant screwed to strip to pack/ hold the bath panel into position.
The idea is quite uncomplicated, and strong - you need to try and stop the panel bending. I should use something thicker than 1/4", probably 1/2", and also screw a bracing frame to the back of the panel, where it will fit - some 2x1s might do the job.
What sort of tiles are you thinking of using? How are you fixing them on?
Going back to your first and very simple idea, could you use mirror screws?
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