Connecting key electrical bathroom fixtures and fittings

Now is when you see everything coming together into a usable space. It’s where bathroom designs stop being just ideas and become reality.

During the second fix stage, you’ll finally connect key bathroom fixtures and fittings to the wires and pipes you’ve put down for them.

Although a lot of the major electrical work will have been completed at the first fix stage, you will still have a couple of finishing touches to install, such as shaver sockets, extractor fans, ceiling spotlights and thermostats.

  • 1. Things to consider before you begin

    Who is qualified to do the work?

    The person who carries out all electrical work on the bathroom project should be a qualified electrician, whether that’s you or another member of your team. As with every stage of the installation, you need a trained professional to do this type of work, however minor.

    How long do you need for the work?

    Each individual electrical task at this point can seem quite minor. However, you’ve probably learnt from experience that when you consider all the different features of many modern bathroom designs, the jobs can quickly add up. The bathroom you’re working on might include the full menu of modern features, including underfloor heating, recessed lighting and multiple outlets.

    How will the finished work look?

    Up until the second fix, you will have been laying the groundwork for the bathroom’s practical functions. Now, however, cosmetic issues are a lot more important.

    It’s immensely satisfying to see outlets, fans and other items set into walls or ceilings and installed with precision. Your client will love it when you leave them neatly aligned, with no traces of adhesives or sealants visible around their edges.

  • 2. Common second fix electrical tasks

    A wide range of electrical tasks might crop up at the second fix stage, like some of the previously mentioned tasks. Below is a more detailed look at a few of them to refresh your memory.

    One obvious but obligatory reminder: switch off the power supply before you embark on any of these tasks.

    Adding light fittings

    You’ve run all the cables you need for the bathroom lights through the walls and ceiling during the first fix stage. If the bathroom only has a simple ceiling light such as a pendant light, you won’t have to do much more at this point.

    However, many modern bathroom designs feature recessed spotlights, which means connecting each light to the wires you installed at the first fix stage. Next, neatly slot each light into the carefully measured hole you created for it earlier on in the renovation process. Show off your precision again, and fit the light perfectly with no extra space around it, where it’s held in place by unseen spring clips. See our range of ceiling spotlights.

    You’ll know if you have to check the spotlights from both angles, standing below in the bathroom as well as going to the room or attic space above. Setting up a work platform can make the process of fitting spotlights far easier.

    Mounting the underfloor heating thermostat

    Not all bathrooms have underfloor heating, but you’ve probably noticed that new bathroom ideas increasingly include this feature.

    You will already have chosen the location, run the cables and installed the back box during the first fix stage, so all that remains now is to connect up the wires and mount the thermostat itself.

    Visit the dedicated underfloor heating section to learn more about underfloor heating installation.

    This video on underfloor heating by Flexel is another helpful guide.

    Installing shaver sockets and other outlets

    Again, most of the in-depth work for this will have already been carried out, but you will need to fit the socket itself and connect its wires to the main circuit.

    Wiring an extractor fan

    Most extractor fans connect to the light circuit, meaning they come on and off in response to the light switch. You’ve already laid the cables that will connect the fan to the circuit, so now you just need to join those wires to the ones in the fan unit itself.

    Find out more about extractor fan installation.


  • What is the best method for wiring an extractor fan?

    Since extractor fans usually connect to light circuits, wiring them at the second fix stage is usually just a matter of connecting up the cable you’ve already laid.

    Further information on extractor fan wiring >>>

  • How do I add light fittings in the bathroom?

    This very much depends on the kind of lights you’re fitting, but by the second fix stage, you’ll already have laid down all the cables you need. At this point, you might need to connect up a pendant light, or slot ceiling spotlights into position.

  • What are the benefits of a timer fan?

    Timer fans are more efficient than basic or humidistat fans. This is because they come on every time the bathroom light is switched on, and stay working for a set amount of time after the light has been switched off.

  • Where is the best place to fit an extractor fan?

    This will depend on the layout of the bathroom and whether you think the fan will be best placed on a wall leading to the exterior or built into the ceiling. To prevent mould inside, the fan vents should process the damp air outside the building.

    It is also important to consider the placement of the cables, ensuring that wiring can easily connects to the lighting circuit.

    Learn more about where to place an extractor fan >>>

  • How do I fit an extractor fan?

    First, calculate what size of extractor fan is needed for the bathroom, and where best to place it. Then you’ll want to follow these key steps to install the extractor fan:

    • Position the fan
    • Install the duct pipe
    • Finish the wiring

    Find more advice on extractor fan installation >>>

  • How do I install underfloor heating?

    Start by fitting a switched fuse spur and laying the wires for the thermostat, as well as placing the heating wire and temperature sensor.

    To see the full guide, find more detailed tips on installing underfloor heating >>>