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Old 06-10-2018, 03:21 PM   #1
snrusnak
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Installing a new deep soak tub

Hello everyone, it's been a very long time since I've posted on the forum. Probably about 4 years. I'm about to renovate my master bath/shower. We have a nice bathroom overall but are not happy with the current generic tub/shower combo fiberglass insert.

My wife really wants a deep tub, so based on all my research I've found the american standard evolution tub. It fits in a 5' space, and has a soaking depth of 17.5" which makes our current ~12" seem pathetic lol. I'm just about ready to pull the trigger and order a tub on home depots website, and it's pretty affordable, but I just wanted to make a post to see if anyone has any experience with this tub.

I have read soem bad review about the weird unique drain/overflow that leaks and is difficult to seal. I'm just trying to make sure this is not one of those "nobody who knows what their doing should buy this product" type of deals. I'm not a professional, but I do good work. If any of you remember a thread I had a few years ago during my shower remodel I would think you'll agree I do a nice job.

Anyway, if anyone has experience with this tub any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:30 AM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Sean,

I have no experience with the tub. I would hope someone else might.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:13 AM   #3
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I installed the exact tub. I can understand people having trouble with leaks. It looks like they have someone taking a hand grinder to clean up the bottom surface of the drain seal. I created a special tool to grind it flush. I'll see if I can dig up the pictures I took.

I also took the extra paranoid step of fully installing the plumbing before tiling it in so I could do a leak test.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:13 AM   #4
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Here's the problem:
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Horrible job on this surface for the drain seal. The seal itself is a big squishy thing so it would "probably" still work, but why chance it.

Now, this falls under the category of "If you are a hammer, everything is a nail". Once you have a 3D printer, every problem is solved by printing something. I created a plastic piece (green) with the inside diameter of the drain cutout and then a larger diameter which I glued a piece of sandpaper to. Bolt in the center is chucked in drill motor and I have a custom grinder attachment:
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Here's what it looked like after:
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With care and a steady hand I'm sure you could do almost as good a job by hand.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:11 PM   #5
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Pickup a tube of Dow Corning 795 silicone building sealant. This is a seriously strong yet flexible industrial grade neutral cure silicone sealant. Neutral cure means it doesn't give off any acidic compounds as it cures which makes it more compatible with a variety of building materials.

This stuff is designed for securing and waterproofing windows on buildings. It cures with a high strength and high flexibility. I decided to use it for the drain fittings on my MTI acrylic tub after reading on the aquarium forums that they supposedly use this stuff on the acrylic panels of multi-thousand gallon commercial aquariums and many amateur hobbyists use it to seal their aquarium panels.

I used it to on my acrylic tub to seal the overflow and drain. My favorite thing about it is that it has a really long working time. If you keep some denatured alcohol handy you can use it to easily clean up any excess you don't want. I actually went a little overboard and also used my putty knife to splodge and shape this stuff on the outside of my tub drain fittings and create a secondary gasket that seals the outside elbows to the acrylic tub so that even if the gaskets leak water still can't get out. This was on a second floor and I didn't want any chance of water leaking. It took a long time to cure (full strength is like 21 days) but afterward it is incredibly strong and well adhered.

Needless to say I haven't had any leaks whatsoever and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get the fittings elbows off the tub if I ever had to (drain pipe will need to be cut).



Make sure you properly clean all surfaces with alcohol to make sure you get a clean bonding surface.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:41 AM   #6
snrusnak
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Thank you for the responses! I feel confident I can make the drain work. I don't have a 3D printer but now seeing those pictures I know what I'm dealing with and see I can figure out a way to make it work.

MisterJJ, did you install a drop in or an alcove tub? I'm doing an alcove, just wondering if you have pictures of the finished product? There aren't many good ones online.

Thank you! I'll be trying to complete this job during the week of 4th of July as I'm off. Will post many pictures.

I have a few questions:

1) Being that water/moisture gets behind tile (hence the purpose for using cement board and some type of moisture barrier, which will be plastic/visqueen in my case), if you silicone caulk the bottom horizontal joint between the tile and tub, doesn't this trap moisture? What is the proper way to handle this joint?

2) The instructions for this tub require it to be set in a mud bed. I've set a few tubs, but none required a mud bed. I have used both sand and expanding foam in the past just for a little more stability on those tubs. I used to work for a masonry contractor so am familiar with mortar mix. Do I need to have 100% complete coverage on the bottom of the tub or is it more of a few big globs spread over the surface area? What's the best way to handle this?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:40 PM   #7
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Make a bunch of piles otherwise, you'll not be able to push the tub down into it and level it. The bottom is rarely perfectly even nor is the floor perfect. You can use a sheet of plastic on the floor and another over the top of it. That can help prevent the floor from absorbing too much moisture out of the mix before it can cure, and the layer on top can help if you ever want to remove it, but generally, that's not a problem.
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Old 06-23-2018, 06:31 PM   #8
snrusnak
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I picked up the new tub today, the drain and overflow are not quite as bad as the picture MisterJJ posted, but it is not perfect. I plan to just quickly hit it with a sander to smooth it slightly. I did notice that the instructions that come with the drain kit specify to use silicone between the tub and the rubber gaskets.

I may start tearing out my old fiberglass insert tomorrow, if I have time. We also chose tile today, but haven't bought it yet. Last on the list is figuring out what brand my shower valve body assembly is so I can buy an oil rubbed bronze kit to fit it.

I have another question, more directly related to tile. I will be putting visqueen and cement board around the whole shower area, but we are going to run til further around the room. Is it ok to tile directly to the painted drywall, or will it not bond well? I can pull it off and put cement board if needed, just more work...
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:49 PM   #9
Raymond S
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Tiling on the painted drywall is perfectly fine. If you wanted to scuff up the paint a little bit with sandpaper before tiling it wouldnít hurt.
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:33 PM   #10
snrusnak
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Ok thanks for the response. That will be much easier than putting cement board up.

Is there any reason NOT to install the drain kit and overflow to the tub, prior to installing the tub? It will be 100x easier than trying to do so through the 8x8 access panel with a stud right in the middle.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:42 PM   #11
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Here's some pictures of what I'm starting with. Didn't get to start demo today, had too many other things going on. Plus it's about 100 deg. out.....

I may try to start demo during the week if I have enough energy after work. I plan to cut the fiberglass insert out in 3 pieces.

Critisize me if you see any fault, but I plan to run tile all the was to the corner of the wall on the shower head side (assuming the corner is nearly perfectly straight vertical). if it isn't, I"ll stay back from the corner a few inches. I am going to use the metal bullnose edging instead of a border piece of tile. We plan to tile all the way to the ceiling also. On the wall opposite the shower head we plan to tile the entire wall, about 6' wide, not just the portion where the shower is at.
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:50 PM   #12
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I'm obviously no photographer.........lol
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:45 PM   #13
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So I demo'd the shower wednesday and thursday after work. I'm very happy to say that the drain location will fit my new tub just fine. I will have to cut the copper supply and move the fixture, so might as well buy a new one. Will start that tomorrow.

I've had a sudden change of plans on the shower surround. I've heard great things about cultured marble from some people locally, and a local business that's been doing it for a very long time. I looked at some friend's bathrooms that had the product installed 15+ years ago and it looks brand new. We went to the local business to check out some samples to see if we liked it. We really liked it, and the price (including install) is very reasonable. About double what the tile will cost me in materials. Plus I don't have to do anything really after I set the tub. We plan to go this route.

A few questions though....is the cultured marble impermeable? i.e. can I just put purple board up on the tub surround instead of visqueen and cement board? Or what is the preferred install for this product?

Additionally, the original installer who did the fiberglass enclosure shimmed all three walls so that the drywall would fit over the enclosure flange. I guess this is smart and a nice clean install, but now I'm debating pulling down all the drywall to remove all the shims. See attached picture. I don't think I can get the tub in otherwise.... Thoughts???

Thanks!
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:47 PM   #14
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Yes, the "cultured marble" (usually polyester resin and marble dust) is water impermeable, but the joints are not. On a tub surround, your most common points of failure will be where there is no tiling flange above the tub for the panels to fit over, and there will be such areas on your tub.

There is no real advantage to installing anything other than plain white drywall where you intend to install the manufactured marble panels. If the installation leaks, the drywall with fail, be it white or green or purple.

I can't tell what you're showing us in your photo. Sorry. Perhaps others will know.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 06-29-2018, 09:14 PM   #15
snrusnak
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Thanks CX. I do understand that the joints won't be impenetrable...

The tub that we purchased does have an integral tile flange, so there should be no issue there...

The picture I posted is at the corner of the old fiberglass tub/shower insert. I was trying to show how the installer used something similar to paint stir sticks to "shim" the drywall out about an 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch, so that the drywall would overlap the flange from the shower insert, and not make a "bulge".

So I think the best way to attack this is to pull all the drywall down that is "shimmed" and redrywall. Not that big of a deal. Would rather do that than cement board!!!
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