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Unread 03-01-2020, 03:21 PM   #1
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Measuring an alcove tub with tile above

I need to replace an alcove tub with tile on the three walls. From the sheetrock wall on the left to the sheetrock wall on the right is 47 3/4 inches wide. (Tile to tile is less.)

I assume the tub is wider than that because I think it starts under the sheetrock. I need to buy a new tub, but I don't know if a 60" tub will fit. I can't tear it out yet to measure it because we still need to find a tile installer.

What is the current wall material when replacing an alcove tub and wall tiles? The current tub/tile is at least 40 years old, and we are betting they put plain sheetrock behind the tile. I don't know if much has changed in regards to what goes under a tub, but maybe plumbing size is different? What questions should I be asking the installers? (Plumbers and tile installers.)

Any advice? Thank you.
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Unread 03-01-2020, 03:36 PM   #2
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If it measures 47 3/4" then you have an odd-sized tub.

Maybe you mean 57 3/4"?

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Unread 03-01-2020, 04:02 PM   #3
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Wrong measurements!

Oh, sorry! Yes, It is 57 3/4". Thanks for catching that.
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Unread 03-01-2020, 04:32 PM   #4
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It appears to be a standard 60" (nominal) tub. Note, the opening size once you get things cleaned off will likely be at least 60", and may be a little more. That can be an issue as many 60" tubs are slightly less than that so you are assured to be able to fit it in place, but common for a pro to handle. Throws some DIY'ers off though.

As part of the remodel, you'll be replacing the valve. You might want to read my tutorial on "why I like thermostatically controlled valves" over at www.terrylove.com. Not saying you should go that way, but I also discuss those that are legal to install on a remodel.

Tub drains are typically 1.5", and have been for a very long time, so the main drain line is probably okay. Depends on what it is made out of. If there's any galvanized in there, replace it during the remodel. The P-trap may or may not need to be moved, and older houses tend to have more S-traps, and if so, that should be changed to a P-trap and a proper vent line.

Unless the tub is cast iron, it usually works out best to bed the thing in mortar. Even then, it may be required to level the thing. That makes the plastic ones feel much more substantial, and helps to prevent stress cracks...the plastic or fiberglass tubs tend to flex a bit, and the support makes a huge difference. Some instructions say it is optional, but IMHO, it's not. It not only supports the bottom, it also allows you to level the tub so that water doesn't pool against a wall, and drains properly.

Unless you're using one of only two waterproofing products, drywall has no place in a wet install. Moisture resistant drywall hasn't been allowed by the code for years now, but people still think it's good there...it isn't.
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Unread 03-02-2020, 03:54 PM   #5
Fast eddie part deux
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I just googled American Standard 60" tub with apron, and the spec sheet shows that the overall dimension is actually 60". You probaby need to do a little careful expliratory surgery to easure exactly what you have before ordering a new tub. Can you cut away a litle sheetrock up near he ceiling?
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Unread 03-03-2020, 05:39 PM   #6
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Hi, Patti.

Can you share a picture of the tub? We might be able to recognize that the ends are unusually overlapped based on how much "shoulder" we see of the tub.

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Unread 04-06-2020, 09:58 AM   #7
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Alcove tub

Sorry! I finally figured out how to find my posts. I tried searching my user name, but it did not work.

Jadnashua, I could not find the post you were referring to.

I don't know what the tub is made of.
Here are the pictures.

What should I buy to replace the tub? Acrylic. Cast iron?

Thanks for your advice.
Attached Images
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Unread 04-08-2020, 02:33 PM   #8
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Should I cut away some of this drywall at the corner to see how far back the tub goes?

We are remodeling the hall bathroom first, and this master bath will be next.
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