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Unread 12-31-2016, 03:25 PM   #1
snrusnak
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Another soaker tub with shower

Hello!

I was using this forum a low a few years ago when I redid my master shower, link below:

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...105008&page=29

Now living in MS, and my wife wants a "Soaker" (garden, as she calls it) tub in the master bath. We have a huge master bath but I don't want to do major demo (knocking down and moving walls, trying to reconfigure our hardwood floors, chisseling out concrete to move plumbing, etc) so we have decided we want a soaker tub with shower. Nothing fancy, not jets or anything.

I intend to find a "Drop in" tub, with tile flange/lip, and tile everything else. She wants a deep tub (not so deep we can't get in, though, lol), and I need to measure but believe it's a standard lenght (60" maybe). We have up to about 41" of width to play with, I think the current fiberglass unit is about 30" wide.

Just looking for some tips I guess as I start planning the job.

Thanks and glad to be back on the forum again!
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Unread 12-31-2016, 04:12 PM   #2
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Depending on size of tub, some find a standard 40-50 gal. water heater inadequate to keep a languid hot bath... hot.

Somewhat depends on proximity of tub to water heater and how well it's installed. Can't tell you how many tubs I've seen that have a great big hole for drain in the subfloor open to a nice unconditioned crawlspace keeping the underside of tub nice and cool...
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Unread 01-01-2017, 02:47 AM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Don't know your exact configuration/limitations. But you're looking for general advice. And the first rule of drop-in tubs is to not use them in conjunction with a shower head.

Drop-in tubs don't come with a tiling flange. Yet, a shower head means that you need the benefit from a tiling flange. And yes, you can almost always purchase an "add-on tiling flange". But they are cheap, non-engineered afterthoughts that leave something to be desired.

I'd go out of my way to find a tub that has an integral tile flange. There are hundreds of tubs available in all sorts of sizes and depths. There's much more likely than not, one available that will fit your physical size needs and have an integral tiling flange.

And fair warning...You will not get confirmation of this advice from any designer or retailer or wholesaler of the product. You'll only get it from experienced installers who excel at building long-lasting installations that don't require call-backs for mysterious leaks a few years down the road.

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Unread 01-01-2017, 12:28 PM   #4
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Yep, what Bubba said.
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Unread 01-02-2017, 08:49 AM   #5
snrusnak
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Thanks for the thoughts!

I definitely will not install a tub without a tile flange. I'm hoping I can find a drop in tub with a tile flange, I think I've seen some. I also do not like the cheap add on flanges, anything that requires caulking to seal IMO is going to eventually fail.

We are also on a concrete slab, not subfloor, so won't be any issues with that from an insulation stand point. My biggest concern would be termites getting through that penetration in the slab, so if I did any work that broke the existing seal I'd probably have the bug guys out to reseal under the tub.

Also, I didn't think of hot water capacity so that is a great point. I do believe, however, that we will be OK. We have two large hot water tanks in the attic in line with each other, I never looked at the size but pretty sure we have over 100 gal of hot water storage. There is also a heat recovery unit on my house that works off the AC compressor, so as long as the compressor is running we essentially get free hot water. We are able to run with the power turned off to the hot water tanks about 8-10 months out of the year, but when it gets to winter the AC doesn't run and we need the power on. I used to turn the breakers on/off but got sick of resetting the time on the timers in the attic so I just have them set to run 2 hours in morning and 2 hours in afternoon year round now.

I measured and the space is what I believe is a "standard" length, 60". (smaller, but due to the fiberglass enclosure and drywall, I assume). Like I said, we have up to 41" of width. But, I don't really want to get into too much with drain movement. I guess moving a few inches isn't a big deal.

Luckily, I know and am friends with the guy who built this house, he built it for himself then had to sell it (against his wishes). We became friends during the transaction. He really overbuilt and did a nice job, it's not a cheap track builder home (no offense, if you're a track builder, lol). But in seriousness, having owned a cookie cutter home and now this home that a man built for himself, the difference is night and day in build quality. One place he did not spend was on things like fixtures, I believe his thought process was that that stuff is easily upgraded later on.

Here's a few pictures. Any thoughts or tips as far as design, etc would be great! I am now also thinking of tiling the entire back wall (not stopping at the edge of the tub). Think that might give it a neat look, sort of the "modern" look. Any suggestions on where to look for tubs and what material type to go with? I really only know of the big box stores.

I appreciate the help!
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Unread 01-02-2017, 11:22 AM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
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Just to clarify...

Quote:
Originally Posted by snrusnak
I'm hoping I can find a drop in tub with a tile flange...
By definition, a drop-in tub is just that. It's not meant to have a wall installed against it. So you won't find a drop-in tub with a built-in integral tiling flange. If it's got an integral tiling flange, it's not a drop-in tub.

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Unread 01-03-2017, 05:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
By definition, a drop-in tub is just that. It's not meant to have a wall installed against it. So you won't find a drop-in tub with a built-in integral tiling flange. If it's got an integral tiling flange, it's not a drop-in tub.
Well, ok then, lol. I understand, but I guess being a non professional or DIYer I'm not getting hung up on terms or technicalities. I know a lot of DIY projects are junk, but I really believe I don't fall into that crowd. I believe that if I do something I'm going to take as long as it takes to do it right. I'd rather spend a year on my shower (like I did) and have it last a lifetime than have to redo it in 3 years. I remember several posts in the thread I posted above from pro's on this forum that complimented me on my work. I guess my point is, I'm hoping I can find a "drop in" tub with an integral tile flange. I'm pretty sure I've found some during google searching, I'm going to look some more and post links/pics so I can get your thoughts.

I was hoping you all (pros, much more experience) would be able to suggest some sources for such a product.
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Unread 01-03-2017, 06:22 PM   #8
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Sean, some of the manufacturers' add-on tiling flanges for those drop-in tubs are quite useful. Require some work on the walls in the corners to make the walls fit correctly, but once the flange is attached with the provided pookey it ain't gonna leak.

Still not as good a proper integral tiling flange, but actually better than some of the integral tiling flanges available, 'specially the ones that stop a couple inches short of the front of the tub.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-04-2017, 07:34 PM   #9
snrusnak
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Thanks CX, I'll keep that in mind. I am hoping, though, that I'll find something that fits my needs with an integral flange. But I'll keep that in my back pocket. Here is an example of what I'm looking for:

No apron front, drop in tub, with integral flange.

BUT, I think we'd really like something that's not acrylic, plastic, fiberglass, etc. (I think we'd prefer cast iron, porcelain, ceramic, etc).

Any suggestions for manufacturer's to look at or material of construction pros and cons?
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Unread 01-04-2017, 09:36 PM   #10
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The only tricky part with that style is getting the front tile to be flush with the lip of the tub. Takes some careful measuring to go from studs to finished tile surface all without using the tile to support the edge of the tub. There should be a 1/8" gap between the skirt tile and the tub lip which gets caulked closed. The tub edge /side / where you would set upon - is supported by framing.
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Unread 01-07-2017, 11:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snrusnak
Here is an example of what I'm looking for: No apron front, drop in tub, with integral flange.
Okay, that's a 3 wall alcove tub, not a drop-in tub. I'm not trying to nit-pik or contradict you. No, not at all. I'm here to help. I clarify to help you find what you're looking for among the hundreds of confusing products available. Top that off with salespeople that might not be knowledgeable enough and your use of the "drop-in tub" wording might lead you down a path to products that you don't want. Or worse, thinking you have special ordered exactly what you need and when the non-returnable product comes into the warehouse 5 weeks later, and you've lugged it home, you find out that you've got something else.

You're looking for a 3 wall alcove tub with integral flange and without a front apron.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snrusnak
BUT, I think we'd really like something that's not acrylic, plastic, fiberglass, etc. (I think we'd prefer cast iron, porcelain, ceramic, etc).
I can understand your'e desire for a more stout material. But I'm not aware of a cast iron or steel/porcelain variety.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snrusnak
Any suggestions for manufacturer's to look at or material of construction pros and cons?
Pros: lightweight, tons of size varieties, and ability to get them with water jets.
Cons: With tubs like these, the installation is a challenge. These tubs are not perfectly uniform. The underside to the tub's shoulder is not necessarily parallel to the plane of the tub's shoulder. That means you have to adjust the ledger board after you've test-fit the tub into position. Sometimes, more than once. And Paul has flagged a challenge with supporting the front of the tub.

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Unread 01-08-2017, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
BUT, I think we'd really like something that's not acrylic, plastic, fiberglass, etc. (I think we'd prefer cast iron, porcelain, ceramic, etc).
FWIW I've looked into the acrylic tubs that are widely available and Kohler seems to be much better made than most. I also have personal experience installing a Kohler acrylic tub on a renovation for a friend and it has held up very well over the past 18 years.

(note that I have zero affiliation with Kohler - not trying to tout)
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Unread 01-09-2017, 08:27 PM   #13
snrusnak
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Thank you all for the comments and info!

OK, so I'm looking for a 3 wall alcove tub with integral flange and without a front apron! It sounds like it's most likely going to have to be acrylic also, which I can probably deal with.

I think I can handle the installation challenges. I also don't mind tedious, time consuming work. I enjoy a job well done.

Thanks again, I'm going to start looking for the tub that we want, and will revisit this thread once we find it.
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