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Old 09-17-2011, 06:02 PM   #1
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Bathroom Tub surround.


I had a leaky faucet, which turned into discovering some dampness, then some mold, and now I am redoing the bathroom.

It all began with thinking I was just going to change out a tub faucet.

I am going to have a lot of questions.

Lets start with this.

It is a bathtub with a glass block window above it. House was built in 1920s.

The surround area was tiled. I plan to either re-tile it or possible put a higher end tub surround in it.

I guess the main question I have right now is about the substrate for around the tub.

Should I use green drywall or should I use concrete board?

Really doesn't matter to me, both seem about the same to install. Anyone have a preference?

Thank you!

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Old 09-17-2011, 07:15 PM   #2
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Use cement board never drywall---There are some other tile backers available that have a waterproof facing.

Adding a waterproof membrane (either painted on or a sheet ) will be insurance against water ever doing damage again.

Bud Cline has a blog on 'preparing a wall for tile' good reading.

Also good reading--(Bud Cline)"Mud" What Is It? - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom - DIY

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Old 09-18-2011, 07:02 PM   #3
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Bathroom Tub surround.


Ok, I will use concrete board!

I now have made an access panel behind the shower. (I have this roughed in for a built in shadow box in the opposing hallway which can be removed later for access if need be.)

The shower was previously a two handle design with the diverter in the spout. You had to turn on the hot and cold handles separately. I had a hot and cold supply line running to a whole bunch of crazy looking pipes.

I removed all of that and now I have capped the hot and cold supply line.

My next move seems to be installing a new valve to update it. I would like to have just a nice centered fixture which will turn on and control the temperature with one handle.

Is this as simple as plumbing in a rough valve and then putting in the pipe up to the shower head, and down to the spout?

I think that is what I need to do, but if anyone has a comment, I am all eyes.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:10 PM   #4
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That's about it--what brand? Copper pipe or something else?
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:22 PM   #5
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That's about it--what brand? Copper pipe or something else?

The supply lines running up to the access area are galvanized. I will tell you that when I removed the piping to the existing shower and controls, the pipes were very clean, with little or no rust/sediment inside them.

I am interested in doing this once, and doing it correctly. Are galvanized supply lines acceptable?

Do I need a special way to connect the galvanized supply lines to the valve? I am guessing the valve will be brass or copper?

I have read so much, and so many opinions, in the last two days, it is great that you can read this and just sum it up for me. I am clearly not a plumber, but the work seems easy, just time consuming and I don't know any of the tricks. I have some really cool ideas for the shower surround which turned into a bathroom remodel. I will certainly post pictures when I can. I have been taking them.

It really, really helps. Thank you.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:23 PM   #6
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I did the same thing, tore it all apart, we also replaced the tub (we got a Kohler Villager cast iron tub).

A few things we did---
- After the cement board went up, we put clear silicon on all the seams at the tub line (another layer of protection in addition to the one that will go on top of your tile

- Make sure to TAPE and mud the seams of the cement board, it seemed silly to me to bother since I was covering it in thinset to adhere my tile anyway, but I did it, and I suppose it can't hurt

- While you have the framing exposed consider adding blocking to support future hand rails, shelves, or whatever else you might what to add

If you haven't consulted a plumber, make sure that you check on your tub drain venting situation, apparently ours wasn't vented which would explain why it always seemed to drain slow.

What's on the other side of the wall where the valve is going? In my case it's a closet for a bedroom. Before the pipes went in I framed a large square, the idea being that if we ever had to cut open the wall in the closet it will be easier to install an access door if there is blocking already present. The plumber just drilled through when he installed the pipes.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:45 PM   #7
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I did the same thing, tore it all apart, we also replaced the tub (we got a Kohler Villager cast iron tub).

A few things we did---
- After the cement board went up, we put clear silicon on all the seams at the tub line (another layer of protection in addition to the one that will go on top of your tile

- Make sure to TAPE and mud the seams of the cement board, it seemed silly to me to bother since I was covering it in thinset to adhere my tile anyway, but I did it, and I suppose it can't hurt

- While you have the framing exposed consider adding blocking to support future hand rails, shelves, or whatever else you might what to add

If you haven't consulted a plumber, make sure that you check on your tub drain venting situation, apparently ours wasn't vented which would explain why it always seemed to drain slow.

What's on the other side of the wall where the valve is going? In my case it's a closet for a bedroom. Before the pipes went in I framed a large square, the idea being that if we ever had to cut open the wall in the closet it will be easier to install an access door if there is blocking already present. The plumber just drilled through when he installed the pipes.
Very good tips, thank you.

I would like to replace the tub, but I found a guy who does extremely nice restoration work on them. I am going to give him a shot at it. It is an old cast iron tub. Very deep, the girlfriend takes baths and she likes it a lot.

The backside is a foyer area which goes down into the basement which will be getting finished this winter. There was originally an access panel done in hardwood, which was in terrible shape. When I had the back foyer drywalled, I had them remove the trim and cover the access panel. It was a very, very obnoxious looking panel.

I knew one day I would have to go through the drywall. And this week I did. So, I framed out the access panel and made it a bit smaller. I have a 2 inch deep shadow box that I made. I am going to use that as an access panel. So, basically when you walk in from outside and decide to go up to the kitchen or down to the basement, you will see a built in small case. I have a bunch of collectible type stuff, and I was thinking to put something in there. You will never know it is really an access panel to my plumbing!

Last edited by oldhouseguy; 09-18-2011 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:12 PM   #8
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I found a guy who does extremely nice restoration work on them.
BUYER BEWARE
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:32 AM   #9
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BUYER BEWARE

Is this a known scam, such as when some random workmen come around promising to seal my driveway, and I pay them and the first day it rains, their "special sealant" washes down the storm drains?

If there are reservations I should have about tub refinishing, let me know.

I know it can never have the original surface. I just thought this might be a decent way to go.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:45 AM   #10
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Plumbing-----If you have room --put a Di-electric union onto the galvanized pipe and then switch to copper.

Can you sweat copper?
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:19 AM   #11
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Is this a known scam, such as when some random workmen come around promising to seal my driveway, and I pay them and the first day it rains, their "special sealant" washes down the storm drains?

If there are reservations I should have about tub refinishing, let me know.

I know it can never have the original surface. I just thought this might be a decent way to go.

Some companies like ReBath will cover your existing tub and call it a refurbish. I have no experience with that, it might be fine, but I know I don't like the feeling of fiberglass tubs, so I assumed having a form placed over my existing tub would give a similar "hollow" feeling, so I didn't pursue it any further.

Other companies claim to recoat or color it... I don't know the details of the process used, but the one time I saw a tub that had been "professionally" color changed it honestly looked like they had brushed wall paint on it, I thought it looked awful, and within a year it was flaking. There may also be restrictions on what types of cleaners you can use.

If it were me, I'd ask if they guarantee whatever it is that they are doing (both materials and labor) and then find out how long they have been in business (and verify that info w/ BBB or similar)
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:33 AM   #12
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Plumbing-----If you have room --put a Di-electric union onto the galvanized pipe and then switch to copper.

Can you sweat copper?
Brass to Galv should be OK, right? Could just thread on a FIP pex adapt and do it all in pex if sweating copper is a problem.

Obviously my first choice is copper too, though. Makes the valve more rigid without having to put 4 pieces of lumber behind it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:27 AM   #13
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Is this a known scam,
I wouldn't call it a scam if it is done by someone in the routine business of doing the job and a two-part epoxy coating is used but even at that the coating has its limitations. I have seen many of these re-coats and the problem I always see is that somehow the coating gets a small scratch. That is the beginning of the end. Once water has access to the subsurface it will get in there and cause a blister. Blistering is doomsday. The coatings are also sensitive to some cleaning methods.

Home Centers now have a similar product for DIY's. To my knowledge that is the scam. They don't seem to work. I would be afraid of hiring a so-called pro that is using nothing more than a Home Center product.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:39 PM   #14
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So... I installed the new valve, plumbed it all, and I have a super, super, super slow leak in one of the joints.

I have never plumbed anything that didn't leak the first time.

I am going to take part of it back apart and figure out why it leaks.

I despise plumbing.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:23 PM   #15
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Some of those tiny little leakers can seal themselves in a short time.

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