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Old 03-19-2013, 08:45 PM   #1
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Am I being unreasonable?


I have a guy yanking ann old tub and installing a new one upstairs. I asked some other questions about this at Replacing Bathtub

Everything is fine, until after setting up his drain/overflow line and new stringer he starts hooking the line up. I had asked if he was "dry fitting" them when he first placed the tub in place and he pretty well ignored me. When he began to hook the lines up I asked why he was doing that if the mortar bed wasn't in? He was like a deer caught in front of headlights. He gave me no argument but called it a day and said they would be back in the morning since it was too late in the day to do the mortar bed.

I expect that he will ask for more money claiming that this is a change in the job or will try to talm me into going without a mortar bed.

Supposedly you do not need a mortar bed for the BootzCast. I wanted it, but worry about it being damaged if the contractor has to pull it and reset it. Should I let it be installed without the mortar bed?

I am thinking if any mortar is placed under the tub, the bottom of the front will be above the flooring, unless it is only placed aroung the perimeter of the base, which is piece of styrofoam coated with stuff.

Thanks for whatever advice you can give

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Old 03-19-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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Am I being unreasonable?


If Bootzcast doesn't spec it you don't need it especially since it has the styrofoam pad. The pad needs to lay flat on the subfloor. What's your rationale for the mortar bed?

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Old 03-19-2013, 11:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by djlandkpl View Post
If Bootzcast doesn't spec it you don't need it especially since it has the styrofoam pad. The pad needs to lay flat on the subfloor. What's your rationale for the mortar bed?
I thought the mortar bed would reduce the noise level and rate of loss of heat from water, but the goop added to the underside of the BootzCast supposedly does a fair job of both. Turns out the old one was just a steel tub sitting on a naked styrofoam pad and it worked well enough. I am thinking more of giving the contractor a break. (I think he just screwed up and forgot that I wanted a mortar bed. If I felt he was playing me, things might be different.) Besides, regardless of how well he tries, it is difficult getting that thing in without damaging it.

This is a link to the manufacturer's page for the tub.

http://www.bootz.com/?q=content/bootzcast

Last edited by Klawman; 03-19-2013 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:08 AM   #4
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Am I being unreasonable?


Using morter has nothing to do with anything your thinking it does.
It's used to fully support the tub so it does not flex and crack.
With the foam under it there is no need for morter. If the manufacturer wanted you to use it they would have said so in the directions.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:43 AM   #5
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Just for the sake of clarification, the foam under your tub is probably Expanded Polystyrene, not Styrofoam, which is the Blue Board Manufactured by Dow Chemical. Expanded Polystyrene, commonly known as EPS, is a very different product than Styrofoam which is Extruded, Expanded Polystyrene.

EPS is often referred to as Bead Board. It has an R value of 3.85 per inch and will absorb water between its cells. EXPS has an R Value of 5 per inch and does not absorb water. EPS, or Bead board can be molded in various shapes and very large blocks, thats why it is used for supports. Placed under your tub, it will definitely serve to reduce heat loss as an insulation, whereas mortar would promote heat loss into the mortar.

I would personally not purchase any shower pan or tub that was made so cheaply that it required additional support like a mortar bed.

Good Luck with your bathroom.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:56 AM   #6
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Thanks JoeCaption and Jagans. I will tell the contractor, who is due here in a few minutes, not to worry about the mortar. He should be happy as it will save him at least a couple of hours of work and from what I can see he works hard.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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I think if you use this guy again he is going to double the quote he gives you. It is a fine line between making sure that the guy you hired is doing the job correctly and looking over his shoulder at everything he does.

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Old 03-20-2013, 09:33 AM   #8
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I don't really get the mortar bed thing. It has to be a response to improper design. I have never seen concrete or mortar that does not shrink. Even non shrink grout shrinks a little bit. Mortar can be retempered like it must be for proper tuck pointing, but that adds a lot of time to a project, and it seems that buying a tub that is properly supported in the first place makes a lot more sense. In the old days, you never needed a mortar bed under a tub, this is just one more indication of how things are being so cheaply made that they no longer serve the purpose for which they are intended.

Strive to buy USA made products, otherwise, before you know it, all you will be able to get is garbage, and at a premium price, and who knows, you might be saving your neighbors job.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:53 AM   #9
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I think if you use this guy again he is going to double the quote he gives you. It is a fine line between making sure that the guy you hired is doing the job correctly and looking over his shoulder at everything he does.

B
Failing to install the mortar isn't a fine line IMO, but I believe he made a dumb mistake (we all do and the box says no morter required). Overall, I think he is doing decent work. He can double anyting but don't expect to get work.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:55 AM   #10
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I don't really get the mortar bed thing. It has to be a response to improper design. I have never seen concrete or mortar that does not shrink. Even non shrink grout shrinks a little bit. Mortar can be retempered like it must be for proper tuck pointing, but that adds a lot of time to a project, and it seems that buying a tub that is properly supported in the first place makes a lot more sense. In the old days, you never needed a mortar bed under a tub, this is just one more indication of how things are being so cheaply made that they no longer serve the purpose for which they are intended.

Strive to buy USA made products, otherwise, before you know it, all you will be able to get is garbage, and at a premium price, and who knows, you might be saving your neighbors job.

Definitely agree on buy USA! Didn't realize that the mortar bed was a response to inferior products. Glad I paid for one that is designed not to need one.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:10 AM   #11
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Klawman, not to make you feel bad, but I think you should have read the installation instructions first, before you asked your selected contractor to do something that is not required, and could even screw up your installation. On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with letting someone know if you know something they don't. I am 66, and I am learning every day in spite of being in the building trades wearing one hat or another since I was about 10 years old. That does not mean, in any way, shape, or form that your project is supposed to become a training course for you, conducted by your contractor.

It is ok for ones grandson to ask "What are you doing now? or Whats that for? Its quite another to get the same questions from a client. No contractor includes a "Show and Tell" fee in their bid.

Maybe they should as a unit price.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:50 AM   #12
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Jagans,

This contractor recommended a BootZ from the HD.

This contractor said it should be bedded in mortar.

I told the contractor this morning he needn't bed it. He insisted on bedding it. He slipped perhaps three or four trowles of mortar under the tub and was then unable to get it to sit level. It rocked on the spot where there was mortar. He ended upholding the tub up while his helper scooped the mortar out.

The contractor installed a new valve in the wall. He had to rush to another site but said he would get some blocking behind that valve. What I didn't know was that he had instructed his laborer to close the wall up with mortar. As soon as I realized that the wall was being closed I called the guy and asked how he was going to leak test the tub and get that blocking behind the valve. He said if he needs to bust a hole in the mortar he will be able to leak test the bath connections, but he guaranteed that they won't leak.

He was unable to get a nailer behind the valve and told me I didn't need one and then he tried to avoid doing a leak test. When I pushed for a leak test, he threw a few bowls of water from a sink into the tub. I persisted and he finally ran some water in but didn't want to fill it up to the over flow. I insisted. He filled it to the overflow and as soon as it reached it leaked.

The idiot hadn't properly assembled the overflow, which I had to point out. That seems to have stopped the active drippping, but it was still wet under the shoe and no one could tell if that was from the leak that was seemingly stopped or not. He then began asking me how he was supposed to check for leaks even before the walls were closed up given that he doesn't have a scope!

He is off the job.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:55 AM   #13
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Sorry for your troubles. I guess you did not use number three huh? 1K seemed extremely tight to me from jump street. Sounds like you are better off DIY Klaw. That's what always happens to me, but I only know one way to do things, and that's the right way, that's why when I redo my bathroom its going to be a wet set, not a thin-set. Sometimes I think its a curse.

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Old 03-21-2013, 11:36 AM   #14
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Sorry for your troubles. I guess you did not use number three huh? 1K seemed extremely tight to me from jump street. Sounds like you are better off DIY Klaw. That's what always happens to me, but I only know one way to do things, and that's the right way, that's why when I redo my bathroom its going to be a wet set, not a thin-set. Sometimes I think its a curse.

Yeah. Now I wish I went with the high bidder, who proabably would have negotiated down a bit. After sleeping on things, I think I have to call out a reputable plumber with a flexible endoscope (and make sure he realizes he will need one before he comes out) to check the tub. I am guessing if he finds some, it may be a quick fix from the top of the tub or he may have to go in from below to get access to the connections - and he hopefully won't spot other problems or need to tear the first guys work out. I am getting referrals from my wife's boss and he doesn't use anyone cheap.

There are other little things that may have to be redone, like 1/4" seams at the juncture of hardy board. I do not know if it is a big thing that they wouldn't put a thin coat of thinset between the wood and the hardy. If it has to be replaced I may be glad they didn't. Of course they cracked the hardy along the most important edge becasue they ran a screw in close to the edge. (I provided the recommended screws.) The tub is close to level from what I can see, but the plumber may say otherwise. I only hope we don't end up having to open up the ceiling below.

Perhaps a break for me is I not only have double the floor tiles left from the original job, but I found the original box of grout that was sealed up nice and tight. To make it look right, I expect that I will later be removing the top 1/16th inch and regrouting the entire floor. A cinch with a multi tool suggested by o'mike.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:06 PM   #15
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Oh Boy, you are never going to hear the end of this one. I bet your wife recommended the bosses guy in the first place? I hope you like Scotch, it leaves you with less of a headache.


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