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Old 11-19-2007, 12:06 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Call for help with fiberglass tub install

Greetings DIYers.

I've recently doven into my bathroom projects with much success, a lot due to help on this forum and again I'm asking for help.

I'm trying to install a 60x30 Acrylic/Fiberglass bathtub in a 2nd level bathroom.

I have a few questions regarding, a) what are the proper in order steps of installing the tub, and b), how do I properly level the tub?

I've taken out the old banged up and ugly iron tub, the new tub is a soaker so a new overflow drain shoe assembly was needed, I picked up a PVC one.

Am I right to assume cutting a hole in the ceiling from the below kitchen would be the quickest way to glue this in right vs dry fit, lifting dropping etc ?

Do I attached it to the tub and then set it in?

Do I need to measure on the back wall and install a 2x4 support like the old tub had? (It's hard to measure as there isn't a flat resting edge for this..)

Right now I have the tub resting in place (which was a battle on its own even with my 2 roommates) and I drew lines on the wall where it was leveled.

I have no access panel to see underneath to see if the feet are resting on anything.

What I am not understanding and what it doesn't say in the instructions is how to properly level the bathtub and ensure its supported properly. The instructions say to put shims under the feet of the tub, which are merely small blocks of 2x4 fiberglassed into the bottom of the base. It appeared as though apron would sit lower than these feet meaning the weight is rested on the apron.

I've read that putting down Mortor or quick dry joint compound is a better way to support the tub, do I pour this all in a pile in the middle and then squish the tub down on it until its level?

I'm confident in my ability, just lacking education in the proper procedure and the below quoted instructions help very little.

Thanks much for all you guys help and patience for the long read and many questions.

Here's an excerpt from the instructions:

(Hytec Acrylic Gemstar Model AC3060 Skirted Bath Unit)

a. Prepare the framing pocket to suit the appropriate length of tub, 1/8 longer than the tub.
b. Check the location of the drain cut-out in the floor, and cut if not done previously.
c. Measure from the bottom of the apron to the top of the flange at the front of the tub. Scribe a line at this height on the studs or drywall at both ends and along the back wall of the framing pocket. This line will assist in levelling the tub.
d. Attach the waste and overflow fitting, and carefully slide tub into position. Check for level at both ends and along the back wall, adjusting as necessary by shimming under the wooden support strip under the tub, or adjusting screw-in feet if that option is ordered.
e. Once satisfied with location, mark and drill clearance holes in the nailing flange for mounting screws, lining up with the centre of all wall studs. (Fig 1 & 2) NOTE: Failure to drill clearance holes may result in stress cracks in the acrylic finish.
f. Attach the unit with screws at each stud, making sure that the screws are long enough to penetrate into the studs if installing over previously installed drywall.


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Old 11-20-2007, 11:22 PM   #2
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you can set the tub on mortar mix or some guys use sand but I have also seen nothing underneath. Put a thin layer on the floor and build it up as needed until its level basicly it should level out with weight in the tub.

Cut into the ceiling below set the tub then hook up the waste and overflow assembley and connect it to your drain

the tub should have a lip on the wall sides that you can drill pilot holes in at each stud then put screws in it.


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Old 11-21-2007, 12:53 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply TOG.

I did find a manual on Altrek's website, a local manufacturer of fiberglass & acrylic tubs and shower bases, it stated to hookup the overflow first then set the tub on top of mortar. I've read other areas that people use quick drying joint compound, pile it in the middle and then let the weight of the tub spread it out.

It looks like I'm going to have to add some blocks on the bottom of the existing legs to get it to sit level at first and then I will do as you suggested and build it up from there - putting a layer of plastic over it before i set the tub into it.

I def have to go through the ceiling to get the plumbing together, the drain is about an inch to the right from where the old tub sat, which unfortunately is right over a floor joist. it will take some finessing by the looks of things.

Not all renovations have to be easy and straight forward though right ? =)

I'll take some pics and make some entries on my progress for future reference for other readers.
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:23 PM   #4
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gonna post my completion notes on this for other ppls future reference..

My completion on this one was interrupted by the city telling me they are buying my house (expropriation/annex .. call it what you will) to put in a light rail commuter train .. for this particular tub i needed to add feet to the base to keep it level, no plaster was needed as the tub had a plywood base fiberglassed to the bottom giving it enough support, i still put plaster (drywall compound) under it though to ensure it was supported.. the tub soaks great after a hockey game, day snowboarding or when i'm feeling fruity and want to light scented candles and be warm in water.
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