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Old 01-31-2008, 08:43 PM   #1
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How much space do I need to install a 5'6" bathtub?


I am remodeling my bathroom and want to add a bathtub. The bathtub is 5'6", which is exactly the distance between the two finished walls where I want to install it. Unfortunately, the wall where the shower head and plumbing would go borders our fireplace chimney and would prevent any "back" access to pipes(i.e. there is just the 3.5" wall cavity then chimney) Would this be possible to have installed? Are there any code issues being that close to chimney? Any advice anyone could give would be helpful. Thanks

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Old 02-01-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
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How much space do I need to install a 5'6" bathtub?


The tub manufacturer should be able to give you the rough opening needed. The tub will actually fit against the wall studs rather than the finished wall. If the distance between your finished walls is 5'6" then you probably have at least 5'7" between the studs and maybe more.

As far as not having rear access to the plumbing I'm not aware of any codes but a simple call to your building department will get you the answer. Just keep in mind that if you have issues you'll have to dig into your finished shower area to get to the plumbing.

But if the job is done well with good equipment and checked before closing up the wall then it should be a long time before that wall would ever need opening up. A good quality faucet might need a new cartridge in 15-20 years but those can be installed without opening the wall.

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Old 02-01-2008, 01:46 PM   #3
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How much space do I need to install a 5'6" bathtub?


Can you not put the fixtures on the "other" wall?

Tubs are sold as either left or right.
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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How much space do I need to install a 5'6" bathtub?


Thanks, this advice was very helpful. We cannot put fixtures on the "other" wall because there is a window. I plan on going with the quality faucet. Moen, Kohler, Good? Any brands you would stay away from? As far as the future possibility of having to open that wall, would it be easier if it was a tile wall/tub unit only vs. shower/ tub seamless unit? My thought was that a tile section would be easier to remove?
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:56 PM   #5
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How much space do I need to install a 5'6" bathtub?


If the tub is 5', then we rough it for 5'.....the easiest way is to have it on site, and measure it...as stated above, the tub attaches to the studs...and, you might be surprised how many DIY'ers and a few experienced framers find out they can't get the tub, or tub/shower unit in after the walls are in place. We move large fixtures in before the interior walls go up.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:14 AM   #6
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How much space do I need to install a 5'6" bathtub?


Hopefully some pro plumbers will chime in here on what brands to avoid and which ones are most trouble free. Being just a homeowner DIYer I haven't installed enough to say. I've used Moen and Delta faucets and been happy with both but since I've only installed a few maybe I got lucky. Plumbers fix hundreds so maybe they can tell us which ones to avoid.

I think I would just finish the wall the way I wanted it rather than plan for which wall surface would be easier to open. Most modern faucets are cartridge faucets and they really will last a long time and usually can be repaired by replacing the cartridge (which doesn't require opening the wall). I finally had to replace a 31 year old shower faucet because the cartridge was corroded in place and I think that was the first one I've had to replace due to failure.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:28 AM   #7
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How much space do I need to install a 5'6" bathtub?


I'm not sure what kind of tub you are installing, but I would go with the standard 5 footer. Getting the tub into the room, turning it, lifting it into position is the big job. Framing in one end would be easy and could be done after the new tub is in place. Just my opinion.

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