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Old 12-04-2011, 09:37 PM   #1
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


Hi guys, about to finally go and get my tub from Lowe's tomorrow. I'm trying to do a very inexpensive remodel to an extra bathroom since it was in need of some repairs. Although cast iron tubs are the best, I am in no mood to use it for my first major home repair/renovation. I want something easy to maneuver, light, and inexpensive. But my only concern is are there any issues with using this kind of tub in terms of it cracking through? With regards to the tub, I am more concerned about it permanently functioning... meaning it will never crack or leak water. And the truth is, I will be having a roommate that is very heavy (has weighed 425 pounds before) and need something that can hold his weight plus the tub water without ever cracking through/leaking water underneath. Here is a link to my tub I want to pick up from Lowe's:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_255880-74269...e|0&facetInfo=

So will this do the job? I don't want to ever have to rip this tub out again due to water leaks (the previous tub was fiberglass and cracked under his weight, thus leaking water, and eventually cracked so much that repair options became a bit iffy).

One problem that other posters on here noticed with my current set up is my drain and overflow are cemented in and don't seem like they will fit the tub right out of the box. As you can see from the photos below, the overflow (I think that is what the vertical white pvc is called) is about 15 inches tall while the Lowe's ad (under the specifications tab) says the tub is only 14.25 inches tall which means the overflow hole on the tub will not line up with the one that is already set up.

But more importantly now, will this tub do the job for me? Any experience with this kind of tub?
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #2
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


Sounds a little risky to me if the user weighs-in at over 400 pounds but the only other suitable type would be cast iron. There is nothing wrong with steel tubs and they will never crack so as to leak but that doesn't mean you couldn't ping the surface and cause some finish to come off or with enough tweaking and heavy use the finish could crack but only at the surface.

Properly installed you should be okay. Properly installed means it may have to be set in a puddle of fresh cement.

There is a thread here now about a screwy distorted steel/porcelain tub so I would suggest you look closely at the one you buy BEFORE you try to install it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:51 PM   #3
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


That over flow was at one time a two piece set up with a tapered washer and a nut, looks like someone tryed gluing it instead. Not so sure that's a good idea, the slip in type are looser so it can slide.
The over flow can be cut and a new top piece installed and coupling used to reconnect it.
It's the drain I'm worryed about, someone filled the hole around the trap with concrete. It should have been left open. There's about a 0 % chance the drains going to line up and with that concrete in the way there's no way to realign it or make it longer.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


Okay, thanks so much for your time. If you think the porcelain-enameled steel tub should be fine if layed in a puddle of cement, I am just going to go ahead and do that. A cast iron tub is just not something I want to try to haul around right now and it seems like the next most functionally durable tub are steel tubs. I will look it over every which way before I install it to make sure nothing is wrong with it. It is pretty inexpensive and light, and as long as it will hold his weight and remain a functional tub without leaking... for at least 15 years... I will be happy.

And in reply to joecaption, it at least makes me feel better that the overflow should be fine as long as I cut it, etc. But to fix the drain issue, should I just take a sledgehammer to the concrete around the drain? Or will that potentially damage some of the plumbing in the process? What would you do to align the drain and overflow properly with my set up?
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:34 PM   #5
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


I'd used a rotery hammer not a sledge hammer. It's like a powered chisle.
If you do not have one Home Depot rents them. There farly expencive to buy one.
Concider getting a plumber to make these connections for you, if it leaks it's all got to come out again.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:45 PM   #6
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


Thanks, I guess I'll have to go and rent one then. But I do want to try to make the plumbing connections myself, this stuff is just too interesting to me to not try. I'll let you guys know what happens when I get the tub. Oh, and BudCline had mentioned laying cement down under the steel tub when I set it in. Could you possibly tell me what cement/or mortar/or concrete I should buy to lay the tub in? And how much should I lay down? Is there a specific process for the Right Way to lay the tub in cement? Thanks
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:29 AM   #7
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


First of all amodoko, I am not warrantying a porcelain/steel tub for fifteen years against cracking or leaking when used by a person weighing in excess of four hundred pounds. This is a product you must satisfy yourself with and not depend on someone on an Internet forum to specify. Cast iron would be better.

I also said "properly installed" but it is not up to me to direct your installation, it is up to the tub manufacturer to tell you how to install the tub. If cement is one of the options then typically "mortar mix" is what is used. This all depends on how the tub-bottom is made. I would inquire of the manufacturer as to what type of payload this chosen tub is designed to handle.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:37 PM   #8
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


Hi BudCline, I totally understand, I am taking a slight risk here and do realize this is an unusual situation to have someone weigh this amount and use the tub. We can't say for sure what will happen to the tub over time, and cast iron would be better. Although I am assuming the tub won't crack through, since I believe steel bends but won't crack, we can't say for sure what will happen over time since the weight of the individual is so high.

And you are absolutely right about checking with the manufacturer on the installation instructions, I completely forgot about that.

I'll let you know how it goes once I get the tub
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:41 PM   #9
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


You are getting good advice so far---

One thought---take a look at the Americast--(American Standard)--It's a steel tub with a molded liner--

They are a good solid product and don't have the tin can sound of the ones without a liner---
As I recall they are a bit on the pricey side--
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:02 AM   #10
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


Just picked up the tub, looks like this tub comes with a built in styrofoam pad under it. It says it must not be removed, otherwise the warranty is voided. I figure that if I lay the tub in mortar it would be better support, but at the same time the manufacturer should know what is best for their product.

I tried contacting the manufacturer regarding this, since the user of the tub will weigh 425 pounds, but they haven't responded yet. That's the only reason I was considering laying down mortar instead of using the foam pad.

But regardless, I feel much better about this steel tub than the last fiberglass tub. It seems pretty solid.

So what do you think? Should I go with the manufacturer's instructions, or should I remove the pad and lay the tub in mortar? I'm assuming I should just leave the pad since it is easier and is recommended by the manufacturer, but I was just a tad concerned since the user will be so heavy and may cause the tub to bend, and eventually push down on the foam.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:05 AM   #11
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


Just felt like uploading the rest of the instructions for kicks
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:09 AM   #12
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


There is a thread running about that--I read it just last night----

If it were me---I'd remove the foam and bed that thing into some masons mortar---

I could be wrong--but foam crushes with time and will fail to support the tub bottom---

Just me--I vote for --no foam--
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:14 AM   #13
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


Ok, that's one vote for no foam! Oh, and I was looking at the Americast at Lowe's as well, the guy there had said that Americast was some steel composite that was weaker than steel. Is that correct. Regardless, I didn't buy it anyways since it WAS more expensive, but thought that was weird that the cheaper tub I bought was steel and Americast was just some composite.

Regardless, if I do have to lay the tub in masons mortar, what is the standard amount that people use to do this? I'm guessing maybe 5 gallons? I have no idea, just guessing.

If I didn't do mortar, would it be okay to maybe just place some 2x4's or something instead? Just because it will be less messy and easier to do.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:48 AM   #14
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


I've installed a few Americast--It is a steel tub---bonded nicely to that heavy liner--

Now --your tub---No 2x4s---you want full coverage of the tub bottom---whatever the foam now covers--that's how thick and how wide and long----

Think---elephant walking on a sidewalk covered with and enameled sheet of steel kind of support.

That mortar is not messy----get a flat pan---like a restaurant bus tub (these are sold in the concrete section of the Depot) or something like that---add only enough water to the mix to make it just a bit wetter that sand castle sand---you have played in sand before?

You want it stuff enough to hold its shape--but soft enough that you can squish the tub into it--

Measure the size of that foam before you remove it---let's say it's 1 1/2" thick---

Lay a bed of mortar 1 3/4 to 2 inches deep and roughly the footprint of the tub bottom--

---you will need to nail a ledger to the back wall to support the back of the tub--

Install the tub---press the tub down til the back hits the ledger and the skirt bottoms out against the floor---do not step into the tub---that will compress the mud and leave a hollow--

Add a few screws with small washers to hold the tub to the studs---leave it alone until the mud is set--
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:36 AM   #15
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Is this inexpensive porcelain-enameled steel tub okay to install?


I wouldn't do anything else until I talked to the tub's manufacturer about the foam compressing over time due to the weight of the tubs user. Let them answer this question for you. Once you remove the foam you void the warranty no matter what the claim may be so don't get in a hurry.
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