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Bravid 07-23-2008 04:43 PM

Please Help RE: replacing a bathtub..
Hi.. I'm new here, and I need help. Badly.

I am replacing a bathtub with another of the same size (60").. I got the old tub out no problem (lie). The new one, however, is being a bit stubborn. I've tried angeling it all kinds of ways and haven't had any luck. It will fit, but the walls / joists are getting in the way. What do I have to do?

EDIT: The tub is a porcelain coated steel Bootz tub, and from joist to joist, the space for the tub is just 60 1/8"
I need a shower desperately.

Alan 07-23-2008 11:03 PM

First off, you're confusing terms. Joists are underneath your floor supporting the plywood subfloor. Studs are the vertical 2x4's that sheetrock hangs from.

Is there sheetrock still on the walls? If not, can't you remove a couple of studs to get it in? If there is still sheetrock :
How much space are you missing by? An inch? Less? More? Many inches?

If it's only an inch or so, you may have to pull the entire door jamb out to get it in. If it's more than that, you may just have to pull some sheetrock off to get it in.

Normally (new construction) removing studs are easier than going through doors and tearing door framing apart, because there isn't anything in the studs, but you now possibly have wiring tying the studs together and fixture vents in the way. There is no telling where they are without demolishing sheetrock, so the easier way in a remodel is pulling the door jamb, and rehanging it after the tub is in.

Someone else may have a different idea, but this is what I would do. :thumbup:

Bravid 07-25-2008 03:08 PM

Thanks! That was immeasurably helpful. I got the tub in. Now I've hit another snag.

I've assembled the drain and everything lines up.. the overflow, the floor drain, and the waste pipe in the floor. But the drain inside the tub doesn't want to screw in.. I bought a tub drain remover/installer (I tried pliers and a screwdriver, but the pliers broke) and it still won't screw in all the way. I'm afraid to force it, because it might break the PVC.

Any suggestions?

Marlin 07-25-2008 03:56 PM

The threads aren't tapered so it should go in pretty easially. Try to assemble it outside the tub and see if it screws all the way in.

Alan 07-25-2008 08:08 PM

If after the above suggestion doesn't work, you could always buy a new waste/overflow assembly and make a perfect replica of what you have sticking through the floor, and attach the new waste/overflow with a coupling.


Bravid 07-26-2008 02:12 PM

Thanks again. I had to buy another waste / overflow assembly because I stripped the threads. But I finally got it! It screwed on nicely.

And of course I ran into another problem. The tub wiggles around. I used shims to level it out, but it's still wiggly. Should I just keep placing shims until it's level and in place, or did I screw something up?

Marlin 07-26-2008 02:22 PM

Did you put a piece of 2*4 across the back wall?

Bravid 07-26-2008 03:12 PM

No I didn't. Is that the only wall I need to do that on?

The tub has a support arm on the back and front (the drain side and the opposing side) and that would be in the way of the 2x4.

Also, it came with a styrofoam thing on the bottom. Am I supposed to take that off?

Marlin 07-26-2008 03:20 PM

I have no idea on the styrofoam thing. Usually you put a piece of 2X4 across the back (long side against the wall) wall that will absorb some of the weight of the tub. Make sure that is in level and at the correct height. You can them shim the front (long side not on the wall) with lead. That's how I do it.

Bravid 07-28-2008 03:39 PM

Thank you all again for the help.. I'm so close to finishing!

Now, Marlin.. you said to shim it with lead.. Would wood (haha.. back to back homonyms [sorry.. I'm a easily amused nerd]) shims work? What are the benefits of using lead? And the cost? And what about ascetics? The back of the tub is about an inch off the ground.. a bit higher than I was hoping.

Oh, if you ever get asked again, that Styrofoam thing on the back is insulation.. and taking it off voids the warranty. So it's a good thing I left it on!

Marlin 07-28-2008 04:57 PM

Don't use wood. It may rot and splinter over time and your tub will go out of level. I use lead because it's free, I just cut it from old lead bends and shower pans. The plastic toilet shims might work. I'm not 100% sure on that one though.

mstplumber 07-28-2008 09:56 PM


I'm not real clear on what you mean by the back of the tub being an inch off the ground. I used Bootz tubs for years and the styrofoam pad should allow the tub to sit with the front skirt on the ground. Like Marlin said, you need to install a ledger board under the long side of the tub to level and support it. The other part of that step is to screw some galvanized or stainless screws into each stud, directly on top of the lip of the tub, around the perimeter of the tub, to secure it. (Kind of wordy but I think you get it). At this point, if anything is 1" off of the floor you either have a very unlevel floor or the styrofoam pad has shifted and is holding the tub off the floor. This pad is sort of wedge shaped or beveled to fit under the bowl. If you tub needs a lot of shimming on the front take a look and make sure the pad hasn't moved (or wasn't installed wrong at the factory. Again, the front skirt should be able to sit on the floor with the tub level. If you do need to shim the front a little, Marlin is again correct. Lead won't rot or rust, which will discolor the floor.

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