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Valera8399 08-06-2010 01:58 PM

Replacing a bathtub with an existing tile surround
I remodeled my bathroom a year ago and put in a cheaper plastic bathtub that is already cracking. I read some reviews of this tub online and it seems like this is a very common occurrence for this model. The manufacturer has offered to replace the tub but won't cover the cost of installation. Needless to say, there is no way I'm going to put that model of bathtub back in my bathroom. I'm eating the cost of the old tub and what it cost to put it in in the first place.

I'm very happy with the tile that I put in and would like to save as much as possible. My question is, is it possible to only remove the bottom row of tile and keep the backerboard that is already there in order to get the old tub out and put the new one in?

oh'mike 08-06-2010 06:34 PM


How is the tile attached? Thinset? Mastic?

If you can pop off the bottom courses of tile without breaking the backer board --you can save the wall.

If the baker starts to crack and crumble--you have lost the wall.---Mike--

Valera8399 08-06-2010 07:11 PM

Thanks for your reply. It's on with thinset. If the backer crumbles some, is it possible to repair those spots or is that it and I'm stuck with pulling all of the tile down and replacing the entire wall? Is there some precautions I should take to keep the backer from crumbling or cracking too bad?

oh'mike 08-06-2010 07:33 PM

Try to pop them off with a bent scraper or some other very thin stiff blade. Thinset bonds the tile to the backer very well, might be stronger than the backer board.

I've had success when the tile was held on with mastic--never tried to pop off thinset set tiles.

If you are successful you will want to make your repair seam in the middle of a tile.

You should prepare yourself for the worst----Mike--

Jim F 08-06-2010 08:23 PM

I have to ask about this tub- not the brand necessarily but about the installation. Did you support the bottom with thinset or sand? And what were the manufactuer's recommendations for the install as far as bottom support goes. It appears that some of them make no mention of bottom support in their installation instructions.

My curiosity stems from the fact that I was all set to buy a particular acrylic tub until I read up to 80 reviews on Lowes site all saying the same thing- The bottom cracked. I wound up installing a Kohler cast iron tub based on recommendations from Mike and others. It weighed 317lbs but my son and me managed to get it into place. This is part of my ongoing bathroom reno which is turning into an epic started some time in March :whistling2:. I just have too many other things pulling at my time combined with the fact the time managment is not my strong suit to begin with.

But, I'm thinking ahead to my other bathroom which is upstairs and will not get as heavy of use and I'm thinking in terms of a Sterling two piece.

Valera8399 08-06-2010 08:38 PM

I didn't install it myself, I had a plumber do that part. But no it isn't supported by thinset or sand and no there was no indication in the installation instructions that it needed to be. I'm pretty sure the tub you were looking at on the Lowe's website is the one I have (AquaGlass Eleganza). Unfortunately I read those reviews this morning instead of a year ago when I put it in. I would strongly recommend not using that tub.

I did do all the tiling myself and I'm not looking forward to having to do it all again or having to spend all that money again. I'm definitely going to try to get the tub out of there without having to redo everything, but as Mike has warned me and I was already worried about I'm prepared for the worst.

Jim F 08-08-2010 07:51 PM

I have no hands on tiling experience yet but I did see a video where a guy started by drilling a series of small holes in an X pattern first then chiped away at the tile to get it off the wall. I wonder if that might help in your situation.

COLDIRON 08-09-2010 06:45 AM

I would definitely saw out the grout around the tiles I want to remove first before I started prying.

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