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Old 10-30-2013, 04:09 PM   #1
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styrofoam bottom on bathtubs


My acrylic bathtub came with styrofoam on the bottom (common these days). The floor is just slightly off level. I built a cradle out of 2x4's. The cradle is perfectly level. Only problem is on one side of the bathtub the styrofoam touches the floor on the other side it is ever so slightly (1/8-1/4 inches) in the air. I could apply thinset to the plywood. Someone told me not to do that because the thinset will crumble and will not attach onto the plywood well. I was told to put a 1/4" piece of backer board under the styrofoam on one end instead. Has anybody had experience with this type of situation and can tell me which is the best solution of the two and what are the consequences of doing it one way or the other? Perhaps there is a third better solution?


Last edited by jackwashere; 10-30-2013 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:44 PM   #2
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styrofoam bottom on bathtubs


If thin set would crumble why would it be used under tile backer and under tile?

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Old 10-30-2013, 05:26 PM   #3
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If thin set would crumble why would it be used under tile backer and under tile?
I want to use it under styrofoam under a bathtub. Will it crumble over time as people get in/out of the bathtub?
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:45 PM   #4
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Use Self Leveler under the space that you are placing the tub. Once you place the tub in there, while it is still wet, it is not going anywhere. The other option is to use a thin layer of Great Foam, and then set the tub in it, before it sets up, and be done with it.

Other option is to place some 1/8"-1/4" plywood shims under the tub to even out. My guess is that they placed the Joists Crown down in that area, or the house foundation settled in that area. How old is this house, and can you post some pictures from below the bath and the bath area, showing what you are dealing with.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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The other option is to use a thin layer of Great Foam
You mean Great Stuff?

That's an idea! $4 bucks. It would bond well with styrofoam and work its way in under the tub.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:44 PM   #6
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You mean Great Stuff?

That's an idea! $4 bucks. It would bond well with styrofoam and work its way in under the tub.
Be careful it doesn't expand and lift your tub.....
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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styrofoam bottom on bathtubs


It expands to much and will compress when stood on. Not a great idea to use foam.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:58 PM   #8
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It expands to much and will compress when stood on. Not a great idea to use foam.
Not really, depending on which version you use. No different then the foam block that is underneath the tub attached to it.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:59 PM   #9
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It expands to much and will compress when stood on. Not a great idea to use foam.
Good point. Foam gets spongy. Styrofoam is hard and different than Great Stuff and other similar foams. Thanks for the suggestion however.

I think I'll just install backer board onto the plywood and apply a layer of self leveler or thinset (the other option you mentioned) on it then rest the tub on that. I will have to raise the cradle by 1/2" to compensate for the 1/2" backer board. It seems like the best safest option.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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styrofoam bottom on bathtubs


You can get hardibacker in 1/4. It will save you from raising the whole tub. Raising the whole tub may impact your floor and how it meets the tub.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:56 PM   #11
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styrofoam bottom on bathtubs


Mix up some plaster and trowel it out where the tub will be sitting
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:39 PM   #12
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Mix up some plaster and trowel it out where the tub will be sitting
Yup. That's the way its been done for the last ......years.

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