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Jim F 03-16-2010 08:54 PM

Any last minute tips on installing a bathtub?
The floor is done in my remodeled the the plumbing roughins are going in tomorrow. The plan is to get and install a Kohler cast iron tub this weekend. The downloadable instructions are sort of vague. I would appreciate any tips from someone who has installed one of these. I know it weighs over 300 lbs and needs to be level and secured on a 2 X 4 mounted on the wall. Any advice would be appreciated.

oh'mike 03-16-2010 09:34 PM

Hello again!

The 2x4 ledger--do not make it 5 feet long--leave about 4 inches open on each end--
look under the back ledge of the tub and you will see that it's thicker at the very ends.

Go to the roofing section of your favorite big box store and buy some steel roofing tins--they make good shims,

some times the easiest way to get the tub in is to but a couple of 2x4s on the floor where the feet are and slide it into place on the 2x4s.

usually I install the drain set before I install--Great way to crush the drain,also.

It's late--I'll see if any one else can guide you--I'll check again in the morning---Mike---

Jim F 03-17-2010 06:59 AM

Mike, do you mean you install the drain set to the tub then hook it up to to the wast pipe underneath after the tub is in place?

Is there any benefit to cutting a hole in the wall behind the drain to acces the drain end of the tub?

oh'mike 03-17-2010 07:46 AM

If you have access from below your job just got easier--Much easier--

No access panel is needed--put the drain set in after the tub is in place--

Couple of tips to save you some frustration--make up the drain set (drain horn and over flow tube)
while the tub is not installed--then all you need is some one at the tub to hook on the little clip at the over flow and screw in the chrome drain piece while you hold the pre-assembled drain and washers from below.

You will need a drain wrench---It looks like a cast aluminum dog bone--This slips into the chrome drain ring(which you put a ring of plumbers putty under)--and the slots in the tool grab the bars in the drain ring----and allows you to tighten the ring from above---use a screw driver as a lever(there is a hole in the side of the tool just for that)

A small thing--the over flow washer is thicker on one side than the other--while you have the tub out of the hole--check to see if the thick part goes up or down! Up usually--- also--a dab of silicone on the gasket is good insurance(applied with your finger--into the over flow hole--after the whole job is complete.)

Good grief---I've done to many of these--I can tell some one across the country how to flip a tub into the hole!!!----------------Mike-------------

one more small thing--If you are using a brass drain set do not forget to put teflon tape on the short tail piece that the P-trap hook onto.

I find it easier to make the pup-up lever adjustments while the drain assembly is in my lap--if you do it after the drain is hooked on the tub you will get your feet wet,testing to see if you got the rod the right length.---------------Mike---------------

oh'mike 03-17-2010 08:00 AM

You mentioned renting a movers dolly--Just buy one they are only $15.00 or so--

It's a platform made of four pieces of wood--about 16x24--with four casters.(a bit of carpet on the face)

I make my own out of ply-wood and casters.

oh'mike 03-17-2010 08:05 AM

Good luck ,Jim--This is not brain surgery--if you have any more questions ask now -or wait till I get back from work---Mike--

Jim F 03-17-2010 02:00 PM

Thanks Mike. I do have a furniture dolly coming from Amazon. I figured out they are not that expensive. The rough out instructions with the American Standard show a 9x12 rectangle hole in the subfloor where the Kohler does not I can see where it makes sense to make it 9x12. That will provide access from underneath.

oh'mike 03-17-2010 04:07 PM

I think when you're done you will wonder what all the fuss was about--My helper and I toss a tub in the hole in about an hour---I'm not a kid any more ---still have no big problems with a standard tub.


A couple of small thoughts on tub installs---I usually figure on 'sistering ' in a few studs(2x4s) to flatten out the old wall. ---Do this after the tub is in---

On the last tub I used a brass drain set from WATTS. The rubber rings that came with the unit seemed thin and I was concerned about the ability to seal properly--So I used the nylon rings usually used on white plastic drains instead--worked fine---Mike---

Jim F 03-17-2010 04:48 PM

I hope I have a good quality drain kit. I bought what seemed like a good quality kit from Lowes- has some bulk to it, brushed nickel at my wife's request. It's one ot those you step on to pop up. I'm not crazy about the lever action style.

I will be putting a 1/4 inch plywood underlayment over the Advantex subfloor I bought. Is this typically placed under the tub prior to install or cut and fit in front of the tub afterwards?

Jim F 03-17-2010 05:00 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Speaking of the back wall, this is a picture of it now. When they built the addition onto the back of the house they mounted 2x2's that taper down to nothing to make the old wall plumb. The reason it tapers down is because the house siding flairs out to accommodate the cinderblock foundation. I am planning to screw on another 2x2 over the top of these partial studs to give myself a sturdier frame. It will also move my tub drain away from the joist and save me from having to chisel out the joist. It's a shame to lose another 1 1/2 inch from my already small bathroom but it will be worth it.

oh'mike 03-18-2010 07:22 AM

A tip or two on tub framing---------------------

Make sure that you have doubled studs where the shower door will be installed---This is also the spot where the backer board and drywall meet.

If there is any possibility that you will need safety grab rails ---install some blocking between the studs--this is always a good idea---Mike--

Jim F 03-18-2010 06:55 PM

I initially plan on just a curtain but I'll do a double stud for any possible future plans. I was planning on blocking for a safety rail. I would use such a thing just to get up out of the tub although I don't plan on many baths, that's more for the kids. I'm not sure what is the best choice for backer board between cement, Hardie and the others out there. I'm know I need something more moisture resistant than green board but I also think I need some vapor permeation behind the surround to avoid mold. I'm thinking cement but wonder if I can get away with a lighter weight backer. If things would stop coming up I could actually get this tub in already.

oh'mike 03-18-2010 07:28 PM

I've used Durrock for 16 years--never had a failure.
If you want a bit of added water proofing there is a paint on water proofing called Red Guard.

I am a firm believer in epoxy grout--kind of pricey --but it is worth it --no moldy,yuck grout--
it will look as good 15 years for now ,as it does the day you install it--

Google Latacrete,Spectra Lock--I like it.

Let me know how things are going--Mike--

federer 08-12-2014 12:58 AM

wow lots of good info in here

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