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Andiy 01-23-2013 02:52 PM

Need a creative idea for a tub gap
Hey all, I'm at a point in my 100-year-old bathroom demo and rehab that has me a bit stuck. I knew of this issue going in, but somehow I wrote it off as an easy fix and didn't really think out the details until now (the theme of many a DIY catastrophe, I know.) So, I turn to the wisdom and experience of the DIY chatroom. :innocent:

A little background - this is a 5.5' x 8' bathroom in a 1916 Chicago brick two flat. I've been DIYing my way through lots of little issues, all the way up to my crowning achievement: gutting the kitchen and one bedroom, removing the pantry, and moving a wet wall. Then installing a whole new $$$ kitchen. :sweatdrop: It's all gone relatively well, but I found a couple glaring errors I made in redoing the bathroom. The one I'm talking about here has to do with the tub. I'm reusing the very heavy cast iron drop-in tub that was here when I bought (not original; I'm sure that was an old claw-foot) as it is in good condition. So I finished the gutting, installed a new glass block window and a vent for a bathroom fan, tore out the 2" of concrete on the floor and the original porcelain mosaic tile (broke my heart, but there were floor issues, and ya gotta do what ya gotta do), replaced part of the original plank subfloor, and installed 2 layers of plywood on top of that, and rough framed the bathroom. Due to some plumbing and original framing issues, I had to move the north wall about 4 inches into the bathroom - no big deal. I then installed the tub, connected the plumbing, foamed underneath the tub, etc.

Ok, that was more than a little background, sorry. If you're still with me, here's where I find myself now.

You're looking at the southwest corner of the room. You can't see the north wall (where the faucet is) but the tub is snug against that wall. There is a tight 3.5" gap between the tub and the original 2" by 4" 2x4s. Note that they are 90 degrees off standard installation. Also note the "chicken wire" and plaster. Also note the chimney in the corner. This was for the original oil or coal fired boiler. It is only used now for venting gases from the natural gas heaters in the basement. The "rotated 2x4" wall with chicken wire is as such due to the wall in the dining room, built to accomodate a china cabinet / bureau /etc. :

My first idea was just to add some dimension to the original wall to make it fit the tub. I know, it's a cheap and easy way out, but hey, it's only a couple inches of floor space, so who will miss it?

Well, here's who: the steam radiator pipe.

If I bring the wall out, the radiator will not fit. And I ain't messin' with no old radiator pipes. So that simpleton idea is out. And to be honest, that probably isn't the "right" way to do it anyway. So, does anyone have a good idea for me regarding this gap? My main concern is the "face" of the tub. That small gap from the wall to the front of the tub is going to look terrible if I simply fill it in with drywall, tile, etc. Incidentally, the wall is going to be wainscotted, and the area around the tub will be tiled. I'm probably going to just drywall the ceiling over the tub, but I may get paranoid and durock/tile that too, even though it is at 8 feet.

Your ideas are welcome, and appreciated, thanks!

brockmiera 01-23-2013 03:47 PM

So if you rip studs to fit between the tub and the wall (fill the gap) just from your existing framed wall to the face of the tub, will that work? Judging off of what you have and the pictures I can see that is what I would do. Maybe use that framing to recesses a shower nook or something. I'd then drywall that corner section with green board or tile as you suggested might be a possibility.

funfool 01-23-2013 07:28 PM

You kinda messed up on that one. You want to frame the opening 60 1/4"
You do not need to fur out the entire wall, just behind the tub. Of course you want to do that before installing the tub.
I suppose if you have 3 1/2" + a bit, you can build a wall and still be able to screw the bottom plate to the floor.

I am working on a bathroom remodel now, we moved the tub to a different location on a 80" wall, I built to walls about 9 1/2" on each end to center the tub, I also made the walls come out 6" past the tub, I will be installing 6" tile in the shower, Now can continue the tile around the sides and face of the walls, Also plan tomorrow to build a arch between the walls.
Will create a interesting cove for the tub, make it a feature.

So I am wondering if you can do something similar. And depends on location of toilet.
In our case, we could go 6" past the tub, and the tank of the toilet is tiny and only 17" wide. This leaves 2" from tank and finished tile wall, 6" is all we could go. And you also need 15" from center of toilet to edge of tub. This was our issue, although the toilet was being moved also, we have custom ordered cabinets and that sets the location of toilet. Your problem might be the vanity.

Lets say you come 6" past the tub, then a short wall to = 6" coming out of the fured wall, then add a 6" wall coming out from the wall on front of tub, then add a arch between them.
Will look symmetrical when in the bathroom, only see the 3 1/2" difference when standing in the tub.
If you can afford the space, You could bring the walls out further, say 8" or12" on each side, would be a great place to hang a robe or a towel ring, leave you a 36" opening to enter the tub. Would not work for shower doors, but fine for a curtain.
But just an idea, maybe you can use part of it and create something else.

Andiy 01-23-2013 11:01 PM


Originally Posted by funfool (Post 1100479)
You kinda messed up on that one. You want to frame the opening 60 1/4"

"Kinda" being the key word here. The question is... what's next? So, I think I understand your idea. But bear with my sketches here for a moment. This view is what the room looks like, right now, to the best of my abilities (to scale, etc...). The wall with the entry door is obviously not there, so you can see into the room. The walls are all roughed in, you can see the bare bricks etc. on the outside wall. You can also see the toilet waste pipe and the tub.

Andiy 01-23-2013 11:27 PM

Here is a similar view, except with the walls covered (drywall, durock, etc.) and the sink drain coming out of the wall. I also added the path of the door swing, and I highlighted the gap between the wall and the tub in red.

Andiy 01-23-2013 11:41 PM

So then, I think you're saying to throw up a couple wall extensions (I did 6" here) on either side of the tub to "frame" it.

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