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Old 04-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
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How to get the tub in the alcove?


We purchased an American Standard 5' x 32" whirlpool tub to replace our old fiberglass tub. We've adjusted the plumbing to be the higher height, but now we're coming up on an interesting issue. The tub goes into an alcove which is the exact width of the bathroom (60 3/8") How on earth do we get the tub in place? There isn't enough room in the bathroom to get it flat in the correct direction to slide it in. We tried going at an angle and then coming down and nearly broke the flange on the side. We're down to studs in most of the bathroom. Is there a trick to getting it installed without breaking it? We just spent $700 on this tub, we don't want to crack the finish. Also, how on earth do we get access to the drain plumbing once we do get the darn thing in?

Any advice would be much appreciated!
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:43 AM   #2
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Tubs are installed prior to building the walls. For a room like this you will need to open the room to the same size as the tub and slide it in straight. The access must be done from below for the drain connections. For installation on a slab the concrete needs to removed and a hole dug. For other floors, access from below by removing flooring and or sheetrock.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
Tubs are installed prior to building the walls. For a room like this you will need to open the room to the same size as the tub and slide it in straight. The access must be done from below for the drain connections. For installation on a slab the concrete needs to removed and a hole dug. For other floors, access from below by removing flooring and or sheetrock.
Can I do the plumbing from an access panel? The wall for the plumbing backs onto the inside of our Master bedroom closet, so it would be easy to cut an access panel there. Coming up from the ceiling below would be a lot more crazy.

When you say "open up the room" am I reading it right that you mean knock out the studs around the door so the opening is wide enough to slide the tub in? The problem with that is that we have to get around some plumbing too (the pipe into the wall for the toilet and for the vanity faucets).
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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You may have to open the wall in the closet then. You need to be able to slide the tub into the room in PROPER position and the slide it into the recess.
Leave the opening as an access panel for the future.
If the new tub is "glass" as well and reasonably light, then you may only need to knock out 2 studs, blanket on floor slide it vertically into bathroom, lay flat and slide into position.

Last edited by skymaster; 04-11-2009 at 10:59 AM. Reason: nudder thought
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:24 PM   #5
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That will work (from the end) But I still think you need to make up the drain from below. It depends on what you need to do for the plumbing connection. If it is existing from an old tub you should be able to make the connection from this same access.
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #6
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You may have to open the wall in the closet then. You need to be able to slide the tub into the room in PROPER position and the slide it into the recess.
Leave the opening as an access panel for the future.
If the new tub is "glass" as well and reasonably light, then you may only need to knock out 2 studs, blanket on floor slide it vertically into bathroom, lay flat and slide into position.
Thank you! I think that's what we're going to do. I just don't want to break it!
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:28 PM   #7
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That will work (from the end) But I still think you need to make up the drain from below. It depends on what you need to do for the plumbing connection. If it is existing from an old tub you should be able to make the connection from this same access.
There is no access from the floor. There's a duct vent so there is no way we could get to it. However, there is a hole cut in the subfloor giving us access to the underneath from where we'll put the access panel, so hopefully that will work. The drain has to be completely replaced because of the type of tub we got (it has to have a specific drain). Man this is a lot bigger project than we were anticipating!
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:30 PM   #8
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And home owners think we charge too much...

Put the overflow and drain together before finishing sliding it into place. Also check if you need rim supports to support the tub. (a 2X4 cleat) and put these in first also. Good luck
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
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And home owners think we charge too much...

Put the overflow and drain together before finishing sliding it into place. Also check if you need rim supports to support the tub. (a 2X4 cleat) and put these in first also. Good luck
We do need the rim supports, and we'll be getting those in ahead of time.
Believe me, if I could get my contractor and plumber in to do this, I would. But they're backed up and we have been without a tub for 9 days so far (not a big deal to us, but is to our 3 year old daughter who is terrified of showers).

Another quick question- I have the plastic liner to go behind the backer board (for our tile). Does this need to extend all the way down behind the tub, or do we just put it behind where the backer board will be? I'm trying to get all the preparation done so once we get it put in, we don't have to take it out again.
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:59 PM   #10
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not sure what this would be used for. The cement backer board should go over the lip of the tub and keep up about 1/4" to prevent water wicking up the edge. Seal the seams with mesh tape and thinset. Coat the entire surface with Redgard to waterproof everything. Then set tiles with thinset no mastic. But nothing needs to be behind the CBU except studs. (use 1/2" CBU on walls) You may need shims if the CBU does not fit over the tub flange. The plastic may have been a suround for the tub in place of the tile?
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:04 PM   #11
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not sure what this would be used for. The cement backer board should go over the lip of the tub and keep up about 1/4" to prevent water wicking up the edge. Seal the seams with mesh tape and thinset. Coat the entire surface with Redgard to waterproof everything. Then set tiles with thinset no mastic. But nothing needs to be behind the CBU except studs. (use 1/2" CBU on walls) You may need shims if the CBU does not fit over the tub flange. The plastic may have been a suround for the tub in place of the tile?
I was advised to put the plastic sheeting behind the backerboard just as an additional moisture barrier. Is that not necessary then?
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:05 PM   #12
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You can use the poly under the cement backer or the redguard on top of the cbu but NOT both.
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:15 PM   #13
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You can use the poly under the cement backer or the redguard on top of the cbu but NOT both.
Which is better? I already have the plastic so if there's no difference, I will use that. But if the redguard is better, I can return this and get that.

Also, the instructions with the tub tell me to put the CBU right to the top of the tub flange, but not overlap it. It tells me to tile onto the CBU and just let it overlap the flange without attaching it to that. It sounds like that would be an issue if someone pushed too hard on the tile at the tub level. Wouldn't it crack? The picture in the instructions shows just air behind the tile. Surely there should be something there?
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Old 04-11-2009, 05:05 PM   #14
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hi, i'm sure they mean to leave just enough tile below that edge so water has a hard time getting up under it is all. do they give a measurement as to how far to go below the line? 1/8" 1/4"? either of those i would not worry too much about breakage if tile is mounted correctly.

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Old 04-11-2009, 06:38 PM   #15
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I went through a similar situation 2 years ago. We were redoing the whole master bed/bath. We were lucky that we were installing pocket doors into the bathroom, so that gave us room to get the tub through in the correct position to the corner cove of the bathroom. We had to relocate the supply side access from the master bedroom to a different bedroom. There is also limited drain access from the same location. If we had to, we could add a trap door in the laundry area below to access the drain, but I'm only doing it if we run into a major problem.

Make sure if you remove any studs to get the tub in, that they are not load bearing, or if they are, support the wall in another place nearby.
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