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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am having an upstairs tub pulled to get at water damaged subflooring. O'Mike and some have already given me quite a bit of help on a flooring thread but I thought to ask some tub specific questions here on plumbing.

Some background is it is 22 year old Sout Cali tract construction. Existing tub is a pretty standard 5' x 30" porcelain over steel set into the alcove at the end of the bathroom, which has 16" oc 10" joists perpendicular to the tub. Sub Floor is OSB t&g. No flexing of the existing tub has ever been noted. Feed piping is copper and waste lines are ABS. Tiles are all common ones stocked at Home Depot so there is no concern with matching old and new. Floated on 3/4" thick concrete. Water damage is so far assumed to be from water spashed onto floor that was poorly caulked (actually grouted).

I have tried to gather some info here and elsewhere in the internet and I think I have a pretty good idea of the process. I plan on doing this myself but with some help and possible just hiring a contractor to do it all.

My first thought was to pull and reinstall the original tub. Two contractors said that can be done but a third is concderned that it will be damaged in the process and that I be prepared for a new one. He likes the BootZCast. Does this suggest that he is unsure of his skills or does it sound like he simply is being honest and wants me to be prepared for the additional cost of a new tub?

Should the BootZ be bedded in mortar, even though it has what appears to be a styrofoam levelling pad? I read the current thread on the same question but concerns a resin tub. BootZ warranty is voided if the self leveling pad is removed.

How is the overflow and waste connected to the drain? Is it done via the hole in the subfloor, by reaching down between the studs, or should I expect to have to cut an access hole in the back wall (on the other side of which is a closet)? Alternatively, can it be connected to the drain before you set the tub in place and then you connect the overflow and shoe?

Should the valve be replaced? If we get the tub out and there are no signs of the studs having had water running down from the valve, should it be replaced, now? As is, the plan is not to remove tiles up to the level of the valve. My thinking is that if the valve later goes bad, we won't know until we see water damage. Contra argument is I may be opening another can of worms.

Thanks for any advice you can give.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks djlandkpl and jagans. Yes, I want to what is needed and am planning to even pull permits, which does't guarantee a good job but the inspector will hopefully save me from making any major blunders.

If I didn't have to watch expenses, I would say blow up the room and do a complete remodel.

That toilet is definitely being pulled. I had it off early when I was inspecting the subfloor to check for leaks in that area and it looked fine, but now it has to come out to make room to remove the tub. That thread focusing on the initial inspection and cutting back more and more is at http://www.diychatroom.com/f5/damaged-subfloor-tub-171332/ if anyone is interested. I made this thread because now I am focusing on the proper removal and reinstallation or replacement of the tub as a part of the subfloor repair.

I think jagans is thinking that I may be able to repace the original tub. That has been my plan, but we don't know what we have until it is out.

One of my big concerns is who does the work. The guy who wants me to be ready to go with a BootZ, is the original tub cannot be reused, is the low bidder and I know to be cautious about going with the low bid. He is at $1200 plus materials and we were referred to him by someone he has done work for. He seems very honest. This and all bids include closing up the flooring including floor tiling. (I have a dozen oriiginal tiles.) The next highest bidder wants $2,000 and the guy that came out was a pushy A Hole. He also told me some things that I believe are abolute BS (that joists that barely show water marks had to be cut and sistered and that he would hot mop the wall three feet from the floor (this isn't a shower?) The third contactor was a very nice guy who inpired the utmost confidence, but wants $4,500. These bids do not include materials. HOme remodelers don't even want to come out and bid on the job as it is too small, unless I do a remodel.

I include some close ups to show the water damage that the one guy says would require cutting and sistering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think your 3rd guy is being honest. Pulling a tub is not easy. At some point you need to turn it on it's end and that requires more then 5ft. Easy to bend or chip the tub.

I suspect you are right. While he is the low bidder, I think he is an honest man and didn't want to oversell me on how cheaply the entire job will come in. Actually, he recommended just repairing tghe flooring outside the tub and closing it up for now, in which case he would make a lot less $$$. I am planning on paying for a new tub.

Best to follow man. instructions- with that said- I avoid steel tubs when I can- It's a personal thing

I think I would rather go cast, but besides the expense I believe that can be a real monster wrestling up stairs and into a tight space.

You can unscrew all the connections from inside the tub before pulling it.
Rebuild the drain with new parts after the tub is set from the end wall- cover the hole with an access cover when done

That makes sense, with an exception. There is a monster built in linen pantry on the opposite side of that wall. However, the other side of the rear wall is my daugher's closet. I will put the access hole there and will make a nice cover with trim and hinges. They may sell something already made at the HD. I won't cut any studs as I am prettty certain this is a load bearing wall and don't want to get into that can of worms.

The valve body itself should be OK. You can replace the cartridge and trim. If you have an access door you can check for leaks in the future

I usually have to replace that cartidge every 6 years and it is a cinch. Will still watch the caulk (kickin self for not doing so). No access door now, but as per above there will be one via the other side of the 5 foot wall.
[/QUOTE]

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
djandkpl and jagans, We have no plans of remodeling that bath. The high bid of $4,500 might not be out of line, if it included materials, which I cannot see going above $1,000. Maybe I am wrong. I think the AH that wanted $2,000 will soon find several add-ons to increase the price, whether there are any unanticipated ones or not. I think the guy asking for $1200 is hurting for work and if I go with him I don't plan on being stingy if he finds he failed to anticipate the time involved, such as having to wait on an inspector.

The one thing about the high bidder was it didn't faze him that I wanted ispections. Nor did it bother the low bidder. The middle bidder wanted another $500 if a city permit was pulled. That tells me he was planning on doing a less than correct job and wanted to dissuade me from insisting on a permit.

There is nothing wrong with those joists, but I will wipe them off with bleach and water.

Will also check out the Sterling Vikrell.

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you foresee remodeling this bathroom in the foreseeable future? If yes, I would leave the tub, fix the floor.

Your contractor bidding pricing would be more accurate if they knew going in that the existing tub is going and a cast iron tub is going in. Demo would be faster but there would be more labor installing it due to the weight.

I recently remodeled two of my full baths. Before I started the projects I was dead set on cast iron. When I started the research I couldn't find a reason to stick with cast iron. I wound up with Sterling Vikrell--- 300+ pounds vs 60.
So why did you go with a Sterling Vikrel? I went up to Lowes and most everything they sell is an acryllic tub, primarlily Sterling Vikrel. I think they had one cast iron and the something called Americast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
djandkpl, Thanks for explaining that. The problem with reviews is there are always going to be people with a problem and many only have themselves to thank for the cause. The satisfied people rarely post.

jagans, I don't expect the inspectors to catch any but possibly the most horrendous issues. The fact is where I am at you are setting yourself up for trouble when it comes time to sell, if you don't get a permit. This place wants one if you change garbage disposals!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The old tub is bye bye, It was a basic porcelain on steel tub sitting on a styrofoam pad with a single stringer along the back and no mortar. Ther guy doing the job is going to bed the new one in mortar, even though the manufacturer's instructions says no mortar is needed. A BootzCast from the HD.

I am glad we yanked it. The water damage is more than I realized but we caught it in time. I wouldn't want to have let it go a couple of more years.

The contractor took me down to the city building department before we inked the deal to see how many inspections would be involved if a permit were pulled. This time I talked to a guy behind the counter and he said we didn't need a permit to change tubs and "repair" some bad spots in the subfloor.

The money saved on the permit is going into a new mixer valve.
 
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