New Bathtub Disaster

Boy did I mess this one up. The main bathtub in my house was a one-piece fiberglass unit installed 25 years ago. It could only hold water to about 7-1/2". My wife wanted a tub that would allow her to take a bath in 13-1/2" of water. I measured the tub and determined that it was 60x32. Fergusons and everyone I asked said that was a standard size.
A friend game me the name of the plumber she likes and uses. He agreed to install the new tub. When he got there, he removed the old one in pieces. When he set the new one in place, he determined that the old tub was 30-1/2" instead of 32". He said it would have to stick out by an unwanted 1-1/2". The bathroom is quite small, so that's not good, but it's workable.
An hour later I look in on him, and the tub is all the way in. It seems that things are going well. Long story short, when he's done, the surround (bought with the tub) is sticking out about 1/2" around the opening. He says he knows a trim carpenter who can clean it up and make it look right. The drywall above the surround has to be repaired, as well. He removed the left side of the door casing because the surround sticks out too far.
At this point, I'm think I'm going to go by Lowes and get a quote for ripping out the brand new surround and installing tile. Doing so will keep me from having to make several structural changes to the walls in the bathroom. Why Lowes? When the guy was done, I asked him if he was a licensed plumber. Much to my surprise, he said, "No, I worked under another guy's license." Right.
I have no one to blame but myself. The only thing I know to do is to suck it up and make it right. These sorts of problems (lack of knowledge and expertise on my part) are why I am so reluctant to try to remodel the house. I have yet to find a skilled craftsman who does a good job. If I go through Lowes, I'll probably get the same workers, but at least Lowes will have to make it right.
Some of you guys in this newsgroup are obviously skilled craftsmen. I wish you were in my area. It hurts my feelings to waste money.
Done bitching. For now.
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The current contractor I use I found by going to a local tile store and asking for a recommendation.
You _might_ succeed at Lowes, but if you really want quality and not always the lowest price, try a small local store.
Also, work with the contractor to pick out parts.
--
Dan Espen

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mcp6453 wrote:

So learn how to measure. When you do, skilled craftsmen will be able to do a good job instead of having to try to make a silk purse out of the sow's ear you handed them.
--

dadiOH
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mcp,
Everyone screws up. This is an expensive one. You probably won't forget this. Your wife will help you to remember.
Dave M.
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I suggest that you at least have a couple of finish carpenters look at it first. I was in almost the same situation except that I didn't have to deal with door trim. Instead, I had to extend the "wet wall" by about 1.5” to give the surround something to mount to. At the other end of the tub, the surround flange had to be placed on top of the plaster wall unless I wanted to rip out that entire wall down to the studs. How I handled it was to extend the wet wall by about 3", allowing me to use a strip of 1x 2 trim to cover the flanges on both ends of the tub so that they match.
I know that you don't have the same situation as me, but it can't hurt to get a couple of suggestions from someone(s) other than the guy that installed the surround. If you ask Lowes to send out a crew to rip out the surround and put in tile, odds are that that is what they'll do even if there is a less drastic solution. Perhaps there is a way to nicely finish the door jamb with a different kind of trim so that it looks fine. A talented finish carpenter just might surprise you.
As far as the drywall above the surround needing repair, that's a wash (pun intended). Even if the surround fit exactly like you wanted it too, the drywall was going to need repair. The wall material has to be removed so that the flange on the surround can be attached to the studs. Regardless as to the width of the tub/surround, the wall above was going to need to be dealt with.
Good luck.
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On 7/17/2013 7:58 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Thanks for your response. It is very helpful, and it make a lot of sense. The biggest problem is finding a talented finish carpenter. They have to be available, but they sure do hide.
You're absolutely correct about the drywall above the tub. It has to be repaired either way, and I can do that, if necessary.
Just for grins, I went to Lowes yesterday to get an idea of the cost of tiling around the tub. The three panels to be tiled are 32x70, 32x70, and 60x70, as closely as I can measure. Lowes said to use $10 per square foot as a starter. However, they no longer do bathroom walls. They said the liability is too high.
While I was in the store, I ran into a guy who works for a company that does tile. He quoted me $8 per square foot plus tile and grout. By my calculation, that's over $600, not including the drywall replacement.
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On 7/18/2013 7:53 AM, mcp6453 wrote:

tiling isn't that hard. take a lesson at lowes or HD, practice on some spare concrete board, and have at it. you can rent a small tile saw for a day for all the cuts, so just leave them all for the end.
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