I am installing a whirlpool tub into an alcove, where the center wall
is an exterior wall. There is room to have about a 6" surround on each
side of the tub, or I could have it off-center and go up to 9" on one
SWMBO wants the fixtures on the middle (exterior) wall, and I'm trying
to decide if it's even possible with a topside plumbing access. Not
only would it have to be large enough to facilitate installation and
potentially repair, it would also still need to seal.
I'm building the surround out of some leftover brazilian cherry we
have from the stair remodel (I build box newels for that).
Is this possible, or is it just as bad of an idea as it feels like?
Should I consider an outside plumbing access? This is a 2nd floor
master bath, stick-framed, with a brick vernier exterior.
The other alternative is to just install the fixtures on the front
side, but you'd have to get in around them, and they wouldn't be as
nice to look at.
Outside wall aren't the best for things that freeze.
am installing a whirlpool tub into an alcove, where the center wall<BR>is an
exterior wall. There is room to have about a 6" surround on each<BR>side of
the tub, or I could have it off-center and go up to 9" on
one<BR>side.<BR><BR>SWMBO wants the fixtures on the middle (exterior) wall,
and I'm trying<BR>to decide if it's even possible with a topside plumbing
access. Not<BR>only would it have to be large enough to facilitate
installation and<BR>potentially repair, it would also still need to
seal.<BR><BR>I'm building the surround out of some leftover brazilian cherry
we<BR>have from the stair remodel (I build box newels for that).<BR><BR>Is
this possible, or is it just as bad of an idea as it feels like?<BR>Should I
consider an outside plumbing access? This is a 2nd floor<BR>master bath,
stick-framed, with a brick vernier exterior.<BR><BR>The other alternative is
to just install the fixtures on the front<BR>side, but you'd have to get in
around them, and they wouldn't be as<BR>nice to look
I assume by surround, you're referring to a platform at the top of
the whirlpool between it and the wall, and you wish to plumb between
the pool and the wall on the exterior wall side. I don't immediately
see anything wrong with this idea, aside from access; If you live
somewhere with winters, I wouldn't put the plumbing _in_ the exterior
Amen to that. Many of the luxo-features they were adding to houses in last
ten years, to suck in the yuppies, were just fads. Jacuzzis, hot tubs,
multi-head showers, 'restaurant style' kitchens, that sort of thing. Once
the novelty wears off and/or kids come along, who has time to use them, much
less keep them cleaned and maintained? I know a dozen people who have ripped
out their outdoor hot tubs or even complete pools, just to simplify their
lives. Now that flat panels and all-in-one home theater electronics are the
current thing good enough for 90% of users, I bet some of those people who
spent a gazillion dollars on rear-projection component systems in dedicated
rooms are starting to feel kinda silly.
(Kinda reminds me of the NuTone Home Intercom Systems, that were de riguer
in upscale houses back in the 1960s. Not to mention the hot-water dispensers
and built-in appliances from the same vendor.)
In a house that should last a hundred years or so, you want to be careful
how tightly you integrate technology that will be worn out or no longer
popular in ten or twenty years.
On the other hand, after mowing my hilly lawn in hot weather I would first
take a shower and then a dip in the jacuzzi right next to it. It is amazing
how much more dirt the jacuzzi would get out of my pores when I was already
shower clean. But now I hire a company to mow the lawn.
: SWMBO wants the fixtures on the middle (exterior) wall, and I'm trying
: to decide if it's even possible with a topside plumbing access. Not
: only would it have to be large enough to facilitate installation and
: potentially repair, it would also still need to seal.
What's underneath the bathroom? Can you access the plumbing from
Thanks for the replies so far.
The family room is underneath, no way for access.
What do you think about access from above? (through the wood) I can't
think of anything that would work well and still look right. Panels to
the sides of the fixtures, with the fixtures on a separate panel would
have seams that would need to be sealed (near the fixtures and near
the walls). The center (fixture) panel would need extra support
beneath. On top of that, the access panels on either side would need
some way to pull on them or unscrew them - I dunno if caulking them in
place would be adequate.
Access from outside may just be risky from a time standpoint. If it
starts leaking or we need access for some reason, gotta climb a 20'
ladder to deal with it.
I was hoping there was some slick trick for this that I just hadn't
To answer other posts above: we're in Austin, TX, and the pipes would
not be inside the wall. And, yes, I am talking about the trim that
goes on top of the tub, into the tile. I guess normally the tile is
called the surround :)
It seems to me the best option would be to mount the faucet off to the side,
in front of the tub, with an access door on the wall below the tub. Who says
the faucet needs to be centered? Any thing else is just asking for trouble
down the road. With the access on top, water will certainly get trough at
Are you talking about mounting the fixture on the back side of the tub?
If so, that would be very awkward to use unless you have a small tub or
plan on climbing in the tub just to start filling it with water.
Is this a tub in a platform situation where the fixture mounts on the
deck, or it is a regular tub where the fixtures mount on the wall?
You mention it's an alcove. What's on the two end walls? Could you put an
access panel on the back side of one of the end walls? Our guest bath has
a closet on the other side of the fixture wall, which made it easy to
hide an access panel inside the closet.
I mounted our master tub faucet in the front left corner of our tub
platform. It's easy to access, out of the way when climbing in and out of
the tub, and doesn't get in the way if we both take a bath together (a
person at each end).
I wouldn't recommend top access if you can avoid it. It's just a
potential place for water to seep into.
One end of our master tub butts up against the vanity cabinet. I
originally planned on putting the access inside the cabinet, since the
front of our tub platform had to be waterproofed (we have a large walk-in
shower outside the tub). In the end, I installed the fixture before I set
the tub in. Any typical repairs needed to the faucet can be accomplished
from above the deck anyway. And if I need to repair the plumbing for some
reason, I figured I could remove the tub, or pop a hole up from our
crawlspace. Either way, that's no different than repairing the plumbing
anywhere else in the house.
One wall has the master bedroom, the other has the water closet.
Access panel wouldn't look good. I don't mind front access -- I'm
building a jatoba front for the tub too (standard frame and panel A&C
look). It would be easy enough to just caulk that piece in place and
slice it out for access if it was ever needed.
We'll have to look into that, but this is a pretty crisp rectangular
tub, so corner fixture may look awkward. I'll take a look.
Interesting point. I could plumb the tub around to where there is
access in front, install the tub, then sweat the final connections
from the front. I guess if it's solid soldered copper all the way
through, it is no different than being in a wall. Hmm. There is the
fixture access leanin over the whole tub issue though.
Thanks for the replies so far everyone.
Could you make the entire back side of the water closet wall a removeable
One other thought, you mentioned this was a "whirlpool" tub right? If so
that involves a pump and electrical equipment. In that case, you are
required by code to have an access panel for the electrical connection and
pump maintenance. Sounds like you're OK with a front access panel, so just
mount everything up front (or on an end you can reach from the front) and
you should be OK.
I'll say this, when I had a bathtub with the valves and faucet on the
side, it was very convenient. I didn't have to move to adjust the
water. I loved my luxury 1930 bathtub, with the drain control
outside. I could float in it with no more than a square inch of me
touching the sides or bottom.
Now I have one with the valves and faucet near my toes. I've done toe
exercises and greased the stems to make them easy to turn with my
toes, but they got tight again later. I have some control but end up
sitting up to adjust them most of the time.
They couldn't put them on the side here, because under the sheetrock
is the cinder block that separates my house from the next house.
In the luxury building, in my bathroom, the wall only separated the
tub from the kitchen. And in the other full bathroom, I think the tub
was against an outside wall, but the fixtures were still on the side.
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