My husband and I need to replace the claw-foot tub in our bathroom with a
standard bathtub and shower, but we need help with the following issues:
1. The floor is already completely tiled, and we don't plan to replace
it. Can the tub be installed over the tile, or do we need to remove the
tile that will be under the tub? There is a drain in the floor for the
existing tub, so we don't need an "above floor" tub, and would prefer not
to have the additional height of one.
2. We plan to get an integral tub (walls on 3 sides), probably an
American Standard "Princeton", as our space is limited. Installation
instructions we've seen for that type of tub show a "stringer" that
supports the back edge of the tub, plus a roofing nail that goes into the
studs right above the flange of the tub. In our bathroom, the back wall
is solid brick with plaster over it - so there's no studs. What can we do
for appropriate support? There's currently only 35" between the back wall
and the toilet tank edge, and were planning (or at least hoping) to
enclose the tub with shower doors - so we're concerned about having
enough room for a person using the toilet, without being crammed in
between the vanity and the tub. So putting 2x4's on the back wall to
build it out is probably not going to work, even if they're put "flat" -
the tub is 30" wide, so that plus 2" is getting pretty close to the
toilet. The existing tub edge is 30" from the wall, and I'd rather not
have it any more than 31". Is there a way we can properly install it
directly onto the brick wall?
3. We will be building a wall for the "foot" of the tub, so we can do
whatever we need there. But the existing back wall is plaster over brick,
and the wall at the head of the tub is lath and plaster, and both walls
have been "textured". My husband thinks it would not be a problem to tile
directly onto the existing walls (smoothing them out with the mastic),
but I have concerns about doing that, especially since the walls might
not be very even. Would that be okay to do? Or would we be better off
putting furring strips on the wall with an appopriate backer board (and
if so, what type would be recommended?)
To head off some alternate suggestions...
No, we can't just keep the existing tub. We have to replace it for safety
reasons. It's too difficult to climb in and out of (it's 23" tall), and
there is no wall at the foot of the tub for any sort of grab-bar (and you
can't get in the tub at the head of it because the toilet's in the way).
I've nearly fallen a couple of times (and I'm in good physical
condition), and we have a couple of family members who are physically
unable to get in and out of the current tub, so they can't come visit
(and yes, we'd like them to!).
We can't just put in a shower instead of a tub (although that would be my
own personal preference!), because this is the only bathtub in the house,
and there is no other possible place to have one. It wouldn't matter to
me, but I don't want to try to sell the house later without at least one
We really don't like the idea of a tub/shower molded "module", and the
dimensions I've seen on them are at least 34" wide and wouldn't work
anyway, since they'd definitely be too close to the toilet.
Thanks in advance for any advice...