I'm replacing the tub in the master bath. The old tub sat directly on
the concrete slab. The tile floor was laid after the tub was set, so
the tile came up against the vertical side of the tub with a grouted
joint along the edge. The tile floor is about 1/2 inch higher than
the concrete slab. The new tub is 2 inches wider than the old tub.
My choices appear to be:
1. Cut 2 inches off the edge of the tiles and set the tub on the
concrete slab. This seems a dusty, messy solution.
2. Pour some sort of self-leveling flooring product on top of the
concrete to bring the floor under the tub up to the level of the
tile. Then the vertical side of the tub can sit on top of the
Which is the better solution, or is there another solution that is
better yet? Buying a new tub with the same dimensions as the old one
isn't in the cards.
"Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him."
The new tub is acrylic. The floor tile is ceramic.
Cutting acrylic is a lot easier than cutting ceramic.
As somebody else suggested, trimming the tub is one solution.
Also, as someone else mentioned, will the plumbing line up?
For an acrylic tub I usually set it in a bed of mortar.
Mix the mortar up fairly dry. Spread it out to a depth of about 2"
where the base of the tub will set so that the mortar will be in contact
with the "bowl" along it's length. Set the tub by pressing it into the
mortar bed until it is level. Secure the lip of the tub to the wall.
Let the mortar set up.
Doing this will help dampen the hollow sound when the tub fills and,
when showering, will reduce the springy feel of the tub that most
acrylic tubs have.
It's also easier than trying to shim it level.
This is the process that was used in our house also. One additional
thing was that the plumber installed the drain and then filled the tub
with water to ensure good pressure over the entire tub. Nest day,
he drained the water and finished the job.
I've done this in the past as well but I had one occasion where the tub
seemed like it sprang back up once the water was drained. This allowed
for a spongy feeling under foot when empty. I've since decided to let
the mortar set up with the tub empty.
Shimming the tub is an idea, but laying a coat of leveling cement, or
grout I think would be a better solution. Be sure to let it cure before
setting the tub, and I would dampen the old concrete before laying the
But, if the tub is acrylic, you could scribe a line and cut the apron on
the tub to sit on top of the tile, and let the tub sit naturally on the
On Tue, 3 Jun 2008 20:06:27 -0700 (PDT), DonkeyHody
When I replaced my tub the new model had a number of support blocks
under the bottom of the water holding cavity to take the weight off of
the apron the bottom of which was at a lower elevation. My
instructions said to level using the support blocks, didn't seem to
worry about the apron other than not to put it in a bind. I was
installing on conrete, so not faced with your decision.
I would think the cleanest (well not during the process) way would be
to trim the tiles. But I believe the second method would also be
acceptable if your tile was installed with a relatively level plane
without deep and wide grout recesses. Either way, I think I would
use a color cordinated caulk rather than grout to make the seam
between the tile and the tub. Grout ridgid and not able to take the
cyclical thermal expansion as well.
On another note ... considering the different dimensions of the tub, have
you taken into account the location of the existing drain and plumbing,
which could have an effect on how you install the tub?
Just wondering ...
The length of the two tubs is exactly the same. There is a hole in
the concrete about 6" X 10" or so that goes clear through to the
soil. This hole contains the trap. There should be enough
adjustability in the trap to allow for the 1" offset of the drain
Thanks to all for your ideas. It's really amazing the quality of
advice we find here on most any subject.
I finally opened the box and found the installation instructions. I
must have been really tired last night not to have thought of that.
They emphatically recommend supporting the entire tub on a bed of
grout. That should solve my problem.
I may still trim the apron a little to keep it from bearing weight on
Well, I had to pull the baseboard to make room for the wider tub. The
ceramic floor tile was laid against the baseboard instead of under
it. When the baseboard came up, so did several of the tiles. This
was just the excuse SWMBO needed to make the decision that we needed a
new tile floor. I half expected this project to expand that far
anyway. So now the question is, do I need to remove the existing
grout bed the tile sits on, or just pull the tile off the top?
"Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas
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