Tub Problems

Old 08-09-03, 06:26 PM
Walter Walsh
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Unhappy Tub Problems

Recently I installed a new bathroom, removed everything walls included, and started new. I installed a one person whirlpool jet tub with a surround shower. Latley I noticed that when there is any weight in the shower the caulking seperates from the tub. The big problem is when I installed the surround tub I installed it up too high off the tub leaving a large gap between the tub and the wall. I tried to fill it in with caulking but it isn't working. A friend told me I would have to start all over and remove the wall and move it down, (not really interested in doing that unless I have too), the other idea I was told to use foam pipe insulation to fill in the gap so when the weight off the tub goes up and down the foam will contract with it, caulking over the foam of course. I am about as unhandy as it comes so I need help with this, it was my first project and that was the only problem I had. Managed everything else but that.
Old 08-09-03, 08:18 PM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
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Walter Walsh,

There might be a couple of things going on, first may be the following,

Did you follow the directions per the manufacture for installation of the whirlpool? Lack of support causes squeaks, in some cases leaks at drain pipe fittings and worst of all cracks in the finish material. This will include flexing on unsupported sides as well.

Most manufacturers recommend or suggest installing a mortar base support under the tub bottom before setting the tub in place. You can use either a bag of Quikcrete or a 5 gallon pail of pre-mix joint compound. ( usually I use the pre-mix 5 gallon...lazy and it's less mess) You can lay poly down under the tub prior to doing this to prevent any moisture issues while this is drying.

When this sets up, usually with 24-48 hours, your tub bottom will be rock solid supported. This does 2 things, prevents any possibility of potential cracking within the fiberglass/acrylic and eliminates any movement at the tub drain assembly or potential leaks that could happen.

Ensure that you do not get any around the tub drain assembly should you need to do anything down the line. In most cases, the holes cut for the drain lines will keep any base support away from it.

Second is if the walls are not in the proper location, it is best to start all over. Nothing worse than trying to make due with caulk, foam in a large gap. In your case, the shower in combination with this whirlpool is even more critical and the potential water damage that will be created will definitely ruin all that you have done.

Best sugestion is do it right or suffer the consequences!

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