Bathtub install (cast-iron vs Americast) ...


Old 12-18-00, 04:10 AM
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My current bathtub is on the second floor of the house.
I guess it is dying because it pops and creaks like mad
when I step into the tub, people have told me that one
of these days it will crack. I would like to replace it
with something that is solid (no bucking or squeaking).
It looks like my options are either a cast-iron tub or
an Americast tub. I have a few questions for:

1 - Cast-iron tub:
I really like the solidness of this thing, exept that it's
extremely heavy. Is it advisable for me to install such a
heavy tub on the *second* floor ? My house is about 12
years old, do I need to add extra support to the alcove
structure for it ?

On my current tub (steel or fiber glass), there is a
thin flange that runs along the 3 wall-facing sides of
the tub, the tub is nailed to the wall studs with this
flange. On the cast-iron tub, this flange is much
thicker, do I still have to drive nails through this
flange to affix the tub to the studs (this would be
difficult to do) ? How else do I do this ? Also, the
flange is not flat on the cast-iron tub, it starts thin
at the top and thickens quite a bit at the bottom. I
would like to use cultured marble slabs for my bath walls,
the bottom edge of these slabs will have cover up the
flange. Given the strange thickness of the flange, how
do I go about this ?

2 - Americast tub:
Having heard quite a few good things about this tub, I
went and looked at it. It felt quite sturdy and sound
and much lighter, but unlike the cast-iron tub, it does
not have feet at the bottom of the tub to support it.
The main supports for it is the outside skirt and the
2x4 girder at the back wall. Properly installed, I would
imagine the very bottom of the tub would be about 1/2 or
1 inch off of the subfloor. I am uneasy about this, I
have children that seem to love to use the bathtub for
their acrobatic exercises, if they keep jumping up and
down in the tub, wouldn't the bottom of the tub give way
shortly in the future ? People have told me that I need
to lay down a cement foundation to support the bottom of
the tub, this is a great idea, but on a 1/2 to 1 inch
clearance ? How do I do that ?

Is there any clear advantage between these two types
of tubs ? Any comment or suggestion would be greatly

I apologize for asking too many questions, but I am
getting desparate. I live in the Bay Area in California,
I was planning to hire someone to do it, but every
contractor I've talked to either declined because the
job is too small or told me to wait another 6 months
because of busy schedules.

Thank you so much,

Old 12-18-00, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Katy (Houston area) TX USA
Posts: 1,343
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Hi Tony,

First of all let me explain that I'm not a plumber per se; I'm a tile setter who has installed a number of tubs.

I like the old fashioned cast iron tub. It's still the best as far as I'm concerned, and you shouldn't worry about the weight.

Even though the cast iron tub has "feet," you need to run the 2x4 "ledger" on the three walls just like you would for any other tub. The ledger will level the tub and keep it that way. The cast iron tub is not nailed to the wall studs at all. It's weight and the material above it hold it in place.

I've installed several of the Americast tubs, and they seem okay, and they've been around for years now. They are not as tough as the cast iron, though.

As far as "cultured marble" is concerned, it does not measure up to ceramic tile in any way shape or form. It's held together with caulking. In fact, the panels are attached to the sheetrock walls with caulking. The surface is plastic, and it scratches easily. (Let them sue me, but it's garbage.)



Old 12-21-00, 08:05 PM
some help
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Tony nice to hear from some one who has done his home work.
1. a cast iron tub is great they take a long time to heat up when you fill them but once they warm will stay warm.
The cast iron tubs are heavy and stay where you set them, but each manufature direction will have direction for installing, and no you do not nail through the flang. If you want to install marble on the walls you may have to install 1/4" backer board to help bring marble out over flang. but if the house is that old you may have to remove all of what is under the tile and start over this make a better job and you can bring the cement board out to make every thing work.
2. I would not recomed you use the Americast tub not becouse it is a bad tub, they are good products, but you would alway wander if it is going to be OK.
3. I do not know where you are in you remodel, but I installed a fiber glass tub and shower when it was done I took 2 cans of high density spray foam and filled all around and under the tub and shower walls, not around the plumbing you may need to work on them some day, but this could make what you have work, it makes them solid and cuts down on the sound..

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