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Installing a Whirlpool tub where no tub has ever existed

Installing a Whirlpool tub where no tub has ever existed


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Old 10-04-11, 11:53 AM
J
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Installing a Whirlpool tub where no tub has ever existed

I'm looking for advice on where to start with this project.

I recently bought a home that has a very large and spacious master bathroom, but right now only has a stand up shower. One entire corner of the bathroom (25% of the floor space) is completely empty space and is more than large enough for a full size Whirlpool. There is no plumbing or drainage in place for a tub though, and the floor where it would god is covered in tile.

Does anyone have any advice or links to good guides on where I need to get started? I plan on hiring sub contractors for a lot of the work but I'd like to get an idea on what it's going to involve first.
 
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Old 10-04-11, 01:25 PM
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You are already ahead of the game. Most of us struggle with finding room when thinking about adding additional bathroom fixtures.

The first thing you should do is determine what tub style and manufacturer you want. Visit the manufacturer's web site or look at the owners manual to determine how much floor support is needed for the tub. My tup required 50 psf which is greater than building code. Once you figure that out you can determine if any additional floor support is required. Several years ago I installed a jetted tub in my upstairs master bath and I had to rip out drywall over the kitchen and dining room so that I could add additional support.
You can buy a skirted tub or a deck mount. The deck mount will require that support framing be built and that will require tiling.
It will also require access panels for the pump and supply stops.
A deck mount requires a little more effort up front, but I prefer it to a skirted tub.

If you aren't DIYing it you will need a plumber to provide supply, vent and drain lines. That may or may not require opening some walls for access to existing pipes. You will also need an electrician to wire a separate, dedicated 20 amp GFI service to the pump.

Here is a link to install instructions for my tub. It's a MAAX tub but you can get similar instructions for any brand by going to the mfg's site.
 
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Old 10-04-11, 07:14 PM
J
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Is the building code for floor support consistent? If not how would I be able to find out if I need to add extra support or not?

The tub you installed looks fantastic, that's very similar to what I'd like. My bathrooms essentially has a space like the one where that tub sits in the picture, my space is just completely empty right now.
 
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Old 10-04-11, 08:34 PM
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Hi,

Aside from floor support, another code situation is your water heater. It has to be large enough to fill it. May need a 75 gallon or two 50 gallon HWH's.

You will need permits of course.

How are you going to get it in the bathroom? What door will it fit through? Just a thought.

But just a another thought through experience, all the large whirlpool/soaking tubs I see in homes are rarley used. Its a novelty at first. People just dont use them from what I see. Just want you to be sure it will be worth the expense of plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc......

A cheaper and probably less invasive fixture if you want something with jets is a hot tub. All self contained. Find somewhere else to put it IMO.

But I had a hot tub. It was good the first couple yrs then the novelty wore off. $100 a month electric bill just for the tub. It was nice on those snowy winter nights sitting in a 104F steaming hot tub watching the winter moon, and the stars. Once the wife stopped going in it was'nt fun anymore....Its no fun alone.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 10-05-11, 08:18 AM
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Mike is right that you need to decide if you will use it enough to justify the cost. I seldom use the tub, I've never been a tub person. However, my wife uses it every weekend, I probably use it once a month. Whenever my grandkids visit I think the "bubble tub" is one of their favorites.

Floor load design is based on joist spacing, span, size and materials. Most floors are built to a 40 PSF specification. You can google floor joist span tables to find out what you have/need.

I had no problem getting the tub in the bathroom other than what you would expect from something that large. It was tougher getting it up the stairs. I did not have to change my hot water heater or well pressurizer tank.

If I were to do anything different, I would probably sound insulate inside the tub deck and the also the wall between our bedroom and the master bath. While the tub isn't outrageously noisy, it can be annoying when wifey is in the tub and you're trying to watch a game.
 
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Old 10-05-11, 09:36 AM
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I have a tankless water heater so there's no issue there. I'll have to look into whether the door and floor will be an issue or not.

Regarding the question of if it's worthwhile or not, I believe it is. I am not a huge bath person but my fiance loves them. I also feel that not having any kind of a bathtub at all in the master devalues the home. Since I have a huge empty space in the bathroom it just makes sense to put one in.
 
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Old 10-05-11, 09:57 AM
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I have a tankless water heater so there's no issue there
On the contrary they are a bigger issue. They only produce so many gallons a minute. Most if not all large tub faucets are upwards of 12 gpm. Tankless cant keep up. This is code also.

A water heater is always a better option IMO. GPM dont really matter.

Not trying to discourage you. Just want you to make an informed decision.



Mike NJ
 
 

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