Conventional Flooring with Tub

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Old 08-12-14, 10:01 AM
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Conventional Flooring with Tub

We are purchasing a house built in 1950s with two tubs in two different bathrooms. One is fine whereas the other appears to have "dropped" about a 1/4 inch on one side and 1/8 from the tile side to side. The drop is from the tile line. The inspection revealed no problems, but I am concerned. For my sanity when the tub is full, what would be the best way to add additional support from underneath. Thank you.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 10:20 AM
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You will have to have access to the tub from below. Depending on what you find as to potential water damage will determine what you need to do. In older homes though it's common for water leaks to cause the flooring to rot allowing the tub to drop. Unless it's a severe case the joists are usually good.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 12:42 PM
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Thanks for the response. It appears to only have a little rot in one corner. My concern which I may should not have is that the tub runs with the joist so it only sits on one with the sides setting on the subfloor. I want to brace the subfloor for piece of mind, but am not sure how to do it.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 02:44 PM
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Do you have access to the area beneath the tub?
 
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Old 08-12-14, 03:57 PM
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Yes I do. It is a crawlspace between 3 and 4 feet high. Thank you for all the assistance with this.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 06:01 PM
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Blocking can be installed between the joists. It won't help with the rotten subflooring but it can spread the load from that one joist to the ones on either side. Probably not needed but it doesn't hurt.

Some will say gut the bathroom and install new subflooring but... there are some tricks you can do to bring the tub back up to the proper elevation and support it without destroying the room. Post back after you've done a recon crawl and are ready to tackle the project.
 
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Old 08-13-14, 08:34 AM
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We will be ready to tackle it next week. We were hoping to keep the bathrooms as they are in good shape other than that and have not been touched since the 50's. Any tricks would be appreciated.
 
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Old 08-13-14, 04:23 PM
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Take pictures of what you see underneath. Pay attention to anything that is or shows signs of being wet. Poke at things with a screw driver to see if the wood is soft. Look to see if a plumber has cut out too much of a joist and that has caused the sag. A bathroom of that vintage will have been built tough as nails. However, water in the wrong places knows no friends.
 
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Old 08-15-14, 03:42 PM
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Can we get some tricks to bring the tub back up to the proper elevation and support it without destroying the room. Thank you.
 
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Old 08-16-14, 06:27 AM
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When you went underneath what did you see? Do you have big open holes under the tub area or do you just see subflooring?

One trick is to use a hydraulic bottle jack, car jack or blocks of wood and wedges down to a big block of wood or cement block on the ground. A jack works best so you can very carefully and controlled raise the sunk side of the tub. It helps to have a good observer up in the bathroom to tell you when to stop. Then once the tub is up in the proper position you have to look at where the tub has structure and where you have solid house framing.

Sometimes you need to install blocking blocking between the joists to put something solid under the front lip of the tub. I'm a fan of inserting steel shims between the blocking and tub with some construction adhesive so they can't slide out of position. You might also be able to pack mortar into the gap or underneath the tub bowl for support.

Still, it's important to know what you have as every situation is different.
 
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Old 08-18-14, 12:49 PM
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There appears to be a little rot in the corners, but the middle part appears to be solid from underneath. The holes were not large, but a couple of inches in diameter.
 
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Old 08-18-14, 02:23 PM
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Are you certain the tub has dropped or sunk?
 
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Old 08-18-14, 04:00 PM
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It appears so in that it is higher on one side compared to the other side. This is compared to the tile work. One side has a 1/8 gap and the other side is about 1/4 inch.
 
 

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