Tips for installing alcove-style tub??


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Old 11-11-04, 07:02 PM
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Tips for installing alcove-style tub??

A friend has asked me to remove her old ugly, one-piece fiberglass tub/surround from her bathroom, and install a new 60" long tub (weíre thinking enamaled steel, due to lighter weight than cast iron) in its place, with a ceramic tile surround. Removing the old tub should be no problemÖ Iíll just cut it into manageable pieces with my sawz-all. However, Iím very concerned about how difficult (if not impossible) it will be to get the new steel tub into place. The bathroom is rectangular, about 5í wide by about 9í long, with the tub against the back 5í wide wall (alcove style installation), and the entry door on the opposing 5í wide end. Actually, I think the width is 60" stud-to-stud, and thus about 59" finished wall-to-finished wall. There is a toilet I plan to remove next to the tub, and a small vanity in the corner next to the door, which I think I can leave in place, but will remove it if necessary.

My question is: Is it doable? Iím thinking Iíll put the tub on end (faucet end of tub flat on floor), push it through the door, slide it into the alcove and then slowly tilt the back end of the tub down into position. Will I have the clearance necessary to do this? Given that the tub is not a solid rectangular cube, but in fact has much of its back end "missing", it seems this is possible. Or is there a better way?

If manuevering a new tub into position into the back end of the bathroom via the door is basically impossible, I suppose it is theoretically possible for me to cut out the lower section of the wall at the end of the tub, and slide it into place in the bathroom via the adjacent bedroom, but I really, really do not want to have to resort to this if I donít have to. Please tell me I donít have to do this!! Any help from those of you who have done this kind of installation would be GREATLY appreciated.
 
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Old 11-11-04, 07:21 PM
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Pictures would be nice. Can you post some for us to look at?
 
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Old 11-14-04, 10:33 AM
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I doubt I will be able to get pictures. She lives several miles away and doesn't have a digital camera. The scenario is really not that complicated; perhaps by being my usual wordy self, I made it sound more complicated than it really is. Basically all I want to know is:

How doable (hard) is it get a 5' long tub installed into the end of a rectangular 5' wide bathroom?

One thing I did notice yesterday when I was taking another look at tubs, is that they are only 14" or so tall and about 30" wide. That leads me to believe that I could, I think, if worse comes to worse, remove about a 32"' tall piece of the sheetrock between two studs at the back end of the tub alcove, and slide the tub into place in the bathroom via the adjoining room (in this case, the master bedroom), given that there should be about 14 1/2" space between studs that are 16" on-center. Then I just have to come back later and patch a small section of sheetrock (say 16" x 32") in the master bedroom. So I can probably get by without having to chop out a stud, temporarily, right?

Am I making any sense here?
 
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Old 11-14-04, 11:08 AM
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Since your first post I have thought that you would have to go with plan B. I have seen guys build a shelving unit in the garage, same heigth as the ceiling and then try to stand it up where it goes. Don't work. Good luck on your project and keep us informed on your progress.
 
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Old 11-14-04, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by majakdragon
Since your first post I have thought that you would have to go with plan B. I have seen guys build a shelving unit in the garage, same heigth as the ceiling and then try to stand it up where it goes. Don't work. Good luck on your project and keep us informed on your progress.
I see what you are saying, and that was my initial thought. But then I realized that, unlike a shelving unit going into a garage, an alcove style tub only has one finished side. The other three sides are unfinished and not "boxed in" which, seems to me allows some "wiggle room" to lower and tilt it down into position. If it was, say a solid box type structure (like a coffin), then yeah, it would hang up and wouldn't tilt down into postion. See what I'm getting at?
 
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Old 11-17-04, 08:19 AM
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It should be possible to install through the bathroom. I just finished a bath renovation about 2 months ago with a very similar bath setup where we replaced a small metal tub with a deep acrylic model. The most improtant part is making sure all your supports are in and level ( double check ) because the tub is very difficult to move around. The plumbing is much easier to work on if you have an access panel in the adjacent room which had previously been installed in my home.

Darrell
 
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Old 11-17-04, 09:30 AM
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I did it, but the bathroom was gutted. My bath has the same exact dimensions. When I say gutted, I mean gutted. There's no way I could have fit the tub into the end of the 5' wide wall with drywall still attached to the studs. Even with bare studs, and the toilet & vanity removed, I still needed to bring the tub in at an angle and slid/wiggle it into final position. With the drywall removed you'll be able to use the extra intermittent space betweel the studs to swing the tub into position.
 
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Old 11-17-04, 05:23 PM
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Cool... getting some good answers here. The walls will be down to bare studs only where the old bathtub and tub surround used to be. The drywall will still be in place in the rest of the bathroom. I am hoping that that I can do essentially all lowering and orienting of the tub in the the "drywall-free" zone, where I can utilize the extra space between the studs as needed. Sounds like some of you are saying I need to be down to studs everywhere! Gulp!...I hope it doesn't come down to that!
 
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Old 11-18-04, 06:12 AM
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Not everywhere will you need to remove the drywall, but only where it's prohibiting the tub from "making the turn" into final position. If the toilet and/or vanity are still installed, you'll never get the tub in (considering you're set up was the same/similar as mine).

This is how I did mine...

Get the tub into the room with the backside of the tub (the wall side of the tub) facing downward towards the floor. In other words, the tub should flipped up on it's backside. You do this because when the tub is on it's side, it's narrower back to front and will turn into position at a smaller angle.

If you don't have the room because of the drywall, simply mark up the drywall where it's hitting and cut it out (usually only 1-2 ft from the front edge of the installed position) near the floor. Set the tub into position (still on it's backside at this point) and flip it into position.

Remember, the plumbers installed the tub after the rough-in of the studs, and before the drywall was installed.

That's the only way I could mine in, and the room dimensions are the same.

You'll NEVER simply lower the tub into place. With a 5' room, you'll have to come in at an angle. Only remove the drywall that's prohibiting you from swinging the tub into position.

Make sure you have a strong helper and a lot of patience. Don't rush it!!!

Good luck.
 
 

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