AFD tub better for 2x8 joists?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by topshot, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. topshot

    topshot New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Indiana
    We're remodeling everything and have decided on the Sterling Ensemble tub/shower for upstairs (it was nice to see most here think Vikrell is decent). It is now just a question of getting the standard version or the above floor drain (AFD) version to gain more altitude.

    It's an old house that used 2x8 joists for upstairs. Because of that, I'm determined not to cut into the joists for any drains. The old toilet with 3" outlet worked fine so we're keeping it. It's 3" line will run about 3.5' toward (and under) the tub to get to the wall below. It will use a low heel 90 with 2" outlet that will have a street 90 to run the 2" vent back past the toilet about 3.5' (7' total) and then up.

    The tub drain will parallel those 2 for about a foot and then drop into the wall under it where I'll wye into the 3" line. I showed my plans to our local inspector and he had no problems. My concern is having enough room to work with these 3 drains (all PVC) in the same 2x8 joist bay (no access below though if I really have to I will). There will also be 3 pex lines but they can go wherever there's space once the drains are in.

    Anyway, I wondered if it's worth the minimal extra cost to get the tub 2" higher to make working underneath easier? Does that make it more challenging for a mortar pillars? We also thought having a 20" apron might be helpful down the road when we're old and arthritic. :)
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,337
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Most if not all of the professional plumber will tell you that putting a tub, shower, or toilet on a platform is the sign of a hack. I realize you are only talking about 2", but that's still a platform.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    gary, tubs with above-floor drains do not have to be elevated, which would as you say be a hack job. They have the extra height built right in, making them stand taller....about 17 to 20 inches, depending on brand. They are not super deep inside, because they stand up to allow for the drain.
  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    My house has only 2x6 joists, so I know how challenging mechanicals can be in your kind of situation. Nevertheless, I would never even consider a platform unless it was actually necessary for access to a deep tub or whatever.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    I am glad you think most plumbers here think Vikrell is "decent", since that is nowhere near my impression of them. You may also be thinking backwards. When you are old and arhtritic, the last thing you will want to do is climb over a 20" fence. About that time you will be wishing it was only 12" high or a shower. We have no idea how the piping will be installed and even your description does not help much. The above the floor drain would normally only be a factor if a joist ran right under the drain opening or the pipe back to the overflow tee.
  6. topshot

    topshot New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Indiana
    You were one of the few who didn't care for Vikrell - that's why I said most.

    Are not handicap toilets higher than standard ones? Thats' so it's easier to get down and back up from them. The apron would be the same I'd think. Easier to sit on the edge at 20" vs 16". Then you just swivel around. My wife's a nurse and deals with elderly so I figured she would know. Of course, I'm being pretty optimistic and likely unrealistic since I'll likely replace the tub with another one 20 years from now.

    Anyway, it sounds like having the tub higher won't be necessary. And anyone who thought I meant building a platform, see jimbo's reply. :confused:
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,937
    Location:
    New England
    When the floor heights are different, it creates a trip hazard if you are trying to step in or out. The ledge of the tub often ends up with a door track on it otherwise, assuming it is used as a shower, means a shower curtain (some prefer them, but I don't). Even a low lip, say in a shower can be awkward if you don't realize the difference in height.
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I agree with hj about the deep tub needing second thoughts. As I head into the golden years, I wish that I had taken out the tub and replaced it with a walk in shower. I don't really feel up to tackling that project now!

    A couple of times when I was laid up with knee injuries, I had to sit on a chair outside the tub, then use the grab bars which fortunately I had put up, to swing one leg over then transfer to the chair inside the tub. A shower stall would have been much easier@!
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