Americast Princeton Tub - leveling

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by seanjg, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. seanjg

    seanjg New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Maryland
    I am replacing a second floor tub with an Americast Princeton tub. The subfloor is about 5/8" out of level in the 30" width of the tub. It slopes down on the apron side. The old tub was not level and water ran out from showers and did some minor subfloor damage at the front corner of the apron by the drain. I cut out and replaced a section of the plywood subfloor to make sure I had a solid subfloor.

    To get this new tub installed correctly, I suppose the apron will need to be shimmed up about 5/8". My question is: it seems that most of the tub weight (water and/or person) will be on the on the sides of the tub where it rests on the stringer and on the shims under the apron rather than on the plastic honeycomb bottom transferring the weight directly to the subfloor. The instructions say that the that the base does not need to contact the floor for there to be a proper installation. But this doesn't seem to be nearly as stable as placing some piles of mortar under the honey comb base. I have read about putting some plastic over the mortar to keep it from directly bonding to the tub.

    I have hired a plumber who has helped me in the past. He says that he does not use a motar with Americast tubs. However, in this case with the need to use 5/8" of shim, would it make for a better installation to use mortar to take up the space between the subfloor and the tub so to establish weight transfer contact with the subfloor? I am concern about the weight deflecting the tub. Porcelain doesn't flex like steel.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    The tub should be supported across the back and not the sides.

    John
  3. seanjg

    seanjg New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Maryland
    I guess I have my terms wrong if you mean the 60" stringer is the back. If that is the back, then the 2 x 4 stringer and the apron will support the weight of the tub. But without mortar under the bottom, all the weight will be on the back (60" section that rests on the stringer) and the apron (if that is where it needs to be shimmed to achieve level). My question is: Even though AmStardard says the bottom does not need contact with the subfloor, wouldn't it be better (less stress to the tub, possible flexing, and possible damage to the finish) if the bottom was supported with mortar?

    My plumber says he doesn't use a mortar bed (or piles with an Americast tub), but I would like to ask him to do so because the tub needs to be shimmed 5/8" to achieve a level installation. Is this a good move?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,503
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    How are you going to "hide" the fact that the front of the tub is 5/8" above the floor? You cannot do it with a few shims, so you should have to put something under the entire apron, in which case there will not be stress points.
  5. seanjg

    seanjg New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Maryland

    Agreed, I ripped a 5/8" section off a 60" long 2x4. That should provide good support for the apron. I'm going to tile the 5'x6' remaining area of the floor. With enough mud, the tile and mud should conceal the shim. I called American Standard support and they confirmed that the mortar under the waffle board bottom will improve the installation.

    Appreciate all the advice on this forum. Also got two more Toto Drakes for the house. Very pleased with the first one I purchased a year ago for the first floor bath.
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