ASB Firenze Tub from Home Depot

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Tubquestion, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. Tubquestion

    Tubquestion New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Wayne, NJ

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2011
  2. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I have the same questions about the Firenze tub from Home Depot. Anyone?
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    YOU are the only one who can say whether it is wide enough. Only someone who has had one installed and lived with it for a long period of time can tell whether it will "hold" up, and even then any deficiencies could be caused by the user, not the manufacturer. There are many tubs, I consider "not worth installing", but you can usually tell which ones they are by "feeling" the tub and handling it.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Not familiar with that model, but ASB is an OK brand. Not "top of the line". I assume it is some kind of acrylic tub, meaning it can last a long time IF you are diligent about keeping it clean after every use, and NEVER using harsh cleaning products on it. Big enough....you need to sit in it and find out. We don't do baths. showers only. I don't think either my wife or I has taken a bath in 20+ years! Maybe we are missing out on something!

    With any tub, but especially an acrylic, and drop ins, if that is whar yours is.....the proper installation makes all the difference in the world. It affects your happiness with the tub, and it affects the long term survival of the tub.

    If you are doing it yourself, study the install instructions well....and BEFORE you start. If you have it done, get a contractor you trust to do top quality work
  5. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Could you give me some tips on how to tell if it's worth installing by "feel and handling"? I installed two steel enameled tubs years ago but never installed or handled acrylic type tubs.

    Thanks,
    HRG
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  6. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Hawaii
    It is an ASB brand tub. The Firenze specs say it is "Polycomposite material that resists stains, molds, and mildew". Would your best guess be that it means it's an acrylic tub? It's a deeper tub with a 16.5" bathing well compared to the 14" wells of standard tubs which is why I selected it. It's not a drop in tub. It has a face and will be installed in an alcove with 3 walls.

    The installation instructions stress having the tub sit entirely on the provided foam underlayment on a level floor. Would it be worthwhile to replace the foam with a thinset mortar bed instead? I wonder about the longevity of any foam. --- I also wonder about shrinkage of the mortar bed after initial setup when it dries. How do pros compensate for that during setup?

    Thanks,
    HRG

    firenze_install_1.jpg

    firenze_install_2.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2011
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    First, you wouldn't use thinset mortar under the tub...you'd use either deck mud (mostly sand with some portland cement in it), or something like stuctolite. The psi load on a tub is not much, and the proper type of foam should last a long time. The hassle might be if your floor isn't flat and level -- that's where a mortar bed comes in - it can compensate for unlevel or uneven surfaces. A properly mixed deck mud bed should not shrink unless you mix it too wet.
  8. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Wow, in a plumbing forum at a different website, I asked how to set plastic tubs in concrete. The answer I got was that the poster used thinset mortar. I asked for the consistency and "two" responders said about like peanut butter. Since then, I've been wondering how they compensated for shrinkage of the mortar.

    Your reply here makes a TON more sense. I've seen videos on how to use mud to form shower floors and the consistency is quite dry. Since I just learned from you that it's called "deck mud", I googled it and one person recommended a 5 sand to 1 cement mix with the mix just damp. I can see that mud like that would not shrink. The peanut butter consistency sure sounds wrong now.

    So when setting an acrylic tub on deck mud, what's the best way to insure that the entire bottom surface of the tub is supported properly? Any trade secrets for that?

    Thanks much!
    HRG
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Quote; how do you tell the quality of the tub by handling it.

    You answered part of the question when you said you have installed enameled steel tubs. THOSE, to me, may be the lowest quality tub possible. If there any lower ones, they would have to be similar to Sterling fiberglass tubs, which are so light that an eight year old kid could pick them up. One possible rule is, "the easier the tub is to put into place, the lower its quality is".
  10. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Hawaii
    By THOSE I assume you're refering to the polycomposite or acrylic tubs which are quite light. That rule makes sense. What type of tubs would be the lowest quality that you would recommend? Steel enameled?

    Thanks much,
    HRG
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    When building a shower, a 5:1 ratio is fine because you are packing it down carefully...but, you need a bit more cement in it to allow it to smush when you push the tub down into it since you can't be looking there at the same time to prepare it. Some of the packaged mixes (often labeled sand mix) are 3:1, then you don't need to buy two bags and measure and mix. Terry suggests dumping a bunch of piles of it, then smush the tub down into it so it is both level and at the desired height. If you place a sheet of plastic down (above and below the mortar), it will slow the hydration, making it stronger, and easy to remove the tub at some time in the future. Proper mix is that it clumps when squeezed, and doesn't drip. It should hold its shape when you squeeze a clump. Thinset is not designed for a layer thicker than about 1/4". A medium bed mortar maybe up to an inch. A sand mix needs about an inch or more to hold together over a wooden subfloor.
  12. HomeRepairGuy

    HomeRepairGuy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Very good. I'll go with the 3:1 ready mix for my mortar bed. The plasic above and below the mortar is a good method in case I screw it up and have to redo the job.

    Thanks much for the help,
    HRG
  13. Wendy D 373

    Wendy D 373 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Washington Twp, NJ
    I know this post is from last year but I would not recommend it. I had it professional installed with the tub surround. Even though it is beautiful (tub is deep, shelves on the surround etc); I am ready to replace it. I had it installed June 2009 and it is getting mold around the base of the tub where the surround meets and water is following the edge of the tub/surround and actually ruining my wall on both ends of the tub. The tub is flimsy and has movement when you are in it. The contractor stated it was because of the styrofoam base & while he was still working in the bathroom; I contacted ASB directly. They told me that the tub has some movement or give but I should have stopped at that point & returned it. If anything else was done to firm this up; we could have voided the warranty and now; I don't know if I have any recourse. Even when my grandkids are in the tub; there is movement if they sit on the side til they get it. If you caulk; it won't hold because the tub moves while the surround doesn't. I'm totally disgusted plus the contractor kept all the paperwork. Luckily, I have my receipts from Home Depot to help me with ABS/Firenze. The person in Home Depot actually told me that he had a few complaints for the same reason & wouldn't recommend the tub to anyone. But it is alittle too late. If anyone has any advice; please do so. Money is very tight as with everything else right now but I can't afford to have the walls ruined and mold growing. Thanks~

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2011
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There is NO enameled steel tub I would recommend, and I only install them if the customer supplies it. I once had to carry three enameled steel tubs up to a second floor before I found one which was not damaged.
  15. Tchris

    Tchris In the Trades

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Washington
    Masco Firenze tub

    I know this reply is a little bit late, but I just installed one of these tubs and as usual I don't look until it's too late.

    DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES INSTALL A MASCO FIRENZE TUB.

    I have been a plumber for over 40 years, 30 of those years as a plumbing contractor.I have installed countless tubs. This is by far the worst tub I have ever installed, its flimsy, and there is no way to seal it where it meets the wall. It scratches VERY easily, and when I called Masco to ask about a repair kit, or any way to repair it I was told "I don't know". I couldn't believe it. I DON"T KNOW. Customer service non existent.
    The only reason I installed this tub was budget considerations. If it had been down on the floor where I could feel it and examine it, I probably would not have bought it. I wish that I had installed a Bootz pressed steel tub now, and anyone who has had any experience with them know they are not the best quality either.
    I also was not aware that this was a Masco product or I would not have bought it. Masco makes Delta faucets and as a plumber I have had nothing but bad luck, call backs and problems with them.

    In case anyone missed my feelings on this I'll repeat:: DO NOT BUY OR INSTALL AN "ASB FIRENZE TUB". If you do, in my opinion you're just asking for trouble. They are JUNK.

    Chris
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2011
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