Bathtub made out of tile?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by forthemame, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. forthemame

    forthemame New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    CA
    Doing a full master bath remodel, and the contractors are telling me the best option is to have a bathtub made out of tile. I have no clue what this would look like as I can't even find any examples online.

    Cost wise it'd be pretty similar. I know keeping it clean would be a little tricky, but otherwise not the end of the world. Any thoughts on this?

    Contractors won't make any money off of it. The tile job would be with someone else.


    *EDIT*
    Ok, sounds like tiled bathtubs are way too expensive. I think I'll go with a traditional one. Anyone have any ideas on what I can do with this space so that I can have a tub and shower in one? We don't want to put up a big wall though since there's a skylight directly above where the bathtub area begins.

    The whole area is 58 inches by 76 inches.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/6057/hawthornebathroomremode.jpg

    Thoughts?
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,818
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've maybe seen that done one time. It was torn out after a while. Not real comfortable either. Who even does them? You would need a liner, tile doesn't really hold water. So, have you asked for references and talked to previous customers to find out if they know what they are doing?
    Because this sounds really bizarre.
  3. forthemame

    forthemame New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    CA
    They made it sound pretty normal. I'm meeting them tomorrow to discuss the details. Dunno what to make of it.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I would run this decsion by whoever is the lucky person responsible for cleaning that grout monstser!!!!!!

    And if one tile gets a tiny chip out of a corner...THAT will feel good as you slide down into the tub!
  5. In Playboy if you read articles only you won't notice the tiled in tubs. They're in the photographs, behind the people.

    If you call Chicago Faucet tech support, they will tell you about the long threads being needed for some custom made tiled tubs that have thick walls. E.g. Their Geberit "Integrated Cascading Tub Filler and Bath Waste/Overflow".
  6. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    I saw one once, it was on a rich man's yacht. They first built an enclosure out of plywood, fiberglassed that to make it waterproof and then laid the tiles, mosaic as I recall. The fixtures were gold plated.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Garden tubs, which is what you are asking about were very common in the 70's and 80's. They "looked good", but were uncomfortable and cold. They were seldom used and eventually most of them were converted to planters with artificial trees and greenery in them.
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,837
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    A tub made from tile.

    I was out at my cement yard today and their is products you can add to the concrete to make it waterproof and resistant to cracking.

    Mapei makes a trowel on waterproofer for swimming pools - I see no difference between this and a tub.

    Perhaps you could loop a heating pipe through the form for the tub and heat the tub itself ???

    Please let us know how this progresses.

    I'll dig out a picture of two I have collected online with just what you plan on doing.

    Good Luck

    JW
  9. forthemame

    forthemame New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    CA
    I think all the tiled bathtub talk is going out the window. Too expensive and impractical. I think we'll look for a traditional option. Please give me some input on ideas for the bathroom (pics in the original post now).

    Thanks!
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,818
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    There are many acrylic tubs that would work there. What you had was more like a deck tub then an enclosed tub. I take it there is no shower head there?
    If it's just a soaking tub, you can buy the tub first, and then build a tiled deck to drop it into.
    If you plan to shower there, you may want to get a tub that has a tile flange on three sides and frame to it.
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,832
    Location:
    New England
    If you do decide you want a tiled tub, look at Wedi...they have some structural foam forms designed for this. The foam also means that they heat up very quickly. If you used say a mosaic and epoxy grout, it wouldn't be all that hard to keep clean, but it would be expensive. I wouldn't try a conventional one, as it would be too hard to warm up or keep warm.
  12. forthemame

    forthemame New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    CA
    Wow, I have no idea what half of that means. What was there before was this:
    [​IMG]

    Tiled tub that leaked badly and needed to be replaced (previous owners were pretty stupid...)
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,818
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    What you have there is a deck around the tub, that's pretty hard to seal,
    Most tubs have walls directed right into the tub, so that no water sits on a flat ledge.
  14. forthemame

    forthemame New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    CA
    How can I put a shower and tub in one in that area so that I don't have to worry if water gets on the surrounding tile?
  15. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,818
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That tub looks like something you would only put your feet in.
    I can't imagine leaning back on the flat wall with the corner.
  16. forthemame

    forthemame New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    CA
    Can't I just put a normal pre-made tub in there?
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,818
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Of course you can install a pre made tub.
    You just have to decide whether it's going to be installed against three walls, or if it's installed on the deck.
    Either way will take some framing.
  18. forthemame

    forthemame New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    CA
    I think I'll go that route. Get some tile to make a bit of a shelf from the edge of the tub to wall. Maybe put a little slope in there to get the water to drain back in the tub.
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,832
    Location:
    New England
    Tubs come in all sorts of sizes, both widths, depths, and lengths. If it is going to be a shower, too, find a tub that will fit the opening that has a built-in tiling flange. This will ensure (assuming you install it correctly) that you don't get moisture into the walls. ANy time you try to wing it, you are trying to reinvent the wheel, and often will have problems getting something that actually works.
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