difference between an americast tub I'd buy at Lowes vs one from a dealer?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by myladyfae, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. myladyfae

    myladyfae New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Boston
    I was at a bathroom dealer yesterday looking at fixtures. He was trying to convince me that the american standard americast tubs that I could get at Lowes would be of far inferior quality to the american standard americast tub he could sell me there.

    Now, certainly this sounds reasonable...but is it true? Considering the tub he's selling (he neglected to write down the model) is 600 and the princeton at Lowes is 290...I want to make sure I'd be truly buying a better tub before commiting!!!
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,142
    Location:
    South*East
    You need the model # to make a fair comparison.

    John
  3. myladyfae

    myladyfae New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Boston
    my best guess is that the dealer one is American Standard 2460.102.020 Cambridge. At least, I can't find any other 60x32 americast tubs online. he wrote down that it was 16.75 deep and the cambridge is 17.75...but I suspect that was a mistake.

    The Lowes tub is the American standard 2390.202.020 princeton.

    again though, the prior was quoted to me at over twice the price of the lowes tub. Will I get twice the tub?
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,889
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The Cambrige sells for a lot more.
    That seems like a good price for it.
    And I'm guessing he will bring it to the job, rather then having the home center charging for delivery of it's tub.

    If you are only showering, then the Princeton would be fine.
    They are only 14" high, and 30" wide,
    the water level is even lower after you figure for the overflow.
    The overflow determines how high you can fill it.

    The Cambridge is much better for bathing.
  5. myladyfae

    myladyfae New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Boston
    thank you terry! that's a great way to think about it for me. I'm not really convinced that I can fit a 32" tub in there...the current tub is 29 I think and only 16 3/4 away from the center of the toilet's rough in.

    Although bathing would be nice, I doubt the room is really practical for it. As long as I could put a child in there, we're ok! The salesman had me concerned about the quality of the lowes princeton...he made it sound like an awful tub. appears there was a bit of self interest involved.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,486
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    Asking if you will get twice the tub is like asking whether you get twice the car if you buy a Cadillac instead of a Hyundai. If you just need transportation, then no, if you want to impress the neighbors then yes. IF you need a larger tub for bathing purposes, then the smaller one may not be appropriate, regardless of the price. If you mainly take showers, then the larger tub has no value to you.
  7. myladyfae

    myladyfae New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Boston
    it wasn't really the size that had me concerned when I originally posted so much as the quality of the materials used. the dealer I spoke with said that the quality of the americast material used in the cambridge he was offering was of a far superior quality to the princeton I'd be getting at lowes. the actual americast material, not the design or anything. It sounds like the cambridge may be roomier and better for bathing...but isn't really a significantly different quality of americast used.

    in general I still haven't really figured out if there IS a different "quality" americast that is thinner or more prone to warping or something.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,486
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    It would not make a lot of sense for American Standard to create two different Americast production lines, would it? Quite often the difference between our fixtures and the ones you get a Lowes or HD is in the final inspection. There is a great deal of suspicion that their items do NOT get inspected, therefore they have fewer rejections at the factory, which allows them to buy them at a lower price. In this case, YOU are the final inspector and if you do not find the imperfection they have sold something which would have been thrown away. IF you do find it, then YOU have to remove it, take it back, do the "return thing", get the new one, bring it home, uncrate it, and repeat the process. I have had fixtures from HD, that Kohler insists would NEVER have left the factory, and other items where the customer had to return the items several times before they had a good one.
  9. myladyfae

    myladyfae New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Boston
    I didn't know if it made sense; in fact I kind of suspected not...that's why I posted for advice :) the inspection point is well taken though. I could certainly see where a bulk order going out might not be well inspected.

    reguardless the dealer in question mentioned nothing about inspection...he specifically said they made them out of a different inferior americast material. That doesn't warm the cockles of my heart, so I think if I go with a dealer I'll find someone different.

    thanks!
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    I think what HJ was saying is that the big box stores may just take the next x items off the production line - put it in a box, and send it. A dealer's supply likely comes off that same production line, but it is inspected (probably more extensively) before it leaves the factory. So, you have a good chance of getting a good product at a big box store, but the probability is much higher at a dealer...the manufacturer and endusers must pay for that added QA/QC step. Also, a manufacturing line can't afford to have a high reject rate, so the big box store buyer has a high probability of getting a decent product, but no guarantee.

    You'll see that in numerous items used in industry. Guaranteed, tighter specs can add significantly to the price of an item - sometimes as much as 3-4x a general use item. That's one reason why military and critical use items (like for a hospital) often cost so much more than a consumer, general use item - there's little room for failure.
  11. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    I bought kitchen cabinets for my last house from HD, several panels were damaged
    Process was that HD would order the replacement parts
    The HD employee stated that the damaged pieces were on the "inside" of the cabinet & no-one would notice
    umm......I'll notice :mad:
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,486
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Hd

    I once picked up a cabinet, counter top, sink and medicine chest package from HD for a customer. When I went to install it, there was a part missing from the cabinet, but since it could be installed afterwards I connected the sink. I then mounted the medicine chest and light bar above it. When I went to insert the shelves there were NO HOLES for the brackets. I had to remove it, then went to HD and complained to the manager about "mediocrity being a fact of life" for their products and how the customer was paying me to put them in, take them out, exchange them, and then put them in again. He gave me the parts and refunded part of the purchase price.
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