How to change a roman tub faucet, and add a handshower, with a tiled tubsurround

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by dbpropp, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. dbpropp

    dbpropp New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Oran, Washington
    We're having a house built which includes a roman tub. The builder (Shea Homes) offers very few choices of faucet upgrades and finishes, none of which are what we want. We also want a hand-shower, which none of their options include. Shea is very inflexible and will not install any faucet that they don't sell... not even if we purchase one that would require no change in their installation procedures.

    The only way we can get the faucet we want is to have Shea install their standard roman tub faucet and then change it later. Unfortunately, the tub will be mounted in a tiled tub surround / tub deck. It is against an external wall and mounted on a solid floor, with a tile/glass shower on one end and the water closet wall at the other end.

    Does anyone have any experience or suggestions about this? Would it be possible / difficult to knock out one piece of tile (12") and cut the plywood behind it to get access, then after the installation repair the plywood and install a new tile? Is there another or better way to do this, without pulling out the tub? And is it possible to drill a hole in the tile & plywood for the hand-shower?

    Any ideas and help would be greatly appreciated!

    (And if anyone from Shea Homes reads this, please consider being more flexible with customers who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars with your company!)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2011
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Any plumbing problem can be solved with the appropriate amount of cubic dollars. And that is the problem. You are asking for such a deviation from their standard construction that they just don't want to deal with it. For them, it would involve a big change order with their plumbing contractor, sourcing the valve from someplace they may not have an account ( hard to imagine for such a big builder, but $$$ is everything), and deviation from their contstruction schedule.

    Opening up tile is POSSIBLE but not a good idea, as it will never look "original". Cutting into the waterproof deck of the tub is very problematical. Is there a stand up shower in your master in addition to the roman? Maybe you just rethink your needs.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,251
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Intransigence is a way of life for those contractors because they only want to do what their workers are used to. Anything else may add to the time to complete the job, and any problems afterward might entail a new learning curve. They also do NOT allow anyone else, often even the home owner, to do ANYTHING on the jobsite until the owner takes possession of the residence. Because of the way the faucet is attached to the tub, you would still require access beneath it even to remove the tub.
  4. jastori

    jastori New Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Illinois
    Do you know what brand of plumbing fixture / faucets they are using? It it is a major brand, there may be lots of different trim kits (finish / style options) that could be later swapped out for the one they install without any destructive work. It will be difficult to properly add a hand shower to the already finished tub.

    If you are really set on options that are not willing to provide, another possibility might be to remove the bathroom from the contract for the home, and hire an independent contractor later on to finish the bathroom the way you want.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,251
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote;another possibility might be to remove the bathroom from the contract for the home, and hire an independent contractor later on to finish the bathroom the way you want.

    That is probably one option the builder would absolutely refuse. It would probably create inspection and certificate of occupancy problems, as well as closing the loan. You can be absolutely certain, that any allowance for the deletion, if it were agreed to, would be considerably LESS that what it would cost to finish the room after taking possession of it.
  6. hhl research

    hhl research New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2011
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    It sounds like you are not actually "having a house built". You are buying a tract home which is still under contstruction. If the builder was under contract to you, you could do these things,
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