Installing a Kohler Villager Cast Iron Tub

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Terry, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,920
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Installing or setting a Kohler Villager Cast Iron Tub.
    The Villager weighs in at 316 pounds.
    It's best to bring it in with two men.
    Four men would be okay too.
    Once it's in the bathroom, I can set it into the alcove by myself without help.

    I use a ledger board on the back wall, making sure it's level first.

    Leave the tub in the crate, it stacks easier that way, and gives you some nice hand holds.
    I like to center the tub at the hips, and lean it on my back. Then I have a guy or two hold the back of the crate and follow behind me.
    I carry it like I'm giving someone a piggy back ride.

    When I get it into the bathroom, I set it in vertically with the drain side down, with the open part of the bathing well towards the tub valve.

    [​IMG]

    I make sure I have two 2x4's with me.
    One, I place on the floor, this prevents the tub from falling all the way down, and can act like a pivot with the second 2x4
    The 2x4 on the floor doesn't have to be real long.

    [​IMG]
    After I pull the crate off, I can start letting the tub drop back against the back wall. With the crate off, it will pull toward the back wall, and catch on the studs.
    To get past the stud, I have to pull the tub toward me, and slid it by.

    [​IMG]

    Almost there.
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,920
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    At this point, the tub has dropped down to the floor level.
    I leave a bit of drywall out on the room side of the tub on the end away from the drain.
    The apron will fall into that space.
    I leave a 2x4 on the floor to prevent the tub from dropping too far.
    If I need to lift the drain side of the tub up, I can use a second 2x4 and lever it up, using the 2x4 on the floor as a pivot.
    This way, I'm pushing down, and not lifting up.
    At the last bit, I pull the last 2x4 from below the tub.

    If the tub needs sliding in, I can sit on the floor, and use my legs to push it in.

    If the tub is in the room, I can set it by myself.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,523
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    WAAAAAAY too difficult. You are a glutton for punishment and a candidate for a bad back. It is also usually not possible to remove the drywall from the opposite side for a remodel/replacement installation. I use the "Egyptian pyramid" method, which employs as little effort as possible along with the maximum use of leverage.

    ON some tubs a 2x4 ledger is too thick and it hits the radius of the tub. For those, or if you are not sure, use a 1x4. As for getting it into the space. Lay the tub on the floor with the apron on the bottom. Get it into the approximate position. Remove the front, top, and back of the crate. Place "something" on the floor, (cardboard, or 1x2 strips, or anything similar to protect the tub edge), and slide the tub off the crate onto it.Then, depending on how large the recess is, either roll the tub down and onto the ledger, or angle it in between the studs on one end, then turn the tub parallel to the back wall and roll it down into position. When the tub drain is installed depends on your space. If you have access after the tub is in position, put it together last. Otherwise, assemble it on the tub, remove the assembly and put it into position while connecting it to the drain, then put the tub in place over it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2009
  4. DanMcD

    DanMcD New Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    It is very hard for a novice like me to visualize the steps of this "Egyptian pyramid" method. I guess I'm a picture guy.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,920
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Now I know that hj has been plumbing longer then me, and is very wise and cabable.

    But wait! Did he also work on the pyramids?
    I need to make him an avatar with a pyramid now.

    I'm sure that hj knows what he is doing.
    I would love to see him install one, old guys do it better.

    The way I do it, was from an old guy, but there are always many ways to do things.

    Now if we can only talk hj into posting some pictures.

    Some of the earliest history of the Pyramid comes from a Greek traveler named Herodotus of Halicanassus. He visited Egypt around 450 BC and included a description of the Great Pyramid in a history book he wrote. Herodotus was told by his Egyptian guides that it took twenty-years for a force of 100,000 oppressed slaves to build the pyramid. Stones were lifted into position by the use of immense machines. The purpose of the structure, according to Herodotus's sources, was as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu (whom the Greeks referred to as Cheops).
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,523
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    Actually, it is almost easier to do it than to describe HOW to do it. IF the tub is going into a recess with a knee wall or other way that the tub can fit in front of the opening, then you START with the tub in the location of Terry's second posting, (otherwise you get the tub as close to the final location as possible, usually at an angle), but with the tub laying on the apron in the crate. You remove the crate except for the bottom piece the tub is on. Then you slide the tub out of the crate onto a couple of boards, 2x4's are best because they are the same thickness as the bottom plate of the wall. Then you toss the last piece of the crate away to get rid of it. If the tub is on an angle, you slide it forward so the upper edge goes into the space between studs. Then you rotate it square with the back wall. At this time your tub is at the recess, between the two walls. Then you gradually rotate it downward onto the ledger board. If you have it is the right position to start with the tub will hit the rear studs before reaching the ledger. Then you can let go of it and get your hands out of the way. The tub will continue down by itself, or you can push it if necessary. Now all you have to do is jack the front up a bit and remove the two boards. With a two wheel hand cart to move the tub into the room it is a one man job. In fact two men might get in each other's way.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  7. Andrew21

    Andrew21 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    New York
    WOW, this is very helpful.

    I just got my grandmothers house and will need to replace the tub. I'm thinking if I can go with the cast iron or the steel tub. I'd rather the cast iron though. I do have a problem. Where the tub sits if you look down the bathroom, its in a recess on the right hand side. Not a problem but right next to it is a radiator. Its one of those where you have to pull the front of it off to access anything inside of it. Well the radiator is in the way. Anyway I can remove it temporary and put the tub in..or will I have to do it your way but sideways?

    I'll take a picture to show everyone. Easier to explain.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,523
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    radiator

    A picture would help because how you can install the tub depends on exactly where the radiator is and how far it projects into the room. Normally it would not be a problem.
  9. Andrew21

    Andrew21 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    New York
    Here you go. Just a reminder, this is my parents home. The house I inherited from grandma is exactly the same. Same builder back in the day. Only difference is that there is tile in her bath instead of carpet.

    [​IMG]
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,523
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heater

    The heater does not cause a problem with either method of installing the tub.
  11. Andrew21

    Andrew21 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    New York
    HJ,
    So here's what I'm going to do. let me know if I'm doing this wrong.

    When the old tub is out and the new one goes in, we're going to do the following:

    -Take the tub and lay it down sideways.
    -Take the wooden crate packaging off on the sides and the top or just take everything off
    -Slide the tub in on an angle and hopefully it will fit.
    -Proceed with the rest of the steps to lowering the tub down (assuming the ledger board has been set. Then putting in the drain.)

    Now I see a problem when trying to angle the tub in. It just barely fits. If we can't get the tub to angle in, are we going to have to lift the tub up and around the radiator. Know what I mean?

    Thanks for your help

    Andrew
  12. Andrew21

    Andrew21 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    New York
    After thinking about this, I think that this may work. When the time comes, I'll let everyone know. Thanks again.
  13. tbbarch

    tbbarch New Member

    Messages:
    35
    rotating into place retrofit 5 foot niche tub

    I have a typical 5x8 bathroom. The door opens on the narrow end and the tub is across the opposite wall.

    I was thinking of replacing the tub but haven't figure how the new tub could be brought through the door and rotated 90 degrees to fit on the opposite wall.

    The narrowest diagonal dimensions will be longer than the side walls by approximately 2" - so the walls obstruct the turn. (?)

    - My best guess is that it rotates into the stud cavity but at 16" high it does not fit between standard stud spacing.

    Also ...

    How can the weight of a cast iron tub be handled so that it can be lifted and set back into the niche?

    Any tips on moving a cast iron tub in close quarters?
  14. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet New Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    You stand the tub on end and let it rotate into place. Takes 3 or 4 reasonably fit people to manhandle the thing.
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,523
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    with the radiator there, you uncrate the tub then angle it into the alcove with the left edge between the joists. Then rotate the right side in so the tub parallels the back wall. Pull the tub forward as far as possible, the push the top away from you so it starts to settle into position. It will probably hit the rear wall before it is all the way down, so you will have to pull it forward a bit, unless the weight of the tub does it for you. After you do it for 60 years and many tubs, it will be easy for you.
  16. tbbarch

    tbbarch New Member

    Messages:
    35
    I'm not sure how I got into this line of posts since I started a new thread but they seem to answer the question.

    I have the impression cast iron is brittle. How brittle it is I am clueless.
    I imagine the tub could get dropped a few inches in the described installations to get it to set on the rear ledger or in pulling out the installation 2x4 on the bottom. This small drop would not break it would it - or do I need to rope it or lever it down?

    Has anyone done this installation on top of grouted down DITRA waterproofing and slip sheet - and not destroyed the grout and sheet?

    For that matter is there a better way to water proof the floor under tiles and tub in a bathroom other than DITRA?
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,920
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've never heard of anyone breaking a cast iron tub buy installing or moving them. I have removed old tubs by smashing them with a sledge hammer. I don't know why you would water proof under a cast tub. They have a drain that goes through the floor, normally I cut an 8" x 12" hole for the waste and overflow.
  18. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    California
    correct way to level cast iron tub

    I'm in the process of installing a cast iron tub with a friend. He and the plumber set it on wood shims to level it before hooking up the drain. It is on a new 3/4" plywood floor that has been reinforced to take the weight. No problem there.

    My concern is that wood shims in 4 places along the edge won't support the weight long-term and will crush down, creating a crack between the tub and soon-to-be-installed tile.

    What is the correct way to install the tub, or is this acceptable?
  19. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,523
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    They should have installed a "ledger" board under the rear edge of the tub to support it. That is the ONLY support needed, and it is NECESSARY to keep the tub and tile together in case of wall movement.
  20. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Did he shim under the front apron to level that? Or under the back ledger?
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