Installing new tub??

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by BF750, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. BF750

    BF750 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Bathtub on mortar or slab??

    I have a slab floor and i want to install a sterling performa vikrell tub.. Shud i use a mortar bed? Or just put a ledger board on the studs and let it rest on the concrete?? ALSO IF THE DRAIN IS NOT CENTERD CAN I PUT I 90 ON THE OVERFLOW PIPE? any help please im installing tub 2mrw!!
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  2. BF750

    BF750 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Anybody?? Pleeease
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,129
    Location:
    New England
    What do the manufacturer's instructions say about a mortar bed? If they specifically don't allow it, it is always a good idea.

    90's are never a good idea in a drain. Keep in mind that the way a tub is often snaked out if it gets clogged up with hair, etc., is through the overflow. WIth a 90 in there, it can't be done. Then, you only option is to remove the tub.

    It's best to move the trap.
  4. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    If this is anything other than steel or cast iron (ie fiberglass), you should use a ledger board and put a mortar bed down.

    You could offset the overflow piping if necessary, but you wouldn't end up using a 90 to accomplish this...besides...you wouldn't end up using one 90...you'd end up using two 90s to offset...which is very naughty. And you would only really want to offset if you were stuck doing some kind of crazy direct drain installation.

    However if this is just a standard indirect installation and your new tub is wider than your old one and you don't have the skill to move the drain to the new central position...then it's probably best you hire someone to do this properly!
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,811
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    My first instinct is, "Why would anyone want to install one of those tubs in the first place?" Once I got past that, then I would consult the manufacturers instructions, which probably say to just put the tub on the concrete floor.
  6. BF750

    BF750 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Ok i the tub roughed in. The drain is only aout 1/ 2 inch off so i think i can manage.. The instructions say mortar is optional but the supports shud be on the ground so is a ledger necessary? Is this tub worth the $159.00
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,811
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    Does installing a $160.00 in an installation where it could cost thousands to replace it make any sense? The Sterling tubs I have installed, because the customers bought them, were so light and flimsy that I did it only because they insisted. They are nice to install because even a grade school kid could lift them and put them in place.
  8. Sterling vikrill

    A moarter bed is a good way to install one

    I did tha t in my old home and it worked great.....

    just make the moarter nice and soupy so the tub will squich down to level in the stuff then nail the hangers to the studs.

    all you need to do is nail the hangers that are already
    attached to the tub to the studs....


    be sure to make the opening under the tub larger so installing the drain wont
    be so difficult,,,,
  9. BF750

    BF750 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Ok so i got to raise the tub about 1 to 3 inches but the directions say the supports must rest directly on level subfloor.. Wuts the best way to do this?? I was thinking about making a frame out of 1x4's and filling with mortar or cement, then putting another mortar bed on top of that jus wher tub sits to get a total of bout 2 in. Is this the rite way to do it?? Thanks for any help
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,129
    Location:
    New England
    Correctly installed, a mortar bed can be your support. If you use a deck mud (3-5 parts sand to one of portland cement - richer (more cement) will squish easier, but will crack more when it cures), it's more like beach sand than cement. It doesn't run. Mix it with enough water to hold together when you grab a handfull, but it shouldn't drip moisture. Deck mud, once it sets, has enough compressive strength (it is the same mix that's used to make a shower pan), but it is not a finished surface like a sidewalk so it will be easy to gouge. You don't want to pack it down first, or you'll never get the tub to sit level, but once it is level, you can pack it in from the sides some - just keep watching the levels, both front to back and side to side. The objective is perfectly level.
  11. BF750

    BF750 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Where do i find the section on the whole "mortar piles" the reason im askin is becuz the tub i have.. Sterling performa vikrell, has a bottom side that looks like a waffle. So if i put piles or columns some of the holes probably wont get filled.. Therfore im thinking of a solid mortar bed maybe 1/4 inch or so bigger than the holes depth?? Any comments??
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,129
    Location:
    New England
    The less sand, the more cement, the squishier the mix is. It will also crack and shrink more. If you throw down a pile, get it close to level (don't pack it) so that it is higher than needed and covers the area needing support (keep it away from the drain so you can still work on it), then, when you push the tub down, it will squish and compact and fill in those nooks and crannies some. But, the goal is to get all of the webs and most of the holes supported. The larger the holes, the more important it is to fill them.

    Then, leave it alone overnight. The mortar won't be cured (it will take weeks), but it will have attained enough strength overnight to continue to work on the tub - it should be solid at that point. Cement is spec'ed for strenght at 28-days, but actually continues to cure for years.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  13. BF750

    BF750 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    New question??

    Instructions say use mortar cement.. All i find is quikrete mortar mix is that the same stuff and it is type n. Also will this stuff hold up (without a frame to hold it in) under a tub without breaking off or spliting where the legs are? Ther are 6 little legs that are about 3/4 in. Dia???
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,129
    Location:
    New England
    Look for a sand mix (deck mud). This is the same stuff used to build a shower pan. It is often prepackaged with 3 parts sand to one part portland cement (or you could mix your own - more work, but you won't need all that much). Or, you could use Structolite (sp?). A sand mix is close to wet beach sand - it doesn't flow. It should only be mixed with enough water to hold together when you grab and squeeze a clump (and not drip water). It will cure to a solid mass, but be grainy - you could scratch it easily. It will pack down when you set the tub into it so you want it a little deep, then settle the tub down into it so that it sits level. If the floor isn't perfectly level, and you've got good coverage, it doesn't need to have the legs sitting on the subfloor or slab (but, you need good coverage!). It's great in compression - probably a couple thousand pounds per square inch. You could put a sheet of plastic both under and over it - this will ensure the moisture doesn't evaporate, and it chemically cures which increases the strength. When cement cures, it incorporates the water into its crystaline structure - it doesn't dry. You mix a sand mix (deck mud) with a hoe and a rake. They make a special one just for this, but for one batch it's overkill. Mix it up real well before you add the water, and then add water a little at a time until you get it to clump when you grab a handfull and squeeze. It all needs to be damp, not soaking, and well mixed. You'll have probably 45-minutes after you start to wet it until you want to have everything in place, maybe longer if it is cool.

    You could mix this in the bathroom on the floor if you put down a tarp or some roofing felt or some plastic. You want something you can roll up and then dispose of. But, carrying a few big buckets of the stuff you've mixed say in the driveway works well, too. Just don't track it in on the carpet along the way...cement is a bear to get out and the sand could scratch flooring along the way if your shoes aren't clean.
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