Level Sterling Vikrell Tub

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by larkinglass, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. larkinglass

    larkinglass New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland
    Hello, I'm installing a RH-drain Sterling Vikrell (Accord) tub and surround in the basement bathroom. Floor is concrete. Cannot raise tub more than an inch or so because of low ceiling - in other words, I don't want to build a deck.
    My problem is that the floor is sloped approx 3/8 inches toward the drain and nearly 1/2 inch from the back wall to the front (apron side) of the tub. If I set the tub in mortar and level it the tub apron will be significantly off the floor, especially toward the drain side. I plan to install a ceramic tile flooring which could hide most all of this gap, but is this gap acceptable for the integrity of the tub. I'm worried that if I sit on the edge of the tub it could rock out of the mortar.
    Here are the options I've thought of so far:
    1) shim the bottom edge of apron
    2) trim the legs of the tub slightly (there are no issues with height of drain assembly) and carefully trace and trim the bottom of the apron to conform to the floor to approximate level, then set in mortar
    3) pour some kind of floor leveler under the tub space (Henry's?) including to the edge of the apron (worried about chipping of this underlay at edge of the apron, especially since it cannot be used under ceramic tile).

    Anyone have suggestions about these options or other ideas I could try?

    Many Thanks!
    Philip in Maryland
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,325
    Location:
    New England
    You could level the entire bathroom floor with self-leveling cement (slc). The stuff isn't cheap, but you may not need all that much. You need to really understand how that stuff works, or you'll end up with an expensive mess. Check out www.johnbridge.com for tiling, slc, and more help. It's SO much easier setting tile on a truely flat floor, and level makes it easier with the toilet and vanity, too. I've only used SLC once (and I used Ardex K-15), but many people swear by some other brands. Keep in mind that as soon as water hits the stuff, you only have minutes to mix it and pour it. It's not like dealing with concrete - you really can't tool it as it's more like pancake batter that will run everywhere it isn't contained. It goes from powder to liquid when mixed with the water to hard as a rock in often less than 10-15 minutes (and most have you mixing for about 3 of those minutes), so you need to understand what's going on and do it right the first time. I mixed and poured 8-bags in about 15-minutes, keeping the wet edge to keep things flowing, but it took a lot of prep - premeasured water, bags opened, lined up ready to pour into the mixing barrel. You really want help doing this - you usually mix two bags at once (100#), plus the water (probably another 50#), and the barrel - it's HEAVY. You need to carry it to where you will be pouring it. I won't do it again without help, preferably at least a couple of people - one to be mixing, while two carry and do any feathering, if required. Think about the chocolate that you may get your ice cream cone dipped in...liquid one moment, hard as a rock then next. It's not quite that bad, but again, you don't have much time to mess with it. It does self-level, but like a pancake in the pan, it won't go to a feather edge unless you help it out by spreading it. It's easier to have too much and let it be deep, than not enough and not get enough time to feather the edges before it starts to set. If you go this route, follow the instructions to the letter and that always requires buying the brand specific primer.
  3. larkinglass

    larkinglass New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland
    problem solved

    Thanks for the advice. I investigated leveling the floor with an quick setting overlay. Unfortunately, the high spot is under the tub and the rest of the floor is spot-on level. I think I would have created more problems with that approach in the long run. If the low spot was under the tub I would have done it in a heartbeat.

    So, what did I do?

    I made a freaking mess: I rented a big floor grinder from the local big box and ground that high spot down. Then spent the next week wiping down everything we own on every surface of our house. But at least it's level now.

    I set the Vikrell tub in a bed of mortar and now it's solid as a rock.

    Big thanks to Terry Love and his forums.
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