Leveling a self leveling Jacuzzi

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Spud Farmer, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Spud Farmer

    Spud Farmer New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    SoCal
    I am new to plumbing and was given the 3 rules as follows:

    1) Excrement runs downhill (at a 1/4" over 12" to 1/2" over 12" only)
    2) Don't chew your fingernails
    3) Use the sandwich bag to hold the sandwich by a corner while eating and feed the remainder to the family dog

    With that being the extent of my plumbing knowlege, I am trying to build a support frame for a Jacuzzi soaker tub. The tub was sold as self leveling and has some rather large blocks of foam glued to the bottom. I've heard of setting a tub in mortar (this one is acrylic) for bottom support. I have two questions,

    1) Do I need to set the bottom of the self leveling tub in mortar?
    2) How much shorter do I need to build the tub deck (this is a drop in installation) than the dry tub lip height? Basically, when I put it in mount position and fill it with water, how much is that foam on the bottom going to compress?

    I don't want to build the deck too high (and will already be redoing the walls as the tub showed up 5/8" shorter than the spec print) and have the tub sitting on the edges and I'm worried that if I build too low the foam will not compress enough and I'll be redoing the entire thing.

    Any ideas about these tub base types?

    Thanks,
    Stan
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,301
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I build the tub box a little higher than the depth of the tub, place piles of mortar down and when the tub is dropped, it will squish the mortar piles out and conform to the bottom of the tub.
    Too much mortar, and the tub won't drop down to the box. Too little, and it won't be supported on the bottom.
  3. Spud Farmer

    Spud Farmer New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    SoCal
    Should I cut off the foam blocks then? I like the idea of a fully supported tub base instead of strategically placed blocks.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,301
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I would keep the foam blocks.

    And you can't entirely level the mortar and expect the tub to sit flat. It sets up too quickly for that. There will be some space inbetween, but that's much better than a tub just hanging in air.
  5. Spud Farmer

    Spud Farmer New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    SoCal
    Ok. So to make sure I have this right, I put the mortar where the foam block aren't and then set the tub into the mortar and let the foam blocks contact the ground?

    Also, rather than tear out the surround walls that I have finished, I was going to use (2) or (3) 1/2" cement backer boards stacked on the floor to give a higher platform for the foam blocks to sit on. Then I can use the 3/4 plywood on top of the walls, 1/2 backer on top of the plywood and 1/4" thick tiles to top it off.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,301
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I would also support under the foam blocks.

    And stacking more material on the top of the box to raise it is fine.

    If everything was perfectly level, and you measured perfectly so that the tub was resting on the foam pads, that would have been enough.
    The trouble with that, is it looks so nice on paper, and is so hard to do that in the field.
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