Please choose the best bathtub for me!

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Skye, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Skye

    Skye New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Bloomington IN
    I am almost driven mad trying to decide what bathtub to choose for our small bathroom. I am going to be restricted by 60X30 measurements, in an alcove. The tub we have now is cast iron and I carelessly scratched it, while having a stool set up in it while painting the ceiling. I was assuming we'd replace it, so no problem, but since I started researching choices, I am wondering if I can just fix the scratches, as it doesn't seem like my choices are going to be much better with those dimensions. Can you fix the scratches????
    Assuming we WILL replace it, I really wanted a deeper tub, to at least have something going for the small space. My preference would be to have cast iron again, but there seems to be very few choices. I've read about Bellwether by Kohler, but it seems to have issues with needing a longer faucet size and drain size which ups the costs and someone read that they thought it was "substandard" for Kohler. I am afraid of acrylic and Americast not holding up well. We want this tub to last and NOT have to replace it later. I am so confused by what decision to make that I'm beginning to have stomachaches about making the wrong decision. Can you experts help me decide which bathtub would be best (or is there a way to fix the scratches I made and just keep my old 14" deep cast iron?).Thanks so much for any advice!:confused::confused::confused:
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    You can easily re spray the coating on your old tub but you will be left with that shallow unit.

    Get out there and climb into some new tubs and see how they feel. I don't have a cast iron tub and love ours. It's a big soaker and plain jane but is so comfy and my wife and girls love it. It's made by a local BC company Acritec.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a link to my tub. http://www.acritec.com/products/bath/bathtubs/skirted/detailed/Simplicity II.html

    I choose it for the simple lines and extra width. It's 32" wide and so roomy.

    JW
  3. Skye

    Skye New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Bloomington IN
    Thanks for your input; I appreciate it! I have about decided that I'm going to have to stick with a 60X30 dimension tub, since we want to do a tub/shower combo in our small room and the builders stuck a window right at the edge of the tub. Unless I run a shower door into the window frame, I don't see how I am going to even come out the 2" to even make it to 32". It is really frustrating, since that limits my choices further. I have been focusing on Kohler brands, as I've read people really seem to like them. I found one, Hourglass which is 60X30 (does anyone have experience with these????) online, haven't seen it. I am wondering if it would work with a shower. In my hours of researching, I read that, I believe the Archer model said NOT to use it in a combo. The Hourglass is a drop in which I really didn't want to use. It seems like a lot of extra work to install and will bring the base further out into the room with the frame. I tried to call Kohler Co. this morning to ask them if it was suitable for a shower combo and sat on hold for way too long before deciding to hang up. It made me wonder about their customer service; if you can't even get a rep to pick up on the sales department end, what is it like when you have an actual problem you have to deal with. I've not heard of the acritec brand before but I'll give it a glance. If anyone else has ideas for a 60X30 choice or knows about the Hourglass tub, please chime in. I would appreciate it greatly!
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,713
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Drop in tubs are best suited for a non combo environment. It is doable but only with added expense and bits and pieces.

    What is key with any good instal is a waterproofing system. The easiest and cheapest is using some poly behind concrete board. Simple and field tested for years. Up from there you have many different waterproofing systems and many companies to choose from.

    I recommend you first select your tile and then your tile setter. Find out what brand of setting material and grout they use and then find a system to work with that product line. The thinset companies all make liquid membranes so getting a system from Custom Building Products, Mapei or Laticrete is easy. Sheet membranes preform better and then you have many options again. I try and keep the tile setter happy.

    If your doing the work yourself it's hard to beat the 25 year warranties offered up by Laticrete and Custom. Make sure you test your tubs overflow connection once installed and consider using a mortar bed below the tub for a more solid feel.

    I used Green EBoard and Hydro Ban on my daughter tub and set it in with two bags of mortar mix. It feels rock solid and sees all bathing in our current home (family of five).

    The biggest mistake I see in tub installs is the lack of care of the backer board to tub detail and the fact that the floor tile is touching the skirt. The first lends itself to a moldy connection point and the later to a squeaky tub.

    There is lots to learn. Once you pick your tub why don't you post some pictures and let us help you with the details. There is a load of people here on Terry's sight and you can draw on all our experience. If you look past our debates and personally preferences you will come away with a good knowledge base and some confidence. Always remember to double check this advice with the manufacture and your local plumbing department.

    Sorry I can not help you with your Kohler question. I only installed a few and the last one was a cast iron free standing tub. My client does not like the comfort side but loves the design and look. Make sure you climb in any tub you are going to buy and try it. Some feel great and other not so much.

    It's wise to plan on a niche or pick a tub with a wide flange - you will need somewhere to rest your wine glass!

    JW
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,056
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You seem to be making the process a lot more difficult than it should be. EVERY manufacturer makes a 30" x 60" tub, because that is the "standard" minimum FHA size. Kohler's "Villager" will work as one recommendation. As an aside, almost ALL 30" tubs will be 14" high, because that is also an FHA minimum.
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