Removing a tub and installing a shower

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Junior, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. Junior

    Junior New Member

    Messages:
    5
    The current set up in the bathroom is with a tub where a shower head has been installed. So, you shower in the tub. I am going to remove the tub and replace it with a glassed in shower that is fully tiled. I know that there are water supply shut off for the toilet and the sink and that it's likely there isn't a shut off for the tub. Is it possible to remove the tub and do the work without having the shut the water off for the entire house? If I do turn the water back on before the project is finished will the tub faucet drip if the faucet isn't removed? You see part of the problem is that this is the only bathroom for the house and the toilet needs to be accessible without the non-existent tub filling the water and getting all over the floor.
  2. thezster

    thezster New Member

    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Just how much "remodeling is involved? Are you ripping out the drywall/cementboard? If so, once you get access to the valve, you can cap off the copper pipe leading to the faucet.

    I assume you're going to replace the valve too........ Again... if you get to the studs, removing/blocking off the valve assembly is a simple matter of sweating caps onto the piping until you're ready to re-assemble.... Of course, that assumes you're able to sweat copper piping...
  3. Junior

    Junior New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Under the tiles that I just took off the wall is drywall. So this must come off and then I am going to replace it with cement board.

    So, because the enclosure is now going to be a shower I can cap the faucet to the tub entirely, permanently? That's great.

    Sweat copper pipes? I need to do this so that cap fits properly?
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,296
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Your unfamiliarity with the term, "sweating" indicates you are a real novice. Redoing a bathroom is a challenging task for a somewhat experienced DIYer, and it may be more than you should tackle with some skilled assistance. This is especially true since this is the only bathroom in the house. BTW, "sweating" refers to soldering copper pipe/fittings. It gets the name because the flux that is applied to the pipe and fittings causes the molten solder to suck into the space between the two. You have several plumbing tasks to do, and they must be done right or you'll have mega problems. I strongly suggest you have a plumber analyze your job and at least point out what has to be done. You might be able to do the tear out and reconstruction of the room, etc., but you'd better get some plumbing help.
  5. thezster

    thezster New Member

    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Gotta agree with the "Swart-man"....

    While it's not difficult for someone with experience, it can be disasterous for a novice. Pull down your drywall... expose pipes.... and call a plumber or more experienced friend...
  6. Junior

    Junior New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for the sweating advice. At least I knew what to ask about. I picked up the tools, had a lesson on what I was doing and it worked. Now I just need to pressure test, i.e. turn the tap on to make sure that the cap is going to stay in place.
  7. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Woo!!! Ohmygoodness, I hope all goes well... one thing about soldering, you kind of know if you got it right or not, it's a serious technique that once you master is as easy as breathing - but when you're learning, you should not be trying it on the very thing that you are trying to fix. The way you said "turn the tap on to make sure that the cap is going to stay in place" made my spidey senses go off the richter scale, because if you soldered it properly you would realize that this is molten metal that has bonded clean copper surfaces into one solid piece... there would be no concern about whether or not the cap would stay on or not! it would be a question of "did I get it all the way around? is there going to be a little pinhole? It seemed to need a lot of heat to get 'er going...?" or something like that. If you are trying to save money by doing this yourself, I get the feeling you're going to have waaaaaay more money go out the door by not having a plumber take literally 2-5 minutes to do it correctly. Just trying to help you avert disaster! Good luck...
  8. John Bridge

    John Bridge Mudmeister

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    I know it's a bit late, but you could have simply screwed galvanized nipples into the dog ear Ls for the shower and the tub spout and put threaded caps on them.

    I would suggest you get a plumber to install your new shower control valve. You will also need to relocate the drain in order to build a tile shower. The drain needs to be centrally located.
  9. thezster

    thezster New Member

    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Well, we all have to start somewhere... While I don't remember my first DIY sweated joint, I'm sure I was just as concerned as you are now...

    Heck, I still hold my breath a little bit when I turn the H2O back on full pressure after sweating a new run. And, have had to go back to fix a pinhole or two (I seem to have an issue with overheating caps especially)...

    You've a big project ahead.... use the advice of the forum, that's what it's for..... study books, take your time.... and above all - do it right...
  10. florida_wen

    florida_wen New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Plant City, Florida
    I think I was born with the “D.I.Y. chromosome†inherited from my Father’s side, who was a great machinist, home remodeler and had many “mister fix-it†talents. As I read through many of these forum messages and replies, I certainly learn the proper “techniques and trade secrets†of many projects and I pick up hundreds of valuable tips as well as “do’s and don’tsâ€. Many of my friends and relatives try D.I.Y. projects and sometimes they get in way over there head, and I must admit there have been times that I too was at that point. In the case of “Junior†who started this thread and is removing a tub and installing a shower, I am actually going to do this exact same project very soon.
    I just wanted to ad my comment, from a D.I.Y. point of view and not that of a skilled tradesman. Many, many years ago when I wanted to learn the proper techniques of soldering copper pipe (and that was before lead-free solder, when soldering was actually easier) I went out and purchased a torch kit, three extra bottles of gas, several rolls of solder, a gigantic tub of flux, several pipe cutters, about 50 feet of copper pipe (type L, M, etc.) and over 100 various L, T, cap, etc. fittings. I spent several days just soldering joint after joint, seeing the effect of too much flux, too little flux, too much or too little heat, etc., etc. I also watched several episodes on TV, purchased VHS tapes, as well as reading a few articles about proper soldering techniques and picked up even more pointers. I have friend who is a great plumber and I actually (you’ll laugh at this one, probably won’t believe me, but its true) tagged along with him at few local jobs he did in my area. I picked up more “secrets†like wiping the freshly soldered pipe joints with a wet rag to remove excess solder and make it look nearly perfect, how to put metal “shields†to prevent flame from burning walls or studs, the old “bread trick†to stop water from dripping in the pipe, using pliers to slightly “pinch†pipes together to keep them from moving or sliding apart when being soldered, etc. I guess what I am trying to say is that for a occasional, “once in a lifetime†solder job I totally agree that an inexperienced homeowner should definitely call a professional plumber as many have suggested in replies to this thread, but for a person that wants to “D.I.Y.†and has many plumbing projects down the line that involve soldering (sweating as Junior referred to) copper pipes, just spend around fifty bucks and buy the needed tools and supplies (as I did) and practice, practice, practice.......... It’s almost like having a “talent†for music or art...... if you “got it†your talent will easily develop, but if you don’t you will know very, very soon !!
  11. Cal

    Cal New Member

    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Junior,
    Soldering is not something you want to learn at this point in the project.Maybe you could go to the local plumbing shop and buy 2 - 1/2" compression ball valves. Cut the hot and cold supply lines off at least 8" above the floor , tighten these valves on, make sure they are turned off and CALL YOUR PLUMBER !! The drain work is also very important. Again,it is not something that can be done just "o.k" . Has to be right or BIG problems.

    Good luck.
  12. Junior

    Junior New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for all of the input. I have practiced soldering and while the result isn't pretty it is definately water tight. I have attached the coupling to the copper pipe so that the top is now able to fit onto the 2 inch drain.

    I am moved on to attaching the concrete board to the wall and am going to build up the floor a bit because the drain sits too high.
  13. Junior

    Junior New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Have you ever used or heard of a product called Red Guard? I have been told that this can be used instead of a PVC membrane on the base of the shower and that it should be spread over-top of the concrete as opposed to beneath the concrete. Would you recommend using this product instead of a PVC membrance?

    So, the order of the items from floor up would be:
    1) concrete board
    2) concrete
    3) Red Guard
    4) mortar
    5) tiles and their glue

    I am assuming that the mortar will stick to the Red Guard. Also, what do you think about using this stuff to seal the walls as well?
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