Shims or start over?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by nursedoe, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. nursedoe

    nursedoe New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    California High Desert
    Hi Again!

    So, my son helped out by installing the stringer for the tub. However, he did not use a level and after the tub was in (again) it sort of rocks. And not in a good way. I am able to get my fingers and a pencil under there to mark the gaps. By myself, I can and did slide the tub out just enough to clear the 2x4 but not enough to unscrew it from the studs. I have some handy dandy cedar shims and adding them on the top of the 2x4 1,3,4 makes it even. I am willing to take the tub out again ( 3-4 times), if that is best, but if this will work it would be easier.

    Secondly, the plumber, took the instuctions for the drain set up with him. Apparently the ONLY piece of trash that he picked up. It is black ABS I think. There is a thick washer that goes between the drain and the tub and then a drain piece that screws in that seems to be totally coated with plumbers putty. Do I need to put anything between the washer and tub, or washer and drain? Should I put fresh plumbers putty all over the metal drain?

    And lastly, If I do take the tub out again, should I put insulation on the floor? For some reason this americast tub says not to put it in mortar and not to have the tub touching the ground. I am wondering if insulation touching it would mess it up.

    Thanks guys. Let's hope this is the weekend it finally gets done!

    nursedoe ( finally now a nurse practitioner!)
  2. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    First off Iwould have left the job like new,putty is OK for W/O.
    Black washer on underside putty on outlet of tub.Congrats as now I need more work done on my hand surgery.
    Apreceate all that you do!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2007
  3. That tub should be sitting on a bed of mortar between the bottom of the tub and the bottom of the tub.

    If a steel cheapy tub......better have plastic between the mortar and tub bottom.
  4. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    And that too R.
  5. nursedoe

    nursedoe New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    California High Desert
    Blah!

    Okay, I hate the tub. I hate it. Every single time we get it in, it is level both ways. However once the stringer was level, the tub was off right to left on the left side (right drain, recessed). Looks like the tiles interfer and now the last row of tile to the tub is coming out. If the tub sits on the tiles, it is level, but the instructions say to make sure it is on the floor. My son thinks since the tiles are right on the edge, the weight would crack them anyway. I am sure then, the stringer will have to be adjusted downward too.

    This plumbing stuff is very, very tricky. My son said after I remove the tiles, he will help put the tub back in, make sure it is level, mark the top of flange and measure down from there rather than up from the floor, which of course is not level. Wish us luck
  6. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    Use a morter bed under tub.If it is allready tiled in I dont see how I be of help.
    And is it plastic or steele?
  7. nursedoe

    nursedoe New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    California High Desert
    No, guys, the instructions says absolutely not to put the tub on a bed of mortar or any other bedding material. In fact, the warranty is void if that is done. I am not sure why the inexpensive Americast tubs are like that. The instructions says that the tub itself should not be touching the floor. It sort of has a frame that supports the tub part off the floor.

    I didn't understand what you meant by " I would have left the job as new" ...

    The plumber did offer to come back and put the tub back in after I had exchanged it. I just didn't want to deal with poor workmanship again. Although I never met, the second plumber that my mom refered to as "the kid", I just was so upset with his workmanship, it is hard not to think that reflects the company as a whole.

    Maybe because my Dad was a mechanic and my parents ran a shop for 35 years, that I judge a worker by the way he keeps his tools and his work area. I will try to remember to post pics I have the foot prints all over the tub, the hole left just dirt after he dug up the drain etc, trash every where. Since the new tub was smaller (even though the measurements were the same on the box) he put two 2x4's together for about three feet to balance the tub. I would have appreciated a phone saying, "Hey lady, this is not going to work, I know I promised this price but the tub doesn't fit in this space. So I will leave it out and let you reframe the walls, call me when you are ready to install"

    If after I take out the last row of tiles, the tub doesn't sit level, then I will call the plumber back. I just hate to get charged more money.

    nursedoe
  8. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    You would not have not seen excess putty and it be ready to jump and
    have a good time.
  9. nursedoe

    nursedoe New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    California High Desert
    After reading so many responses on this board, I have come to believe that most plumbers are good guys. It is very hard work, and I really understand that it takes mad skills that cannot be learned from a diy book alone. I just happen to find the ones that are not as good. They are not really plumbers. They work for big plumbing companies. I am learning there is a big difference.

    I am tired of it for today, the plan for the morning is to get the tiles out and try again. I am so glad that I have an extra box of floor tiles.

    nursedoe
  10. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The reason they tell you not to support the tub on mortar is that rigid supports tend to result in sharp bending at the edge of the support when you fill the tub with water and stand in it. That sharp bending will crack the finish on the inside of the tub.

    Think of a wooden yardstick. If you support it at the ends you can deflect it a long ways before it breaks. If you bend it over the edge of a table you will crack it with small deflection.

    Plastic ("Americast" and other) tubs are designed to allow deflection at other than the designed supports, and to have low bending stresses in the unsupported areas. The large radius curvatures in the tub are designed to carry the load to the supports without cracking the surface. Most such tubs have larger radius curves than you will see with a cast iron tub.

    The edge of a mortar bed will be like the edge of the table under the yardstick. There is no problem with soft maerials like fiberglass insulation or even SOFT foam touching the tub.

    The same problem applies to the tile. The weight of the tub should not be supported on ceramic tile because any small deflection in the support of the tile will crack the tile. The gap between the edge of the tile and the tub should be sealed with a flexible material. Tile would not be a problem is supported on concrete with a mortar bed.
  11. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    FWIW: The instructions for my fiberglass tub say to shim as necessary between the tub and studs where the screws go through the tub if the alcove turns out to be a tad too large.
  12. nursedoe

    nursedoe New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    California High Desert
    Thanks a lot for the explanation. It finally makes sense. The plan is to get back in there today and get those tiles out. I think it has just gotten to the point that I am sick of it. If I hadn't taken the door off already, I would just close the door and forget it. Blah!
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