Steel tub tear out / Kohler Villager install - Alcove - Block Wall

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Fumisan, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Fumisan

    Fumisan New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Hello,

    Could you offer some advice on tearing out our existing steel tub and replacing with a CI tub?

    We are pretty sure we are going to go with a Kohler Villager in biscuit to match Toto sinks and toilet that are Sedona beige.

    Does anyone know if Kohler biscuit is the same color at Toto Sedona Beige?

    The existing tub is 60" x 30" and set in an alcove of a 1959 block home. In other words, the back wall is block and covered by plaster.

    We ripped out the first course of tile and backer board just to see what we are working with in terms of flange, stud location, etc. There also appeared to be a bit of mold behind the tile where the original grout had gaps...

    We are trying to figure out if it makes sense to pull the tub out/install new CI tub through the bathroom or cut open one of the adjacent bedroom walls to remove/install that way. The bedrooms are mostly empty right now.

    Can anyone offer some advice on options here?

    Also, we read many posts on this subject, both on this forum and elsewhere (including Terry's on Villager install), so we are somewhat familiar with the subject.

    However, none of the posts describe installing where the back wall is block/plaster. They all deal with a back wall that has studs.

    At this point, since we haven't got the steel tub out yet, we don't know if there is a ledger board. Either way, when we install the new CI tub, how do we attach a ledger board to the block/plaster wall? Any special tips based on experience?

    Thanks for your expert advice!

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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    I ONLY remove the tub in one piece, unless it is a fiberglass tub shower one piece unit. If you remove the tub "intact" then you will know how to install the new one. I also always remove the tub from the alcove, not through the wall into an adjacent room.
  3. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,249
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Normally one would "roll" the new tub into the alcove, which will require more tile removal that what you have done there.

    If that is going to be a tub/shower combo, it would be strongly recommended to tear out the existing tile walls and re-build a proper waterproof system. What is there now is going to continue to mold/rot and your new tub is going to be a wasted effort.
    Even if there will be no shower, the bottom foot of the wall above the tub should be properly waterproofed to prevent problems down the road.

    There is a lot of information here on the options for properly waterproofing a shower system.
  4. Fumisan

    Fumisan New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    HJ - Thanks for the advice. I guess one of the things I am wondering is should I install a ledger board into the block/plaster wall?

    When I pull the existing tub out, I'll obviously see if there was a ledger board or not, but I am not comfortable just following what the previous installer did. The whole house has been put together by that mouse with big ears.

    Anyway, I thought I saw somewhere a tub installed through the wall. I was thinking it might be easier to do it that way which will require cutting a stud and some drywall and fixing same. We already have to paint the adjacent rooms, so it wouldn't be going too much out of our way and might be easier than removing the toilet and vanity (which we are planning to do, but hoping to do those later as they are being used). Also, the 300+ pound CI tub would slide in rather than having to be rotated, hitting the block/plaster wall and sliding down into place. But, maybe I am missing something here. Comments?

    cacher-chick - Thank you for your advice. I gathered from various posts that most people "roll" the tub into place, but everywhere I've seen that described involves studs on the back wall instead of block/plaster like we have. So, I guess that's why I was wondering if procedures would change in this instance and given that we have the vanity and toilet still there.

    We are planning a tub/shower combo similar to what exists now. My instinct was to rip the existing tile walls out, waterproof and re-tile with a new style. Thank you for confirming my hunch. I was just wanting to make sure that I wasn't acting in a rash manner only to regret it later. I guess I was also trying to save some bucks with all the other projects we have to do.

    I've been reading up (and taking notes) on this site regarding various waterproofing systems and it is a bit overwhelming. I believe you, HJ, Mr. Whipple as well as others have posted quite a bit on this subject. Liquid membranes such as Aqua Defense and Laticrete vs. sheet membranes like Noble Seal TS, Noble Wall Seal and Kerdi.

    Do you have a recommendation on the above for a first-timer? I saw a comment that liquid membranes are easiest if one plans to do custom niches. Custom niches sound like something we would like to incorporate into the tile surround.

    <BTW, this is all in a one story house with a concrete foundation>

    Thanks to both of you for the advice. It is very much appreciated! - Jeannie
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ledger

    You can install the ledger with cut or concrete nails, or you can put two "legs" against the wall and nail the ledger on top of them. But, if you install a Kohler tub, it will have legs which set on the concrete floor and may not need the ledger. I can install the tub into the alcove by myself, but I would need at least one other person to slide it through the wall opening.
  6. Fumisan

    Fumisan New Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks, hj. I wouldn't have thought of the "legs" idea. That sounds good. I see what you are saying about possibly not needing a ledger since it a concrete floor and the CI tub has legs. I don't know why, but having a ledger (even though it may not be necessary) would probably make me feel better knowing that it's rock solid and can't flex along the back wall where it meets the tile. But, that's given me food for thought!!! I guess I could have the ledger material ready in case it looks like we will need it. Hmmmmm.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,134
    Location:
    New England
    The only thing a ledger board would do for you on a CI tub is help prevent the tub from tipping should you get enough weight on an edge and the apron is not in contact with the floor. Typically, once you pin it in with tile and caulk, if it's sitting solid on the slab, it's not going anywhere. Now, this may not be true with tubs made of other materials!
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