The Floating Bathtub - a contemporary design plan using LED lights and mirrors

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    With Christmas break over it's time to get back to business. I'm excited about my newest project since the owner has agreed to allow me to try something new with his bathtub installation. I have seen over seas on some Spanish Design blogs some killer bathtub lighting designs. I want to take it one step further and make the tub appear to be floating and I plan like a magician to use smoke and mirrors - or at least mirrors.

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    Floating Bathtub Design Photo: Source - Page

    The plan is going to be simple. Design the tub (drop in tub from Kohler) to be set into a tub surround with a built in toe kick. The kick above is a contrasting colour and my plan is to set it deeper and use the mirror in lu of the wood shown. Using the mirrors against the kicks face to create the illusion that the floor tile runs right under the tub and then add a little LED lighting to create a light source and help the owners set any kind of lighting mood they wish.

    The first time I used mirrors for this type of design was on a fireplace build some 5-6 years back.

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    Floating Mantel, Travertine Fireplace Build Vancouver Photo: Source - Page

    Back then I had little experience with LED lights and used a simple rope light for this build. Man I wish I could re-do this job one day and upgrade the lighting plan. With each job new skills are learned and refinements made to the building process. I think every builder try's to "Out-Do" his last job in a quest to constantly get better. I know I do.

    The tub will be topped with a solid piece of granite or stone and the facing as yet is to be worked out. Maybe tile. Maybe drywall. Not sure.

    With any tub install the design should include waterproofing up the walls some 18". This is a code required step that is often skipped by most builders and an inspection that is not required on a permitted job here in Vancouver. The bathroom we are renovating is a simple upgrade. No change of use. No fixture relocations. So we will be self inspecting this job and bending the rules a little on the tub's surround. The plan is to bring the drywall right down to the slab and create a sleek modern look.

    Here are a few of the design inspiration photo's to help you visualize the finished job.

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    Floating Vanity with down lights Photo: Source - Page

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    Tub Toe Kick Photo: Source - Page

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    Photo Source
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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  3. lemmy

    lemmy New Member

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    knoxville, tn
    Beautiful...where is the drain for the hammock tub?
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Floor Drain for Floating Bathtub

    There is a square drain directly below the floating tub. I would imagine the entire room is a wet room and a shower is just out of sight and shares the tub's floor drain location.

    Worked on the framing of the tub project I'm working on today. Had a hard time deciding what height and depth to frame for the toe kick. Decided on a 6"x6" rough opening and aiming for 5"x5" finished product.

    Can't wait to see the tub in and the finished look.

    Better picture here showing the floor drain under the tub.

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    Photo Source

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    Photo Source
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Framing for a "Floating Bath Tub Design" - Kohler Tub - Vancouver Installation

    Repaired the poorly installed vapour barrier and added in new blocking. Set the bottom plate and ledger board for the new build. The sketch below is close to what I'm planning and should give you an idea of how that blocking was installed. Tub Deck to wall transitions are typically a weak location. This blocking installed as I show gives a solid continuos support around all three sides.

    The trickiest parts are still to come and that is the negative framing around the faucet locations and the beefing up of the tub's underside lip for better support of the granite slab.

    Tried to find any example of this floating tub detail online with no luck. I know one of my Facebook Friends in Spain has done this like three years ago and for the life of me I can not find the photo's I used as inspiration.
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Adding a lighting element to a floating bathtub design

    So this Kohler Drop In Tub is going in soon and I have to finish the form work for the tub deck. I powered up the LED's yesterday and must say they look ******* Amazing!!!

    So Cool.
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  7. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    The Ultimate Floating Tub !!! Part Boat - Part Tub - Part Hot Tub

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    The Ultimate Floating Tub !!!
    Part Boat - Part Tub - Part Hot Tub
    Photo Source


    OK - that is something I need, or at least would like to try for a weekend... How cool is that?

    Also found this great looking tub. Very similar in design to the one I'm building.

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    Photo Source
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Is Vessels the World’s Coolest Bath Tub? Posted by: Nigel F. M

    For those of you that do not know Nigel he is the editor at Residential Build Magazine. He just wrote an article on this amazing floating bathtub build by Vessels.....
    Have a read.

    Is Vessels the World’s Coolest Bath Tub?
    WEDNESDAY, MAR 26 2014
    Posted by: Nigel F. Maynard
  9. AmyBrown64

    AmyBrown64 New Member

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  10. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Which one Amy?
  11. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    [​IMG]

    Looking pretty slick....
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  12. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Member

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    207
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Nicely done, liking the face frame... Can you show us how you utilized mirrors?
  13. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Used the mirror to take a selfie ! LOL

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  14. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Using mirrors for illusions

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    Photo Source and Description

    I'd like to apologize to Jim for not following the manufactures required install specifications on this build. I did google "Floating Kohler Tub Install PDF" and found nothing. I goggled the LED light installs specs and found none. I looked up the TTMAC specs and sadly there is no specification for lighting a floating tub build. I tried the TCNA - nope natta. Also the NTCA has no floating tub builders to call......

    So I used my experience. My muscles. My sub contractors. And some solid design to pull off the look. Sorry Jim - I know this design will not make sense to you. Please forgive me

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    One progress photo for you....

    Q: Why did I use the black tape on the bottom? Answer (very last paragraph)


    Q: How did we measure for deflection (face edge of tub deck) on this build? Answer: Me and the client stood on the edge and jumped up and down in sequence. The bitch did not budge!
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  15. MikeQ

    MikeQ New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Washington
    Very cool! Can you tell us how the controls work (color, brightness, etc?)

    Much better than the impractical concept of draining bath water onto the floor.
  16. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    The lighting is powered by a simple RGB Remote Control. The client wants it a little dimmer and is looking into a dimmer option and perhaps a different RGB driver and remote.
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