Tile bathroom floor before or after bathtub installation?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by jch, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. jch

    jch Member

    About to start on a bathroom reno.

    60-year-old cast iron bathtub (built-in). Considering re-finishing the tub. But unsure how well it will stand up to the kids.

    I know that you usually tile the floor *before* installing the vanity (in case you change the vanity in the future).

    Does the same strategy hold true for the bathtub? (tiling the floor *before* installing the bathtub--i.e. having the tile extend under the tub area)

    Here's what I'm worried about. If I refinish the bathtub and it only lasts a few years at which point I decide to replace it with another tub or a shower, I would have to rip up and re-lay the tile floor if the new bathtub/shower's footprint is slightly different than the existing one.

    Also wondering whether the tile/bathtub joint will be difficult to seal if the tiles only go up to the edge of the tub.

  2. What is the tub skirt (surround) made of?

    If you want to tile under it and leave the option open to change it all later, here is what i might do, but i'm not there and haven't seen your space, etc.

    Consider tiling an extra tile under the tub, and using Kerdi membrane under the tile floor near the tub, and then just leaving enough membrane sticking out past the last row of tiles under the tub, that you can use it later when you or someone removes that tub. Buy enough spare tiles now while they are available and all from the same lot.

  3. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I would say about the same. My new tub is presently sitting up on blocks so I can tile under its skirt rather than to have to cut a bunch of mosaic pieces and later try to grout and caulk a good-looking and effective seal between tiles and tub.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The tub is almost always set first because it has to be in place before the wallboard is installed, and the tile is never set before that phase of the construction. And don't worry about whether a new tub would fit into the space the old one did, because it will NEVER fit without some retiling.
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Unless, of course, one would want to tile under the tub that must be set before the wallboard is installed.

    I set the tub first in my basement where I could slip the vinyl flooring under the skirt, but I cannot imagine doing the same and a getting a good job of that with mosaic tile.
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