Re: Inexpensive Bathtubs
Posted by Evan on July 06, 2004 at 07:39:12:
In response to Re: Inexpensive Bathtubs
Thanks for the info. If I go fiberglass I will still need to tile. there is a window right in the middle of the long wall of the tub and I'm not looking to remove it as part of this remodel. I've seen pictures of fiberglass tubs with tiled walls, but does it really look funny and stupid if you do that?

This is a budget remodel to just update the bathroom. It wasn't going to be done at all except the previously installed tub drain was don't wrong and it rusted and then cracked and flooded on me. This is why I havn't considered cast iron because they seem to be at the $300+ rate. if I was going to spend that must, I'd probably get a budget whirlpool at Lowes. There is a $320 unit. but I'm not looking to get into that cost for such little use.

: As was stated before I would not even consider a steel tub and next on my list would be the americast although a Limitied Lifetime Warranty can be hard to turn down. I've had good and bad luck with the americast overall i would consider them to be "ok". Cast Iron, much more expensive, but much better quality. With these three you will have to purchase a wall unit or tile/solid surface the walls for the shower enclosure. They are only 14" deep so you may get 11" of water to bath in. and if any of them get damaged they do not repair well and will usually need replaced.

: With the fiberglass units aqua glass, lasco, and sterling although some of them might be a little more expensive to purchase and install you also do not need the expense of installing an additional tile/solid surface wall surround for the shower enclosure as it is part of the fiberglass tub/shower unit. they are available in wider or deeper styles at less of a price increase. These three mfg. do not require a mortar bed(except for commercial use) but i highly recommend a mortar/plaster bed for all tubs except the cast iron. Aqua glass and lasco are most likely priced higher than you would like since you are comparing to steel tubs, but a sterling vikrell unit is a little lower in price when you consider no extra cost for shower wall surround.
: Fiberglass gelcoat units scratch easier and damage,chip easier than a cast iron tub, but they are very easily and inexpensively repaired when you find a qualified person to do the repair. Sterling Vikrell is fiberglass, but not a standard Gelcoat style. It is solid color all the way through, the fiberglass, resin and pigment are all compression formed into shape while a standard gelcoat unit is a "paint" for the color, then the rest of the unit is sprayed on fiberglass and resin. This gelcoat "paint" can chip while vikrell will not. Sterling tub/showers come in 4pcs. and are extremely light and easy to install, the bottom of the tub has several small feet probly 12" - 18" apart from each other with fiberglass webbing support between them. sterling also offers a 10yr warranty, which is longer than the 5yr and 3yr of the other 2 mfg.

: I've used the vikrell units for most of my large rental property accounts and a few other budget jobs and everyone has been happy with them so far, no complaints and all repeat customers.

: just remember when you buy bottom line, you get bottom line...

: have a mortar/plaster bed put under any tub you choose (no need on cast iron), it will lengthen its life and make a much better install.

: Good luck,

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