57" Alcove Tub - Does It Exist?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by WatertowMA, May 5, 2009.

  1. WatertowMA

    WatertowMA New Member

    May 5, 2009
    We are remodeling the late 60's/early 70's bathroom in our 100 year old home. The current shower/tub combo built-in was not original to the house and was added by a previous owner remodel. It is an odd 57" length. We want to replace it with an alcove tub and tile the surrounding 3 walls. The mega home improvement store tell us the only option is to buy a 54" tub and to build out the walls to make up for the 3 inches. The only wall we could cut into to expand to a standard 60" tub would require major replumbing that we want to avoid. We can't believe we are the first to encounter this dilemna. Does a 57" length alcove tub exist anywhere? We'd really prefer to not do a clawfoot/freestanding tub since that makes showering, its primary purpose as opposed to bathing, much more difficult.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Are you absolutely sure it is a 57" tub? The tub is measured studwall to studwall, not between finished walls.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    NO ONE ever made a 57" preformed tub or shower module. If they had they would have had to creat a complete production line, costing mega dollars, and they would have only made and sold ONE of them to your previous owner. Because NO ONE else would EVER have built a 57" space for a unit. That being said, your unit is probably 60", but it is very unlikely that you would be able to jockey a new unit like that into the space, unless you have a very unique room design. One way to tell if a new one will fit is to try to remove yours in one piece. If you cannot get it out, then you will not get a new one in.
  5. Howard Emerson

    Howard Emerson I teach guitar:You call that a job?

    Apr 28, 2008
    I teach guitar:You call that a job?
    Huntington Station, NY
    As HJ pointed out it could very well be a 60" model. The other point to consider would be the fact that the house is 100 years old, although the bath was remodeled in the 60/70's.

    It could be that there was a very heavy plaster coating on the walls and they just built walls out after the tub was in.

    I have seen, in my own home, a re-tile job, where they built the tub walls over the existing plaster/lath/tile job and just capped the ends with wood corner-round painted to 'match'.

    If you measured drain to head wall, it was close to 58". Another 1/2" on either end could do 57".

    I think there's a 60" tub lurking under your tile..............

  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Tear out the walls and measure end to end...I bet it is 60" +/- 1/4"
  7. Alice K

    Alice K New Member

    Aug 27, 2017
    Don't listen to them. The 57" alcove tub does exist, because I have one, too. I also find it somewhat insulting to be told that I don't know how to use a tape measure. My house was built in 1928, and I believe it was a Sears "kit" house, with pretty low end fixtures that may or may not have been updated over the years. Our cast iron tub has areas where the porcelain coating is wearing thin, making it look dirty. Unable to find a replacement, we have decided to get the surface refinished. Hope this helps.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    No you don't. They have never made a 57" tub.
    60" minus 3" for tile backer an tile is 57". That's normal with a 60" tub. So yes, you have a 98 YO cast iron tub that is showing wear. The replacement tub will be 60".
    You will need to remove tile and tile backer to fit a new tub in. Or..............you can refinish what you have and leave the old pink tile too.
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