Acrylic Bathtub Installation Help

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jomass, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. jomass

    jomass New Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Where to start. First we hired a plumber to demolish our old one piece fiberglass tub. He was then to install the replacement which is an American Standard Acrylic Model 2722.102 RHO. When the plumber went to install the new tub he found that the rough opening is about ½†smaller than the new tub. About 59 ½†stud to stud. There is no way to get the tub in without notching out the studs. This is where I took over because he was in over his head. I notched out the studs enough to allow the tub to fit but had to go a little beyond that in order to allow wiggle room just to get it in. The over width of the bathroom is about 59†with the sheetrock. Now American Standard requires a Mortar base and stringers around the edge of the tub lip. That leads me to my questions. I don’t want the mortar to go running into the rough opening hole cut for the drain pipe and consequently into the room below. We have left a hole in the ceiling below for access. Do I just drop a few plops of a thicker mix and hope for the best? Do I cover the subfloor with plastic first? Do I avoid the drain end so I don’t get any running into the room below? As for the stringers, it will be physically impossible to get them across all three sides of the studs and still have room to get the tub in. I can put one against the back wall for the tub length and one against the non-drain end of the tub. However I don’t have a way to get the last one in. any suggestions?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    You are there and we are not, so we have to take your description at face value. The first question would be how the old tub, which was exactly 60" fit into a 59 1/2" room. Put a mound of stiff mortar/cement in the center of the tub and let the tub disperse it when you put it down. Stringers on two sides should be adequate, but I would think you could get at least a partial one on the third side.
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  4. jomass

    jomass New Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    I can't explain how the old tub fit and it was already cut into pieces when I got home, however I can assure you that the rough opening is under 60" and slightly out of square. Thanks for the help. I am getting a lot of mixed messages as to whether mortar is even necessary. The jury is still out.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Mortar, properly installed under a tub, prevents flex, makes the tub feel more substantial, and last longer. Unless specifically prohibited by the manufaturer, most say it is optional, but then, they want you to buy a new one sooner, rather than later.
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