Americast or Vickrell or ???

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by socal, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. socal

    socal New Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    I'm a lady and can't lug a cast iron tub up the stairs. I'm going to do this project myself, replacing an old fiberglass all in one unit that has yellowed and finally cracked and needs to go. So what I am after is a good alternative tub material. I have found American Standard Americast tubs and Sterling Vickrell tubs at the local big home improvement stores but just don't know how they will perform.

    I'm looking to save money where I can but don't want to be pennywise and pound foolish. Are these good materials to consider and if so is one better than the other? I may do a second bath if this one goes well. Any tips, comments, etc. are greatly appreciated.
  2. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    VICKRELL is my choice

    Americast is just a too cheap and junkey , it chips easily and they have problems with wavey spots in the form....

    it is no good after about 5 years it looks crummey , and of course you can chip it on the first day too.

    The Sterling Vickrell is much much more durable......

    youi can literally hit it with a claw hammer if you so wish and it wont chip...

    What yoiu got to do with this style tub is to install it in a bed of sloppy sand mix concrete....a little wet is best.

    just set the base in about a 5 gallon buckets worth of concrete and the unit feels like a cast iron tub....jsut shift the base down bvack and forth into the mud till it hits botttom and you will have the feel of a cast tub, actually even stronger....

    if you buy the walls tooo, you must caulk them liberally to make a good seal between alll the walls.....

    theyare literally the best you can install in any re-model situation.
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  4. chipshot

    chipshot New Member

    Apr 18, 2005
    North Carolina
    hmm...I was told the exact opposite. I took the Vickrell I originally bought back becuase it was simply too light and cheap feeling. I'm much happier with the Americast that several seperate sources suggested.
  5. CJ

    CJ New Member

    May 21, 2005

    I'm glad to hear this. I did buy a Sterling tub and shower surround from Lowe's. It's a scary installation anyway though, a second floor bath on top of a little bitty kitchen with leak marks all down one corner cabinet, where the old bath plumbing went wild in the walls. It's a CONDO, to add even more access problems. It looks as if that leak went on for a very long time, there are black trails of old mold remains. I bleached what I could reach so far but I am planning a renovation, not just a remodel.

    The bath is currently non-functional, though I cleaned what I could and installed a working toilet. The fiberglass shower wall has a big hole in it where the owner tried to rip out the old plumbing but never installed the new (ran out of money, I think, or health). The stud wall is visible, as well as the back of the shower surround of the adjoining condo. I'm not sure how to get the flush cutting needed to peel the tub surround from the wall. Do you just use brute force with a hammer through the fiberglass and pull it away?

    It looks to me as if I'll have to peel all the walls, period. The unit is from the 1970s and it's all pretty thin so that shouldn't be hard.

    My real concern is the leakage remains in the walls. I have to replace the kitchen cabinets anyway. I thought I'd just go on up and keep going until I reached the floor of the bathroom. Maybe I should add some lumber to keep things sturdy. Sister joists? Does that sound like a good idea for a building that has had a leak so bad, it practically melted the cabinets below? Is there anything else I should do once I open those walls?

    My plan is to clean up, add 15 lb roofing felt, then install the Sterling tub and shower surround. For the walls and ceiling in the bath, ceramic tile on backerboard.

    Does that sound like a workable plan? I have to upgrade the outlet too, I have GFCIs for that.

    Are there special precautions I should take due to water exposure inside those walls? They dried years ago but there are remains of old black mold looking stuff. Pretty creepy, even if it's dried out.
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