Americast tubs summary

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Ptron, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Ptron

    Ptron New Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    I'd read a few loud complaints and disses of Americast tubs so I wanted to find out what the scoop was with them before buying one. (rather have cast iron but not finding anything acceptable style and sizewise) I did a search for "americast" here and at as well as the Googles and read every post that looked relavant going back three or so years. Here's what I found.

    *EDIT: While I'm pointing out the complaints, my personal conclusion is there aren't that many, and Americast tubs are just fine. But I also think I would ignore the no mortar bed warning and install it in the manner Terry mentions in the following post.*

    Three separate posters complaining about the tubs creaking when getting in or out or shifting weight.

    One poster complaining about the back ledge being warped.

    One poster claiming, albeit on several occasions that their finish goes bad, dulls, chips, quickly and easily. (This is for tubs. There seems to have been a rash of sinks a while back that people were complaining about chipping.)

    The most common and serious complaint (3 or 4 posters who'd had it happen to them and a couple more who said they've seen it) is warping and depressions in the base, apparently due to cracks forming in the resin. It's unclear whether these cracks develop over time or if they are defects that are there to begin with. At least a couple of posters said the depressions happened immediatley.

    There are a few discussions about whether or not they should be set in mortar to prevent this problem. Nobody really says they think this is a bad idea; they just point out that the instructions specifically say not to and that it will void the warranty. American Standard apparently claims this has something to do with it causing delamination but one poster (can't find the specific thread right now) said that when pressed, an A.S. Rep told him it was because so many people screw it up, or something to that effect.

    There seems to be at least a few installers who set them in mortar anyways and claim they have only had problems when they didn't. I didn't see any complaints about "delamination" or other problems with one that was set in mortar. Here's one good thread from the John Bridge site:
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    The Americast is a steel tub with a resin backing.
    If you want them supported, then you can always lay a few piles of mortar down, and some plastic sheeting over to prevent the two from making contact.

    Yes, they can chip.
    Plumbers do view them as an upgrade over the standard steel tubs, which also can chip, and don't come with any slope at the back. The Americast has slope at the back.
    Anytime you drop a hammer into a tub, it's going to chip. And I've seen handymen pull a toilet, and try to set them in the tub because they are too lazy to carry them to the garage for storage. The quickest way to ruin a tub is to set an awkward 100 pound piece of porcelain with a wide tank into a chip-able surface like a tub. There is no give in either one. You would have to be perfect to set a toilet in without something bad happening.
    I'm more inclined to use acyclic, fiberglass and cast iron.
    Kohler cast iron tubs are heavy, but they are solid.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I prefer the Americast because it is lighter than cast iron and have never had anyone complain about them.
  5. Ptron

    Ptron New Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    Heh, heh. I did this all the time when I did apartment maintenance for a living. Luckily I never hurt anything too bad.
    Wish I liked the design of the Kohler cast iron tub but I don't at all. Being from Wisconsin, I like Kohler. (The Kohler Art museum in Sheboygan is awesome, BTW)
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