Choosing a tub

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Drench, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. Drench

    Drench New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
    Oceanside, California
    About to replace a fiberglass shower/tub combo from 1971 with a new tub/tile surround.
    Any thoughts on what's a good option for a standard 60/35 alcove opening?
    I searched the forum to see if one model in particular looked like it was getting all of the love, but didn't see anything conclusive. If I missed an obvious thread, please forgive me.
    I see that the material options are steel/acrylic/cast iron
    Not so interested in wrestling a cast iron. Steel, from what I can see, seems to be prone to chipping. So, seems like acrylic is the best option, but maybe I'm wrong.
    Seems like there are many acrylic options in the $350 range that have spotty reviews.
    But the reviews of the acrylics closer to $1,000 seem less plentiful and similarly spotty.
    What's the bomb proof tub that looks somewhat modern?
    We're more concerned with having a nice wide spot to stand for showers and less concerned with a super-deep soaking depth, jacuzzi capability or other doodads.
    This is slab on grade, and I'm not afraid to use a jackhammer if necessary. Probably would set in some sort of mortar bed to assure solid contact with the slab to make creaking and groaning less likely.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
  2. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

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    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    If you got 50 yrs out an acrylic tub, that's very good. Stay with acrylic.
    Enamel on steel would chip, but who stores heavy objects around a tub? It's builder's grade, inexpensive and may give you at least 25 years of decent service, good for rental properties.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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  4. Drench

    Drench New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
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    Thanks.
    What do you think of Americast? It's billed as nicer than enamel on steel but not as heavy as cast.
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The Americast is a nice tub. The Kohler cast iron is also nice, but is very heavy.
    And they do have some nice acrylic tubs out there too.

    [​IMG]

    Had to add this once I saw it this morning. A new one for the books.

    [​IMG]

    This one is Americast.

    [​IMG]

    https://www.us.kohler.com/us/Villagerâ„¢-60-x-30-1-4-alcove-bath-with-left-hand-drain/productDetail/Baths-or-Whirlpools/419716.htm?brandId=429422&skuId=351267&categoryId=429297&hash=id=filters&startIndex=20&scrollTop=0

    [​IMG]

    60 x 30 x 19.5
    https://maax.com/en/product/exhibit-6030-ifs-afr_105511
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
  6. Drench

    Drench New Member

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    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
    Oceanside, California
    thanks. I think Americast seems like a decent option. I like how the strength of the material seems to allow for more larger expanses of flat internal standing space.
     
  7. Drench

    Drench New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
    Oceanside, California
    Now for a mixing valve shower/tub combo.
    I did Moen in the shower 10 years ago, and it has held up.
    Definitely sticking with a major brand there. Any one in particular that seems to stand out for long-term reliability?
    I plan to plumb it up and leave the walls open for a month in use before I close and tile just to make sure everything holds nicely before I set tile. Will, of course, hang and tape plastic to protect the wall cavity for the temporary plumbing trial.
     
  8. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

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    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    I've been using Moen 62300 series (they come with different applications for different pipes).
    If you get one of those, get one with shut off screws built in.
    Then select a trim you like.
    IMO, you don't need to wait such a long time to see if you have a leak. You put the water on, and if there's a leak you see it instantly,
     
  9. Drench

    Drench New Member

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    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
    Oceanside, California
    Thanks so much for the advice. Maybe I'll cut the timeframe down a bit. Honestly, my wife will probably make me move faster.
     
  10. Drench

    Drench New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
    Oceanside, California
    Any idea what's going on here? This is the plumbing stub up from the slab that services the tub/shower fixture in the bathroom I'm working on.
    Both hot and cold have this strange inverted trident shape where the main line exits the slab then Ts off before diving back into the slab again. I've never seen this before, and it was not the configuration in the master.
    Is this some sort of pressure-balancing feature, a hidden tribute to Poseidon, or some sort of pass through that serves other locations? House was built in 1971, slab on grade in California.
    I only ask because this house had a slab leak before I bought it, and they ran a fresh line through the attic and into the bottom of the left side trident to bypass the slab line. So, when I rough in a new mixing valve, I'd like to just pick up the hot from above and abandon the trident. But I don't know if I need to keep it serviced. If I do, could I cap the bottom of the feed line coming from the slab and feed the outside arms from the top?

    IMG_5379.JPG
     
  11. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Second getting a valve with service stops.

    The copper pipe in the slab is a daisy chain. Installing soft copper in a trench is easier and cheaper than installing pipe in the wall. Unfortunately some soils are acidic and will eat up the copper. Contact with the concrete will also corrode the copper pipe.
     
  12. Drench

    Drench New Member

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    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
    Oceanside, California
    Ah, so this likely goes on to serve the toilet and/or vanity in the same room? Because code forbids soft copper joints underground, they needed to branch above grade before diving back under again to travel to the other fixtures. I suppose feeding from the top rather than the bottom probably wouldn't be a big difference. ...
     
  13. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Yep.. And in your climate (for now) the attic is fine to run tubing.
     
  14. Drench

    Drench New Member

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    Oceanside, California
    Now for a philosophical question: Should I keep the current arrangement, which was clearly installed from the backside through the drywall when the slab leak occurred, or should I replace that work on the grounds that something soldered with proper open-wall access may last longer? It looks like the plumber did a good job.
    If I did cut it out, I would have to feed the shower valve on the hot side from above with a T then keep coming down to feed the trident junction from the top. That would require either plugging the former bottom port on the four-way connector or just cutting that out and putting in a T.

    copper.jpg
     
  15. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Assume it will all leak and bite the bullet now..? or kick the can down the road..?

    Probably depends on how much time you have right now and your willingness to open up a lot of sheetrock behind all the fixtures its serving.

    PEX in the attic would be my preferred method if you chose that route.
     
  16. Drench

    Drench New Member

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    Mar 27, 2021
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    Another philosophical question. I see that PEX reduces internal diameter, meaning that "1/2" inch PEX fittings have an internal bore of about 3/8 and "3/4" is about 1/2.
    I just plumbed up my new shower valve, which has 1/2 inch threaded NPT connectors, with half-inch PEX fittings. Should I rip that out and move up to 3/4 to ensure enough flow?
     
  17. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Dig deeper and look at the hole behind the hole.. your 1/2" valve has internal diameters of closer to 3/8"

    pipe sizing is based on 50's water usage. plumbing code is very very slow to catch up to technology or how water is used.
     
  18. Drench

    Drench New Member

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    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
    Oceanside, California
    That's a really good point. While the fitting is half inch, the actual valve inlets and outlets are much smaller.

    Any concerns using these directly on a shower valve body?
    https://www.amazon.com/EFIELD-FEMAL...jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  19. Tuttles Revenge

    Tuttles Revenge In the Trades

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    I don't know the brand and wouldn't purchase any plumbing fitting from Amazon unless I was purchasing from a well known manufacture.. too many counterfeit or substandard things sold there.

    but I wouldn't be concerned with the style of fitting in that configuration.
     
  20. Drench

    Drench New Member

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    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
    Oceanside, California
    Wise words. Don't take chances with water under pressure, especially if the work needs to last for decades and making fixes requires ripping open walls.
     
  21. Drench

    Drench New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2021
    Location:
    Oceanside, California
    Any code violations here? It's a p trap with union into two 45s on the horizontal plane. Bit of a snake, but it's tough when the service enters at an angle and the new tub wants the drain less than 8 inches from the short wall. I plan to pack a little gravel under the trap to get a little slope.
     

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