Sterling kit needs exact stud locations? (pics added)

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by bryanska, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. bryanska

    bryanska New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Location:
    MInnepaolis
    Hello there, I'm installing the Sterling Ensemble Medley tub with three piece surround.

    Because of existing plumbing for an adjacent laundry room, the stud locations in the 60" pocket are not at the exact locations specified in the instructions.

    There are lots of studs, just not at the specified locations. I do have the specified studs at the corners and ends.

    [​IMG]
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    I can certainly add cabinet blocking in that red zone, like this:

    [​IMG]

    In essence, then do I need vertical studs in that red zone?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  2. standardairconditioner

    standardairconditioner HVAC'ker

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    You would get a better answer if you can post some pics.

    Right now I am trying to imagine it, and like Homer Simpson, all I see is donuts and not what you describe.

    But if you don't want to provide pics, then an answer for you might be: add as many studs as you need, studs certainly won't hurt an install of your one piece acrylic shower-tub.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
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  4. bryanska

    bryanska New Member

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    Aug 24, 2010
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    Added pics!! Your opinion is welcome.
     
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    WHY do the studs have to be so precise for the Sterling surround. Usually all that is required is that there be studs somewhere behind it to anchor to.
     
  6. bryanska

    bryanska New Member

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    Aug 24, 2010
    Location:
    MInnepaolis
    I dunno. Having never installed one of these, I wasn't about to play around.

    Would 2x4 blocking be fine in the areas where I can't get a stud? I think I can just do that. Any dissenters?
     
  7. standardairconditioner

    standardairconditioner HVAC'ker

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Go ahead and add a $10-20 of extra studs and blocking of untreated pine if it will give you peace.

    You're spending an awful amount of time to want a perfect workmanship on installing a low-cost acrylic drop-in.

    Drop-in's and one pieces aren't new. They are cheap. They have low manufacturing cost, so retailers can sell for large profits.

    One thing they have all proven, they all end up cracking, splitting, doing something to break within a decade or two, usually sooner.

    Landlords love these to impress new tenants.

    There's a reason why Kholer Sterling vs. Kholer Enamel Cast Iron tubs cost as much as they do. Same reason why Kerapoxy grouted tiles over Schluter Kerdi-boards cost as much as the contractor quotes you.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. bryanska

    bryanska New Member

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    Aug 24, 2010
    Location:
    MInnepaolis
    Thanks for the response. You could have given me help, but you've given me so much more.
     
  9. Bluegrass Picker

    Bluegrass Picker Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Location:
    West Richland, Washington
    I recently installed a Sterling tub and surround which is similar to yours.

    It was an extremely frustrating experience and I said never again.

    I called Sterling several times for advice during the process and I was told that in order for the walls to mate with the tub and connect together correctly, the plumb of the vertical 2x4's HAD to be within one credit card thickness of being perfect.

    The multitude of 2x4's that they show in their directions are for the clips to attach to the tub perimeter, and for screwing into the top of the surround. Almost none of my existing 2x4's were in those locations, so I simply added the needed ones into the alcove and left the existing ones standing as-is.

    The frustration is when trying to do your "dry runs" to check for level etc. with the tub in place before the final install, the clearance is so tight that it's very difficult to jockey it in and out.

    Further, Sterling did a terrible job of finishing the edges where the surround pieces interlock, so there were areas that needed to be shaved and cleaned off at the edges, or else they didn't mate in the grooves properly. It is imperative that you check the fit before your final install.

    Be sure and bed that thing in mortar, or else it will squeek and flex, and in time I would expect that it will crack. I could feel much movement before I put it in the final mortar bed.

    Good luck.

    Bluegrass Picker
     
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    For most any tub except CI ones, it really helps the longevity and 'feel' if you properly support the bottom with mortar or a similar compound. Otherwise, the flex will eventually cause the thing to fail and maybe leak prior to that because a seam opens up. If it is properly embedded, and assuming you don't use an abrasive cleaner, it should last a very long time. As with many things in the building trades, the prep work can take a lot of time, and when n0t down well, lead to frustrations and less than ideal situations later on. Just try to put up your trim when things are not plumb or level...makes that job far more time consuming than it would have been had the proper prep work been done.

    IMHO, Kohler can make some nice looking stuff, but they don't often have their head out of the clouds when they design it for actual installation in the real world by real people. As a result, the finished product once installed may not meet your needs or desires, or be a major pain to install in the first place.
     
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've had to trim the panels to make them fit. It was a surprise to find that. A knife and a flat file were helpful.
    The stud diagram says "typical". Like hj mentioned, close is good enough. The clips can slide on the tub to be placed where you do have a stud.
    The kit comes with a felt pad, and if the floor is flat, should be fine. With some out of level floors, the mortar is good.
     
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