View Full Version : steel tub installation

09-19-2004, 10:21 PM
This may seem really silly but I cannot get my steel tub to level out .....the drain sorta leans and the seal seems to compensate for that but....in order to get the drain to be flat in the tub bottom it needs to be higher off the floor I think........I took the old tub out and put the new one in and I thought they were the same dimensions.....however the new drain that screws in on the tub hole won't lay flat on the tub drain hole.......how do I level it so the drain will screw in like its supposed to and still be level and solid so when I put the backerboard and tile on so its not all willy wompas........I have a concrete slab foundation and the old tub seemed to fit.....however I wonder if it was installed correctly now......there was no insulation on the outside wall when I tore it all down......so I added insulation and am now wondering if there were other shortcuts taken in putting it in to begin with and maybe that is why it started to fall out......I replaced the tub because it had some dings on it and looked bad and I didn't want the old yukky tub with new tile....is there somewhere I can find better directions on how to install it than what came on the outside of the cardboard container it came in? I saw on one of your installs that you put a stringer board on all three sides where the tub meets wall .......however the box only shows one and only one existed on the old tub.....on the back wall......can someone please help this handy dandy granny wanna be weekend warrior?....

09-20-2004, 03:50 AM
Your drain shoe is probably setting on the concrete. You need a bigger hole. This is not a hard connection to make. Because cast iron goes bad we usually replace the trap with a plastic one. Usually the center of the tub is not the same and we have to move it anyway.
Setting the tub correctly affects the whole job. Don't start the walls until the tub is right. Enameled steel tubs have a limited life due to chipping. It is not wise to use an economy product as the base for your job but that is your decision if you have taken limited project life into account.

09-20-2004, 07:29 AM
Is it possible that your existing drain shoe is not level? You could check that with a 6" level. Lonny pointed out that it is often necessary to redo the waste and overflow anyway to make everything line up with the new tub. Hole locations are NOT standard. It is also possible that the tub itself is slightly mis-shaped or warped. Set it out on the floor, leel it across the top, and see if the outlet hole is level.

09-20-2004, 12:41 PM
thank you both for your replys.....may I ask first lonnie why a steel tub is a bad choice?...its a hall guest bath and is not used on a regular basis....except for the toilet....and a cast iron tub would be very hard for me to move.....I think I would have to hire a plumber if I did that and right now that is not in the budget.....and jimbo.......the shoe drain is not level.....I think that is the problem but.....the other tub worked so I thought since the seal was thicker on one side it was supposed to be that way.....so do I need to replace the shoe drain to get it level or will it still be the same if I do replace it.......the drain on the tub is even.....not warped.....its not sitting on the concrete..its mid air and its not level......the hole is about 15 inches and ample room to work with as far as space.....I guess I just don't understand how replacing the drain shoe is going to correct the lean without replacing the entire thing........and if I wait a while longer I can hire a plumber to do it......I was just trying to get a tub in there so we could use it for the 30 day leave my son has coming home from Iraq......then he takes his family with him to Germany so for 30 days we will have 7 people in the house with one bathroom and while not a huge problem its very hard to share the master bath.....I am fast running out of time for all the cure time on tile for both floor and wall.....and the tub needs to be in first before I do the floor or the wall........we could make do with no wall tile and I could cover the backer board with heavy plastic and let them use the hand shower....and we could put the toilet back in without the floor tile just so we could use it.....but that seems like a lot of re do work......putting it in once is bad enough...the drain does not leak but it sits wrong.....its not flush with the tub.....on just the one side........I found an outside shower unit looking at different tubs on line and am very tempted to hang one of those <giggle>..might be a lil chilly in late october and early november to use it though......I hesitate to spend a lot on a tub we rarely use......but if it creates the problem with the tile falling off I don't want to repeat this job any sooner than I have to......I have seen on some forum letters that tile just falls off after 10 to 15 years and that is simply all the life you get from it.....doesn't seem fair for what it costs to redo a bathroom that it should only last a decade.....I was trying to use the best backer board and supplies with the exception of the tub....I am not sure what to do there......it did have a steel tub and was fine until my hubby dropped a pipe wrench in it..........or at least I thought it was fine.....I think its mostly been used as a shower pan....my children didn't take baths they took showers but if we should ever sell the combination helps the sell of a home to have the shower tub combo......originally the home had really heavy tubs and both were in super bad shape when we bought the house......the master tub was replaced with a jacuzzi when we first moved in and the hall was replaced with the steel tub that I just took out and that was 12 years ago....so it held out ok for a while.....but I think I should have watched them redo the hall because they didn't bother to replace the insulation when they tore out the old......and I didn't know anything about tubs so I took their word for it when they said that a steel tub was best........I don't know if resurfacing was used back then but perhaps we should have looked into that years ago........too late now......so I am at a stand still until I know what to do with my tub.........

Bob's HandyGuy
09-20-2004, 03:24 PM
There is no way to shim the bottom of the tub to make the drain line up? Is your problem because the old tub was tipped slightly away from the wall so any overflow was onto the floor and away from the tile?

09-20-2004, 04:58 PM
OK, the out-of-level shoe is the problem. Probably in the original install, they just tightened it up real tight and got lucky that the gasket grabbed all around and did not leak. I really can't recommend putting the new one in with this method. If the waste and overflow is all glue-up, it would be a little chore but not impossible to cut it out and replace it. If it is the tubular kind where the joints are made up with slip-joint nuts and washers, you could just take the waste arm out, replace the gasket and replace it straigt,

The rap on steel tubs has already been mentioned:: they can chip. If the tub is not frequently used,and you are careful putting it in, it can easily give you 20+ years.

Properly installed tile never "falls off the wall" . That is always the result of IMPROPER preparation and installation.

A well done tile tub/shower enclosure should easily have a life expectancy of 25 to 40 years.

09-20-2004, 05:55 PM
thanks Jimbo...I think I can handle the replacing of the pipe shoe with a lil help from hubby......I bought the concrete type backer board for the walls and am putting it up with the screws they recommend and then I got the mastic ceramic tile glue stuff and the lil spacers....I tiled in a fireplace once and it turned out really nice so I feel sure I can do this too but, I want to make sure I do it right so it will last I bought the lil hole saw for the backer board for the plumbing pipes so the holes will be just right for the plumbing......do I need to caulk around those after I get it set in place for added moisture protection>?....and is there another step I may not be doing......I read somewhere that someone used tar paper on the wall first.....should I do that?..I have never seen them do that on HGTV..that concrete backer board is like a wall of concrete.....and do I need to caulk in the seams on the backer board before I install the wall tile....I had intended to work from the ceiling to floor in there but with my son bringing his family here before they go to Germany I really need the toilet back in...they have two lil girls and one boy and while men can water the yard.....ladies are less likely to want to do this country style of going to the potty.....so I was thinking as soon as I got the tub in and backer board up so the tub is nice and stable ....I could go ahead and tile the floor so I could put the potty back in......did I mention that I also stripped wall paper from this room ......it was not fun....nor was moving the toilet by myself...I had the help of my handy dandy dolly ...I got impatient and didn't want to wait on the man to get home....the worst part so far was taking out floor grout and tile ......it was ever so dirty work....I know contractors earn their dollar but I am not rich enough at the moment to pay someone.....thank you so much for responding ......you have been just great!

09-20-2004, 06:35 PM
You ae on the right track with the backerboard. A couple of points: it should be held about 1/4" above the deck surface of the tub so it can never possibly wick water. It is recommended to put a moisture barrier on the stud wall, either heavy mill vinyl, or 30# felt. Also, the corners and seams should be taped with fibreglas joint tape and waterproof joint compound. Strongly recommend that you visit the www.johnbridge.com website. There are forums and all the info you could ever want on the tile subject.

Good luck. Above all, don't rush this job because you have to live with the results for a LONG time. Your family will love you for what you are doing, and I'm sure they will put up with a few days of minor inconvenience. They are just happy to be home!

09-21-2004, 03:44 PM
thanks for your help and the link......and you are right.....they will just be glad to be home......I know my son has had to train his men and women to burn their waste with diesel fuel in the desert so I know he will be happy to share one toilet.....that is one of the things he asked to hear while he was in the desert was a flushing toilet over the phone.........lol......I think the last few months they were there they actually had a real toilet but at first they sure didn't......and just to let you know my tub is finally in and now on to the toilet......its seems it needs attention too......the whole thing came outta the floor........when I got all the grout and tile out.....such is the life of the weekend warrior huh?..........ooooooo and a note to Bob's handyguy...thanks for the reply......we tried to shim and it seemed to make it worse...but the replacing the pipe shoe thingie fixed it right up.......