View Full Version : New Tub - is my contractor trying to pull one over on me?

07-03-2008, 05:43 AM
Hi everyone.

I'm having a bathroom remodeled in my home in order to provide my wife with a deep "soak" tub. Rather than install a traditional tub with an apron (I think that's what you call the front part on the outside), we decided to pull the old tub, build a short wall in front of the tub enclosure, then install a drop-in tub.

The effect we were looking for is something like this (but with the faucet in the traditional location):
(edit: someone has broken the BBcode on the forum so I can't post a sample image. Please see below for the pic)

Well, work started last week, and I came home the other day to find a traditional, apron-front tub already installed, before the short wall or anything else. I called the contractor and after a few calls between him and "his plumber", they admitted there was a mix-up and that they got the wrong tub.

Unfortunately, they insist that they can "make it work" and make it look "just like a drop-in tub. What they plan to do is build a wall in front of the tub, then tile up to the tub and grout it in. To me it seems like this is a Bad Idea. If there's ever a plumbing leak, the whole tile job will have to be broken up to get at the pipes, rather than just lifting the tub out. I also worry about the grout cracking from the slight movement caused by people getting in and out of the tub.

Am I right to be worried, or is it typical to take a standard tub and build an enclosure around it and tile it in place?

Anyone advice would be appreciated.

07-03-2008, 06:32 AM
It is a "dumb" idea. And even if it were not, why go to the bother if all you are going to do is wind up with a conventional tub anyway, rather than a "deep soak" tub. You were looking for the function, not the appearance so have them put in the correct tub. That is one reason plumbers in this area prefer that the customer furnish the fixtures. That way he is responsible for any screw ups.

07-03-2008, 06:41 AM
Yeah, I'd have had no problems with providing the fixtures.

The conventional tub he installed is a deep soaker, but it's not the correct deep soaker. I think I'm going to call him and demand the tub be pulled and the correct tub installed as we agreed upon.

07-03-2008, 06:44 AM
I do not know what he installed, but normally any apron tub is going to be smaller than a drop in one. One consideration is that a drop in tub does take considerably more room in order to accomodate the ledge "reveal" around its perimeter.

07-03-2008, 07:02 AM
Yes, that makes sense, and we do have limited space (60" long by around 36" wide). I know they make a 60x32 drop in, so something like that should fit, no?

As it is, the back of this tub is butt up against the back wall, but the front of it is around 4" wide (and curved, making it use a little more space yet). Add that to the 4" wall they built in front of it (width of the 2x4, plus the 1/2" drywall) and we're something like 8" from the inside edge of the tub, not even counting the tile and grout. This thing is really crowding the toilet as it is.

It seems like even if you had a 2" reveal in the back side (against the wall) it would still take less space even leaving a 3-4" reveal up front for the shower door to sit on.

If the space was too small for a drop-in, he should have told me that up front.

07-03-2008, 08:54 AM
I called my contractor and asked him to put the tub in that we agreed upon. This is when I found out what was really going on.

Apparently he (or one of this henchmen) goofed up when taking measurements, and it turns out a drop-in won't fit without moving the toilet. So instead they decided to do this apron-front tub because 1) they could shove it right up against the back wall, and 2) it's actually narrower than the 32" drop-in.

So my choices are to either A) move the toilet, or B) just go with the apron and forget about the tile front.

I'm leaning toward B.

07-03-2008, 05:06 PM

The contractor and I spoke again. Since I don't want to move the toilet, and there's no room for a drop-in, we're going to stick with a standard apron tub. Since the mis-communication was on his part, he's going to cut me a break on the tub and give it to me at cost.

I'm satisfied with the way that turned out.

Thanks for the advice hj.