View Full Version : Replacing 66" tub, suggestions requested.

C Hutchings
01-20-2009, 01:35 PM
How would you handle replacing this tub? This is a small bathroom, 6' 10" X 5' 5." Below is a pic.

Should I:
Replace this tub with a shower only?
Replace it with a 4' tub and build a shelf at the back?
How would another size larger than 4' length fit in? In other words, what about the gaps?

From the pic, you can see there is a window above the tub so I won't be installing an enclosed unit. Not tearing out walls. Closets surround this small bathroom and they not negotiable.

The sink is being replaced by a wall-mounted one leaving an open space below to allow for a 30" tub to look nice enough. The old 66" tub is, I believe, 28" . Space is tight even so.

Any suggestions, comments are greatly appreciated. Please ask me any questions.

Thank you, C.



01-20-2009, 02:13 PM
What gaps are you talking about? What is your main concern here?

If you are replacing the tub the you have to rip wall finishes off down to studs. Remove toilet and vanity so there is room to work and maneuver tub.

Get a tub that is the same size as the old. When you set the new tub in use some structolite(cement plaster material) to create a solid molded base under the tub. The new tub should have a flange lip that the cement board goes up to and then tiled over.

If you have no bathroom remodeling experience do not practice on this bathroom. Don't know if I agree with wooden mouldings around the window in shower area. The are materials to waterproof around the window before you tile it.

Optional: Build wall out 6 inches(the wall with the medicine cabinet) only in the shower area and install standard 5 foot tub. You'll need a plumber to hook up the drain, water pipes, and fixtures. If it were me I gut everything to the studs and floor joists and change all the supply and drain lines.

C Hutchings
01-20-2009, 04:00 PM
Replacing the tub is the main concern. There was a shower in this bathroom at one time. It's walled over.

Gutting all of the tub surround.

The plumbing is accessable from a closet. The drains, pipes under the house and the floor under the tub looking up from underneath the house appear good for now.

I am gutting the walls on the plumbing side (and tub surround) but not the flooring or other. Keeping waste mininal. The floor will be covered with a natural fiber rug. This is a recycled home. It was moved to this site. Would like to keep within the recycling concept where possible.

The problem with replacing this tub with one the same size is that I can't find one. As far as I can tell there are no 66" x 28" tubs off the shelf.

32" will not fit.

There are some clawfoot tubs that I suppose would fit but I'd rather have the cleaner line of a tub. I feel like a clawfoot would be hard to keep the floor clean underneath because the corners would be hard to reach. And if the marble is not under there I'd have to gut that too. More stuff for the landfill is not the idea here.

Like the new sink is repurposed from the electric company's remodel. In mint condition, a quality sink, attractive, and was seldom used.

I'm looking for ideas on "surrounding" a smaller tub into the space where this 66" tub fit.

01-20-2009, 05:02 PM
If you intend to use the tub as a shower as well, building a shelf to take up that extra 6" becomes a problem for moisture control. But, having a shelf in the tub area can be useful. There are ways to do it where it won't leak, but it must be done carefully, and well.

I doubt you'll get the tub out of there without having to do some floor work...especially if that tub is cast iron.

C Hutchings
01-20-2009, 07:21 PM
Thank you for mentioning the water pooling on the shelf.

Could I run a curtain cieling rail along the cieling for a curtain to hang that will cover it?

Should I replace this tub with the one that will allow some building up of walls on either end and trim them?

A sawsall should cut through the tub. Right? A sledge hammer should help. Right? The floor can be padded.

That floor marble is cracked but I'd like it to stay. As I said, don't want to send more construction debri to the dump if not absolutely necessary.

01-20-2009, 07:38 PM
If the tub is cast iron, safety protection and a sledge hammer is probably the easiest. If it is steel, or some plastic, a sawsall will cut it.

Personally, I'd bite the bullet and remodel it, rearrange things is needed, and have something that both looks good and would last. The amount of work done may end up being the same, as trying to work around other stuff without damaging it is often very tough.

Most modern tubs might feel quite constricted with the width you have. Yours has probalby nearly vertical walls...most new ones have more curves and bulges. Most tubs longer than 60" are wider (mine is 36" wide - would really have like to put in a 7' tub! but 66" was all that would fit without tearing down walls).

Check out www.johnbridge.com (http://www.johnbridge.com) for some other ideas, especially when it comes to tile.

C Hutchings
01-20-2009, 08:02 PM
Thank you for the link.

If the floor needs replacing that's understandable. I can be more conservative in other parts of the home in keeping with the concept of recycling.

The space is very small. If you see another arrangement for the fixtures I'd like to hear it.

What are your specific suggestions for replacing this tub?

01-21-2009, 03:41 AM
Some observations:
I don't understand why you're talking of going from a 66 inch tub down to a 48" tub (4 ft). Certainly, 60 inch is the predominant size available. If you do mean to make it a a 4 ft "kid" size tub, build a wall, not a shelf, and get some more storage space from the 18 inches.

But in the spirit of reduce/reuse/recycle, if the tub is cast iron, consider having the tub refinished.

I didn't see you say anything about wanting/not wanting a shower. If you do, the wood molding is the least of the problems introduced by having a window at that level, even a vinyl window like it appears to be. Water getting into the wall framing would be my major concern.

01-21-2009, 07:06 AM
The cast iron tub can be taken to a metal scrap yard where it would be recycled. A lot of the other fixtures can be given to someone who can refurbish them and either use or sell. If the tiles can be removed without breaking, they can also be reused. I even heard of people reusing sheetrock if taken down carefully enough. Studs can also be reused. Pretty much everything in the bathroom can be refurbished and used somewhere else if someone gets creative enough and spends time refurbishing. This would make sense in your case.

In my case it would not, because I'm not thinking about landfills. I've heard conflicting opinions about landfills. Some say we have a never ending amount of space and some landfills even power small towns by the methane that is produced from all the crap.

If you build a shelf or keep the window it can be waterproofed with kerdi or redguard to keep water from getting in the wall.

C Hutchings
01-21-2009, 11:19 AM

I thank you for reminding me that some of this material can be repurposed. An artist I know may want the marble. I'll look at kerdi or redguard.

That's why I'm here, for the feedback.

I have a cold, it's got me a little fuzzy-headed. I have some time to research. I want to start this project in February.

What'd you guys do in a remote location when there is no toilet for days? No WE cannot use the outdoors. I have a horse trailer with living quarters but using the toilet in it means a two hour round trip plus the time to dump, the hassel to hook up, haul, dump, come back, park, unhook, it would take hours and energy out of the day. I have the horses to take care of too in between all this. It would eat up too much time.

The tub is in poor condition. Appears to have been original to the home. The home was built in 1940. The refurbishers seem to guarantee 1 to 5 years.

Just to comment about refurbishing this tub, they will not come out to this rural location. To haul it out looks difficult because it must get through the bathroom's narrow door upright into a very narrow hall, straight up, snake around narrowly to maneuver it into a tight corner then out another very narrow doorway into the diningroom and on out... The tub's poor condition and the shortness of the guarantee do not seem worth it.

TedL, that would also explain my wanting a small tub. The 4 foot tub was a reference to one that American Standard makes, a 46-1/2" x 27" x 15-1/2. And yes, I was thinking of using, gaining any extra space.

I have been looking at remodelling photos of similar spaces and seems tiling the area around the window is best?

Any suggestions on using marine paint? How's it compare to the application of kerdi or redguard?

About the window. I'm originally from Florida. The bathroom windows in the showers of old homes there with proper maintenance have held up pretty well. My aunt's 1950s home with no central A/C, her bathroom window, the only thing she ever did was replace the decorative window privacy decal sticker when it began to peel. They still make very stylish ones. An aside, it's a metal window that opens out, when I was a kid I hit my head on it more then once walking/playing out there on the patio.

That window is still fine and walls around it were fine in the 1980s when she had the room re-tiled. Also her bathroom is completely tiled over, the entire room, ceiling, walls, floors. Since the 80s it is still holding up today.

Since I cannot find a 66" tub that is also 30" do you know what tub would be recommended here? Or scrap the plan to replace it, go for the shower?

And if the walls have to be built out to fit a tub close to the 66" -- only around the tub, leaving the rest of the room not build out -- what suggestions for that?

What are the problems to look for if this window is replaced with glass tile?

It is recommended that a very good vent be installed even with window ventilation but I want this home to use as less power where it can in as many situations as possible. Scrap that idea too and get the vent?

01-21-2009, 11:50 AM
To get the tub out, you would probably have to smash it with a 12 pound sledge hammer. Break it in half and then each half in half(quarters). The new tub will fit through the door because it won't be higher than 24" if your door is that small.

A vent is preferable because you're not going to open the window in the wintertime.

I would just build out the tub area. No sense in building out the whole bathroom. I would build out the wall which the toilet and vanity are against only behind the tub. This way you will have more room to get in and out of the tub.

If that's you're only bathroom, then definitely put a tub and not a stand up shower. What's a house without a tub.:)

C Hutchings
01-21-2009, 12:52 PM

In building out the tub area, yes, seems like the best thing. But what size tub for instance would allow for ease of building out?

IOW, if I get a tub that is say, 60" (and I haven't checked for one, I seem to be limitted by the 30" maximum width as to what length the tub will be) but for the sake of discussion, a 60" tub would allow the wall built out 3" on either side so what about trim suggestions for the outside corners in the built out part? With tiling I feel like a small piece plus the corner round would not be very stable.

Like a thicker build-out would allow for a better trim ?? The question is how will the outside corner be finished out? What surround material suggestions other than tile -- if this will not be used as a shower? Like with tile shouldn't I have more of an area to work with for tiling the outside corner? Should I look for the smaller length tub to help with the building out? What am I missing?

I agree with installing the tub and not a shower. But it's getting frustrating just in the planning stage.

What would you do? Get a tub that just fits and figure out the wall later?

Since there won't be a shower maybe just tile partway up to protect the wall and then it won't be such a big deal with small build out because it covers less length of wall? Easier to repair later?

I really would appreciate having a shower but it's becoming apparant that I will have to give more serious consideration to an outdoor shower now. Wwwon't be using that in the winter.

....Or there could also be a confiscation of a closet. Might have to come to that. :D Because obviously we see all the problems we're having....

01-21-2009, 01:19 PM
60" is standard size tub. You can find many tubs in this size. Therefore you build the wall out to exactly 60" so the tub fits flush with the studs. (I like to make it a little 1/2" smaller and notch the studs so the tub lip is recessed in the studs, this way when I install the cement board it doesn't bow out at the bottom). The corner is no big deal. They sell tile trim pieces for that purpose. You would also have to have the shower body moved onto the new wall and tub drain moved.

Are you doing this yourself or hiring someone? This kind of job is not for someone without experience. If you have basic experience you may be able to tackle it with a lot of research and patience, but it won't come out good and you may run into troubling problems. A bathroom remodel is considered a decent size job.

I was under the assumption that this was going to be a tub/shower surround. Isn't that correct.

01-21-2009, 06:13 PM
I don't know of anyone who still makes a 28" wide tub, and have never heard of a 66" tub that was that narrow. 60" x 28" was a "builder's tub" in the 50's until FHA mandated a 30" minimum, which killed the 28" size.

01-21-2009, 06:58 PM
Make a drawing of the room showing existing fixtures, the door swing, and windows. It'll be easier to picture what is there, and what may fit if things were to be moved around.

C Hutchings
01-22-2009, 02:26 PM
Yes, this is a 66" x 28". It fits exactly in that spot. (1940 is my guess)

There's probably plaster and lath behind that tub surround.

I may get a clawfoot. There won't be the problem of water coming in constant contact with the window and walls.

Run the plumbing for the clawfoot tub spout and shower outside the wall. Plug the clawfoot fixture holes.

That medicine cabinet and light may have to come out. May not align over the sink.

Also, a propane back-up heater. Last year after the ice storms we put that on the list. The tank's on that side of the house. Right now the line from the tank to the house is above ground because we had tree removal done (dead trees from the ice storm).

An aside. There are hundreds of trees all around the property but I had to buy one. :(