View Full Version : New tub or old?

handy novice
04-09-2009, 07:45 PM
I am renovating a bath in a 30 yr old house. There is a cast iron tub that is in pretty good condition. I have the bath stripped to the studs and was checking plumb, level, etc. on the surrounding walls. I will be tiling around the tub. When checking the level of the tub, it seems to be relatively level from end to end, but is out of level 3/4" from side to side ( in other words it slopes 3/4" down from the wall side to the near side). This seems pretty excessive to me. The floor joists are not perfectly level from the underside, but nothing like this 3/4" in a span of about 30".

Which brings me to the other question. I am completely renovating this bath. Should I just replace the tub to upgrade the tub area also. It also bothers me that there is no "tile flange" on this cast iron tub, just a small ridge around the edge.

The last question is...If I replace the tub, what is the best type to replace with? Cast iron, acrylic, Vikrell, etc.

Tahnks for any help you can give me.


Phil Lloyd
04-10-2009, 05:55 PM
Yeah - that 3/4" is a radical tilt! If anything it should tilt in just a tiny bit.
Most tubs will allow a tiny inward tilt (to avoid water running out and onto the floor) and still have good drainage from around the edges, and some have a nicely sloped rail and shelf area that drains water great even if the tub is out of level a bit. It seems a 3/4" tilt would be enough to allow water to run off the tub onto the floor ..

It is wierd for a cast iron to be so far out as they usually have molded feet underneath (so if the floor was perfectly level the tub would be, too.) If anything was used to shim the feet (as should be done), it should have been done to correct the out-of-level floor- not make it worse! Wierd ~~

When you check the level, are you resting the level on the top of the tile flange (well, that little ridge) and spanning across to the rail? That little ridge is not very tall, but maybe about 3/4 ", so I wonder :D

04-11-2009, 09:50 AM
Cast iron tubs ONLY have the small ridge, they do not have the turned up flange that lesser materials use. The ridge is all that is needed. The other tubs need the flange to secure them in place, not entirely to prevent leakage.

handy novice
04-15-2009, 10:17 AM
Phil, First thanks for the response. In answer to your question, I did not put the level on the little flange, I rested it inside the raised area. That is why I was so concerned with the drastic tilt.

HJ, thanks for the info on the small lip.

So, in that event, what is the consensus here? Is the cast iron tub a better quality item, even if it is 30 years old but in good condition? In other words, should I just fix the "lean" and use my existing tub? The other option is to fix the "lean" and have the tub resurfaced. What do you guys think?

04-15-2009, 12:19 PM
My view...if you think you can live with the existing tub for another 30-years, level it and go. If it needs refinishing to look good, trash it...it will never last another 30-years with a refinish unless you take it out and send it to a place that can essentially put a new finish on it after stripping it to bare metal. That would likely cost more than just buying a new one, but is an option for a classic you just have to have.