View Full Version : Help with Kohler Tub Install Challenge

09-23-2009, 11:32 AM
Hi. It's been a long time, but I'm still plugging away on my master bath. There's lots of progress including:
- Shower is tiled
- Heat mat, then ditra, then tile installed on floor
- Tub deck built and tiled (deck and backsplash)

That's the good news. The bad news is that I have a tub install issue to resolve - the installation instructions are a bit confusing.

My tub is a Kohler Escale drop-in tub: http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatalog/detail.jsp?from=thumb&frm=&module=&item=11210702&prod_num=11343&section=2&category=10&resultPage=0-100690347. It's meant to be installed in a tub deck. It has four little support "Feet" on the tub bottom. (Here's the spec drawings showing the feet: http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatalog/pdf/1056402_4.pdf.)

The tub installation instructions say that you can glue the feet to the floor or install the tub with cement. Using cement is the standard way of installing a drop-in tub. BUT... For cement installs, Kohler instructions state that 1) a two inch bed of cement should be everywhere EXCEPT around the tub feet and 2) that the tub feet should rest on the floor.

My question is this - if the feet must rest on the floor, what is the advantage of using cement over gluing the feet to the floor? Since the feet must be shimmed anyway (to raise the tub lip 1/8" off the tub deck), is there any advantage to using cement for this tub?

Thanks in advance,


09-23-2009, 08:15 PM
WIthout looking up how the tub is built, it's hard to say. If it is cast iron, make sure the shim material won't compress over time. If it is acrylic, then the tub will benefit a lot from the reinforcement of the mortar base. Full of water, you could have 400-500# or more of water in the thing, then add a person or two, maybe standing, and there's a fair amount of spot or point loading...acrylic will flex. Bed it in mortar, and it won't. This helps prevent stress cracks, makes the tub last longer, and makes it feel more substantial.

09-23-2009, 09:32 PM

Hi. Yep, it's acrylic. Good tips on the cement. Looks like I'll be mixin' mud in the near future.



p.s., How is Nashua these days? I hope the economy is better. When I sold my condo in the mid '90s (after DEC folded), things were pretty bleak. (I lost some serious money on the condo.) I lived off West Hollis Street (7 Esquire Circle).

09-24-2009, 09:56 AM
Not too bad, but BAE may be laying some people off, and Fidelity did over the last year which hurt. OUr condo prices dropped about 20%, but are recovering. My condo is still worth over 2x what I paid for it, and it is paid for, so other than taxes going up, it's acceptable. Sales have been slow, and there are a few forclosures that hurt 'normal' sales, but that's to be expected. Since that time, you wouldn't recognize south side, what with all of the retail development. DW Highway is a major pain around Christmas.

09-24-2009, 10:30 AM

Sounds like Nashua has changed in the last few years. Regarding condos, I bought my condo for $102K in 1984. At one point, it was worth almost $150K. When I sold it (1993-94, I believe), I got $95K for it. :(

Housing prices in the Seattle area have dropped about 25% over the last couple of years. The economy has leveled off, but it's been "interesting".