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Thread: Sterling or Cast Iron tub for Big Hubbie?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Question Sterling or Cast Iron tub for Big Hubbie?

    My husband and I are going to use a full closet behind our 1/2 bath to transform it to a full bath (Bath/Shower combo). My question is this.

    My husband is a big guy; 6 foot 6 and a solid 320lbs (looks like a linebacker). If I go with a Sterling tub and shower wall setup, do you think it would be sturdy enough to hold him and last? Or should I just go with the cast iron and tile around it? If I go with Cast Iron, any suggestion on brands? I'm working with a standard space of 5 ft long by 30-32" wide.

    I was going to go with the Americast, but now that I've read that it has so many problems, I'm not going to bother. My local plumbing supply store suggested a MAAX Aker, but I'm concerned about the fact that this is a Gelcoat product rather than a product that is one molded material. I want the finish to last.

    Now...I'm completely confused. I don't want to be penny wise and dollar foolish here. Any suggestions on different items/options would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Any of the non-CI tub and shower pan manufacturers do not require but they recommend that you bed the unit in a base of gypcrete, structolite, or other material. If you do this, hubby will cause no problems with flexing of the tub floor.

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    Thanks Jimbo!

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    DIY Senior Member plumguy's Avatar
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    If you decide to go with fiberglass and as Jimbo stated put something under for support make sure it is light in color (joint compound,etc) if the tub is white. Dark materials (mortar) can leave like a shadowy effect on the bottom. They don't make them they like they used too some are pretty thin.
    Sterling makes a caulkless unit that is maintenance free.Upkeep on seams is a pain regardless of the type of caulking used.
    Cast iron and tile is always my first choice and gives a great look and resale value to any bath/home. But, obviously it comes down to budget.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If he uses the tub and there is any possibility of a longer one, he'd really like one longer than a standard 5' one. I put in a 6' tub (and wish I had room for a longer one!). It is much more of a pleasure taking a bath than the old one.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Default Thanks....and 1 more ?

    Thanks to everyone for your help! I never would have thought of a lighter colored material to use under the tub.

    As for a longer tub; unfortunately, it's not an option for two reasons. 1 - Space. 2 - He's had 2 back surgeries and for him, getting out of bed is a task, never mind a tub. We're doing the downstairs bathroom in case getting up and down the stairs becomes more of an issue for him.

    I was thinking a shower stall with a seat, but they all seem to be too wide. Also, I'm not sure whether that would be beneficial in terms of resale value for the house. Any thoughts/suggestions on this?

    Money is definitely an issue, but like I said, would rather not be penny wise and dollar foolish.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You could make a tile shower any size you want (well, there is a practical minimum ). If you want some ideas, check out www.johnbridge.com

    A seat is a really good idea for either the shower, or, if you tub was going to have a shower too, for the tub as well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking sterling tubs

    you can install a 5 foot x 42 sterling tub with the walls

    they are very nice for soaking and have lots of room


    as far as concrete, just put some sand mix under the tub and

    forget about it. It wont show through cause their is a plastic pad

    under the base wth legs on it....


    americast are total junk and would not put one for anybody....

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tub

    Absolutely, do not use any tub that is so thin that the color of the bedding material would show through it. Americast seems to be one of those materials that you either love it or hate it. I have installed many Americast tubs with absolutely no customer complaints.

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