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Thread: setting a kohler cast iron tub

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default setting a kohler cast iron tub

    I am remodling a small 5ft wide bathroom,,tore out tile surround got the old steel tub out without damaging sheet rock , what is the best way to get the tub in and get it turned and set do I need totear out the sheetrock ,Thanks for any suggestions

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Instructions
    Secure a 2x4 on the back wall to support the back ledge.

    Move the tub into the alcove, drain side down, and keep it in the box.
    Get the tub as close as you can to the wall with the valve.

    Have two 2x4's on hand.
    One will be your pry bar, the other will catch the edge of the tub apron before it touches down. Lay that one on the ground now.

    Next, take the crating off of the tub.
    The tub will drop down out of the crate when the wire ties are undone.

    Now, start dropping the tub down into the hole.
    The tub will drag on the back wall, catching on the studs.
    When you have the tub almost all of the way down, it will be stuck on the wall opposite the valve.
    This is when you use the second 2x4 to pry the bottom of the tub up on the drain side.
    You can use the second 2x4 as a pivot for the lever.
    You work this combination until the tub drops into place.
    You may have to sit on your butt, and push it in with your legs.

    Normally a plumber can set these by themselves, once they are in the bathroom.

    It helps to see someone else do this first.
    After setting a few, it becomes second nature.
    Last edited by Terry; 11-26-2009 at 12:24 PM.

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    DIY Member oldberkeley's Avatar
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    Terry- I apologize for jumping in, but I am about to do the same thing: Kohler Villager cast iron tub.

    1. I always thought that, as you say, the 2 x 4 ledger was needed. The installation instructions SAY NOTHING about this.

    2. I thought that the edge of the flange (which on the Villager is almost non-existant) needed to be "pinned" to the studs by the head of a nail or a flat-head screw. Again, the inst. instr. say nothing about this.

    3. At what point in the process is the drain assembly attached? Any pointers on this would be appreciated. (I have good access from underneath, none at the end.)
    Last edited by oldberkeley; 11-23-2009 at 05:43 AM.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member DanMcD's Avatar
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    Why did you buy a Kohler cast iron tub?

    Are ther better than others makes like Toto etc?

  5. #5
    DIY Member oldberkeley's Avatar
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    I apologize for posting on 2 threads, but still would very much appreciate an answer to 2 questions:

    1. Confused about the need for a ledger board on the Kohler Villager cast iron tub?

    2. Is the very small tile flange supposed to be anchored to the wall in some way?

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I don't know that you "need" the ledger, but that's how I've always installed them.

    You can use flat head roofing nails, however, they don't move once they drop into place, and the flooring is against the apron.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tub

    ON some tubs a 2x4 ledger is too thick and it hits the radius of the tub. For those, or if you are not sure, use a 1x4. As for getting it into the space. Lay the tub on the floor with the apron on the bottom. Get it into the approximate position. Remove the front, top, and back of the crate. Place "something" on the floor, (cardboard, or 1x2 strips, or anything similar to protect the tub edge), and slide the tub off the crate onto it.Then, depending on how large the recess is, either roll the tub down and onto the ledger, or angle it in between the studs on one end, then turn the tub parallel to the back wall and roll it down into position. When the tub drain is installed depends on your space. If you have access after the tub is in position, put it together last. Otherwise, assemble it on the tub, remove the assembly and put it into position while connecting it to the drain, then put the tub in place over it.

  8. #8
    DIY Member oldberkeley's Avatar
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    Default Hj & Terry- Thanks for your time & expertise. Happy Thanksgiving!

    I think that I've got a good handle on the ledger question, thanks.

    I literally have been losing sleep at night worrying about how to get this 400lb. sucker into the 3-walled alcove, almost zero clearance.

    I ONLY have access from the one, open side. It will not slide on the plywood subfloor, the legs just dig into the wood. I am also very hesitant about laying the tub sideways with the apron on the bottom; I'm worried about the apron bearing the full weight of the tub, it seems to me that even the slightest flex will crack the enamel where the apron joins the deck (correct me if I'm wrong about that!)

    My latest two late-night brainstorms are these:

    1. Lay down 2 or 3 pieces of metal pipe at right angles to the alcove back wall, extending into the room. Perhaps even grease the pipes. Bring the tub in and sit it on the pipes. Use the pipes basically as "rails" and shove/slide the tub into the alcove. SOMEHOW (?) work the pipes out from under the tub.

    2. The back wall of the alcove is the other side of my daughter's bedroom. Take out a large enough section of the drywall to allow full access on that side, and just horse the damn thing in. This is currently my least favorite idea, since I've already got enough remodeling work to do!

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    My way has worked dozens of times.
    Don't use metal pipes, they may chip the porcelain.

    The wood 2x4's under the tub work best.
    They won't hurt a tub, and the second one is used for moving the tub around.

    And, it hardly takes any muscle.
    It pretty much drops itself into place.

    It only weighs 316 pounds.
    Two guys can carry one upstairs.
    Last edited by Terry; 11-26-2009 at 07:33 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tub

    MY way has worked HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS, of times, and I still have a good back. IT works to put tubs in AND take them out. There is NO way the apron is going to "flex" and crack, even if you were to jump up and down on it. Your method with the steel "rods" is almost sure to chip the enamel where it rests, and slides, on them.

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