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Thread: Ledger board for a Cast iron tub?

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    DIY Senior Member Andrew21's Avatar
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    Default Ledger board for a Cast iron tub?

    Hey all,

    I've been reading all the threads and it seems to be a mixed opinion here. When I get my cast iron tub, do I need to install a ledger board? assuming the floor is level? Thanks!

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The ledger board is how many of us install a cast iron tub.

    If the home is not new, put a level on the floor 30" from the back wall to see which part of the floor is high.
    The apron will touch down on the high side, and the low side will need to be shimmed.

    The height of the ledger board is determined somewhat by the high spot you measured.
    The tub must be installed level front to back, or tile will look awful.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Some, but not all, cast iron tubs have "legs" which fit on the floor, but even with those, a ledger board ensures that the tub ledge will NOT separate from the tile because of expansion and contraction in the wall structure, or settlement of the floor under the legs.

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    DIY Senior Member Andrew21's Avatar
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    Interesting. I'm going to install a Kohler Villager tub. I think its one that Home Depot sells.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    We all sell the Kohler Villager.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It has legs, but I would still install the ledger board, especially if it is NOT going to be installed on a concrete slab floor.

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    DIY Member Zenman's Avatar
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    I installed the Kohler Villager several years ago. The instructions specifically said NOT to install a ledger - so I didn't.

    http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatal.../1084177_2.pdf see page 3 for the warning
    CAUTION: Risk of property damage. Do not support the bath by the rim. The bath must be supported by the feet only.
    Last edited by Zenman; 04-13-2010 at 09:40 AM. Reason: added link and warning

  8. #8

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    You didn't install a ledger board?

    Too bad.
    Plumbers work from experience, not from a desk.

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    DIY Member Zenman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Love View Post
    You didn't install a ledger board?

    Too bad.
    Plumbers work from experience, not from a desk.
    No I did not - as per manufacture's instructions. See warning and link above.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Like I said, experience everytime.
    I've installed hundreds of cast iron tubs.

    I would love to see you find a way to correctly place the shims after you have set the 300 pound tub in place.
    Good luck with that one.

    Have you installed your tub yet?
    How easy was it?

    It's not hard for me.
    And the tile guys love to install behind me.
    Everything is so level.
    Last edited by Terry; 04-13-2010 at 12:39 PM.

  11. #11
    DIY Member Zenman's Avatar
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    I have installed two cast iron tubs in my home. I'm sure I took longer than a licensed plumber would, but that wasn't important to me. With the first tub, I called and emailed Kohler's tech support and got help from them. And had them verify the ledger issue.

    Shims were easy to install on the first tub as I had open access to 3 sides of the tub (the back side of the tub was adjacent to a closet which was gutted down to the studs during the remodel). Just used a 2x4 from the back side of the tub to lift, then slide in the shims. No sweat.

    The 2nd tub (Kohler Memoirs @350 lbs) was more work as I had to slide it in and out of the alcove a few times before I got it completely level. Even though I had the floor perfectly level, the tub's feet were not. I made little ramps out of wood that lead up to the shims (ramps on both sides to help the back feet move over the shims on the way out - as I had to slide it in and out a couple of times). I marked the floor for the location of the metal shims and nailed around them so that they would not move while sliding the tub in place. Same for the little wooden ramps. Again no problem, took me maybe an hour to get it completely level.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You really believe some engineer who has NEVER installed a bathtub, actually knows how to do it? They usually do not even write the technical manual that says how to do it. That is usually done by someone has has attended an ETL ("English as a THIRD language"), course.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Zenman,
    You have all the plumbers laughing.
    This should be put in the joke section.

    No plumber has ever heard of a problem with a cast iron tub cracking.
    As many tubs that I have looked at in the last 36 years, the only thing that ever happens is wear from use and cleaning, and people dropping hammers in them and chipping the porcelain finish.

    We do have problems if they are installed out of level.
    At least the guys installing tile have a problem with it.
    Last edited by Terry; 04-19-2010 at 08:39 AM.

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    DIY Member Zenman's Avatar
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    Glad I could be of service

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Well, you're not THAT funny, so don't quit your day job.

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