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Thread: Recommend a whirlpool tub for tub/shower combo?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jswordy's Avatar
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    Default Recommend a whirlpool tub for tub/shower combo?

    I am about to finally - after 23 years of procrastination - undertake a master bedroom bath redo. The bath is presently a disgusting mess, originally installed by someone else with cheap materials and showing age and mold and cheapness.

    One of the things on my list is a whirlpool tub, as we ain't getting any younger. But space is at a premium in this older bath, so it has to do double duty as a shower/tub combo. And just to add to it, I'd like it to be the style where I can just replace the existing tub with the whirly, hook up plumbing and add wiring, and go.

    Also interested in durability issues, as I have seen some fiberglass tubs kind of delaminate over years or begin to show strands as the resin wears off. We'll do ceramic tile down to the flange.

    I might be able to do a corner whirlpool tub if I moved the toilet over a couple feet, but it too would have to serve double-duty. I wonder what the smallest footprint for a corner whirly tub is?

    Any thoughts? I figure now's the time to think it all out and get input, not after the demo starts! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you've never had to do the regular maintenance on a whirlpool, you may not want to deal with one - used regularly, it requires some pretty strong chemicals and time on a monthly basis or things start growing inside and are a bear to clean out. As a result of researching that, I opted for an air tub - it's not as vigorous, but it's much easier to keep clean as it blow dries itself from the inside and isn't pumping bathwater through the internal piping. Plus, you can use any bath oils and other stuff that are not approved for use in a whirlpool. Most of these type of tubs come in many versions - if you're going to use it as a shower, you really want one with a factory tiling flange although they usually sell an add-on one (can work, but integrated is better). It would be very unusual if you didn't have to move the drain at least a little. Also, since this type of tub is designed for soaking, the actual flat bottom is often fairly short - I ended up buying a 6' air tub, and it would have been wonderful to have put in a 7' 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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    DIY Junior Member jswordy's Avatar
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    Yikes, I am 6'2" and constrained by walls to a 6-foot tub. This is one of those old bathtub width bathrooms that's about 8 or 10 feet long, so space is tight. Thanks for your reply, as it seems I have some rethinking to do. The air tub sounds like a better alternative. I'll look into those, too.

    Here is a link to the type of tub I will be looking at:

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/2030963...a#.UZUW6JXvwuA
    Last edited by jswordy; 05-16-2013 at 10:23 AM.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I'm about the same height. My 6' tub is okay, but an extra 6" or more would have made it perfect (they're generally available in 6" increments). Unless you're a short woman or a child, a standard 5' tub (60") is a joke...you're sitting almost straight up, or if the back is sloped, the flat space is VERY minimal so your knees are severely bent and sticking up out of the water. Mine is from Jason International...a disgruntled? brother of the Jacuzzi family started his own company.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Western's Avatar
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    Take a look at this tub - my 6"2' husband can sit comfortably in this 60 inch x 32 inch tub: http://www.lowes.com/pd_141810-77282...ven&facetInfo=

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Corner/neoangle tubs are usually 60 on the two sides.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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