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Thread: What to do... Tube replacement or refinish, cast iron vs americast

  1. #1
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    Default What to do... Tube replacement or refinish, cast iron vs americast

    Hello Everyone,

    Spent a few hours reading many different threads about tub selection, refinishing vs replacement, cast iron vs americast etc. Now am really in a quandry.

    I have a 1950's house that I purchased and am doing a complete remodel on the bathroom of. I have taken the walls down to stud and all floor covering off. The bathroom is on a 2nd floor (which is the main floor, almost straight level off the front yard, so very little steps to go up, just onto porch (concrete steps)).

    The tub that is currently in the bathroom is an older cast iron, I believe original to the house. However it is not a collector antique or clawfoot, just a typical cast iron that was put in these houses. The actual soaking depth on this tub is 11" before water starts to run out overflow.

    When I bought the house the tub had a very poorly installed sliding glass door setup installed which I removed, however removing such, provided an area the width of the door system that is a complete different finish on the tub. The tub also has what appears to be peeling finish where you stand (bubbled up), about 50 small nicks overall that are pretty deep through the finish and noticeable, and yellowed stains all around the drain and overflow.

    So since everything is removed my original thought was replacement. I was considering the American Standard Americast & Kohler Villager Cast Iron. I have some buddies that I work with that I believe can help me get a new cast iron in, so I was more worried about quality and something that lasts.

    However when measuring the Kohler I found the side to be 2 inches shorter than the my current cast iron, and the soaking depth (8 5/8) 2.5" lower than my current. This is concerning as it seems the Villager was made more for tiny kids than grown ups as a soaker. The next model up Bellwether is 9" ...so still 2" lower than the lowest point on my current.

    This made me reconsider the Americast Princeton, however this one is only 9.5 as well. Did I just magically get the deepest cast iron ever made...as even the americast aren't even close.

    My budget maxed out at the very top of $500 for just the tub.... and every post I look at people seem to be talking bad about the americast creaking, etc.

    So the only thing that then leaves is refinishing, which to my understanding lasts about 5 years max, if lucky....


    Thoughts, advice??

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    Last edited by capt512; 08-01-2013 at 08:36 AM. Reason: *Tried to edit my genius spelling of tub in title but doesn't look like I can

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    Get a Kohler Villager. It is cast iron, which is the best material to go with, and a popular model which makes it a price performer. If you are redoing the bathroom don't even think about refinishing. In my opinion, the only thing good about Americast is that it is lighter. But how many times are you going to move it? Besides, you will be all warmed up from hauling out the old tub.

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    I don't mind having to get the Villager in, as thats doable, I just worry about the significant difference in water depth. The 2" water height difference seems like it may make a huge difference once I use it.

  4. #4
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Take a look at the Kohler Mendota, it's 2" wider and 2" higher.

    John

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    CI tubs are the most durable, but deeper soaking tubs are easier to find in fiberglass, acrylic, and other materials. Installed properly so they don't flex, and the use of non-abrasive cleaners, and they can last a long time while looking good.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    Code says you need 15" from the center of the toilet drain to the edge of the tub. Deeper tubs tend to be wider than the 30" of a Villager. Put a tape on it before you buy a wider tub. Even if you blow off code and pull no permits you still need room for the toilet.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Your tub was a 32" x 16 version which was the standard "full size" tub in those days. It is also the standard for most full size tubs, although you can get deeper ones, but they will normally be wider and you do not seem to have any excess room between the tub and the toilet.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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