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Thread: Having issues with acrylic bathtubs - on my third tub and still problems

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Joe Garfield's Avatar
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    Default Having issues with acrylic bathtubs - on my third tub and still problems

    Hello,
    I am doing renovations on my house and am remodeling the bathroom. I was anxious about having a 'plastic' tub, so I opted to go to a well known plumbing supply house and get their house-brand bathtub. It is 'solid acrylic' backed with fiberglass. The plumber commented 'this is a good tub!' before installing it.

    The first tub had draining problems. Water would immediately rush to the right side of the tub, and some would just stay pooled in the corner. I contacted the manufacturer and received another tub under warranty.

    The second tub came. The plumber unwrapped the box and found dimples in the finish, and said it would also have draining problems. I leveled the tub and put a rag under the drain and found that it drains better, but not perfect. I contacted the supply house and was given the option of a repair or replacement (and they even covered some of the labor). Their advice was to try a different model, apparently the model I got has problems with draining and they are working through bugs in the mold. They said they stand behind their product, and many people who work there use this brand tub.

    The third tub came - same brand, different model. I had it installed, and lo and behold, it pools water in the corner. I sent pictures to the supply house, who said 'after reviewing with another associate, we don't see it as a problem, but we will support your decision either way.' I poured some red juice in the water, and the sitting water covers the entire corner from the edge of the drain to the wall of the tub. It will obviously cause issues with staining/cleanliness, and should not be this way for a $500-$600 bathtub.

    This weekend I investigated further. The 'ledges' of the tub are not straight. The back side is, but as you go forward it seems to bow to the outside. The front ledge is completely bowed, high in the center and low at the outside edges. If the bottom follows this same profile, it is no wonder it does not drain. It does not seem feasible to try to bend the tub into a level plane - the material is very thick. Furthermore I am having the walls tiled and this will likely show up against the straight lines of the 12x24 (brick lay) tile.

    I don't know what to do. I am a single guy and just bought my first (SMALL 3BR) house. I have 2 big bathtubs in my living room and one in my bathroom. I have been without a bathroom now for 2 1/2 months. The builder is getting annoyed because he wants to move on and his schedule is getting interrupted, and the supply house is seemingly getting annoyed at the constant problems.Name:  tub puddle.jpg
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    I appreciate any advice you might have to offer. I am starting to feel overwhelmed.
    Last edited by Joe Garfield; 03-09-2013 at 02:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I would dump the the tubs.

    If you want a good tub, get a cast iron one. Kohler has been perfecting them since 1886.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Joe Garfield's Avatar
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    Are you telling me that all acrylic tubs have imperfections like this? I should not really expect straight lines and a tub that drains?

  4. #4
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    No, I am seeing that you have 3 which are terrible, and that it could have likely all been avoided by purchasing a well known name brand which has been in the market for over 100 years. If you look around the site here, I don't think you will find any argument that the best tubs are cast iron. Next down the scale are the American Standard Americast tubs, but they also have a fair share of complaints, mostly regarding creaking noises.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Joe Garfield's Avatar
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    Understood, thanks Cacher. I will look at the Americast stuff, or will resort to a Kohler tub.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Did they try to bed the tub in mortar? If that is not done carefully and with the right consistency, it could bend or warp the tub. Using spray foam could make it worse, as that stuff expands, it can exert a lot of force.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member PaulSlack's Avatar
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    Not all acrylic bathtub manufactures have these problems. I have had one for a long time and haven't had any issues at all. Check out Therapy Tubs if you need a walk in style bathtub http://therapytubs.com

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    If you haven't installed a cast iron tub yet, do it and be done with it. Kohler Villager is a better choice for less money.

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