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Thread: converting stand up shower to bath and shower

  1. #1

    Red face converting stand up shower to bath and shower

    My husband and I have just bought a fiberglass bathtub to replace our stand up shower. We were told that we could just slide it in and not have to level it, but when we got it out it was obvious that it needed leveling. We want to do this ourselves to lower cost, but we are puzzled as to how to get it level and also how to convert the plumbing and the drain location ect. We are willing to get help in the plumbing part, but would really appreciate any advice.
    Also, we got a fifty four inch tub for actually a fifty six inch space was that wrong? desperately in need of advice, Thanks

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Where is this going? On a floor where you can get to it though the ceiling from below? Or, in concrete?

    Hopefully, the existing vent line won't be too far away when you move the drain line.

    It depends on what you plan to do around the tub/shower. If you are going to tile it, then you'd need to take up some of that 2" with cement backer board. You could put some shims on the walls, then attach a vapor barrier (either plastic or roofing felt), then the cement board. You could cut shims out of 1/2" plywood. That would make the 2" you'd need, then the tile would fit over the tiling flange (does the tub have a vertical flange on the sides?).

    The tub normally would need to be up against the walls, so you could use two layers of that 1/2" plywood on the studs on the ends.

    To get the tub level, once you have the drain moved and ready to attach, you could make some deck mud (5 parts sand to 1 part portland cement - you can often buy this prepared in a bag at a tile store, then mix it with water).

    Spread this stuff out on the floor under the tub, thick enough to support the bottom of the tub. THen, smush the tub down into it carefully until it is level. Make sure it is level in both directions. Then, leave it overnight. It will then be fully supported and level, ready to complete your install. Normally, you also want to install ledger boards under the rim. The height of those can be determined, and then installed prior to setting the tub in place. It will give you a good guide as to level. Screw (preferred) or nail them to the studs at the proper height.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 03-30-2006 at 08:51 PM.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    Confused about your sizes. Fixture sizes are called out as the rough-in size, meaning the distance stud-to-stud. Wall finish material will then recude the number. The most "standard" tub or showe is 60". 54" is a size that come up a lot. I don't know about 56" . If the shower floor was tiled, then this was just a custom job to fit a space.

    As described by Jim D. You basically need to "adjust" your rough opening down to 54" and go from there. If the shower had a center drain, then of course that needs to be moved. If this is on concrete slab, you will need to jack a little concrete. Once the floor is finished, a good material to put under the fiberglas tub is StructoLite or Gypcrete. These are light-weight cement products which are easy to work with.

    For doing the tile wall, here are 2 superb resources:
    1) The Tile Council of America www.tileusa.com
    2) John Bridge tile forum www.johnbridge.com


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