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Thread: Re-level bathtub in new home

  1. #1

    Default Re-level bathtub in new home

    We are having a new home built and doing the tiling ourselves. The bathtub is not level and the walls are already up. I want to tile the shower walls but the but is out of level by almost 1"!!!! What can I do? My contractor and plumber are not much help. I already told them that the tub squeaks when you step into it but all they say is maybe the tile will add weight to the tub and stop the squeak. Geesh... What can I do. I tried removing the screws that were around the tub (on top of the tub edge not through the tub) My only thought is to cut underneith the tub from the basement and try to level from there? I hate to make cuts in the basement ceiling but I am out of thoughts. Thank you for any advice.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    The first thing I would do is not pay the plumber, or whoever set the tub.

    The tile won't add weight to the tub because the tile is not supposed to be supported by the tub.

    This is the time to remove the substrate (not drywall, I hope) that has been installed for the tile, and reinstall the tub properly. Otherwise you are going to be looking at and swearing at that tub and tile job for as long as you live in the house, and when you sell it, potential buyers are going to see it as an example of shoddy workmanship.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If this was my house, I'd insist on two things: first, they install the tub to the manufacturer's instructions (which say it must be level), and two, that they use the generally accepted procedure to bed the tub in a mortar bed. It should also have ledger boards under all lips for support.

    Do you know the manufacturer of the tub and the model? You can usually find the installation instructions on the website. Read it, show it to the GC, tell him he is not getting paid unless it is installed per the manufacturer's instructions.

    You mentioned the walls are up. Is this tub also going to be a shower? If so, what is on the walls? Is there a vapor barrier behind the (what should be cement board - cbu)? Assuming it is going to be tiled, there should be NO drywall or greenboard in the tub/shower area (per national code).

    Maybe you need to have a little sitdown with the local building inspector...note, I'm not a pro. Sometimes the gc's try to cut corners, but you are buying the house and at least things should be installed per code and that means to the manufacturer's instructions. Extras are extra, but the minimum is a required part of the sale.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4

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    Thank you... that is what I was afraid of.

    Most of the tub is level except for the center of the side wall (5' side) which bows down. I guess the plumber set the level on the tub and it showed level because each corner was but if you look at the center you can see it dip down. I wish I could jack the center up somehow and screw the lip into the stud.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The tub CANNOT be hung from the lip. If that is what they did, again, they did not follow the manufacturer's instructions. If that is what they did, the thing could sag. Check the model number and instructions.
    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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