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Thread: Sterling shower / bathtub installation issues!

  1. #1
    DIY Member Sincraft's Avatar
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    Angry Sterling shower / bathtub installation issues!

    Ok I labeled my post in order to get some search engine pickups for those looking to resolve the same troubles. I should have come here first but....I'm an idiot.

    Keeping the whole idiot thing in mind, I need help.

    I have a 5 x 8 bathroom with the bathtub / shower at the one end between the 5' space. On the plumbing side, there is a bedroom (newly remodeled and triple coat painted periwinkle). The plumbing side was done rather half-a$$ too. They didn't put studs in the spots where you would nail the shower / tub flanges so I am going to have to do that and rip up a bit more dryway to secure them. No big deal (except I already replaced the ceiling dryway as it was bad...wish I would have know I had to, but...crown molding going up there so again, no big deal).
    The other problem, is that the drain is 16" on center from the wall. The drain tube runs RIGHT along side a recessed spot light for the kitchen. There is NO moving this. All the tubs / showers I have found are like 14.25" on center for the 'normal' ones, and then there are ones that are 15.5. I chose the 15.5 on center Sterling 71220110 (left hand drain) bath tub / shower system.

    Right now I am a bit frustrated. I originally purchased another tub/shower, realized it wasn't going to work and it was very cheaply made...so I ordered this Sterling one. It will not be here for a few days at least (next week late), and I have some time to attack this project.

    The problem is, I have the old one out..the drywall has been goofed and of course needs repaired after the tub goes in, but before that..I have to put additional stud, cut copper lines and reroute etc etc, and ALSO put the rough in valve for the shower/tub water.
    I can't find ANYWHERE in their specifications or instructions that state anything of use. Of course it tells you where to put the rough in valve and where to put the studs. Here's what it DOESN'T have:
    -The thickness of the walls. It bows out at the top and bottom so if you rough in too low (especially because mine is a single lever 6" round disk) you risk going into the curve out decorative bulge at the bottom. It also serves for the wall to get 'thicker' to allow for the flange that is a tongue and groove locking system with the tub at the bottom of the wall. Get it? Here's a link to the picture :
    http://www.sterlingplumbing.com/onli...d_num=71220110

    NEXT: I've never done this before! The apron on this tub does NOT remove. There is NO information as to how far the drain bottom is on the tub from the floor and the location. Nor does it tell you how far up the overflow drain is. It wouldn't be exactly simple, but it wouldn't be rocket science to figure out how to reset the drain assembly to prep for the tub to go right against these spots. Then it's a matter of just fishing the drains centered with a screwdriver while you jostle the tub and then screwing them in from the tub right?
    The guy I ordered this system from said I ABSOLUTELY must cut a 3'x3' access panel in the newly remodeled bedroom to get to it. UH OH! Another problem is, (dont laugh) there are two power outlets RIGHT beside the plumbing rough ins and studs. So if I do cut around that, I will be working right next to a stud that shouldnt be there to begin with and 2 electrical outlets that literally are going to be 5"'s from the overflow drain.

    I need advice. I don't think I'm ever going to find the thickness of the walls. I called kohler, they told me they would have someone call me back, then 6 hours later someone called back and told me I was wrong, they have everything you need on their webpage. I asked him if he had ever done this before or installed a tub before, he said NO. Then he transfered me to tech support, that thought I was talking about the flange depth and the thickness of the material. I was trying to get him to tell me when the bulge stopped and if it was flush against the wall AND what was the thickness. I guess I might have to wait till the panels come in

    Next - the drain issues. What am I going to do about this? Drop back 10 and punt or? hehe.

    Thanks guys!

    S

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    I would suggest you call a plumber to install it for you. Your questions leave me to believe that in the end you will be less frustrated and happier as this sounds like a fairly normal instlation to me.

    The dimentions you are asking for are not nessary to know ahead of time to do this job, at least not for a knowlageable plumber.

  3. #3
    DIY Member Sincraft's Avatar
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    I think a better position for you to follow would have not been to reply to my thread there Cass.

    I'm sure a "knowlageable" plumber does not need to know those dimensions before hand, but I would bet that 100% of the DECENT ones out there would want to know the thickness of the walls. Otherwise, if the walls are too thick, they will just have to resolder EVERYTHING. And you can bet that if I paid them to do the job, and they DIDN'T find that information out first...then realized they had to redo it and charged ME for the time...I would toss them out no their ear.


    So could someone please help out?

  4. #4
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Wait for the tub to show up and make your own measurements of the dimensions you feel you need. I also wouldn't discount Cass's thoughts out of hand. I continue to be amazed by the really good tradespeople out there, and how they can do such good work with so little information that you and I need before we start. It's a combination of training and experience that a part-time, amateur plumber, electrician, carpenter, or what-have-you will never acquire. Unfortunately, we pay for that when we need it, and (more unfortunately) there's no guarantee you'll get one of the "really good" ones when you make a blind call based on the Yellow Pages ad. Good luck...

  5. #5
    DIY Member Sincraft's Avatar
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    Thanks Mikey. I'm going to work on the rough in valve today. Yes a plumbers hands move like magic and would do it 5 times faster than me, but looking at this current configuration the last plumber did when they built the house, there are more elbows than at a nfl football game. Not to mention, they had to 'bend' the rough in valve toward the wall to attach the fixture to it. Which means they didnt set it in place in the proper area. They also had the drain off a bit, which caused it to leak because it was a REALLY tight seal at teh top but very loose at the bottom.

    I'm looking for a GOOD plumber , or at least average in my area right now. The place I bought the shower from is in an old town that is very run down and they need security gates for people to park so they don't get mugged lol - but it was CHEAP! They might be able to help me too

    S

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