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Thread: not quite 5' for bathtub

  1. #1

    Default not quite 5' for bathtub

    Hi all -

    This is probably an exceedingly stupid question, but my husband and I are beginning to plan a bathroom remodel and want to replace the 30+ year old, really beat up tub. When we measured the right-hand-drain tub from wall-to-wall in its alcove, it measured 57 1/2". When we looked around at tubs, they are all 5' which it seems we don't quite have, or is there some 'give' in installation due to the thickness of the tile and/or plaster? We'd hate to buy a 5' tub for a less-than-5' space but don't see any other sizes on the market.......help!

  2. #2


    If yr not hepped up on a tub, you could do a tiled shower in the same space. Then u wouldn't be limited to standard sizes.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  3. #3


    Unfortunately, we really kind of need a tub there. We have another bathroom that is shower-only and a young child. And we'd kind of like to leave the drain & supply lines where they are to try to save a little $$. I guess an option is refinishing the tub, but I don't think that will stand up to a little boy for too long!

  4. #4
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    If you are measuring wall to wall...57 inches + or - then it is a 60 inch ttub. The size of a tub is measured stud-to-stud , and your finished wall...tile etc. overlaps that.

  5. #5


    You probably have a 60" alcove. You'll only be able to measure after you rip out the walls...

    Do you know if the walls surrounding the tub have been replaced/remodeled?

    Most tubs will fit in a 60" alcove, then at least 1/2" is added to either side via drywall or greenboard back in the day, or by Cement Backer Board today (ideally); Now add about 1/8"-3/8" for mortar on either side, and then 1/8-1/4" for tile on either side and suddenly you see where that 2 1/2" went...

    Often on older alcoves you might have very thick tile, mortar and wallboard.

    How old is the tub installation?

  6. #6


    The tub installation was done in 1971 - it is a horrible, original 70s bathroom and all throughout our house, they put up drywall, then about 1/4" plaster on top. I'm guessing that you guys are right that the thickness of those walls + tile will allow us to put in a 60" tub but it will be close!

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default tub

    If you have an existing tub in that space it is 60". They did not make odd sized tubs, so it would have to be either 54" which it obviously is not, or 60".


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