The feet on a cast iron tub are not really there to support the tub either. You still need the 2x4 under the back ledge. And unless the kids are using a sledge hammer while jumping in the tub, they are not going to crack or chip it. The weight of the tub is immaterial as long as the floor is not ready to collapse from termite infestation. I prefer cast iron, but like the weight of the Americast. Since it is a different type of finish, repairing chips is a little more difficult that cast iron, but the professional shops can do it. The back flange is a dam to keep water from getting behind the tub. You do not screw the tub in place, (its weight keeps it their by itself), and the wall board comes down to the flange. Then the wall finish, marble, tile, etc., covers it.
: My current bathtub is on the second floor of the house.
: I guess it is dying because it pops and creaks like mad
: when I step into the tub, people have told me that one
: of these days it will crack. I would like to replace it
: with something that is solid (no bucking or squeaking).
: It looks like my options are either a cast-iron tub or
: an Americast tub. I have a few questions for:
: 1 - Cast-iron tub:
: I really like the solidness of this thing, exept that it's
: extremely heavy. Is it advisable for me to install such a
: heavy tub on the *second* floor ? My house is about 12
: years old, do I need to add extra support to the alcove
: structure for it ?
: On my current tub (steel or fiber glass), there is a
: thin flange that runs along the 3 wall-facing sides of
: the tub, the tub is nailed to the wall studs with this
: flange. On the cast-iron tub, this flange is much
: thicker, do I still have to drive nails through this
: flange to affix the tub to the studs (this would be
: difficult to do) ? How else do I do this ? Also, the
: flange is not flat on the cast-iron tub, it starts thin
: at the top and thickens quite a bit at the bottom. I
: would like to use cultured marble slabs for my bath walls,
: the bottom edge of these slabs will have cover up the
: flange. Given the strange thickness of the flange, how
: do I go about this ?
: 2 - Americast tub:
: Having heard quite a few good things about this tub, I
: went and looked at it. It felt quite sturdy and sound
: and much lighter, but unlike the cast-iron tub, it does
: not have feet at the bottom of the tub to support it.
: The main supports for it is the outside skirt and the
: 2x4 girder at the back wall. Properly installed, I would
: imagine the very bottom of the tub would be about 1/2 or
: 1 inch off of the subfloor. I am uneasy about this, I
: have children that seem to love to use the bathtub for
: their acrobatic exercises, if they keep jumping up and
: down in the tub, wouldn't the bottom of the tub give way
: shortly in the future ? People have told me that I need
: to lay down a cement foundation to support the bottom of
: the tub, this is a great idea, but on a 1/2 to 1 inch
: clearance ? How do I do that ?
: Is there any clear advantage between these two types
: of tubs ? Any comment or suggestion would be greatly
: I apologize for asking too many questions, but I am
: getting desparate. I live in the Bay Area in California,
: I was planning to hire someone to do it, but every
: contractor I've talked to either declined because the
: job is too small or told me to wait another 6 months
: because of busy schedules.
: Thank you so much,