New tub and surround

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Barry J

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We have ASB Firenze bath tub and surround. Which after 6 years is cracking in two places on the floor of tub. We are looking at replacement tubs. Would like 60x32, and at least 15 inches deep, right now ours is 16inches.
We got a quote from a plumber which was a little high for a Americast tub and 3x6 tile surround. I have a few quotes from FW Webb for three tubs. One is the Aker (Maxx) 3260, with and without the surround. And the third is for the American Standard Cambridge. My dilemma is should I go with tile or back to a surround. I don't know how study the Aker surround is but the Firenze is crap. And I don't want to repeat my first mistake. The tile way would be nice, but to cut cost, I would attempt my first tile job, but would opt for a bigger tile (12x12, etc), to cut down on labor. As for the tubs, I have heard good and bad on all of them.
Any suggestions on tubs and surrounds?
I don't even know what my current Firenze tub is made of, but I don't want the same material


Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx
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New England
It's not actually the material, it's how it was installed! Except for say a cast iron tub which is exceedingly stiff and won't generate fatigue cracks, most other tubs really need something underneath them to support the bottom so it cannot flex. There are various ways to do that.

A tiled surround give you lots more options, but will take longer and cost more. There are various ways to build a tiled surround that will last a long time and work well, but like many things involving water, it's in the details whether it ultimately works well.

I'll leave the choice of tub to others, but I would suggest you go to if you decide you want to tile the surround for some help that will follow industry guidelines. LOts of little details that will affect the overall look and function...even if you don't do it yourself, it's good to know what is supposed to be done. Some people may have been doing this a long time, but also have been doing it to understand how it's supposed to go together.

One thing to consider...neither the tile nor the grout are considered waterproof, nor is cement board behind it. To keep moisture at bay, you have to deal with those facts properly to keep it from wicking or draining places you do not want. This is opposed to a surround that is essentially waterproof when installed properly. They both work, depends on what you want and what you can spend.


Test, Don't Guess!
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Land of Cheese
If you plan on staying there for awhile, get a cast iron tub and you won't need to worry about it. When everything is done right, setting the tub is easier that doing the tile work.
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