tiled roman tub mess

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jc2063

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I have a 25 year old ceramic tiled roman tub that has been leaking for a while. It was built with a plywood frame that was what looks like hot tar membrane. The tub settled and split grout line over spigot.I have a guy that says he can fix without tearing out tile.He removed the wood frame from behind the wall...dried out framing and coated with roofing mastic and he says when he stops leaks he will cement over the area......he hasn't stopped it yet and I am beginningto think this plan is wishful thinking on my part. Hate to rip this whole thing out....do I have any options? Ps I took out the grout under the spigot and re grouted and sealed and seems to have stopped the leaking for now.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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you are into something mean...

he will never get that sealed up if you got
some dummey putting roofing mastic all over everythign..

did I read that right??.


you got half a chance with silicone......
but it sounds like ita already too late

pulling an old tub and re useing it
is also a debatabe course of action

bit the bullet and do it right....
 

Jadnashua

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When you build something like that, it has to be very rigid. It could be holding nearly 4-500 pounds of water or so, and whoever is sitting it in. Any flex at all will eventually crack the grout or tile. IF it flexed enough to eventually cause the hotmopped waterproofing, the plywood is likely compromised as well. Doesn't look good...
 

jc2063

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I bought this guys song and dance that he was an expert on this type of problem with vast experience ect. I hadn't planned on this right know but will hve to look into my options......I do like the sunken tub look,can I still keep that aspect of it without going broke?
 

Jadnashua

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These things are not for the feint of heart to construct. Water is relatively heavy, and tile will not survive if there is movement. Unless a leak is pretty big, you might not notice it depending on what is under or near the tub until it has been going on for awhile. Finding someone that can construct one that will last will be possible, but difficult. It is not a very common item, so few have experience

As I noted, probably the best website for tiling questions is www.johnbridge.com This subject comes up once in awhile. If you do a search on that website, you will find some insight on others and how they constructed theirs.

If you are handy, you could build a replacement. Depending on how much you wanted to spend, doing the labor yourself can save a bundle. Two possiblities come to mind that might make the contruction easier - www.wedi.de and www.schluter.com properly constructed with these materials and you should have a guaranteed waterproof tub. Wedi will do some custom work to prefab some of the construction. Schluter's Kerdi is a waterproof tileable membrane (normally used in showers, but would work on the tub as well). With the Wedi, it might be easier to get curves, but it depends on their ultimate shape and radius. Getting the Kerdi membrane to lay flat on some curves would be a challenge.
 

jc2063

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I am not handy at all probably why I was conned by that dimwit. What I am wondering is can a tub be dropped into the existing hole and finished off with basicly a similar look.....there is a window that goes from the top of the tub to the ceiling and I kind of like the look.This stuff seems kind of tricky and with all the building going on out here in california everyone and their brother is a "contractor".
 

Jadnashua

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There are all sorts of drop-in tubs with various features, from air tubs to whirlpool tubs, to soaking tubs. If you decide to replace this, measure the dimensions. Most of them start at 5' and increase in 6" intervals. Widths run from 30" to considerably wider.
 

Sulconst2

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chances of dropping another tub into the same cut-out with the same depth are pretty slim. unless you get the same tub. being its 25 years old doesnt sound like an option. also you say its been leaking for a while? when you pull that tub it won't be pretty underneath. if the tubs worth saving then pull, repair the damage and re-install. if not then start from scratch.
 

Jadnashua

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This is a custom made tiled tub with a plywood frame, hotmopped like a shower, then tiled, not a "real" tub made in a factory...depending on the size and shape he may find a drop in that would fit in the area.
 

jc2063

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Thanks

Thanks for helping me make a rational decision on this thing. Brought an experienced plumber in on this and he told me he could either tear the whole tub out and either re build a new one like the one I have or try to find a drop in that would fit. I am leaning to rebuild just for the looks however we may leave the wall tile as is and try to find tile for the tub that dosn't look too stupid.I am 64 years old and not even sure how long I want to keep this big house anyway.
 

Geniescience

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jc2063 said:
... can a tub be dropped into the existing hole and finished off with basicly a similar look....
Yes. You have a hole. You can re-use it.

There are so many other things you have not explained, that very few other tips or advice can be provided to you, JC.

Think structure. With an acrylic tub you drop in, or another custom tub. First, structure, supporting it. Then later, shapes and type of waterproofing membrane. You already know about Wedi and Schluter's Kerdi. There is a third option, the gummy gooey membrane that comes in a gallon bucket, gets toweled on, and hardens into a gummy gooey and flexible hard layer. All three types take porcelain tile on top.

David
 
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