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Old 10-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #1
sandman512
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Bathroom remodeling question regarding bathtubs?

I need to remodel my kids bathroom. The original tub, cast iron, is a hideous blue. Any advice on what kind of tub to go with? There seems to be a couple of choices such as fiberglass, americast, etc... Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
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not sure what's wrong with blue.

i'd say go with a white or maybe gray tub. seems to be pretty popular these days
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:14 PM   #3
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Get the cast iron tub refinished in a more modern color. It'll be cheaper than a new tub and will retain some character in the home.

If you must have a new tub, fiberglass is the way to go if you don't want a soaking tub.

Last edited by SamDoe1; 10-11-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:15 PM   #4
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Fiberglass:
Pro: Light, cheap
Con: Cheap, doesn't hold temp well, hollow sounding

Americast:
Pro: Good Price, Light, Nice quality, some insulation
Con: None really

Cast Iron:
Pro: SOLID, Last forever
Con: A little more $, HEAVY


If the current one is on ok shape and you are only replacing fixtures... paint it
If you are going to demo the whole bath... rip it out and replace
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:06 PM   #5
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Refinish the tub if it's an option (The people i have talked to about this, said it's not something a first time DIY'er is likely to make look very good, may want to hire it out)

Fiberglass tub .... nothing wrong with it...... it just feels like .......... fiberglass.

Cast iron is awesome. I'll put one in when I do my downstairs bath. HEAVY though ... call some friends. Make sure the floor can support it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies. The whole bathroom is being gutted. The tub is most likely original to the house. Though about having it refinished, but wife would like to throw a new one. Probably going with the Americast.

BTW: The blue is an older blue, wife wants different color.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:25 PM   #7
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Americast is plastic, no two ways about it, you and a friend can carry a cast iron tub up a set of stairs and into a bathroom in no time at all. As for what tub, most for your money is a kohler villager, also make sure to get a brass gerber tub waste so you've got a solid product when all is completed. One other helpful thing is to take out old tub in one piece, if you start smashing there will be shards of iron everywhere.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:30 AM   #8
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It's usually next to impossible to get it out in one piece if it was installed properly.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:13 PM   #9
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Cut it in half or put a heavy drop cloth over it and proceed to smash with sledge

I've done both
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:46 PM   #10
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One thing to pay attention to is the height of the drain.

We got a new tub and the drain was 'eco friendly' meaning I couldn't fill it higher than maybe 8". Rectified that years later with a 6' Jacquizzi...which is something you might want to consider.

But, measure the height of the drain...that was a big deal for me when I found out how lame the new tub was.

Get as big as you can. If using fiberglass, you can throw something underneath it to firm it up. I forget the name of what I used under jacquizzi, but think it was something like spectrolight? Basically plaster(ish) stuff with fibers mixed in for strength.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:49 PM   #11
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Well, I'm actually thinking of going with a Kohler Cast Iron. While I was leaning towards the Americast, it appears to have not gotten the best reviews.
BTW, what is best way to cut the existing one out?
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:37 AM   #12
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JJ said you can break it with sledge.

Don't forget you'll need access below to disconnect the drain/overflow, and you'll need to be able to get the new one in. This isn't a free-standing tub you currently have, is it? Assuming it's built in, you'll be removing some wall around the top of tub.

Anyway, JonJon said you can smash with a sledge or cut in half...smashing sounds much easier!

Use hardibacker board for the surround if you're doing the walls over...it's waterproof, unlike green board which is only water resistant.

Measure 3 times, order once! LOL
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:38 AM   #13
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Smashing is way easier than cutting

More fun and therapeutic too!

Wear a mask, googles and ear plugs like with all demo

I'm the demo master
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:39 AM   #14
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Thanks, going to the studs in the tub section.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:01 AM   #15
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Like dmax said, use hardibacker. Hardibacker isn't necessarily waterproof, but it won't deteriorate if it gets wet. If you really want waterproof, put Ditra membrane over the top of the hardibacker.

http://www.schluter.com/6_1_ditra_3966.aspx
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:27 AM   #16
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Is hardibacker(brandname?) the same as Cement Board?
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:23 PM   #17
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Yes, hardibacker is a cement board. If you use it, get the hardibacker screws. I guess it isn't waterproof, in that the screw holes, seams, etc. will allow moisture to penetrate, but you really don't need to do more than tile it...a membrane wouldn't hurt, but you really won't have issues with water penetrating if you tile and grout.

Also, on tiling in a tub/shower area, I'd use thinset rather than the latex adhesives made for tiles. Maybe I'm too OCD about stuff like this, but with thinset you don't have to worry about the adhesive ever failing due to moisture. Others here might know more than me about this, but that's what I used.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:13 PM   #18
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Thanks, I appreciate the input. I am actually having a tile guy do the tile work. I'll be doing the rest.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:19 PM   #19
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You might think of diying tile...you can get a diamond wet saw for $100...not great...but it works.

We got a bid for our bathroom from local tile place...$9/sf tile plus $5,000 installation...doing the spa look...all tile up to the ceiling.

I went online and in 15 mins. found the same tile for $3 sf. Damn!

I hired a guy who had done tiling to help me for a few days, but have since done more on my own. Thinset makes it a lot more work, but it's a fulfilling job to do...especially if you'd done everything up to that point. That said, a good tile guy can do things you wouldn't do...still, though, you should plan things out so you know what compromises might have to be made...what size tile might work best...that sort of thing.

BTW, a running bond pattern seems to solve a lot of issues. Anyway, have fun and good luck!
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Yes, hardibacker is a cement board. If you use it, get the hardibacker screws. I guess it isn't waterproof, in that the screw holes, seams, etc. will allow moisture to penetrate, but you really don't need to do more than tile it...a membrane wouldn't hurt, but you really won't have issues with water penetrating if you tile and grout.

Also, on tiling in a tub/shower area, I'd use thinset rather than the latex adhesives made for tiles. Maybe I'm too OCD about stuff like this, but with thinset you don't have to worry about the adhesive ever failing due to moisture. Others here might know more than me about this, but that's what I used.
The backer board screw holes and seams should be mudded and sealed.
Use thinset in the shower. Only downfall is it doesn't stick right away.
Much better than mastic in wet areas
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