Plumbing Forum - Professional & DIY Plumbing Forum > General Plumbing Discussion > Showers and Tubs > Need to replace one-piece fiberlgass shower/tub




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Old 03-29-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
Zanne
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Default Need to replace one-piece fiberlgass shower/tub

Now that I'm waiting for my septic tank to be installed, I'm thinking ahead to the project of my mother's bathroom.

Currently we have an avocado one piece shower/tub combo tucked into an alcove.

I couldn't find the thicker measuring tape and I'm all thumbs when it comes to the flimsy measuring tapes. I had trouble trying to get in to the corner on the end while still holding the thing in place. From wall to wall it was about 59.5". From the back wall to the front of the unit was about 31.5". The height of the unit was just under 6'. The height of the front tub wall from the floor was about 13.5". I know these are not exact. The walls behind/around the unit are somewhat thin wooden panels with a texture printed on them. You can see a bit of that in this picture of the tub.


As you can see, the tub spout and handles are sticking out-- which I know is very bad since water can get in there. The hot water handle has to be turned clockwise and is turned a lot before it even starts to come on. The cold water turns counter clockwise. My father kept replacing the handles but something inside kept stripping. Whenever I'm turning the hot water on and off, the entire fixture (both handles and faucet) move forward and backward. There are no access panels to the plumbing.


Here is the shower head. The rusty colored stuff against the unit is actually the color that comes out of the hot water (and sometimes cold). The hard water has stained everything-- including white clothing put through the wash.


Here is the spot on the floor where the tub floor cracked. My brother sprayed it with Flex Seal-- hence the splatter on the walls as well.


This is the matching sink. You can see the rusty color there too.


The toilet used to match until we replaced it with a Toto Drake


I know the floor needs to be cleaned. LOL.
The bathroom is a cluttered mess-- and yes, that is a boomerang on the floor. I have no idea why it is there. I will have to kick my brother for leaving hair on the floor.



The linoleum is torn up because a few years after having it put in (replacing the carpet that had been in the bathroom previously) the floor gave out the toilet tipped over with my brother on it. The floor joist saved him from going all the way to the ground. A very rough patch job was done on it (and I will need to re-do the entire floor because we discovered there is no subfloor-- no moisture barrier).

The tub does not drain well at all. Water pools up toward the crack. While we were overseas the tenants tore out a bunch of the plumbing under the house and when we got back, the shower was no longer connected to the septic system and was just dumping under the house. All of the plumbing vents had also been removed. The plumber put vents in and hooked the shower drain back up, but I don't know what the problem is with the draining. Maybe there are clogs.

The doorway to the bathroom is 23" wide IF we take the door off. I forgot to measure the height, but its high enough for my 6'3" brother to go through without ducking-- but he does have to go through the door sideways because of his girth.

My mother has diabetic polyneuropathy and has trouble with her legs. It makes it difficult for her to lift her feet high enough to get in to the shower. She wants a tub that is either just as shallow if not lower (I think preferably she wants something lower) that will let her step in and out. She wants grab bars to hold on to as she gets in and out. Also, since she is the Queen of Clutter, she wants some sort of shelf space in the shower. I have no idea why there are so many bottles in the bathroom.
Too bad the Stowaway Bathtub is a UK thing
.
That might be nice for accessing the pipes and such under the tub-- but obviously my tub is closed in on 3 sides.

So what we need:
1. Shallow tub (13.5" or less)
2. Sturdy enough to hold 350lb brother who clomps around like a Doofusaurus.
3. Easy to clean with septic tank safe materials.
4. Built in grab bars or ability to have grab bars added
5. Shelf space for putting soaps, shampoos, etc.
6. Preferably inexpensive and easy to install
7. Drain on right side

Now, my mother despises tile, so putting tile around the tub is out.

Any suggestions for types of tubs and surrounds?

I personally like the look of this:

But I would want corner shelves and more space. Plus I measured that thing and I would have to move the location of the shower head to not jut through one of the decorative parts that pokes in. I've read that the pockets are rather flimsy but spraying them with grate stuff or some sort of expanding foam crud would make them sturdier.



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Old 03-29-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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You need more help then you can get here. Need a remodeling contractor.



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Old 03-29-2013, 10:50 PM   #3
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You need more help then you can get here. Need a remolding contractor.
Remolding or remodeling?

I hope I can find someone because its hard to find people out here. Particularly hard to find reliable people who don't charge an arm and a leg.

Other than finding the right contractor, does anyone have any suggestions on what products are good and which ones to avoid?

I've heard Sterling is good, but what about Aquaglass?
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:44 AM   #4
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I've only installed one ready made tub with the 5 piece plastic/fiberglass walls, and it was way too flimsy for my liking. I'd recommend purchasing a better one from a qualified plumbing/hardware supplier, and installing it yourself. Unfortunately, this itself will not correct your galvanized rusted iron pipes, so if you could find the money, a copper pipe replacement along with a new tub would be your best bet.

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Old 03-31-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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I've only installed one ready made tub with the 5 piece plastic/fiberglass walls, and it was way too flimsy for my liking. I'd recommend purchasing a better one from a qualified plumbing/hardware supplier, and installing it yourself. Unfortunately, this itself will not correct your galvanized rusted iron pipes, so if you could find the money, a copper pipe replacement along with a new tub would be your best bet.
Thanks. I don't know if I could install it myself. I'm not all that confident yet. I'd like to start with doing a smaller project before taking on something like that.

Finding a qualified plumber in this area isn't the easiest and as for suppliers, there aren't as many options as I would like. I live in an area that doesn't really offer much. There is a small Coburn's as well as one Lowes and one HomeDepot -- all of those are an hour away. There aren't any of those stores in my entire county/Parish.

I know I'm going to have to look though. I would like to at least try to narrow down the products to use though.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:52 PM   #6
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Maax isn't bad, not sure if they make a tub to fit your criteria. HD should carry them. In my opinion for the most part you get what ya pay for. Obviously there's a difference of overcharged. Do some research and find out who has the best price in your area for a tub that will meet your needs. Maybe get the few plumbing contractors in your area to give you some quotes. You have to start somewhere if your not confident in doing in by yourself. I find sometimes tubs requires two guys anyways, it's doable if your alone but it's nice to have two people. It might suck but you may just have to bite the bullet.

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Old 03-31-2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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Maax isn't bad, not sure if they make a tub to fit your criteria. HD should carry them. In my opinion for the most part you get what ya pay for. Obviously there's a difference of overcharged. Do some research and find out who has the best price in your area for a tub that will meet your needs. Maybe get the few plumbing contractors in your area to give you some quotes. You have to start somewhere if your not confident in doing in by yourself. I find sometimes tubs requires two guys anyways, it's doable if your alone but it's nice to have two people. It might suck but you may just have to bite the bullet.
Thanks! Yeah, I know I will have to try to find good contractors. It's hard to find reviews on people in my area for some reason, so I guess I will have to call around. One of my father's dive buddies gave us the name and number of a general contractor that has done work for him. We don't really know a lot of people in the area so that is part of the problem. It doesn't help that we get conflicting opinions. One person will say someone is good and another will say that person is terrible. We did have a good contractor who did some work on exterior things before, but he passed away a couple of years ago.

At least four people who did some work for us passed away in the past few years-- a few from the ailments of old age and one from cancer.

Now the question is whether we want to have the bathroom renovated or replace the pickup truck that was totaled by the falling tree limb. The pickup could come in hand, but I'm worried that the longer the bathroom is left as-is, the worse it will get and the more expensive it will be to fix it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:04 AM   #8
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yeah fair enough I know what you mean. You'll have to decide what's gonna be best for you. Unfortunate, hopefully things start turning around for you. Sounds like you've been having your share of issues lately.

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Old 04-01-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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yeah fair enough I know what you mean. You'll have to decide what's gonna be best for you. Unfortunate, hopefully things start turning around for you. Sounds like you've been having your share of issues lately.
Oh yeah, and another one arose this morning. First the septic tank installer called me to tell me that the concrete for the tank they poured last week is still too hot and they don't want to take it out of the mold for fear it will crack and they are postponing until tomorrow. Then the draining guy came out to drain and then refused because he said it would have to be drained tomorrow just before the tank was filled in. He also claimed that I picked a bad installer and that he was one of the worst and then claimed that he thought the health inspector took bribes from that guy and another installer. I looked at the BBB and there were no complaints about the company and of the two guys my draining guy suggested, one was too busy and the other wanted to do an installation that was not to code. And the draining guy was looking at me as if I were stupid when I explained the code states that the field lines cannot be over 100ft. He tried to argue that maybe certain materials or types of field line can go over, but I talked to the health inspector and he said "no".

My gut tells me the draining guy is full of it. I just hope I'm right.

Anyway, he's coming back to drain tomorrow but he's charging extra because he came out today and didn't drain it.

Meanwhile, I was looking at this tub and surround as a possibility:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sterling-Plumbing-Ensemble-5-ft-Curve-Bath-Shower-with-Right-Hand-Drain-in-White-71220120-0/100675607#.UVmhBRzV7UC
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:10 PM   #10
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That tub and surround looks pretty decent. It's a start for sure.



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