Need to replace one-piece fiberlgass shower/tub

Discussion in 'Showers and Tubs' started by Zanne, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Mar 29, 2013 #1

    Zanne

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    This is the matching sink. You can see the rusty color there too.
    [​IMG]

    The toilet used to match until we replaced it with a Toto Drake
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]


    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
    [​IMG].
    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:
    [​IMG]
    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  2. Mar 29, 2013 #2

    johnjh2o

    johnjh2o

    johnjh2o

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    You need more help then you can get here. Need a remodeling contractor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  3. Mar 29, 2013 #3

    Zanne

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    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?
     
  4. Mar 30, 2013 #4

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

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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.
     
  5. Mar 31, 2013 #5

    Zanne

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    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.
     
  6. Mar 31, 2013 #6

    stevemachine

    stevemachine

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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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  7. Mar 31, 2013 #7

    Zanne

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    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.
     
  8. Apr 1, 2013 #8

    stevemachine

    stevemachine

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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.
     
  9. Apr 1, 2013 #9

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    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...in-in-White-71220120-0/100675607#.UVmhBRzV7UC
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  10. Apr 1, 2013 #10

    stevemachine

    stevemachine

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    That tub and surround looks pretty decent. It's a start for sure.
     
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  11. Apr 1, 2013 #11

    havasu

    havasu

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    I was also impressed with the sturdiness and pleased with the other's ratings on it.
     
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  12. Apr 2, 2013 #12

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    Yeah, the Aquaglass ones that were pretty and shiny had some bad ratings. Funny thing on that tub and surround is that as I was at homedepot website, a thing popped up inviting me to chat with a customer service rep. I told her what I was looking for and she linked me two Sterling tubs. The one I linked was one that had already been on my list of possible choices. She also gave me the number for Home Depot's service for having things installed. Apparently they have consultants who would look at the bathroom and determine what was needed and such. But, its hard to tell if they would be getting someone reliable.

    But with the water pump now no longer working so we don't have running water and the installation of the septic tank postponed until Friday (or the following Friday), this is a project that will have to be put off for longer.

    I do want to figure out what materials I will need for the whole project. I'm probably going to have to either rip out the existing floor and create a sturdier subfloor with moisture barrier, or I can just fortify the existing floor and put down a moisture barrier and another layer on top, which will raise the floor level a little bit. Maybe if I use something thin as the top layer it won't be too much of a change. I may have to replace the floor under the tub because I bet its moisture damaged. I'm expecting mold and water damage in the walls.

    I'm pondering getting PEX instead of metal piping, but I doubt that is mouse proof or possum proof. I don't know if possums would chew that stuff, but I don't want to take chances. I think there might be a possum in the attic. There was one possum that got in and ran loose through the kitchen and then into the great room.

    I really should learn to play a banjo or something while I'm out here. :p
     
  13. Mar 13, 2014 #13

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    Apparently Aquaglass is discontinuing all of its products.

    Anyway, I was a the store and I saw a surround by Maax for $199.
    [​IMG]

    But I'd need to get some grab bars installed. I also don't know if it is deep enough. But my mother liked it.
     
  14. Feb 26, 2017 #14

    Zanne

    Zanne

    Zanne

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    I know I'm necro-ing an old thread here, but I might finally have enough $ left over from my settlement for medical + pain and suffering from the car accident last year.

    The sterling one I linked is no longer available and my mother has vacillated between wanting a tub and wanting a shower.

    Since I last posted here, my mother's mobility has decreased. She has inner ear damage which causes balance problems and she has difficulty lifting her legs enough to step in to a tub. Even with a shower seat, she can't manage to get in without slipping (and we don't have grab bars installed bc we still plan to rip out that fugly green thing). The suction cup grab bars did not work.

    I know they make shower units that are the same size as tubs, so I'm starting to consider replacing it with a shower that has grab bars.

    The DWV for my house is going to need to be completely re-done so I might not get some of the issues that we currently have with the tub not draining quickly enough during showers and it almost fills the tub-- that is because I'm sure it has clogs, nothing is sloped properly, and there is no vent.

    Now, whether I go with tub or shower-- the plan is to go with one of those 4 piece units that fit directly to stud and don't need caulking (but can still be caulked). It's basically the back as one piece, the sides separate, and the tub or shower pan.

    I'm still thinking of going with sterling, but I'm curious about how different a shower install is from a tub install. Is it more difficult to install a shower pan? I would be going with one that is relatively the same footprint as the existing shower/tub unit and has a right side drain (like the existing tub).

    Although, I'm also considering maybe a 48"x30 or so shower so the shower seat can be closer to the spout and controls (and then I an put some storage shelves or something in the gap. I can't seem to find one with a built-in seat that is large enough for my mother since she is "morbidly obese" (she's at 240lbs but her hips are huge-- she actually has fat that forms shelves on her hips), so we will have to use a freestanding bariatric one.

    Glass doors would be a pain to install, so I'm wondering if shower curtains can be used instead. I was thinking of putting a magnetic strip inside the edge of the lip of the shower pan (basically on the underside of it so it won't be on the surface) and then getting/making a shower curtain with magnets in the bottom to help hold it in place.

    If we go with a 60" shower unit, we can probably scoot the shower seat forward for her.


    For the showerhead I'm thinking of going with moentrol valves and of getting a Moen Magnetix showerhead so it is easier to dock and remove.
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/MOEN-Att...o-Kit-with-Magnetix-in-Chrome-26008/207032918
    or
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/MOEN-Att...PIPHorizontal1_rr-_-207032918-_-206827175-_-N
    (leaning toward the first one because I don't like the plastic thing on the 2nd one).

    Other than Sterling, I saw some sort "Aquatic" brand at HD and it felt very sturdy-- it seems to be some sort of composite. It goes direct to stud and it had non-slip surface on the bottom-- but it was filthy so I wonder if it would be a pain to clean. Also, I found it in a tub/shower combo but I did not see just a shower.

    So, any ideas or suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017

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