Need to replace one-piece fiberlgass shower/tub

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Zanne

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So, prices on stuff have gone up & several things are no longer in stock. My mother saw a shower & surround she liked better. They have it in the left hand version but it's out-of-stock in the right hand version. I have at least sorted out the grab bar situation, I think.
MomsShowerStuff4.png
We already have everything except the two longer grab bars and the drain. I was going for different ones initially but they had some sort of plastic grips & people complained that the finish rusted. These ones had better reviews & have a wave pattern on the backside for gripping. The 24" bar will be for vertical to enter the shower and the 36" will be on the back wall.
I think Frodo linked a drain to someone else that is self-sealing & I need to find it again bc I might go with that one instead of the insanely expensive Kohler one.

Moen recommended the 6" shower arm for that showerhead so we ordered it & it should arrive soon.

The shower surround Mom likes is the Sterling Store Plus modular kit that lets you move the shelves where you want them to go. It has gone up almost $300 since I first priced it out. I don't know if prices will get lower again or if I should just order something now-ish. Bah, Looks like the left-hand drain one is out of stock too. Although the right-hand one is over $700 for some reason. https://www.homedepot.com/p/STERLING-STORE-30-in-x-60-in-Single-Threshold-Left-Hand-Shower-Base-with-Shower-Walls-and-10-Piece-Accessory-Kit-in-White-72170710-0-10/303161780

I'm trying to see if I can find the pieces separately for cheaper but I'm having a difficult time as the inventory keeps changing.

I'm also still trying to figure out the best placement/height for the various grab bars to make it the most convenient for Mom (who is 5'6" but has plenty of backside cushioning to make her torso & arms reach higher). I'm thinking 35" for the horizontal side bar. I also need to figure out how high above the shower walls I should put the shower arm so that the slidebar will be low enough for her to easily reach the handheld.

I think I've decided to have the front horizontal grab bar (the one with the shelf) below the shower controls like this: MoenKingsleywGrabBar.jpg
 
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Zanne

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Mom just started complaining about the height of her vanity. It's shorter than a regular counter so she has to bend down to wash her hands & she said it hurts her back. I'm not sure what height it is, but it's not very tall. It's an odd size (72"W x 24" deep) & was custom made out of scrap wood. The drawer bottoms are made made from the wall paneling. It's built-in and has the wall paneling going up the toekick. I think it would be very difficult to break the whole thing loose and try to raise it up, but, since we plan to replace the sink and change or replace the countertop we have a few options.
1. Remove sink, detach countertop, sand it, clean it, & put new formica on top, add some wood on the top of the vanity to raise the countertop up more, putty the seams, & put countertop back on, put in new sink.
2. Same as above but instead of doing formica on top, do a countertop paint & seal it.
3. Remove sink, detach countertop, & replace with prefab 6' countertop if we can find one in the right depth & color, add some wood to raise up countertop, putty the seams, & put new countertop on.
4. Remove sink, detach countertop, & make new custom countertop out of wood & put formica over it, add wood to vanity to raise countertop, putty, & paint.
5 Same as above but custom order countertop with built-in sink or get separate drop in sink (most expensive option)

1 would be the easiest but would require getting a sink of the same dimensions.
4 would be my next choice if we can't find the same size & shape sink since it's unlikely to find a prefab countertop in that depth.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

(I did think about trying to refinish the sink but it would take days & knowing my luck I'd screw it up)

Edit: I measured the height of the counter & it is 30-3/4" high & Mom is 5'6" so she has to bend down to wash her hands. It's not like it's average vanity height- it's extra short. I'll have to raise it up probably 6".
 
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frodo

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Mom just started complaining about the height of her vanity. It's shorter than a regular counter so she has to bend down to wash her hands & she said it hurts her back. I'm not sure what height it is, but it's not very tall. It's an odd size (72"W x 24" deep) & was custom made out of scrap wood. The drawer bottoms are made made from the wall paneling. It's built-in and has the wall paneling going up the toekick. I think it would be very difficult to break the whole thing loose and try to raise it up, but, since we plan to replace the sink and change or replace the countertop we have a few options.
1. Remove sink, detach countertop, sand it, clean it, & put new formica on top, add some wood on the top of the vanity to raise the countertop up more, putty the seams, & put countertop back on, put in new sink.
2. Same as above but instead of doing formica on top, do a countertop paint & seal it.
3. Remove sink, detach countertop, & replace with prefab 6' countertop if we can find one in the right depth & color, add some wood to raise up countertop, putty the seams, & put new countertop on.
4. Remove sink, detach countertop, & make new custom countertop out of wood & put formica over it, add wood to vanity to raise countertop, putty, & paint.
5 Same as above but custom order countertop with built-in sink or get separate drop in sink (most expensive option)

1 would be the easiest but would require getting a sink of the same dimensions.
4 would be my next choice if we can't find the same size & shape sink since it's unlikely to find a prefab countertop in that depth.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

(I did think about trying to refinish the sink but it would take days & knowing my luck I'd screw it up)

Edit: I measured the height of the counter & it is 30-3/4" high & Mom is 5'6" so she has to bend down to wash her hands. It's not like it's average vanity height- it's extra short. I'll have to raise it up probably 6".
i raised my cook top 3 1/2'' by simply setting it on 1x4's turned on the side
it is a lot more comfy
and the raised platform makes it easier to keep clean
 

Zanne

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Thanks, Frodo. A box would work well I think. I can putty over the seams & paint it. It's a rough-looking cabinet to begin with so it doesn't need to be perfect. I'm debating getting Wilsonart laminate for the top & buying the decorative trim piece that is curved at the front to hide seams or to just go with a blue Formica and cover up the existing laminate as it is. I need to get some samples to see what the colors look like in person instead of online.
Worst case scenario, if Mom doesn't like the seams, I can paint some some vines & leaves over it or something. If I have enough space, I might add a tip-out drawer at the top center.

The grab bar measurement specs are very helpful!
 

Zanne

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Mom forgot to order the 36" grab bar while the price was still low, but I found an open box 48" one for sale for less than the 36" bar & she ordered it. It will take two weeks to ship due to all this mess. Still waiting for the shower to come back into stock.

Edit: @frodo, is this the drain you recommended in a thread before? I can't seem to find the thread again but I remember you recommending a no-caulk brass drain to someone. EZ-FLO 2 in. Brass IPS No-Caulk Shower Drain-15306 - The Home Depot
 
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frodo

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Thanks, Frodo. A box would work well I think. I can putty over the seams & paint it. It's a rough-looking cabinet to begin with so it doesn't need to be perfect. I'm debating getting Wilsonart laminate for the top & buying the decorative trim piece that is curved at the front to hide seams or to just go with a blue Formica and cover up the existing laminate as it is. I need to get some samples to see what the colors look like in person instead of online.
Worst case scenario, if Mom doesn't like the seams, I can paint some some vines & leaves over it or something. If I have enough space, I might add a tip-out drawer at the top center.

The grab bar measurement specs are very helpful!
Instead of the laminate and all that extra work



plop that sucker down and caulk it to the wall..DONE AND DONE
 

Zanne

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She wants to keep the 6' wide countertop. It would require removing the whole set of cabinets that are built-in to the walls to put one of the smaller things down.
 

bartleyhs

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From a women’s point of view (who used to think two sinks were better than one), I’ve come to the conclusion that 2 sinks are a massive waste of valuable space. It is my opinion that having the luxury of enough space in a bathroom for a large vanity equates to the luxury of more counter space. By sticking 2 sinks in it you may as well have a tiny vanity. Certainly the double sinks were good when my husband and I were both trying to get ready for work at the same time, but not now. Here is one I found, but you can also get them with the sink on the side, which I like even better, although they tend to cost more for some reson.
AC540F91-40E8-4A8C-BF0D-08CF97C0FE59.jpeg
 
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bartleyhs

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The much less expensive option would still be the laminate countertop (laminates have come a long way in quality) although still not the very best option for a wet area it does give you the ability to cut the hole for the sink exactly where you need it, and costs a third of the price.The backsplash and front edge are integrated into it, so about the same work as the prefab vanity tops. The only extra step is cutting the hole and adding the trim to the unfinished side (it just gets ironed on). They also have the side backsplash piece to match.
DAAF7988-9E7D-4C2E-8B1F-032324C4D937.jpeg
 
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Zanne

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Thanks, Bartleyhs. The pre-fab countertops are too deep unfortunately. The cabinets/counter in the bathroom are an odd size- custom built from scraps of wood & then painted a hideous green. I saw that Wilsonart has a thing where I can custom order a countertop with a sink, set the pattern, size, etc but it's pricey & they don't have patterns that Mom likes. She's very picky.
We'll have to wait until after the coronavirus dies down before we can look at samples & shop in the store more though.
 

Zanne

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I decided to order the shower before it went up in price anymore or was discontinued. Got an Oatey no-caulk brass drain, a 2" P-trap, some 2" pipe, 2" sanitary tee, & 2" combo wye. Will need more 2" pipe eventually & a transition from the 2" to the larger pipe size (probably 4" but not sure).
Thinking of putting down 1/4 luan as an underlayment to make the floor underneath suck less.
Can I use silicone caulk in the expansion gaps between sheets so the vinyl won't sink there.
The walls panels will have to be cut and pulled off to add vents in the walls.
 

Zanne

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Got an e-mail that shower delivery was "delayed". No ETA currently. Order status shows "order received" and nothing else.
Good thing I didn't need it urgently. Gives me more time to prep. We can shower at my friend's house so we don't need to have our old shower intact. I need to stop procrastinating on my bathroom floor, get it done, get the water supply on, & install the toilet. Before I do that though, I'm thinking of seeing if my wall panels can be pulled off without breaking so I can take a look at the plumbing in the wall (if there is any). Then I can rough-in some vents for the shower, my tub, & my toilet to connect to the vent for Mom's toilet.
Do they sell nail-guards that go inside the hole that is cut for the plumbing through studs?
I want to do rough-ins before I finish the wall & put up wainscoting, baseboard, etc.
Got bored and modified the sketch for my bathroom. Tub spout still looks like a duck bill. LOL.
myensuitesketch4d.png
 
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Zanne

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Still no ETA on the shower. It hasn't shipped yet as far as I can tell. The tub surround has arrived at HomeDepot but is not ready for pickup.
For some reason, my brain just now processed the 1x4 suggestion properly. I thought I got it but had the wrong image & now it just clicked. LOL. I think even 3-1/2" extra height would be good. We could slap a cheap applique on the upper part in the center so it won't look so bare.

Got the new toilet in. Since I've got a bad back & my friend has problems with his arm (the one that got broken to pieces in the wreck) we used the toiletmsater lift jack thingy & it went well. Plucked the old one out & set it on puppy pads. Put a better repair flange on & secured it. Put on the toiletmaster bolts & used the line-up sticks from the kit, lowered it down easily, screwed on the bolt caps, put the tank on, hooked up the water supply and done. I'm not liking that the new tank doesn't seat as well as the old toilet & tank. I've read reviews that it wobbles a bit. Not sure what can be done to fix it other than pulling the tank, applying a bead of silicone, letting it dry, and then plopping it back down. to see if reduces or stops the wobble. It's on as tight as it can go & there are no leaks.

Because the repair flange raised the level a bit, toilet didn't want to sit on the floor at the front properly but I remembered I bought toilet shims. My friend had never heard of or seen them before. He said "What kind of voodoo magic is this?" LOL. Popped them in and no more rodeo toilet.

Got a new seat on (same as the old one but sat in a box since 2008- it was going to go on my toilet but Mom wouldn't stop kvetching about wanting it on the new toilet). Now she says she wants the decorative handle from the old one-- nevermind she said she didn't like it because it reminded her of the shape of cat poop... LOL. It's a Danco lever and a total biyatch to put on. Stupid little wing nut and screw are a pain-- try to tighten them and the arm moves all over. Had so much trouble with the damn thing. It looks pretty but install sucked & it kept catching at first when we tried to flush, wouldn't pop back up-- fortunately it broke in after awhile, but it's still annoying. I saw another handle that's less expensive, mostly metal, that I think would match the faucet handles better & is easier to install. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PJ9K2BE/

This is the one that was annoying to get working-- and the arm comes loose over time. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FCEOX2/

Pics of the new toilet & seat (floor looks absolutely horrible, please excuse the mess)
newtoilet1.jpgnewtoilet2.jpgnewtoilet3.jpg

You can see the problem with the floor where it was patched with OSB after the old green toilet went through the floor
newtoiletfloor1.jpgnewtoiletfloor2.jpgnewtoiletfloor3.jpg

The part that is lower feels sort of spongy-- it goes down if you step on it. I know it's not supported properly. Will probably have to add some sort of joist or support under it & then use some sort of leveling stuff on top.
 

Zanne

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Updates: Lowes e-mailed me to say the shower was ready for pickup. After 15min on the phone I confirmed they could actually find it. It came in 3 boxes. My friend came along to help (I don't know how to adjust tie downs & neither does my brother so my friend is very helpful with that). One of these days I will get him to show me how they work. I wish I could have brought the pallet because I wanted the scrap lumber to use in the bathroom. Sadly, it wouldn't fit.

Got it home (along with the wall kit for the tub for the other bathroom), unloaded into the workshop, and checked for damage. The shower pan came with a felt pad (which Sterling said means it doesn't need a mortar bed).

We discussed what we will need to do to get the new shower in & old shower out. I said I'd be happy to smash up the old one. He said that he & my brother could just detach it and get it out in 3 minutes. I said "It's a 30-inch one piece shower and the door is 24-inch- they built the room around the shower". I just hope the floor underneath is in good condition. Worst case we can replace it. Might need to use some patch leveler on it. I'm thinking of using expanding foam (the kind that doesn't expand too aggressively) in some of the honeycomb pockets on the bottom of the shower around the drain. Also thinking of using it in the hollow pockets inside the backs of the shelves. On my friend's shower, he left the styrofoam inside the shelves.

I've been discussing how I need to take out a wall panel in my bathroom to see if we can get a look at the plumbing (if any) in the wall to confirm if there's a vent. Then we can adjust the plumbing accordingly. I need to get my ladder back from my friend and look in the attic as well.

My latest sketch of the plumbing layout. I may swap places of the tie-in for the shower with the tie-in for the tub. Tub drain will be closer so won't go as low as the shower drain. Note, the toilets are offset. They are not back-to-back & the 2nd toilet is farther away from the main vent so it would come in lower and at a different angle than the 1st toilet so a sanitary cross wouldn't fit right for soil pipe merging.
plumbingplan1.jpg
Questions:
1. Where the 2nd branch vent ties in to the horizontal, can I just use a sanitary tee horizontally with the swoop going with the airflow?
2. Is there a minimum distance for the branch vents to be from each other horizontally (aside from what will actually fit)?
 
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