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Unapologetic Old
School Curmudgeon
Picture of Lord Vaalic
posted
My parents and in laws are getting older and all have issues with hips or legs. I want to convert a standard fiberglass tub / plastic surround into a walk in. Anyone done this? My biggest worry is trying to find a floor pan that won't require moving the drain


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Posts: 6838 | Location: TN | Registered: December 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sterling/Kohler makes floor pans in 60x32 and 60x30 which are common tub sizes and you can get left or right drain so it should line up.
 
Posts: 347 | Location: South Dakota | Registered: October 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Never miss an
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You're going to do this yourself? My neighbor does this commercially, and we were talking about this last week. The new systems out for building the surround and waterproofing it have advanced so much in the last 3-4 years it makes the prior systems way obsolete. Good luck. And include some pictures please.


Never be more than one step away from your sword-Old Greek Wisdom
 
Posts: 1516 | Location: SE Mich-- USA | Registered: September 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had this done about three years ago. The floor had to be cut and a drain connected to the original tub location but it was not that big of job. A shower was then installed and the room retiled.



"If you think everything's going to be alright, you don't understand the problem!"- Gutpile Charlie
"A man's got to know his limitations" - Harry Callahan

 
Posts: 9023 | Location: Indian Territory, USA | Registered: March 23, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Essayons
Picture of SapperSteel
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quote:
Originally posted by JasonATI:
Sterling/Kohler makes floor pans in 60x32 and 60x30 which are common tub sizes and you can get left or right drain so it should line up.


That's right.

But even if it doesn't line up, once you remove the old fiberglass tub it isn't all that hard to change where the drain pipe emerges from the floor. It's especially easy if you don't have to put it through another floor joist, but it can still be done even if you do have to put it through a joist.

There are several possible techniques to re-strengthen a floor joist if you have to bore a hole through one for a drain pipe extension.

Once you have the old tub out you can see what you have to do to line up the drain with the new walk-in tub's drain hole. If you have to extend the pipe through a joist, post again and I (and probably a lot of others here, too) can tell you about how to:
  • Locate the new penetration through the joist as close as possible to the joist's neutral plain (where the horizontal shear is at or near zero)
  • Sister the weakened joist to make the floor as strong as it was before, or
  • Use 2"x2"x3/16" angle iron to create flanges on the weakened joist to make the floor as strong as it was before

    But you might not have to do any of that if the new tub's drain hole lines up well with the old tub's drain hole, or if the new hole location only requires you to extend or shorten the existing drain line without penetrating through another joist. You won't know the situation 'till you tear out the old tub and look.


    Thanks,

    Sap
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    Posts: 2957 | Location: Arimo, Idaho | Registered: February 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Unapologetic Old
    School Curmudgeon
    Picture of Lord Vaalic
    posted Hide Post
    I should mention my house is on a slab and the pipes are in the cement, so moving the drain would require busting up the floor


    ---------------------------------
    - "This town reminds me of something in the bible."
    - "Which part?"
    - "The part right before god gets angry"
     
    Posts: 6838 | Location: TN | Registered: December 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    always with a hat or sunscreen
    Picture of bald1
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    quote:
    Originally posted by greco:
    You're going to do this yourself? My neighbor does this commercially, and we were talking about this last week. The new systems out for building the surround and waterproofing it have advanced so much in the last 3-4 years it makes the prior systems way obsolete. Good luck. And include some pictures please.


    greco, does your neighbor have any particular brands/models he highly recommends?



    Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club! COTEP #192
     
    Posts: 7289 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Just because something is legal to do doesn't mean it is the smart thing to do.
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    Wife & I are currently in the planning stage of removing bubble tub (jet motor bad) and getting a walkin shower, with build in seat, built in our master bath.
    Any ideas welcome!



    Integrity is doing the right thing, even when nobody is looking.
     
    Posts: 3039 | Location: Metamora MI | Registered: October 31, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Never miss an
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    Bald1, talked to Rob this morning, he said he uses several different brands of pans, Delta, Kohler, depending on the application and availability; he said the one he is working on now is a Onyx. Frequently he custom makes wet bed showers, with mortar (screed?) and 6 mil liners, then finished with mortar and tile.


    Never be more than one step away from your sword-Old Greek Wisdom
     
    Posts: 1516 | Location: SE Mich-- USA | Registered: September 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    always with a hat or sunscreen
    Picture of bald1
    posted Hide Post
    quote:
    Originally posted by greco:
    Bald1, talked to Rob this morning, he said he uses several different brands of pans, Delta, Kohler, depending on the application and availability; he said the one he is working on now is a Onyx. Frequently he custom makes wet bed showers, with mortar (screed?) and 6 mil liners, then finished with mortar and tile.


    Appreciated the quick response. But I guess since I know jack squat here I'm looking for recommended brands of walk in tubs which I would assume need to be mated to a good pan. Don't want all the bells and whistles like spray jets ala jacuzzi or heated seats, etc. Just a very reliable leak proof walk in tub. We already upgraded the master shower to marble. This tub is next on the "to do" list.



    Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club! COTEP #192
     
    Posts: 7289 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Do not forget grab bars in shower stall. Elderly people need stability.
     
    Posts: 758 | Location: Eastern Ma. | Registered: November 30, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Did this myself several years ago, we used the Schluter shower system. We have a basement, so I decided to make the pan flush with the floor. Worked great. Very happy with a walk in shower. Taking out a 5' tub allows for a pretty big shower. Makes it easy for washing the dogs as well.
     
    Posts: 926 | Location: south central Pennsylvania | Registered: November 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    goodheart
    Picture of sjtill
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    I'm confused. I thought OP was asking about a walk-in TUB, not a shower.


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    Posts: 12566 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Tub to shower conversions are the most popular "modification" done in the bath at this time. All bath remodeling component manufacturers make pre engineered systems that both work very well simplify the project and reduce cost. Look a little, unless you have something really weird you should not have to move the drain.


    T-Boy
     
    Posts: 408 | Location: Texas Hill Country | Registered: September 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by gjgalligan:
    Wife & I are currently in the planning stage of removing bubble tub (jet motor bad) and getting a walkin shower, with build in seat, built in our master bath.
    Any ideas welcome!


    I'd be interested in that design.


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    Posts: 1229 | Location: Roswell, GA | Registered: March 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Cruising the
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    I did this about 5 years ago at the previous house. You can order fiberglass shower pans at most home improvement stores. The one we used was from Kohler, and was fairly simple to do.




    “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”
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    Posts: 5340 | Location: Near the Beaverdam in VA | Registered: February 13, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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