How do I correct a Drop In Bathtub leakage?

WebbasicaJuly 6, 2013

Hello community.
I've been dealing with this problem for 3 years now, and now that I found this great forum, perhaps you can help me out.

I have a tub installed, with a shower. After some research I know is a "Drop In" tub.
The problem is with the water when showering. It leaks out from the bathtub and creates a poodle down the entrance.
Is there a way to correct this problem?
Added some pictures in this urls:


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The easy smart mouth answer: stop using it as a shower.

The harder but correct answer: tear it out and start over.

The definitely more expensive and difficult solution that doesn't involve demo: FInd an experienced solid surface fabricator/artist to cut a sheet of Corian to go over the tub deck to make it an undermount. With heat, the solid surface can have a bit of a curve bent into it to redirect the water back into the tub. You'd also need the walls clad in solid surface and solvent welded to the tub deck to keep all the water going where it needed to go.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Wow, thanks for the (brutal) answer.
Is there something else other than Corian that can help me?
I mean, building like a mini tile wall would help at all?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Give me a few weeks and I will post pictures of my new (tiny) master bath that will have a drop in tub and shower combination. My contractor is installing the tub up against the wall on three sides. He will then be putting kerdi panels (used for waterproofing) from the ceiing to the lip of the tub on all three sides and on the section of the pony wall that connects to the lip of the tub on the fourth wall.

Note I am saying lip of the tub, not to the "deck". He has explained that all water on the three sides and pony wall that runs down the wall will only have the option of being routed to the tub (unless somehow the acrylic lip on the tub could absorb water, not possible.) If I remember correctly, part of the fourth wall will include the glass shower door which will be fabricated/installed on a seam so that it also touches the tub at the lip and not deck and designed such that water will run back into the tub.

The advantages is that basically this is a setup kind of like an undermount where the tub (and most importantly tub lip) are beneath all four sides that are waterproofed because they are designed so there is no path for water to leave the tub. The down side is that the deck for this top mounted tub is pretty much non-existant, maybe 1 inch or so on all sides. That is okay with me since this was the only tub I could find that met my requirements for size and also, and for soaking. It is the Kohler Greek tub and I can't wait til I can have my first soak.

So perhaps you could get your contractor to do what mine is doing and add kerdi panels to the walls surrounding your tub - best if it is in an alcove. If not an alcove, then I guess the only way to provide the kerdi waterproofing would be to add walls to make an alcove. Kind of extreme probably.

When I talked to my contractor about a top mounted tub and shower combination, he understood exactly the problems and he has done this before. I even found some very old posts by him years ago when he advised people like you not to do this kind of configuration. So I hope my confidence isn't misplaced.

Though the new bath will not be anything to show off because it is so tiny, I will post so people may have an idea that seems logical on how to solve this problem if you don't seem to have any other options. Stay tuned.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 6:50PM
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You could get a shower rod system for a freestanding tub shower and hang a curtain all the way around... This is only really a temporary solution. Live-wire is correct though. That tub should never have been a shower, and I'd worry about your structural support under it (unless it is on slab).

Here is a link that might be useful: something like this

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 12:45PM
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When you shower, do you place the curtain inside the tub? Your shower curtain should be 2 layers. The outside red you shown in your photo and a clear plastic one on the inside. When you shower the clear plastic one gets pulled into the tub. There should be no water leaking out this way.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 2:24PM
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elphaba: thank, keep me posted

kirkhall: what is a slab?

chispa: it doesn't matter the curtain. Water comes from the walls to the sides of the tub, down the floor.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:37AM
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Here are pictures of the tub inside the alcove. I think he expects to start tiling the walls with subway before the end of the week. If not then, then soon. The tile will encroach on the tub lip even more - maybe 3/8 inch or so, I think.

I will have a small shelf instead of niche at the front o the tub down below the hand held shower rod and head.
Note that the kerbi wall board is on the lip - not much deck but at least I will have the shelf. Pony wall shown in bottom left part of picture.

Below is the back of the tub - same small lip. Also, in bottom right corner is part of the opening where the shower door will go. Notice there is no deck to sit the door on top of. That is a straight downward "cliff" to the floor where lip is totally covering the deck. Shower door will have to "sit" on top of the lip.

The tub is a small 48X32 inch drop in
Greek Kohler Tub.

p.s. there is another method that you can find info about that requires the addition/installation of a tile flange along the walls. My contractor has said that he thinks the kerdi along with the way he will deal with the seam between the kerdi and the lip of the tub provides better waterproofing than the flange. I'll hopefully get pictures of that too. My contractor has said this method is not supported/recommended by Kohler or Kerdi. It is totally non-standard. My only other option besides this tub was an American Standard tub that is very shallow and probably most often used in hotels. I'm so glad to have the option of this tub.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:49AM
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I mean, building like a mini tile wall would help at all?

You could furr out all of the walls so they overlap the existing tub "deck".

The thing is, it's a drop-in. So before going that route you want to make sure that any water that hits the existing flat deck on the rim of the tub would actually flow into the tub and not pool against the newly furred out and tiled walls.

Furring out the plumbing wall, you'd have to pull your plumbing off the old wall and install it in the new wall.


With that, or any of the proposed solutions, you're looking at cobbled together solutions. For a good amount of expense and effort you won't be getting a look you want. You're getting what you're getting. A cobbled together solution.

I recommend what kirkhall and others have written, simply getting and installing a 360-degree shower rod and a few overlapped shower curtains, the type of setup typically used for clawfoot tubs. Use it until it's time to remodel the whole thing properly.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:05PM
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