it really that bad?

aaron2005November 21, 2007

We have a 2nd floor spare bathroom complete redo going on right now. We removed our old Porcelain on Steel tub (30"x60"x14")..had some chips in it. And I didn't know any better about fixing the chips.

We looked at Kohler Villiger and Toto1525s, but those just weight too much, and me and the wife are doing most of the work (except the tiling).

We don't want acrylic because of potential to crack, and not being able to clean it using normal cleaners.

Which brings us to Americast. I know most of the folks on this forum don't like it but I was curious about if anyone has it, likes it, and if there really are "flex" problems.

Could anyone recommend other Porcelain on Steel tubs manufactures?

Thanks in advance for your advice.


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I have sold the Americast many times, with no complaints of flex problems. I will be putting it in my house when I do a remodel in a few years. Porcelain on steel, however, is always a problem. Very lightweight, cold, loud when filling. I'm not aware of any manufacturer doing it any better.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 11:45AM
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suzi, have you heard of Bootzcast? Similar thing, by Bootz. I'm so concerned about getting Americast because of all the reported problems--if we *did* have a problem, we'd have only ourselves to blame and I hear that the co. is not exactly responsive.

I am pretty much completely in your shoes, aaron, too. I keep hoping that the delays in finishing the first floor and getting on to the second will allow time for The Answer to be developed.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 12:19PM
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One thing I did read, to help with the problem of flex, is to put the tub in a mortar, so that basically the entire "floor" of the tub actually rests in the mortar.

From what I read else where, even putting shims (like 2x4s) in the open-air/shallow part of the tub (away from the drain), doesn't really help and to use mortar instead.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 1:03PM
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I have heard of the Bootz product, but I don't have any experience with it. I would imagine that it is very similar to the Americast.
Incidentally, some of the criticisms I have read about the Americast seem to be off-base. A few of them seem to be describing a fiberglass-like material, which Americast is not.
My advice to anyone who can manage it, is to see the product for yourself and order it from a local supplier.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 4:46PM
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I have an Americast kitchen sink and it has a lot of chips in it. I have no idea where they came from either (ie I don't recall whacking something against the side of it hard enough that I'd notice at the time). I personally would not put another Americast product in my house because of this.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 5:41PM
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Ditto what kgwlisa said.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 7:10PM
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I've got an Americast tub in one of my kids baths. I installed it as part of a total redo over last winter. I too was somewhat hesitant, but got solid reviews from some people I trust and went with it. FYI it replaced a powder blue cast iron job.

Eight months later I have to say all is well. Quite honestly I figured I'd damage it somehow during all the tiling. Between dropping tile (pretty infrequent) to runaway thinset and grout (sorta unavoidable) I was sure I'd find either a chip or at the very least a scratch. I did have it covered with a moving blanket, but it was no match for the thinset and grout. I also spent quite a bit of time standing in it ( I go a solid 230lbs) while tiling. Again, not a scratch or ding.

Some observations...the instructions specifically forbid a mortar bed underneath. I did have some squeaking when I stood in it, but that was quickly resolved by adding a few more screws over the lip and into pre-layed blocking. Originally I thought I'd need only a few pan head screws, but found a couple more was better.

Overall, I'm very happy. The product is working fine...I saved a few sheckles, and most importantly, didn't have to hump a 300lb cast iron replacement up to the second floor

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 8:47PM
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If the only reason for not using a cast iron is the install - why not see what the cost for 2 or 3 guys to bring it in and set it you & wife complete the rest?

Nothing holds up better than good old cast iron tub, and nothing retains heat better

good luck

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 10:58PM
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6+ years and zero problems. Replaced an old beat up cast iron tub.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 1:39PM
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