x-post Soapstone bathtub--drain and overflow

palimpsestMarch 19, 2013

In a very small bathroom I am planning it actually will be more cost-effective to have a soapstone bathtub fabricated than to do something like the Kohler Greek tub and have it installed for use with a shower (It's a drop in and has no flanges).
My soapstone fabricator has made larger sinks than this tub, so that really isn't a problem, and the bathing area will be much larger than the comparable Kohler Greek, or Bootz or American Standard offerings (which are enameled steel which I would like to avoid) --since the sides will be thin instead of having a thick ledge all around.

The difference though is that the sinks have a large sink drain assembly but the tub will require a smaller drain assembly and associated overflow assembly. Kitchens sinks generally are without overflows, so I am not sure my fabricator thought about this when he said he could do it pretty easily.

This is probably more a question for the fabricator and a plumber but I was wondering if someone had a stone bathtub and knew how this worked.

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Circus Peanut

Would it not just be a matter of ensuring that the holes for drain and overflow fit the standard measurements/diameters for L-armed bath drain assemblies? Bath tubs are just big basins with two holes, and I don't think the pipes care what material the two holes are cut in as long as they are in the correct spot. But the I'm-certainly-no- plumber caveat applies of course.

It sounds drop-dead gorgeous, Pal. There are so many truly beautiful bath hardware trim options these days, too.

How slippery is soapstone when wet? You'd want it roughly sanded on the interior, I suppose?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:19PM
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m.tex makes shower pans in soapstone and may be able to answer the drain assembly question. Are you OK with square joins in the inside or will your soapstone guy be able to do rounded edges. I also wonder if you would need to reinforce the open edge with some other material like a tiled apron wall. Or maybe do a laminated double piece of soapstone there. I can't imaging this being cheaper than a pre-fab tub though. Have you considered stand alone clawfoot tubs? ours is acrylic but not bad looking and functional with high enough sides.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Oh it would be about ten times as expensive as the super inexpensive Bootz tub, and more than the American Standard tub, but less than the Greek tub with a custom solid surface deck on it with a fabricated flange for alcove installation.

It's going to be a four-foot alcove, I know they make four foot clawfoots (a client of mine had an antique one), but this isn't the right situation for one.

Soapstone has a fairly good coefficient of friction when wet. It will probably be square edged on the inside but have a slanted back. They are tongue and groove or rabbeted joints. We didn't have a particular problem with our soapstone sink with the square inside edges so we should be okay. It will just have an organic kind of surface. We will probably use the larger bathroom with the larger conventional shower more.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:45PM
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The thing I was also worried about was the thickness of the soapstone vs. conventional tub materials. Since people have been doing stone sinks I know they make drains with long enough connections to go through a thicker "wall" of material but I was wondering about the overflow in particular, and the thickness of the tub in that area.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Will the floors bear it? Soapstone is very dense, 25lbs/sq.ft.@1.25" thickness. It adds up fast.
Sound stupendous, though; the idea of it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 8:11PM
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I think they should. There will also be a load bearing wall close underneath. The size of this tub is only going to be similar to an extra deep double soapstone farmhouse sink.
The fabricator has actually made larger sinks than this bathtub.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 8:29PM
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Circus Peanut

Having just replaced my own bathtub overflow plate, I suspect it will just be a matter of finding longer screws. The overflow pipe is stuck onto the exterior surface of the tub with a gasket, it doesn't go all the way through, like a kitchen drain apparatus would. You put the plate on the face of the tub interior and pull it tight towards the pipe via the screws.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:52PM
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That's good to know. Kohler also offers one with a flexible copper pipe at the top to accommodate varying angles of tub wall, rather than being designed to seat at a specific angle.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:55PM
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Palimpsest, please read my post on the bathroom forum.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:01PM
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Circus Peanut

An alternate idea might be to use one of the new long thin side drains, so you wouldn't have to worry too much about pitch towards a round drain in the middle of the end?

Google "trench drain" or "linear drain" for more info, seem to be a number of brands & designs to choose from.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:41PM
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I am looking for a custom drain for a custom marble tub we are building. I will try to post design drawings and a view of the current re-bar frame. Where the drawings show alternative overflow and bottom drain locations, only one drain is needed.

With a very injured back, I am severely immobile and not able to bend down from outside the tub to push a âÂÂpop-upâ drain in order to fill or empty the tub.

The marble tiles are about 2 cm thick and standard levered drains canâÂÂt be installed, or so I am told even by Kohler.

The interior height is 21 inches.

If you donâÂÂt have a solution at hand, I hope you can point me in the right direction to find one.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 7:22PM
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