How to get cast iron tub into alcove?

bygonebungalowNovember 21, 2012

Anyone have ideas on how to get a 60" cast iron tub into a 61" alcove. We have a new Mendota Kohler tub sitting in our driveway and can't figure out how to install it into this alcove. I'm sure there's a technique. It weighs 331 lbs (ish). Unfortunately we can't use the crate it came in to carry it.

Also, any advice as to whether or not it needs metal plates under it's stubby little feet that will hold all the weight? It seems like 331 lbs plus water plus person would sink into 3/4" plywood. HELP! and thanks!

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snoonyb

Maybe you should also include the make and model, since you did not say if the tub is full apron, corner or non-apron.
The apron also acts as a support.
There are also 2x cleats that may be part of the installation which act as a weight transfer to the wall structure, depending, of course, upon the type of tub.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:19AM
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bygonebungalow

The tub is Kohler Mendota 550 left drain. It has a full apron and they say no weight should be on the apron. All the weight should be on the feet. No cleats.

No mention of needing a ledger board.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:00AM
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renovator8

You can probably rent professional rigging supplies like cabinet/equipment dollies and roller kits or put the tub on a platform and use steel pipes as rollers (if you are very careful).

Make sure the floor is structurally sound with blocking below the tub support feet. By now you have read Kohler's installation instructions so you know that they recommend a floor capacity of 56 psf and the installation of metal shims under the feet "as needed" (with a drawing of 2 metal shims under a foot) but since the tub has an integral front skirt you must be careful to not raise it too high.

This cast iron model doesn't require a back lip support.

Here is a link that might be useful: rigger's tool rental

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:04AM
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bygonebungalow

I was wondering if there was a muscle man way of getting the tub in? Also, I am concerned about the flooring because the plumbing that is there comes up above the subfloor so our handyman had to cut a huge hole to accommodate those pipes and now the hole opening would be VERY close to where the feet go. To redo the plumbing is a whole can of worms. This is a 1929 house and we just accept that some things are what they are. HOWEVER... this flooring issue is something we revisited after measuring where the feet were on the tub. I think we're going to have the handyman recut the plywood to the pipes in, but then make the rest of the opening smaller. FYI in the original posted picture there was a piece of plywood covering the hole.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:00AM
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bygonebungalow

I was wondering if there was a muscle man way of getting the tub in? Also, I am concerned about the flooring because the plumbing that is there comes up above the subfloor so our handyman had to cut a huge hole to accommodate those pipes and now the hole opening would be VERY close to where the feet go. To redo the plumbing is a whole can of worms. This is a 1929 house and we just accept that some things are what they are. HOWEVER... this flooring issue is something we revisited after measuring where the feet were on the tub. I think we're going to have the handyman recut the plywood to the pipes in, but then make the rest of the opening smaller. FYI in the original posted picture there was a piece of plywood covering the hole.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:07AM
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renovator8

Let me guess: no plumber, no engineer, no permit, no workman's comp. and you don't want to rent equipment that will allow someone do move the tub safely. Make sure the people that carry it are closely related to you and have good health insurance because your homeowners insurance will probably not cover it.

The plywood should not be the issue. The tub feet should rest on full strength joists or solid blocking between those joists. If the hoists do not meet the loading requirement you need to add new joists or sister the old ones. If you don't know how to do that you need to find someone who does. It's usually cheaper to do something right the first time.

This is a good project for a DIY forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY forum

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:11AM
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millworkman

What he is saying is if you do not do this right someone will get hurt, and it may be yourself when taking a bath and the entire bathroom ends up in the basement if you do not do it properly!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:54AM
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GreenDesigns

What size are the joists under that plywood and were any of them butchered to get the plumbing in. Getting the tub to the location may be the least of your issues here!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:45AM
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energy_rater_la

Make sure the floor is structurally sound with blocking below the tub support feet.
and:
The plywood should not be the issue. The tub feet should rest on full strength joists or solid blocking between those joists. If the joists do not meet the loading requirement you need to add new joists or sister the old ones. If you don't know how to do that you need to find someone who does. It's usually cheaper to do something right the first time.

both from renovator8's post.

thought it needed to be repeated.
solid blocking. between. joists.

is 61" with or without sheetrock?
cutting it pretty close.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:21PM
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snoonyb

In all my 35yrs. of carrying these tubs up to 2nd flr. locations and despite the mfg. recommendations, I have always installed wall cleats, and have yet had any call-backs to correct failed tub to wall finish grout.
Carry the tub in on a refer dolly being careful not to damage the finish. Transfer it to one or two 4 wheel dollies. Set a piece of padding on the floor to protect the apron bottom edge, roll the tub into place.
The hole needs to there to access the waste and overflow from beneath.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:07PM
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brickeyee

" use steel pipes as rollers "

3/4 in PVC supply lines should work just fine as rollers.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:46PM
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bygonebungalow

Thanks to all who chimed in. The tub is safely in. We used an upright furniture dolly and 3 strong men. It had to be leveled so we used metal shims as instructed by Kohler.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 3:49AM
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schoolhouse_gw

Did you put the tub in before finishing the walls? How did you solve the weight issue?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:37AM
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