Creaking under the tub

szmarieSeptember 12, 2006

I live in a townhome that was built 20 years ago by a famous-name (or infamous-name) company - wherever they could cheap out, they did. Anyway, the tub/shower they put in is fiberglass - the shower wall surround is 3 separate pieces, and I've never been confident that they sealed it properly - there were always unsealed holes at the tops of the soapholder corners, but they were too big to plug with caulk, but it seemed to be OK. At one point about 7 years ago water did leak out up at one of the outer corners - the shower surround wall projects out over the tub and the water evidently collected there then ran around the bottom of the surrond (unseen) and dripped out at the corner - a piece of the adjoining wall drywall was damaged and the vinyl time on the floor lifted - the floor under the tile was likewise soaked. Once the porblem was discovered and fixed, things seemed to be OK. That all happened about 7 years ago, but for the last several months when I step into the tub and and move around in the middle of the tub it creaks. My fiance said he thought tubs were supposed to be set in some type of cement layer, but if that's so, I have my doubts that it was done. I tried squirting some insulation foam under the tub and it just seemed to make the creaking worse. Does this sound like a rip the tub out type of problem? I am getting the house ready to put on the market and really need to know what this might be and what should be done about it. Thanks.

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You might have a damaged floor under the tub. Especially if there was water damage from before. Did the ceiling under the tub leak at all 7 years ago? The water damage from 7 years ago might have rotted the wood sub-floor.

Tubs can be set in motor when installed. This might have been damaged from the water also.

Maybe ripping out the tub might be the answer, especially if you suspect the sub-floor to be damaged. A "quick" bathroom remodel, before you put your home on the market might increase the value.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 7:47PM
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Yup, there was a leak. Guess I have to bite the bullet and pull out the tub. Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 12:20PM
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what "creaks" the floor or the bottom of the tub?
does it leak now?

If you're moving sell it as is and klnock down your price expectations. You may not like what you find under there. Get some remodeling estimates and compare it to the adjusted sale price. Then decide if you want to do it.

FG tubs are sometimes set in a cementitious base to stop flex of the bottom but not always. If you just feeling the flex of the floor of the tub then it may not be worth replacing it.

my 0.02

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 1:16PM
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It would seem that it is the bottom of the tub that is creaking, not the floor under it. That's why I tried the foam stuff underneath, but maybe I didn't use enough. There is no leak now and there has not been for years - at least I have not seen any sign of one for years. That one episode seemed to be it. The creaking only occurs in the very middle of the tub - if I position my feet at the sides where the bottom starts to curve up, no creak. If I stand at either end of the tub, no creak. I really don't FEEL anything, just hear the creak, and the first time anyone gets in to take a shower they'll hear it loud and clear.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 2:29PM
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I suspect that you're hearing the bottom of the tub flexing when you step on it. Not sure why it would start doing it now after a good number of years, it should have been doing it from day one if they didn't fill the annular space under the tub.

I would not expect foam to do anything as it will just compress with any pressure put on it.

If it doesn't leak and it's only noise, then I sau sell it as is and don't do anything. My 0.02

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 10:14PM
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