For this project, the homeowners were wanting to replace their large shower surround with an even larger bathtub. With two young kids, there would be a lot more baths happening in this bathroom and they were ready to make it happen.
The first step was to remove the fiberglass surround. This bathroom was actually an old back porch at one time. It’s not uncommon in many older homes to find that an old back porch was later to converted to either a bathroom or laundry room. Unfortunately, that also meant that the floors were also not level. The framing under the room had been beefed up at some point and was quite adequate. I determined that the room is not likely to continue it unsteady ways. It was solid and I could proceed with renovations above.
To make room for the plumbing pipes both old and new, I needed to frame some ‘false walls’ around the perimeter of where the new tub would be. One end was an old brick wall which was no longer on the exterior of the house. I built a wall on top of this that would contain the shower plumbing for the new tub.
The tub was an extra deep 36″ model that my clients bought online. They basically wanted the largest tub that would fit into the space and I think they got it! This type of tub is a ‘drop in’ model. It sets onto a platform that I built, but the actual weight of the tub rests on the floor. It’s important that the top of the ‘platform’ is completely level as well as the floor where it supports the tub. When I installed the tub I set it into a thick bed of mortar that would both support the tub and provide a solid bearing for it.
With the tub in place and the plumbing hooked up I was ready to install 1/2″ Hardibacker cementboard throughout and then the Schluter Kerdi waterproofing membrane to give us a waterproof shower that keeps the water in the tub.
Next we’re ready for tile!