How to replace fiberglass tub/shower insert w/cast iron tub and tile

Wanting to remove my fiberglass tub and wall unit insert and replace with a cast iron tub and then I'd like to tile the walls. How difficult will this be?
  8 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Jan 30, 2013
    Where is this tub? I ask because cast iron tubs may be too heavy for installation upstairs. Check that everything structurally sound enough to support the added weight. Also, it can be quite a trick to get a heavy tub upstairs or even through the house and into the bathroom. Solid acrylic is another good option that is more attractive and durable than fiberglass, but lighter and cheaper. As far as the tile work, it's easy to do, and hard to do exactly right. Make sure you use good grout and good sealer, and seal it really well. I have seen some expensive, ugly and moldy messes because tile around a tub wasn't sealed right.
  • World Contracting LLC World Contracting LLC on Jan 30, 2013
    it's easy when your plumber has a handy dandy electric hand truck... well mine does....
  • Hamtil Construction LLC Hamtil Construction LLC on Jan 31, 2013
    Yep, an electric hand truck might come in handy. Otherwise, you'll need a strong bodies to move the tub in. Besides the weight challenges, it's no more difficult than installing any other tub with tile walls!
  • Be sure floor joists are structurally sound( no dry or water rot) to support the cast iron tub. Be sure to pitch the tub so that water will flow into the drain. Cast iron is heavy so be sure that you have enough man-power to put in place. Since you have everything open(floors and/or walls), this would be a great time to check if your pipes are in good condition. As per tiling the walls depending if its sheetrock or plaster, be sure the walls are smooth and even with no visible cracks to install the tiles.
  • Penn Contractors Inc. Penn Contractors Inc. on Jan 31, 2013
    A cast tub with tile walls above is a great look. The weight of the tub had better not be an issue for the frame of the home. If it is, which i doubt, there are more important issues to address then changing the tub. We like to include a wall niche or two for storage, they are better looking than shelves and do not protrude into the space. Another option to think about would be a hand held shower head in addition to a fixed head. The hand held makes cleaning all of the that beautiful tile easier. One more thing to think about is the glass surround. If you are putting money into tile you might as well be able to see it.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jan 31, 2013
    One option to consider is a deeper soaking type tub. While I am a fan of "heavy duty" and a cast iron tub clearly falls into this group. Getting one in a decent soaking depth will be difficult...not to mention the extra effort for 500 pounds of mass. I did a remodel for a client last fall with nice acrylic soaking version. Corner shelvles or Niches are a great custom feature
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  • JoEllen McCartney JoEllen McCartney on Feb 13, 2013
    Great work, love the corner shelves and the use of the mosaics. Not sure it's a cast iron tub I want, I just don't want the fiberglass material as it seems to dull over time. Thanks for sharing your ideas!
  • Hamtil Construction LLC Hamtil Construction LLC on Feb 15, 2013
    @JoEllen McCartney As an alternate, you could always go to an American Standard "Americast" tub.. It's not fiberglass. It's their cast iron alternate material.