uneven bathroom and tub placement

8 Replies

Hello BP!

I am in the middle of a bathroom renovation where we are relocating the tub and vanity.  The place where we are putting the new right drain tub is very uneven.  The left side of the tub is 1-3/8" lower than it needs to be. Its also worth mentioning that the tub has a piece of insulating foam approx. 9x36 down the underside touching the floor.

Here are my 2 questions:

1) Do I level the floor which would create a step into the bathroom?  What is an acceptable step into the room?  This is the side where the door is located.  This would create a clean aesthetic look of the new bathtub/shower install.

2) Cut a portion of the floor on the right side out and sink the bathtub to rest on the actual joists?  This would not completely solve the problem as its the original floor boards at 3/4" or so, so I would have to shim the left side also a bit to buy the complete 1-3/8" level.  I do not believe this would create a clean and aesthetic install.

Are these my only two options?  Its too late to go back to the original layout plus this is way worth figuring out as it makes much more sense the way we currently have it designed.  Thoughts?   Thank you in advance!

Not sure of your situation, but proper draining of a tub requires that it be level. The interior surface if the tub slopes toward the drain opening, so the drain opening has to be at the lowest point for drainage. Then there is the overflow inlet, which is also at the drain end of the tub; when the tub is stoppered and the water level rises, when the water level exceeds the height if the overflow inlet the excess water flows into that overflow inlet rather than onto the floor. 

How you achieve that leveling - there are a variety of ways. 

BTW - the foam might serve as more than insulation - it helps to make the bottom more rigid when somebody steps in. 

How are you getting a 1 3/8" drop over 6 feet? Where is the drop coming from? That's pretty significant.

Hi James,

I put the tub where we need it and leveled it out.  Took the measurement and 1-3/8" is needed on left side.  Verified against the floor too.

Originally posted by @Steve Babiak :

Correct. I never thought to check the inside level of the tub to see if it has a built in pitch to it. I simply checked against the flattest surface of the 3 sides.  Care to list a few of the ways of leveling?  

Originally posted by @James DeRoest :

How are you getting a 1 3/8" drop over 6 feet? Where is the drop coming from? That's pretty significant.

 I agree if you have a 1 3/8" drop in 6' feet you have issues. Remove the tub and check the floor with a level to verify that you a 1 3/8" out of level in 6 feet.

What kind of sub-floor do you have? Concrete or Wood?

2) Cut a portion of the floor on the right side out and sink the bathtub to rest on the actual joists?  This would not completely solve the problem as its the original floor boards at 3/4" or so, so I would have to shim the left side also a bit to buy the complete 1-3/8" level.  I do not believe this would create a clean and aesthetic install.

Sorry I missed the part about the joists. No you do not want to cut the sub floor and have the tub rest directly on the joists. If you are 1-3/8" inches out of level in 6 feet you need to check your structure. You need to find out why your floor is so out of level and fix that first. 

In theory you could level the tub and then hide this discrepancy if you are installing tile in the bathroom.  1/2" backer board + 3/8 thick tile + 1/8" mortar = 1" thick from sub-floor to finish floor. You would then have a 3/8" gap on the low end of the floor that you can hide with a 3/4"  base shoe molding. 

Originally posted by @Adam Anderson :

In theory you could level the tub and then hide this discrepancy if you are installing tile in the bathroom.  1/2" backer board + 3/8 thick tile + 1/8" mortar = 1" thick from sub-floor to finish floor. You would then have a 3/8" gap on the low end of the floor that you can hide with a 3/4"  base shoe molding. 

 Hi Adam, this exactly what I plan on doing.  

Well... riddle me this... Before I cut the floors out I put a level in the bottom of the tub and its exactly where I need it to be.  The bubble just showing over the left line.  Perfect.  Before I checked level against the 3 shelf ridges.  It never occurred to me to check the tub floor.  Now I think its too simple to be true.  Agh, shoot me.   This is the obviously the first time I've ever done this.  

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