Fiberglass Tub or Shower: How to Support Floor
LESLIE: Jeff in Georgia, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
JEFF: So I’ve got a home that I bought recently. It was built in 2006, however. It has a – both bathrooms have a fiberglass or – well, I guess it’s a fiberglass-insert tub. On one of the tubs, if you – while you’re taking a shower, if you move around – say there’s a loud squeak and a pop that you kind of hear, almost as if it’s binding in the way that it’s mounted or the way that it’s inserted.
I don’t know of a way to get under there to secure anything or I don’t have a way to relieve some of that stress. What can we do?
TOM: What it means to me, Jeff, is that the tub was not put in correctly by the builder. With those fiberglass tubs, the best technique – because you’re right: they are very flexible. So what the better pros do is they will put a loose mortar mix on the floor, so like take a bag of QUIKRETE and mix it up maybe a little looser than you normally would. And they’ll spread it out on the floor where the tub’s going to be set. And then they’ll push the tub kind of into it.
If you think about it, as that dries, it gives you support across the underside of the entire surface of that tub. And that stops the flex that you’re now experiencing. Because as you use it over the years – now your house is about 10 years old, so lots of showers have happened between now and then and it’s starting to loosen up a bit. I will say that I’ve rarely heard it actually cracking and breaking through, so I would tend to think it’s more of an annoyance.
It is rather difficult, if not impossible, to do anything about that now. If you could get access to that area under the tub, you could inject some foam in there or something of that nature. But even doing that, I would proceed very carefully. Because if you didn’t get it in in just the right way, sometimes those foams can expand and push up.
TOM: So, I think I would just kind of live with it and not really try to fix it. But I think that’s exactly what’s happening.
JEFF: Well, I think what you’ve done is you’ve moved one of our projects to the top of our list. So if we were – replacing the tub insert and/or the flooring and everything in that bathroom was something we had really thought about doing.
TOM: Right. OK.
JEFF: Now, we thought we had a little more time.
TOM: And I wouldn’t disagree with that. I don’t think this is an emergency. I think it sounds like it’s kind of an emotional emergency because it’s bugging the heck out of you, which we sympathize with, but I don’t think this is an urgent matter. But certainly it’s another reason, if you’re planning on remodeling your bathroom, to get it done.
JEFF: I think that definitely moved it up a little higher on our list, that’s for sure.
TOM: Alright. Good.
JEFF: Well, listen, I appreciate it. I love you guys. You guys have definitely helped me out a million times.