questionsbathroom remodel: bathtub questions

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After digging around a little bit, I can't find anything bad about Vikrell. However, you may want to do some digging yourself too. I know that the old poly tubs were prone to discoloring over time and there isn't much you can do to correct it.

I personally don't have any experience with this product (I normally go with cast-iron/enamel tubs) but Kohler normally makes top-of-the-line stuff. Their customer service is great too in the off chance you actually need them.

Good luck with your remodel!

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I remodeled 4 bathrooms in 2 houses and removed all the tubs. Nobody takes baths anymore and having a dedicated shower is very nice. I've always thought it was gross to take baths because you end up with dirty water at the end and need to take a shower afterwards anyway.

So my recommendation is to completely gut it by removing the tub and relocating the drain to the middle of the floor. The plumber will need to get involved and it probably will need to get inspected but that effort is really worth it, in my opinion.

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I would ask the opinion of some one from a plumbing supply whole saler. usually there is one tucked away in a business park. They are the people licensed plumbers buy from. Those guys are very well informed.

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@cengland0: I must be a nobody, because I did take a bath the other day.

An aspect to keep this in mind when counting:
- With a bathtub = 1 full bathroom.
- Shower only = 3/4 bathroom.

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@narfcake: Me too. There's nothing better than a nice long soak in a big tub when you're sore from a long hike or a hard day at work.

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@narfcake: Don't care if the count is 2 full bathrooms/house or two 3/4 bathrooms. If I were interested in selling my house, the person looking at it would appreciate the upgrade and be more likely to buy. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are what sells a house.

Suppose if you have extremely young children and you want to give them a bath manually, you might need a tub but I don't fit into that category.

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@cengland0: Nearly every woman I know loves a bath at least once in a while. Also, kids LOVE baths and it is much easier to supervise without actually being in with them.

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@cengland0: I have children. Doing away with a bathtub isn't really ideal.

When prepping a home for purchase, I've found that my personal tastes don't necessarily mean that the home will be more desirable. Conventional ideas of what a home should have, however, seems to be what people look for. If the people looking at the home either have small children or plan on having small children, then odds are they'll want a tub.

Most adults that take baths don't do it for cleaning purposes. They do it for the relaxing aspect it provides. Soaking after a hard physical activity or a stressful day is a great way to wind down.

To each their own I suppose.

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From what I have found, Vikrell is a composite material that is supposedly a blend of fiberglass, resin, and filler and has a ten year warranty. Reading up on this, I have seen reports of cracking and flexing of newly installed (less than two years old) tubs.This could be caused by improper install but no info on that.

Two ways to make this tub - 1: resin with chopped fiberglass fibers to add strength and then laid over a tub form or 2: fiberglass sheets laid over tub shape. My bet is they used method 1 due to it being cheaper and easier to make. If they used method 1 to manufacture, this usually leads to trapped air in the fiberglass / resin mixture which leads to brittleness and failure down the road. This is exacerbated by hot / cold temp cycling (hot water then cold water/air).

They had fiberglass tubs when I was a kid and they sucked. Almost all failed

I'd avoid.

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Vikrell is still a fiberglass material. Higher quality for sure, but will still come with some of the cons of any fiberglass. If the tub isn't fully insulated, you'll notice. There is a different feel and sound to the different materials. But you probably aren't worried about that. Seems like you are concerned with durability. If it is installed properly, in theory, it should last at least 30 years (if not more). Some installers suggest setting the tub in a bed of mortar, that should help with some of the feel and sound problems that are inherent to fiberglass.

If it were me (and I've done 4 complete bathroom remodels and 2 partial remodels in 4 different homes), I'd install it.

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@cengland0: I'll give you five minutes with my screaming daughter in a shower and I bet you will be begging for a bathtub. :) For resale value of your house, why would you eliminate an entire group of potential buyers.

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@cengland0: LOL! I see you're getting some disagreement from the bathers. I have to weigh in and say that I much prefer a bath to a shower. Most of that is because of the relaxation factor, as mentioned by others. (It's REALLY hard to lie back and read a book in the shower!) A small part of it is because DH uses the dedicated shower in our bathroom and NEVER cleans it. Urgh! On those rare occasions when I dash in there for a quick shower I feel dirtier afterward.

Regarding your feelings of grossness about bathing vs. showering, I read a real honest-to-goodness research paper a while back that compared the two. The bottom line was that you actually get cleaner from a bath than from a shower, but that to be REALLY clean you should bathe, then shower off afterward. (If I find a link to the study I will post it.)

Now the more OCD amongst us can add something else to their daily to-do lists!

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@bren100: @thepenrod:

Thanks for your specific advice about the material. I found the same cracking/flexing discussion forums as well and it sounds like everyone blames the material (who wouldn't, right?) rather than their install. The contractor we talked to said that they lay down the mortar you mentioned under the tub so there is no chance at the bottom flexing when someone steps inside. However, I also switch from very hot to cold a few times each shower. Definitely have to think about this some more.

As for everyone else who weighed in on the merits of having a tub vs shower, thanks for your input. A full shower is a little bit out of our price range and I dislike the corner shower set-up (too small for me). Regarding re-sale value, we have two full bathrooms upstairs (fiberglass tubs+walls) and a half-bath downstairs. I figure as long as we have at least one tub, we could convert the other tub to a shower without hurting re-sale. I personally do not take baths.

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@jimmyd103: Oh dear, I'm almost afraid to post another message because I know it's going to get down-voted. But who cares. I'm not here for rep score but for the nice conversations instead.

The reason I would modify the house and remove some potential buyers is two fold:

First, I'm not trying to sell my house. I've been here for 19 years and will probably die in this house. It will then be someone else's problem to sell it.

Second, I might lose some potential buyers but will gain others that think just like I do.

Let the down-voting continue.

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@cengland0: I just wanted to let you know I appreciated your input since it came from experience, even though it didn't address my specific concerns. I did not downvote you!

I generally feel like I want to die in this house, but I am still young and have yet to start my career (as opposed to having a job), let alone a family of my own. So, I know I will probably live somewhere else, but I want this to be the last time this bathroom is remodeled for at least 30 years.

I just talked to our contractor and he said in his experience, as long as a house has at least one bathtub, it won't significantly hurt the re-sale value. He also added that guest bathrooms (the one we are renovating) are most often converted into showers with the master-bath being an actual tub.

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Sorry to be late to the party, but I will add my 2¢ worth. I had a bathroom remodeled 3 years ago and used a Vikrell tub/shower wall combo. I liked the look and feel of it and the price was good. We moved about a year later, but I bought the tub like I was going to stay there. My take on a bathtub? There should be one in a house regardless of ages. We have a 5' shower in our master bath along with a corner whirlpool tub(don't get me started on that one) and a tub/shower combo in the kids' end of the house. tl;dr I like Vikrell.

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I'm glad to see there are still forums where questions can be answered. Did you have trouble finding any of your plumbing supplies? It took me forever to get all my stuff until I finally came upon a place called Central Plumbing Spec (http://www.centralplumbingspec.com/plumbing-supplies.php). It helped me out a lot.