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  1. #1
    cory nystul's Avatar
    cory nystul Guest

    Default support of tub and shower walls

    I must admit i am totally in the dark about the proper support of tubs. Is this adequate? Any knowledge all you great people would like to share so i can learn, is greatly appreciated.

    DSCN3953.JPG

    Also thoughts on the below.....

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    As far as i could tell it appeared to be regular sheetrock. Is there a product that i am not familial with that would make this possible, I knocked on it and some known sheetrock and both seemed the same, and the surface was textured.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Both are wrong - completely wrong, and the shower needs "headroom" too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  3. #3
    cory nystul's Avatar
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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Both are wrong - completely wrong, and the shower needs "headroom" too.
    Supposedly permits were pulled for this addition. They are still attached to the exterior fo the house. This house will be a record length. SO SO SO SO SO much wrong.


  4. #4
    cory nystul's Avatar
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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Both are wrong - completely wrong, and the shower needs "headroom" too.
    Hello Jerry

    How would I know in the future about the proper support of a tub/shower.


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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Tub should be sitting on the floor, plywood typically.
    Remember this tub is made of fiberglass. Fiberglass will flex and crack if not set stable.
    Imagine that tub with a big person getting in out, a couple, or 2-3 little brats bouncing around. How long you think those stupid chunks of 2x4 are going to stay in place.
    Here's a pretty safe assumption you can make: 'When you see a tub or toilet raised up above the regular floor level of a bathroom, you can pretty much bet - the plumbing is non-compliant, wrong and/or done by a DIY.

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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    The tub manufacturer will usually have a detailed instruction sheet that will spec out the support underneath. That is, if you can find out the manufacturer's name and tub model, which isn't easy.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    The tub should be sitting in bed of mortar or be supported by expandable foam. That tub is going to flex and leak w/o it. Expandable foam can be sprayed in beneath after installation but the tub should be filled with water first.

    The drywall walls are going to disintegrate unless covered with something waterproof.

    Sometimes the manufacturer's instructions are not good enough.

    Mike Lamb
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  8. #8

    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    As Mike Lamb mentioned, fiberglass/acrylic type tubs should be "Bedded" in something, be it plaster of Paris or expanding foam. Many of the "drop-in" style big tubs are designed to hang from their rim and don't have any feet or other support that goes to the floor. They are often installed in/on a constructed platform and there is no standard height for that. It is not uncommon to need to use a step to get into the tub which is another whole safety issue if there are no grab bars.


    I've installed hundreds of these types of units over the years. At first we always used Plaster of Paris and then it was much easier to use expanding foam when it became available. And yes, you do need to fill the tub with water so that it settles in properly.


    One other thing that this procedure accomplishes is to deaden the sound of water hitting the floor of the tub from a showerhead. It may not sound that loud to a person that is in the room or in the appliance but it's loud as hell downstairs.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Is this adequate?

    Cory - you have a gut instinct that is working here: ...that this configuration seems to be wrong. Use your gut instinct and learn to trust it. If something looks wrong, but you are not sure, this is a great place to find out and get some answers.... But, If you are pressed for time to get a report done and you suspect something is wrong, it probably is!
    "Tub support (or wall backing) does not appear to conform to building standards. Recommend evaluation by a specialist in the appropriate trade."
    Remember, you don't have to design a fix for it...just report it.

    Last edited by Chris Weekly; 09-18-2014 at 01:08 PM.

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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    I got tripped up on one of these fiberglass tubs some years ago. It was an older installation and I could not see under the tub. There was a shower mat in the tub...didn't think much of it at the time...ran the water, looked for leaks and moved on.
    After some time when the buyers moved in I get the call that this tub leaks. Had I lifted the shower mat at the time of inspection I would have seen the cracks in the bottom of the tub. Now I not only lift the shower mats, but I step inside the tub to see if it holds my weight, and if I hear or feel any telltale creaks, cracks or groans.


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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    Recommend evaluation by a specialist in the appropriate trade."
    Chris,

    I suspect you missed the very recent thread on the use of "Recommend evaluation by a specialist" in which the inspector did just that, then when the "specialist" made their "evaluation" of the condition ... nothing changed ... the problem and defect still remained - but the inspector no longer had any say or input into saying there was a defect because the inspector gave that right away to the "specialist" who promptly ignored the condition.

    I agree with your first part - trust his gut instinct, but not your second part. He needs to trust his gut instinct ... and write it up as suspect or incorrect (over time of doing inspections he will gain more confidence in his gut instinct and more knowledge in what is not correct).

    Then, if a specialist comes in and says it is not wrong, the inspector still has it written down as suspect or incorrect.

    The best way to address an unknown like the tub (once he sees a few more he will see how they should be installed) is to state the obvious issues (no support under the bottom rim of the tub and that the tub is only supported along its center) and call for the tub to be supported in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions.

    It is not the inspectors job to find the installation instructions and prove that it is correct (or incorrect), albeit to the inspectors advantage if the inspector can find the (or similar) installation instructions as back up ... it now falls on the "specialist" to track down the installation instructions for the tub (or a similar tub) in order to document that all is well (all is not well, others covered the options pretty good).

    Deferring to a specialist for them to evaluate it ... i.e., do your job for you ... means you have no standing is disagreeing with the specialist - whether you like what the specialist says or whether what the specialist says makes you want to puke ... all you can do now is hold your tongue and grit your teeth - and learn to not defer the evaluation to a specialist the next time.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    I would never use expanding foam as suggested by some in earlier posts - it flexes and its purpose is to stop the tub from flexing ... ??? ... sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    I did a quick internet search for "installation instructions of fiberglass tub" and found this: Confused about mortar under tubs... | Terry Love Plumbing & Remodel DIY & Professional Forum

    While not as good as the correct installation instructions it does cover a good discussion on why the tub needs to be supported at the bottom, mortar, gypsum plaster, etc.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Jerry wrote in part ..
    Deferring to a specialist for them to evaluate it ... i.e., do your job for you ... means you have no standing is disagreeing with the specialist - whether you like what the specialist says or whether what the specialist says makes you want to puke ... all you can do now is hold your tongue and grit your teeth - and learn to not defer the evaluation to a specialist the next time.
    Jerry that in my learned view is bad advice. Below is my view for discussion.

    1. The inspector may not have specific knowledge to know what may be acceptable for a particular product. Thus in that situation he would be wise to call for further investigation. There will always be plenty of reasons to recommend outside advice given the various aspects of this business, what we do as 'generalists', and what we find.

    2. Regardless of what the outside expert says, the buck stops with him. Should he be wrong it will be his neck on the line and not that of the inspectors. The inspector has passed the risk onto the expert.

    3. I strongly believe the courts would agree with recommending outside experts where there is need due to circumstances.

    4. Having been an inspector for many years, I don't know everything and would be remiss in situations where I don't know or can't explain the installation or best practice. Hence further investigation is warranted.

    5. I believe not doing so would be very risky legally.

    6. E&O providers recommend inspectors to seek outside advice by expert.

    7. Making recommendations that fall outside the experience/education or protected profession could result in an inspector being called before the courts for practicing a profession without a licence. (I.e. Engineer, architect, pest exterminator ...

    8. An association discipline body may be at odds with your advice as would a court.

    Just my line of thinking fwiw.

    Have I read correctly what you inferred? Did I miss your point(s)?


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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Did I miss your point(s)?
    Yes. Completely.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Then, if a specialist comes in and says it is not wrong, the inspector still has it written down as suspect or incorrect.
    Thanks for your insight Jerry. I still think that the inspector is doing his job by indicating that this condition is incorrect. So....the inspector has done his job - right? Well, almost. If the condition is wrong, then the inspector should propose - not a fix - but a possible remedy as declared by a professional who does know - a specialist. We don't tell our clients' (or the specialist) how to fix the problem, we don't even tell them the full extent of the problem (there may be hidden conditions determined during demolition, etc)....we just say there is a problem. Who fixes it? A specialist who will examine the condition (knowing the industry standards of the proper installation or remedy) and the specialist goes about this by evaluating what is going on and how to fix it.
    Well what if the specialist says its not a problem? In the picture, I think we can all say "There is a problem". The inspector has done his job...therefore, off the hook. When the client breaks the tub a month after moving in, will he be calling the inspector? On what grounds? ....or will he be calling that 'specialist'?


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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Chris

    They will call the specialist. Last man in theory. Courts side with this as anything less is lacking a standard of care.


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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    I suspect you missed the very recent thread on the use of "Recommend evaluation by a specialist" in which the inspector did just that, then when the "specialist" made their "evaluation" of the condition ... nothing changed ... the problem and defect still remained - but the inspector no longer had any say or input into saying there was a defect because the inspector gave that right away to the "specialist" who promptly ignored the condition.
    ..................................................

    Sorry Jerry but the Inspector has no 'right' to give away...Having a 'say' or offering 'input' is merely providing advise or information and is the very basis of any Home Inspection. Inspectors have no rights in this regard. I.M.O. We should not be arbitrarily providing solutions to effect repairs. Codes do not do this and neither should we UNLESS the inspector has sound knowledge, experience, training and the practical ability to perform the remediation required. Even then another expert might provide an equally valid solution.

    The point being and well taken by Raymond, Chris and others, myself included is that getting into what is required for repairs leaves the Inspector high and dry in litigation with his/her experience et al, called into question over that of an expert in the field. Deferring (please read the alternate definition of 'defer') doesn't necessarily mean that the inspector is wiping his hands clean. Moreover he is acquiescing to an expert with greater knowledge and hopefully experience to make repairs as the expert sees fit. Should the component violate code requirements, then the defect could be referred as non-conforming. If the install violates manufacturers recommendations then that issue should be clearly stated. That's the appropriate action to take, in my view, thus limiting the Inspector's liability. If the expert/specialist brought in to make those repairs considers them unnecessary (for whatever reason) the Inspector has still accomplished what he was paid to do by contract. Inspectors are not expected nor required to be experts in all disciplines of construction, components or installation of such, just, hopefully, experts in the field of Home Inspection.

    I can just imagine being the Inspector /respondent in this post with the client's attorney on examination, "....so, as a Home Inspector, just how many fiberglass tubs have you examined in rough-in condition? ....and could you explain to the jury your experience, if any in actually installing fiberglass tubs and just what is entailed being that you insist that the tub in this case is inadequately supported...." (Though it undoubtedly is)....but you get the drift....

    I'm sure you are aware in your litigation experience, that each side will provide their own expert witness likely as not having opposing views to each other. Often there is no right or wrong so an Inspector recommending something be replaced or repaired without clear indication of failure or breakage, non-compliance (with suitable documentation) is ground thwart with legal minefields.

    Last edited by Ian Page; 09-19-2014 at 01:08 AM.

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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Purpose and scope | ASHI, American Society of Home Inspectors

    2.2 Inspectors shall:

    A. adhere to the Code of Ethics of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

    B. inspect readily accessible, visually observable, installed systems and components listed in these Standards of Practice.

    report :

    1. those systems and components inspected that, in the professional judgment of the inspector, are not functioning properly, significantly deficient, unsafe, or are near the end of their service lives.

    2. recommendations to correct, or monitor for future correction, the deficiencies reported in 2.2.C.1, or items needing further evaluation. (Per Exclusion 13.2.A.5 inspectors are NOT required to determine methods, materials, or costs of corrections.)

    3. reasoning or explanation as to the nature of the deficiencies reported in 2.2.C.1, that are not self-evident.

    4. systems and components designated for inspection in these Standards of Practice that were present at the time of the home inspection but were not inspected and the reason(s) they were not inspected.

    Glossary: Further Evaluation Examination and analysis by a qualified professional, tradesman, or service technician beyond that provided by a home inspection


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    Default Re: support of tub and shower walls

    Quote Originally Posted by cory nystul View Post
    I must admit i am totally in the dark about the proper support of tubs. Is this adequate? Any knowledge all you great people would like to share so i can learn, is greatly appreciated.
    I have seen other support structures that were made similar to this (not with a tub over them). Even if this type of construction was acceptable in accordance with the manufacturer installation instructions, if the vertical supports are on a deck only and not above a floor joist or other support member, and if the support member is not designed for the specific load (i.e. doubled or trippled as required) then this would not be an acceptable intallation regardless. We have to support the loads and distribute them. Not just place them in a 12 squre inch area unsupported below except by subfloor.

    Also note that there is only about 1.5 inch wide strip of something supporting the tub, not distributing the loads at all. I doubt that any mfg of fiberglass products would accept this.

    Common sense prevails much of the time.


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