What you need to know about buying a tub

Are you in a market to buy a new tub?

Believe it or not, it’s trickier than one would ever expect and is always an issue. The tub is to the bathroom as the hood exhaust is to the kitchen – complicated.

We have been working on a large interior renovation project in Rye, NH that involves replacing a clawfoot tub with an inset tub. Simple enough? Nope.

The tub was fitting into an existing curved wall so my perimeters were: unmounted curved 60-66” long x 30-36”. Pretty standard but on our shopping trips we exhausted Waterworks in Boston and landed at Ferguson in Portsmouth. Then the tub that we selected ended up on being back ordered so we had to select another tub and one that could get to the job site within a week.

The new tub arrives on site and the contractor takes up the old subfloor and BAM! there is a structural beam right smack in the middle of the tub drain! With the team of plumbers, contractors and designers assembled we figured out how to keep the tub (after much panic and research there were literally no options that would work) and adapt both the drain and beam.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Make sure that the size is absolutely correct. Check, double-check and cut a template to make sure you are good for both the plumber and the contractor’s sake – as well as your heart rate.
  2. Make sure that the framing can support what you are trying to install.
  3. Make sure that it is in stock when ordering. NOTE: While this bathroom won’t be completed for months, the tub is plumbed and installed earlier in the project during rough-in so all details need to be solidified at the beginning of the project.

The team at Ferguson – yes, there were 3 staff working on this (Angela, Melanie, and Heather) were amazing. Thank you for all your help on this project, ladies! I strongly suggest using a really good supply house such as Ferguson because they have wholesale access to just about every line of plumbing available on the market.

Good Luck!



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