My home was built in the mid 1950's. The bathroom had peach-colored tile through-out, and looked like a grandma's house. The walls are plasterboard, covered with chicken wire, mortar, and tile, making them about an inch thick. (This actually worked to our advantage, because it provided some additional inches to get new tub installed) I decided it was time to remodel the bathroom and get rid of the Grandma motiff.
Getting the old, cast iron tub out of there was quite the chore. Silly me! I thought my brother and I could simply disconnect it, lift it up, and out of there. Boy was I wrong! For those who don't know, an old, cast iron tub can weigh over 400 pounds! About the only way to remove one of those is to disconnect the plumbing, cover it with a damp blanket, and then smash the living you-know-what out of it with a sledge hammer! When you do that, be sure to wear ear plugs and safety glasses.
Anyway, old tub out, old floor pulled up, new plywood floor put down, it was time to install the new tub. The directions clearly state that you should test the tub outside first before installing it in the house. There's a reason for this, folks! I'm very glad we tested it outside, because one of the fittings was cracked and leaking!!! Fortunately the cracked part was the small section of pipe designed to be removed if you were to install the optional heater. We bought the heater, so it was simply a matter of removing that pipe, installing the heater, and the problem was solved. If we decided not to buy the heater, it would have been a big problem, because there would have been no way to use the tub without replacing that part.
Some tubs are designed to sit directly on the floor without having to put cement underneath them. That is not the case with this particular tub. The reason I rated ease of installation as average is because, for a do-it-yourselfer, the installation can be a bit tricky. Although the tub installation requires "stringers" (horizontal studs around the rim) the stringers are used for leveling purposes only, and NOT intended to support the weight of the tub. You must put down a batch of cement or mortar on the floor, underneath the tub, in order to give it support. Now, mixing concrete isn't really difficult, but it could be considered a bit of a chore if you've not done it before. The importance of a concrete or mortar bed under the tub is to ensure that the bottom of the tub is supported. Without a mortar bed, if a large person were to use the tub, there is a possibility of the tub cracking because there's nothing underneath it to support it. If you've never installed a tub using a mortar bed, there are Youtube videos that show you how this is done. The mortar bed was probably the most difficult task in the installation process. Everything else was quite simple.
This tub is certainly a LOT lighter in weight than that old, cast iron tub! Two guys can easily pick it up and move it. Care must be taken when you stand the tub up on end, so that you do not chip the corners. We didn't have any problem.
Something that's important to note is that this tub requires a dedicated, 15amp GFCI circuit for the pump. If you decide to install the optional heater, AN ADDITIONAL 15amp GFCI circuit is needed for that.
The drain assembly is sold separately. It isn't exactly cheap, but it's less than $100. The overflow gasket is a bit tricky and cumbersome to install, and you will need a tube of silicone caulking for this. It took a few attempts, loosening, tightening, and re-caulking, before we got the overflow connected properly. That gasket likes to slide out of place, so keep a close watch on the gasket as you're tightening everything up so that it doesn't slip out of place.
Because of the design of the tub, and where the motor assembly is located, the inside dimension of the tub is a bit shorter. What this means is you cannot stretch out or fully extend your legs. It's not a big deal, but it is something to keep in mind. If you want to massage your back, your knees are going to be above the water line if you are a tall person. (I'm 5' 11')
The tub has 8 jets, and you may adjust how powerful they are by rotating them either clockwise or counter-clockwise. Also, there are two controls, one on the left, one on the right, which control the over all air flow. The tub isn't going to give you the same, powerful, almost whiplash-type massage that say, a hot tub at a swimming pool would provide, but... the jets are still powerful enough to give you a decent, relaxing massage. I really like it.
One other thing worth mentioning; This tub is a few inches wider than a conventional, non-jetted tub. What this means for me, is the toilet is going to sit much closer to this tub than it did with the old tub. Something to keep in mind.
If the dimensions of my bathroom permitted it, I probably would have gone with a larger, drop-in style tub. But because space was limited, this tub was the perfect fit. I really like it, and I'm confident you will too.
Easy to Use, Sturdy, Looks Great, Great Value, Good Size & Lightweight, Nice Design