The bathtub that we ordered ended up having a defect in it and we had to return it. That was a real bummer considering we had already moved it to the upstairs. So, it went back and a new one was delivered on Wednesday. I already had the alcove ready to go with ledger boards and the floor leveled as best I could.
I have never done a tub installation before so putting the mortar bed together had me worried, but, all in all, the tub installation went well and it is perfectly level. I can definitely tell the difference the mortar bed made already - very solid. My only concern now is the gap at the front of the tub. Not much that I could do with the floor being quite out of level beyond going to drastic measures and playing with the sub-floor. I will have to make up some trim or something to look nice across the front.
So, tub is installed. Today I will anchor it to the wall and begin work on setting the valve, tub faucet and shower head hook up.
The toilet has been removed for some time, but I had not addressed the cast iron flange that was still installed. It needed attention because it sat almost an inch above the finished floor after removing several layers of linoleum and other flooring. I had watched several videos on how to remove a cast iron flange so I set to it.
In the old days (and apparently some people still do this), the flange was installed with a lead caulk joint. First, the flange is placed over the main drain pipe and oakum is packed between the flange and pipe leaving a gap of an inch or so at top. Then, lead is melted and poured into the joint, left to cool, and then packed into the joint with something like a cold chisel. Here is a good video showing the process of removing a lead caulked joint and replacing it with the same.
Needless to say, this type of joint took some work to get apart. I started by drilling out as much as I could of the lead from the joint. I ended up breaking two bits after getting a little more than half way. :(
At that point, I was a little frustrated and just started banging on the flange with a hammer and it finally broke loose. I can see how this joint lasted 90 years. On the bottom picture, you can see the oakum at the bottom of the joint.
I flirted with the idea of putting a cast iron flange back and re-creating the joint for the fun of it. Decided against that, seeing that it is a fairly important joint! Luckily, they make a PVC flange that fit directly into my drain pipe that has this nice expanding gasket.
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