Homeowners often take great pride in their bathrooms – a place designed for relaxation and self-care. One crucial element that can significantly impact the overall aesthetic and functionality of a bathroom is the bathtub.
In recent years, many homeowners have opted for Americast bathtubs, known for their durability and heat-retaining properties. However, like any product, this popular bathtub material may have some issues that should be addressed.
Manufactured by the well-known company American Standard, Americast bathtubs are created using a patented composite material that offers several advantages over traditional cast iron options. They are lightweight, easy to install, and offer a comfortable bathing experience.
Despite these benefits, some users have noted challenges with their Americast bathtubs that may be cause for concern.
In this article, we will explore some of the common problems faced by Americast bathtub users, along with potential solutions and considerations. By understanding these issues, homeowners can make informed decisions about whether an Americast bathtub is the right fit for their bathroom renovation or if they should investigate alternative materials on the market.
Understanding Americast Bathtubs
Material and Design
Americast is a patented material developed by American Standard. It is a composite material consisting of a high-quality porcelain enamel surface, a core of high-strength steel, and a layer of molded structural composite.
This combination of materials gives Americast bathtubs a durable and lightweight design.
Let’s look at the properties of Americast:
- Porcelain enamel surface: The surface provides scratch-resistant and easy-to-clean properties.
- High-strength steel core: The core provides strength and rigidity to the bathtub without adding excess weight.
- Molded structural composite: This layer adds insulation to help retain heat in the tub and reduce sound transmission.
American Standard and their Tub Models
American Standard is a leading manufacturer of bathroom and kitchen fixtures, including a variety of tub materials and designs.
Some popular Americast tub models include the following:
- Princeton: This is a classic bathtub with an integral apron and an optional built-in overflow drain.
- Dimensions: Available in 60″ x 30″ and 60″ x 34″ sizes.
- Features: ADA-compliant with a non-slip textured surface.
- Cambridge: A stylish and wide bathtub designed for comfort and relaxation.
- Dimensions: Available in 60″ x 32″ and 66″ x 32″ sizes.
- Features: An extra deep bathing well with built-in lumbar support.
- Saver: A space-saving bathtub designed for small bathrooms or homes with limited space.
- Dimensions: Comes in a 60″ x 33.75″ size.
- Features: Integral apron with a curved front for added style and functionality.
- Durable, non-porous, glossy porcelain enamel finish is scratch resistant and easy to clean
- Built-in overflow drain eliminates the need to purchase and install a separate drain
- Luxury Ledge is 4 in. wider than standard ledge allowing plenty of room for bathing essentials
- Formed steel center layer is strong and stable
These are just a few examples of Americast tub models offered by American Standard.
When selecting an Americast bathtub, take into consideration the size and style that fits your bathroom, along with any additional features that may be important to you, such as slip-resistant surfaces, built-in lumbar support, or ADA compliance.
Common Americast Bathtub Problems
Cracks and Loose Porcelain
Americast bathtubs, constructed of a lightweight composite material, can experience issues over time. One common problem is cracks developing in the tub’s surface. These cracks can occur due to heavy impact or uneven weight distribution and often become larger over time.
Repairing these cracks may require filling and sealing them with an appropriate compound.
Another issue with Americast bathtubs is loose porcelain. The enamel coating, which provides the bathtub’s smooth finish, can chip off in certain areas. This can be both unsightly and uncomfortable for users.
To address this, homeowners may need to have the affected area sanded down and re-coated.
Drain and Water Issues
Drainage problems are another common difficulty with Americast bathtubs. They may develop a slow drain or even clogging, which can be caused by soap scum, hair, or other debris entering the drain over time. To fix these issues, routine drain maintenance is necessary.
This includes regular cleaning and occasionally using drain cleaning solutions.
Water issues can also arise in Americast bathtubs. These can manifest as leaks around the faucet or in the tub’s drain assembly. Homeowners should inspect their tubs regularly for signs of leaks and address them promptly. In some cases, replacement of faucet components or drain assemblies may be necessary.
Walls and Finish Concerns
Americast bathtub walls can sometimes show signs of staining or discoloration. This can result from exposure to water, soap, or certain cleaning products. To maintain the appearance of the bathtub, it’s essential to use gentle cleaning products that won’t harm its finish.
Additionally, it’s important to avoid abrasive scrubbing tools that can scratch the surface of the bathtub. Using a soft cloth or sponge and an appropriate cleanser can help to remove stains and maintain the finish.
In conclusion, Americast bathtub problems like cracks, loose porcelain, drain and water issues, and wall and finish concerns can be addressed with prompt attention and maintenance. Regular inspection and cleaning can go a long way in ensuring the longevity of an Americast bathtub.
Installation and Maintenance of Americast Bathtubs
Preparing the Floor and Bed of Mortar
Before installing an Americast bathtub, it is essential to prepare the floor and create a bed of mortar. Begin by ensuring that the floor is level, clean, and free of debris. Next, create a bed of mortar by mixing a combination of sand and cement. The mortar mixture should be thick enough to maintain its shape when squeezed in hand.
Spread the mortar evenly on the floor, where the tub will sit, and make sure it covers the whole area. Allow it to set for a few minutes, but not too long, as it needs to remain pliable for proper installation.
Using Shims and Filler for Support
To ensure a stable and secure installation, shims and filler materials may be needed. Place wooden shims under the tub’s rim, adjusting them as necessary to level the bathtub.
In addition to shims, use a filler material like expansion foam or fiberglass insulation between the tub and the floor, providing essential support and preventing any movement.
- Place the filler material under the tub.
- Adjust the shims and filler as needed.
- Check the tub’s level and make adjustments accordingly.
Following Proper Instructions
An essential aspect of installing an Americast bathtub is following the manufacturer’s instructions. Proper installation ensures that the tub functions correctly and maintains its durability and finish. Some key points to consider include:
- Preparing the plumbing connections before setting the tub.
- Using the appropriate type and amount of supports, such as shims and filler material.
- Ensuring proper sealing of any joints or connections to prevent leaks.
Moreover, regular maintenance of your Americast bathtub, including cleaning the surface and inspecting plumbing, will ensure long-lasting and trouble-free usage.
Repair Tips for Americast Bathtub Problems
Utilizing Putty Knife and Cotton Ball Techniques
When repairing an Americast bathtub, it is important to use gentle techniques to avoid damaging the surface. One such approach is using a putty knife and cotton balls to address minor cracks, chips, or scratches.
First, clean the affected area with mild soap and water, then dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth. Next, carefully apply a small amount of bathtub repair compound using a putty knife, spreading a thin layer over the crack or chip. For scratches, a cotton ball can be gently dabbed with the compound and then rolled along the scratch to fill it in.
Allow the repair compound to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions,typically between 2 to 6 hours. Once it is fully dry, buff the area with a fine-grit sandpaper until the surface is smooth and level with the rest of the bathtub. Finally, apply a non-abrasive polish to protect and restore the finish.
Avoiding Abrasive Cleaners
To prevent further damage to an Americast bathtub, it is essential to avoid using abrasive cleaners. These cleaning agents can cause scratches and wear down the surface over time. Instead, use the following cleaning methods:
- Mild soap and water: A simple solution of mild soap and warm water is often all you need to clean an Americast bathtub. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the surface, then rinse with clean water and dry with a soft towel.
- Non-abrasive cleaners: There are specially formulated non-abrasive bathroom cleaners available that can be used safely on Americast bathtubs. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for usage and application.
- Baking soda and water: Another alternative is to create a gentle homemade cleaner by mixing equal parts of baking soda and water to form a paste. Apply the paste using a soft cloth or sponge, scrub gently, and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
By following these repair tips and avoiding abrasive cleaners, it is possible to maintain and extend the lifespan of your Americast bathtub while preserving its attractive finish.
Americast Bathtub Warranty Information
Americast bathtubs come with a warranty to ensure customer satisfaction and protect them from any manufacturing defects or issues. The warranty typically covers the tub’s structural integrity and surface finish.
The warranty is often limited and does not cover damages caused by improper installation, misuse, or alterations. Some common issues covered under warranty may include:
- Surface cracking or blistering
- Defects in the structural integrity
- Color inconsistencies
It is essential for the bathtub owner to register their product with the manufacturer to validate the warranty. By doing so, they will have access to proper maintenance instructions and customer support.
While each manufacturer may have specific warranty terms, the duration can range from 5 to 15 years or more. Some manufacturers even offer a lifetime warranty for specific components or under specific conditions.
To maintain the warranty’s validity, the bathtub owner should follow the recommended cleaning and maintenance procedures provided by the manufacturer. Using non-abrasive cleaners and avoiding harsh chemicals will prevent damage to the bathtub’s surface, thus ensuring compliance with the warranty terms.
In case of a warranty claim, the customer should contact American Standard’s customer service department to report the issue. The manufacturer may then ask for relevant documentation, such as proof of purchase, photos of the issue, and installation records.
In summary, the Americast bathtub warranty offers protection against manufacturing defects and issues related to structural integrity and surface finish. Registering the product and following the recommended maintenance procedures will ensure a stress-free ownership experience.