Home Improvement--General/Bathroom tub remodel


We recently had our bathroom remodeled and are having issues with the tub squeaking when taking a shower.

The installer sprayed foam that hardens on the floor around the tub when he installed it, but the squeaking is getting worse.

I have googled the issue and found that one way of resolving the problem would be to unscrew the tub form the wall, fill it with water and replace the screws...our problem here is we have the shower wall all tile. The tile runs right to the top of the tub.

I have contacted the installer and he suggested to spray more of the foam around the floor under the tub and try to get under the tub itself. I will add the tub is a jetted spa fiberglass tub.

Does this sound like something that will fix the issue or is there something else we can do without removing any tile?

Thank You

Hello, Stephanie.

I totally understand your situation, because my husband and I had something similar, when we were using a whirlpool tub as a shower base. But ours wasn't a squeaking problem, it was a leaking problem, caused by point loads rather than spread-out loads. When we stiffened the floor with additional framing, our tub couldn't deflect; it stopped leaking.

It sounds like your installer isn't willing to do anything to resolve the problem. With that kind of attitude, don't ask him to come back to do any more work!  

I believe that the major cause for your squeaking problem is deflection of your floor.  Honestly, I've never heard of foam being used to support a whirlpool tub. Every contractor I've worked with uses mortar to seat the tub, even when the manufacturers provide installation "skids" for the tub. Foam is an insulation, not a reliable support, unless there's documentation to prove otherwise. But, if the floor under the tub is not stiff, no amount of mortar will solve the problem, either.  

I think it's important to verify where (if possible) the squeaks are coming from. This will require two people: one to stand in the tub, and move around slowly, and another person to listen carefully. Resolving your problem may require going under the tub (in the crawlspace or in a room below), and adding stiffening joists (structural bracing). This typically isn't a DIY job. It should be done by a contractor who's knowledgeable about structural framing and stiffening a floor to support the weight of an empty tub, a full tub, and the weight of someone standing in the tub to take a shower.   

If you can resolve the deflection, it's very possible that your squeaks will go away. I don't believe adding more foam will do anything; in fact, it could make a bad situation worse. Forget about the contractor who installed your tub. You're better off to contact a local chapter of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), or the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and ask for a referral to a contracting specialist who can help you resolve your problem.

Good Luck!


Diane Plesset, CMKBD, NCIDQ, C.A.P.S.
D. P. Design
http://www.todays-home.com (website for my internet radio program)  

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Diane Plesset


I will answer questions about anything to do with bathroom remodeling: design considerations, safety, function, materials (cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures and fittings, lighting/switching, heating and ventilation, tile, stone, concrete, tub and shower enclosures, flooring, etc.), saving water, trends, ROI, and appearance.


25+ years as a bath-kitchen design specialist, hundreds of completed bathroom projects (all styles, all investment ranges). Author of "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling," co-host of a home improvement program on a local radio station for over three years. Currently hosting "Today's Home" on Lifestyle WebRadio every Sunday afternoon (http://www.todays-home.com).

NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association), NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), PRO (Portland Remodelers' Organization), IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council).

"THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" (my book, published in 2003), Designers' Illustrated Magazine, Gentry Magazine, Kitchen-Bath Business Magazine, Kitchen-Bath Design News Magazine,Interior Coordinator Magazine (Japan); San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Statesman Journal, Portland Tribune, Oregonian.

Multiple degrees: Bathroom Design, Residential Interior Design, Kitchen Design, and Lighting Design. Regularly attend classes and seminars to maintain current knowledge about codes, trends, sustainability, new products, etc.

Awards and Honors
Awards: Henry Adams Designer of the Year, CoTY, Master Design, Best of the Best, Chrysalis, Excellence (best home in its category), and NABE (best how-to book, 2003). "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" received #1 listing in the City of Chicago publication, "Hiring The Pros".

Past/Present Clients
To see photos of completed projects, visit my website: http://www.dp-design.com/portfolio

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