Let me preface this by being completely honest about something as I’m writing this after having used this tub for 6 months…I wouldn’t go this route again. A horse trough tub sounds interesting….but it would have been far easier and more practical to have just bought a RV tub and framed that out. In fact after living for a bit in it I wondered why I didn’t do that from the beginning. I think what happened is that I got scope locked. I saw an awesome post on a horse trough tub and went all in with that, never having given the RV tub option any serious thought.
Next, I’ll be honest and say that I messed up in the design of the frame around this tub. I overlooked 2 major problems. 1. I didn’t put the wrap around above the lip of the tub. That means that water can’t drain back into the tub. 2. I didn’t extend the wrap around far enough out (you’ll see in the pics below). These combined mean no showers….which is a big deal. As I’m writing this I already have plans to fix both of those. I’ll post a link here when I’ve fixed those issues. But on to the show at hand.
Creating a frame for a tub (whether it be the type I am doing or an RV Tub) is fairly similar to one another. I used the table saw to trim down 2×2’s to perfectly square (no rounded edges) 1×1’s and then created a frame to attach to the walls. I extended it out along one wall to create a shelf of sorts and then slid the tub in to be sure it would fit. If I’d done this correctly the frame should have come up a bit higher (to put the plywood in the next step above the lip and out a bit more into the bathroom).
I attached the frame to the wall using simple ring nails from the nail gun and attached it to the floor as well. Next up was firming up the frame with 1/2″ plywood which would also create the flat shelf along the sides. First I cut it to the appropriate width and depth and then laid it on top of the tub and used a pencil underneath the plywood to get the curve.
Then it was just a matter of cutting this with a jigsaw and shaving a bit off to fit under the lip (which as I’ve mentioned….I shouldn’t have done). I also cut out a piece for the front two exposed edges and nailed it all together. Slid the tub back in and the toilet where it would go once plumbing was done and viola, tub complete (minus the protective wrap around to keep out moister).