****Update – Months later I replaced this tub ****
As I’d mentioned in this post I probably wouldn’t do this type of tub again if I had known what a pain it is. You can read a bit more about that here. I’d seen a few posts of other Tiny Housers and people who’d done their own tubs and loved the look of the horse trough bathtubs. They looked so cool. I also read some of the downsides of the tub – custom size/shape means custom work, flat bottom means it won’t drain like a normal tub, and lastly because its metal it won’t retain heat for long. I decided at the time to give it a go anyway (you can see above that I shouldn’t have done this) due entirely to how cool it looked.
To start with I wanted to avoid issues of rust on the interior. This is galvanized steel but rust can and will still happen. I used a couple of coats of primer and a specialty paint to give it a unique look.
Next up I had to create a frame to wrap around the tub (that was shown here). I didn’t want to leave the tub just sitting out in the open since then the shower curtain would be required to wrap entirely around the tub. After framing it and then covering the frame with plywood I next needed to cover the walls around the tub and the tub frame with FRP (fiberglass refinforced plastic). Pretty easy stuff to work with for the most part and fairly inexpensive. Measure and then you can cut with a jig saw, skill saw, tin snips, or even the score and bend technique with a utility knife. Use some great construction adhesive to get it onto the wall and I also followed with some nails that I then caulked over to give it a bit of hold while the glue was setting. After those pieces were all on I then caulked all the areas that needed it and inserted the FRP joint pieces for corners and such.
Last up was knocking out some trim around the curved part of the tub. I wasn’t able to find anything locally to help with this so I looked on line and found this from Amazon. It is paintable and flexible. I measured, cut, tested fitted it, painted it, and then once dry nailed it in place and followed up with some caulking. Tub Done!