A little leftover foam and plywood will keep the 'rough' out of 'finish work'
The bathtub is one of the only finish items that is installed during the predrywall phase. Taking a little time to protect it can avoid a lot of damage later. If you've been around construction very long, you've seen a tub that had nails dropped in it from the drywall hangers. Those nails can rust over time, or people step on them and scratch the finish.
Here's how to avoid all of that:
- Begin with a high quality cast iron tub.
- Cut two sheets of rigid foam board: one to cover the top and one to cover the apron.
- Tape the two pieces together along the outer corner and set the foam on the tub.
- Cut a piece of 1/2 inch plywood left over from the framing stage (hint: keep your eyes open during framing for a 'tub-protection' offcut, and then squirrel it away somewhere). Cut the plywood to fit the opening tightly so it'll stay put.
- Place the plywood on top of the foam.
Now, when the drywall people come to hang the ceiling, they can stand on the tub without scratching the surface or anything falling into the tub. Don't fasten the plywood in place, though, it should also be easy to remove by the plumbers when they fill the tub for plumbing inspections, and it should be easy to replace also.