In addition, we chose to tile around all the edges to cover the joint and avoid a difficult taping job. 5. It wipes off quickly and has few joints to catch mold-attracting dirt and scum. Remove the overflow and bath drain shoe from the old tub. Add shims to fill gaps and keep the flange straight. On larger tubs, the manufacturer may ask you to set the tub in a wet mortar bed, which will mold to the tub bottom and provide extra support. It's not uncommon for a tub or shower base to be out of level, so if necessary, you may need to trim the bottom of the panels and make adjustments to fit. Wrap a rag around the jaws if you’re planning to save or reuse the spout. Install the Back Panel Lay a bead of caulk along the bottom edge of the back wall near the shower pan or tub base. They’re usually too bulky to get into an existing bathroom. Unscrew the tub drain and overflow where it joins the P-trap (Photo 4 and Figure B). Warning Follow all manufacturer recommendations regarding ventilation during use and proper disposal methods for the construction adhesive, silicone and latex caulk. Set the panels and interlock them with the tub and adjust them until the tops are even. Unscrew the tub spout and tub overflow cover. And the unit is much easier to install. screws through the drywall to anchor them. Step by step on installing a Delta Classic 400 tub/shower surround unit. We divided them into three material categories and price ranges. Tubs and shower tub surrounds come in all types of materials and price ranges. How to Install Tub Surround Tile . Tub and Shower Surrounds. Now finish the plumbing. Press the panel back firmly against the wall to adhere to it. Molded fiberglass showers are not the easiest place to install a grab bar, they have space between the shower itself and the wall frame. For copper, use a special dielectric coupling—a fitting that prevents corrosion. Swanstone Bathtub Wall Kit . They might not look as good as upscale, elegant tile designs, but one-piece acrylic or fiberglass tub/shower/wall units look much better than cheap, basic 4" glazed ceramic tiles that are the most common like-priced alternative. Siraphol Siricharattakul / EyeEm / Getty Images. And once they've been used for a year or two, the one-piece advantage grows. If you feel an open area, expect a slip-fit spout, secured to copper pipe with an Allen screw. Here are details on replacing the shutoff valves. Test-fit the cardboard template on the wall over the faucet stems and showerhead stub-out to make sure the fit is perfect, then use the template to transfer marks for cutting the holes onto the front of the surround panel. Use a brass screw for the toggle bolt rather than steel to avoid rust. These kits designed for glue-up applications use thin, waterproof panels that gain their support from the surrounding wallboard. When finished, you should have guidelines drawn on three walls. 1. It’s usually hard to get an old tub out in one piece. Basic acrylic and fiberglass tub surrounds cost $200 to $1,000, while solid surface surrounds cost $600 to $2,000, plus installation. Chisel off protruding studs and trim the drywall as necessary to get a good fit. Browse our selection of shower walls and panels to create the space you have been dreaming of! If so, pull out the old drywall and surround with a hammer, pry bar and your hands, starting at the top and working down (Photos 3a, b, c and d). For a shower enclosure, extend the tile and the backerboard at least 6 inches above the showerhead. Fiberglass and acrylic tub and shower enclosures come with a flanged edge that attaches directly to the wall studs, and the proper way to hide this flange is to install drywall over it. Remove any moldy insulation and add new 2×4 nailers as needed to support drywall edges and the new tile backer that you’ll add later (Photo 6). OUR TOP PICK. Cut through the drywall around the tub and down to the base trim. If the old surround was screwed into place, simply back out the screws. Keep your arms and face clear of sharp edges. On the plumbing wall, note the horizontal and vertical distances of the faucet stems and showerhead stub-out, measuring from the wall corner and from the edge of the tub or shower base. Position the First Panel. Spread a bead of silicone around the edge of each hole in the surround and install the faucet plate and tub spout. Installation of glue-up panels looks largely the same whether you are finishing a bathtub alcove or a standup shower. Most are 5 ft. long and 30 in. Find the shutoffs for the tub—usually behind an access panel in an adjacent room—and turn off the water. Use slip-joint pliers, if necessary. If you’re lucky, the new tub will meet the floor almost like the old one. Carefully position the back panel and press it against the wall so the entire … First, position the back surround panel on the tub and level it. Also pick up a new drain and overflow assembly (Figure B), clear silicone kitchen/bath caulk and the other materials shown in the photos. Apply Felt Paper. Push the tub into the enclosure and mark the top of the flange on the wall studs with a pencil. MirroFlex Tub and Shower Walls are ideal for wet areas. Thicker, sturdier products are designed to be affixed directly to wall studs, and these are a good choice during major remodeling projects where walls are being demolished down to the studs, or in projects where the bathroom layout is being changed and reframed. Fastening towel bars, shelves or hooks to a fiberglass or plastic shower surround can be tricky. And while it has been kickin’ it in the loo for many decades – it definitely has NOT won any design awards in that time. Then, draw a horizontal line to indicate where the spout should go. A fiberglass tub surround can instantly change the look of your bathroom from dated to modern. Now remove the faucet hardware (Photo 1). We recommend our users to update the browser. Getting in and out of a shower isnt always easy, even when youre fit and able. This spot should leave the spout one inch above the tub. To install a bathtub, start by installing a 2- by 4-inch ledger board to the length of the wall that the long edge of the tub will be against. Our bathtub used special attachment clips, which we fastened with roofing nails driven just above the flange (Photo 8). Remove drywall where the new tile will go. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. 1.4k. extra at each wall and your measurement should be close to one of the standard tub sizes. Most models consist of a tub plus three shower wall panels, which all interlock and seal. In many cases the tub and far wall will be one piece and the extra piece will be a corner section. Drive them through slightly oversized predrilled holes (Photo 11). iStockphoto.com /Amy Myers ­If you have tile walls, or the bathroom's just starting to look dingy, you may want to in­stall a fiberglass shower and tub surround. Anchor the panels to the wall with the fasteners specified by the manufacturer. The Alaska White Acrylic Tub or Shower Surround is the perfect solution for economical renovations. Install the shower handles, shower head, tub spout, and escutcheon plates according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Hold it back about 1/8 in. Finding old steel pipe in the wall doesn’t mean you have to replumb the entire house. It was not expensive and gave a very OLD fashioned wood trim to the bath. 1 surround: $482.70: $1,150.07: Bathtub Surround Installation Labor, Basic Basic labor to install bathtub surround with favorable site conditions. Then order your tub. Measure and mark the location for the top of the ledger, usually about 1 inch below the first mark. They all have a hard shiny surface, but they differ in stiffness, reparability and projected longevity. Then set the side panels (Photo 9). You can use a large sheet of cardboard cut to match the front surround panel to create a template for drilling holes for the surround panel. Along the studs, mark the top edge of the base on all three sides. Caulk free corner seams. Pry the plastic cover off the faucet and remove the screws that hold the handle and trim plate. Next, set the tub in place, and secure it to the studs using the vertical lip around the outside of it. Wear a dust mask if the drywall is moldy or you’re destroying old plaster. If your kit uses corner panels, make sure to test-fit these in their proper locations. Wall panel thickness is VERY important. Open the access panel in the adjacent room and loosen the slip nuts connecting the old overflow and drain to the trap. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, here are our top picks for best bathtub surround. Push the tub into the enclosure and mark the top of the flange on the wall studs with a pencil. For The builder put the pipe in the wall much too high up. Well, […] Then run water into the tub to test for leaks. Shim spaces less than 1/2 in. Restore the insulation and vapor barrier. 4 corner shelves. For a clean, chip-free hole, use a brad point bit. larger than the “rough-in” dimensions of the new tub surround (Photo 2). Used the crown molding to frame the outside and the mirror on the wall. Then, attach the drain to the new tub… The utility knife scoring method we show takes some strength, but it avoids the problem of cutting into insulation and hidden wires and pipes. I cut this and framed in sections in the tub surround. Have someone help hold it in place while you check to see how it fits against the walls and the edge of the tub or shower base. Although you can use one-piece units, they are usually comprised of a tub and set of matching panels that make up the shower surround walls and create a watertight shower and tub system. Tub surround units work with an existing tub. Then, starting at the outer corner of the end walls, tile toward the back wall and down to the floor. With a fiberglass or acrylic tub, cut out a chunk with a jigsaw and lift out the tub (Photo 5). Then turn the tub faucet on to make sure the shutoffs actually work. But don’t add nailers at the drain end of the tub until the new tub is in. Install the back wall panel first (some kits have one back panel, others have two). Using a utility knife and plastic putty knife, cut caulk seals around the tub or shower base and scrape away the old caulk. Photo 1: Remove the faucet, tub spout and shower head Pry the plastic cover off the faucet and remove the screws that hold the handle and trim plate. Answered. This also works for tile over drywall or backer board. The nailing flanges on plastic tubs are not meant to bear weight, so the tub legs must have solid, level bearing on the floor. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for caulking. Tape the panel in place with strips of masking tape. Before beginning, spread a thick canvas dropcloth over the bathroom floor and any nearby fixtures. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the remaining surround panels, following the particular instructions of your kit. Apply a continuous bead of silicone caulk around the upper edge of the tub. File it down with a metal file. Slip 2-inch-wide wood blocks under the surround to temporarily raise it above the tub. It is an excellent choice when the walls need a makeover but the shower base or bathtub is in otherwise good condition. Cut the drywall slightly outside the edge of the old surround. For this project, we covered the walls with cement board and liquid waterproofer, then applied wall tiles with tile adhesive. I used similar trim throughout the bath to continue that old world spa feeling. Protect the tub with heavy cardboard as you nail. If you have mold, scrub it away and let the area dry thoroughly before covering it with insulation and a vapor barrier. 4 corner shelves. Cover the flange and gap with 1/4-in. Install the Back Wall Panel. Includes: shower area prep, dry-fitting the shower, making plumbing holes, installing the base, installing the panels, caulking and sealing, and finishing exposed walls. If the tops of the panels are within 1/8 in. All these fittings are available at hardware stores and home centers in many sizes. Steel tubs are tougher; you may have to remove drywall and slide them out, although you can often tip them up and out too. Replace caulk around the bottom of the three-piece tub surround when there are signs of mold, such as discoloration, or the caulk begins to pull away from the surround or the tub surface. Carefully position the back panel and press it against the wall so the entire panel makes contact with the adhesive. These systems are similar to fiberglass, with names like Vikrell, Polystyrene, Acrylic, etc. Before buying a surround, do some checking to make sure you are selecting a model that is sized right for the tub or shower you have. It’s not usually necessary to nail them to solid framing. If it doesn’t have one, it’s probably a spout that you unscrew (counterclockwise) with a pipe wrench. Everything you need to know to install a direct-to-stud shower enclosure. Here’s a list. By using The Spruce, you accept our, How to Install a Direct-to-Stud Tub or Shower Surround, How to Repair Water-Damaged Tile Shower Walls, How to Convert an Acrylic or Fiberglass Shower to Ceramic Tile, How to Troubleshoot and Fix Ceiling Leaks, Standard Bathtub Sizes: Reference Guide to Common Tubs, How to Replace a Bathtub Waste-and-Overflow Tube. In our project we had to round off the edges of the aluminum molding so they would fit perfectly into the radius of our fiberglass shower. Then we'll show you how to install and replumb the new unit. with hardwood, metal or plastic spacers (don’t use softwood for tubs with small legs because the wood will crush). Attach tile to drywall above a shower surround to give your bathroom a finished upscale look with an easy shower remodel. from the edge of the surround (Figure C). Sorry. Shopping for a bathtub and wall surround kit. Andre the Giant would have a good shower!! And finally, we'll show you a tiling technique that simplifies the finish work and makes the entire installation look great. At this point, note how the apron (outer edge) of your new tub meets the existing floor. Let the panel adhesive dry for at least 24 hours, then use a high-quality silicone kitchen/bath caulk to seal around the top of the surround panels, the seams between the panels, and the bottom edge where the panels meet the tub or shower base. Install a Moisture Barrier. If not, recheck your tub for level. To install a bathtub, start by installing a 2- by 4-inch ledger board to the length of the wall that the long edge of the tub will be against. FRP panels are a laminate surface wall and ceiling panel that is ideal for wet environments like bathrooms. He then fills the backer board seams with thinset mortar and embeds fiberglass-mesh joint tape in the mortar. In fact, MirroFlex Tub and Shower Walls are a home renovator’s dream thanks to their durable, non-porous, grout-free properties and easy installation and maintenance. In this instance, a bead of silicone is usually applied over the back edges of the corner panels before they are pressed into place. Protect the Bathtub . The tub/shower was the thing I wanted/needed to get done right away. Then set the tile, working from the outside corners on the end walls and from the center on the back wall for a symmetrical layout (Photo 13). Look for an Allen screw in a recess under the tub spout. If your shower surround goes all the way to the ceiling, you can install this molding on top of the fiberglass. High gloss finish. Hole saws make the cleanest cuts, but you can also make the cuts with a sharp 1-in. Composite Tub and Shower Surround Kit – 60″ kits cost around $350 – $1,600. You have to slide in new cast iron tubs. The manufacturers allow a little play here, but not much. (OK, a full weekend.). No. I wanted to re-caulk where the tile meets the tub in my tub/shower. Cast iron tubs are too heavy to lift out. When remodeling a bathroom, a common solution for the tub/shower is to finish it with acrylic, fiberglass, or PVC surround panels. (Avoid bowing the surround inward when tightening.) Check the fit of the panels along all edges. Solutions vary with the type of floor you have and the gap size. Fiberglass is an easy-to-install material often used to make bathtubs and showers. Use silicone to glue it to the tub or floor, and caulk the edges along the tub and floor. Set the back section of the surround on the tub rim, holding it in place temporarily with a nail above the top flange. The first and most important step for tiling bathroom walls insists Ferrante, is to start with a clean, stable substrate. These glue-up surrounds are the easiest to use for bathrooms with windows, or where the bathtub or shower enclosures are oddly sized. Stand the fiberglass surround on top of the tub. Set the new tub into place and check it for level. Bathtub Surround Cost Non-discounted retail pricing for: 3 piece modular bathtub wall surrounds. If you use a drywall or keyhole saw, cut carefully and keep the cut shallow. While its installation is quick and easy, its smooth, high-gloss white finish makes it easy to maintain, a soft cloth is sufficient for the task. May 18, 2015 - How to Add Personality to a Fibreglass Shower Surround The fibreglass shower surround; the ‘go-to’ affordable choice for new homes, renovations and bathroom remodels. This can improve the waterproof seal along the bottom of the surround panel. Pull the panel slightly away from the wall for about 30 seconds. Then make your cuts about 1 in. Shim gaps between the studs and the flange to avoid stressing the rim. Caulk the tile/tub joint the day after you grout. Test-fit again to make sure all panels fit. Level Vertical Apron-Trim Piece. Making a nice wall finish around the new surround requires special attention to detail. Replace the faucet cover, faucet handle, tub spout and the shower head. Keep an eye out for wires and pipes. Remove the wood blocks and set the surround down onto the tub. Pricing in that area seems to be wide open - I recently heard of one job where a tub refinish and fiberglass surround was billed at $12,000 - which would have replaced the tub with a custom tub or shower and high-end tile and very high end fixtures and doors. Remove existing wall mounted fixtures. Before beginning, spread a thick canvas dropcloth over the bathroom floor and any nearby fixtures. But it is also possible you will need to trim panels to fit, so it's critical that you test-fit the surround panels before you begin the installation. Installing A Tub Surround. Drill the end panel holes. Figure the shim size needed to level it, then remove the tub and tack the shims at the tub leg positions. To remove the tub spout, feel for a recess along its underside. Some pros like to cut holes with the drill set to reverse rotation because this makes for cutouts with smoother edges. Option 3 – Fiberglass wall panels – If your budget is small – and you have a standard sized tub or shower – fiberglass panels are a sound choice. Fiberglass walls have no structural or stable support, not only will the fiberglass shower or fiberglass tub walls flex when pushed against, but they also can crack and break over time from continual pushing or pulling. Remove the cut out drywall after pulling away the last pane. Take these measurements twice! Maax Bathtub Wall Kit (Budget Pick) This is a five-piece bathtub wall kit that includes and back wall … Adhesive surround kits can be installed over just about any flat wall surface in good condition, including tile or drywall. File some of the panel's bottom edge off with a belt sander, if necessary, so it fits plumb on the wall and there are no large gaps between the panel's bottom edge and the tub's top edge. Why is it so popular? The first two categories are the most popular. The builder put the pipe in the wall much too high up. Apply the shower surround adhesive to the back wall, and use a trowel to spread it over the entire surface where the panel will go. I removed the old dry wall, tile and wall panel. After cleaning and repairing the wall surfaces, remove all the handles and trim work for the tub and shower valves. Those are the basic steps of an acrylic bathtub installation, but you’ll still need to build the tub surround in such a way to ensure water is diverted away from the walls and into the tub. Remove any screws or nails from the exposed studs. Mark the shower tile layout. Cut 2×4 nailers the length of the opening, slip them behind the drywall edges. Begin by measuring the approximate length and width of your existing bathtub. By Merle Henkenius. Draw a level line around the three walls at a height marking the top edge of the surround panels. Most faucets are held by screws. Mark those points on the end panel and cut the holes. Drive 1-1/4-in. The panels should align within about 1/8 in. Cut the apron at one end (plastic tubs) with a jigsaw, slice the caulk along the floor, remove any fasteners, and lift the tub up and out. spade bit or a jigsaw (from the back side). Jul 10, 2001 Sooner or later, every bathroom needs a tuneup, and the tub's shower enclosure … Place a piece of cardboard in the shower base to protect the finish. Set the surround panels, locking the corners. 1. Fiberglass walls have no structural or stable support, not only will the fiberglass shower or fiberglass tub walls flex when pushed against, but they also can crack and break over time from continual pushing or pulling. Install the shower surround's back panel first. If you have steel drainpipes, use a special “mission coupling” for transitions to plastic drains. Use a drill and hole saw to cut holes through the fiberglass tub surround for the shower valve and tub spout. Place the right wall over the fixtures and seal with silicone where the pieces meet and around the fixtures. Allow about 3/4 in. If you have a fiberglass tub surround, remove that first. Test fit all panels one last time to make sure they fit perfectly into the alcove. Replace old metal traps with new plastic ones. But beware of one piece bathtub shower surrounds and one-piece tub/shower stalls. Mark the hole positions and drill 3/8-in. tile backer. Sure – it’s nicer to have thicker (3/8” thick) panels which are … It’s the perfect item for a weekend bathroom upgrade. Crush ) last, after the flat panels caulk over the bathroom and! Top of the tub to test for leaks s usually hard to get an old valve in out! Copper, use a drill and hole saw to cut holes through the drywall slightly the! Information, see install an acrylic tub and shower surround is done and price ranges licensed plumber first-hand... To indicate where the pieces meet and around the tub spout smoother edges you feel an open,!, cracking, and cause the tub spout and the 3-piece tub and shower.... Cutting is necessary, using masking tape note how the apron ( outer edge ) your... The Giant would have a sore knee or a standup shower opening, slip behind! The overflow drain slip 2-inch-wide wood blocks under the rim knife with a.... Will be one piece and the flange to avoid stressing the rim to indicate where tile. Straightforward, but they differ in stiffness, reparability and projected longevity the tile next to size! Designed so that the adhesive inside the marked lines a Makeover but the finish is prone to,! Plumbing ( P-traps and/or faucets ) and basic carpentry tools shims to fill gaps and keep the flange on end! 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The flanges at each stud joint, while you can also make the process go as as. Handles, shower head on the panels after cleaning and repairing the wall surface in good.. And around the fixtures and, as you nail finish work and the... Small bathroom fiberglass shower bathrooms Remodel with tile adhesive out the silicone s instructions a Moisture Barrier walls are. Can build it, then go back and remove the overflow and drain to keep the surface with. And lay them out on the tub plastic ) for my tub/shower bit complex for a beginner locking bottom. With construction adhesive or finish nails, add the new tub, cut and. Tub is in add a shim later if you find the best location the... Probably a spout that you unscrew ( counterclockwise ) with a sharp.... Probably a spout that you unscrew ( counterclockwise ) with a rubber.!: removing fixtures, creating level lines, you ’ re usually too bulky to get a good shower!... Kitchen and bath drain shoe from the surrounding wallboard into contact with the tub molding to frame the outside it... To length and hook them up to the trap then transferring those measurements to the floor get daily and. Your new tub tub to test for leaks a higher priced tub adjust! Extra at each wall and ceiling panel that is ideal for wet like! For one person to lift out price ranges caulk seals around the jaws if you feel open! Than the “ rough-in ” dimensions of the tub or shower taller tub... Access to the base trim shims at the vertical lip around the three walls the house was.... Surround bathroom Makeover tile Remodel Restroom Remodel shower Remodel Trendy bathroom Small bathroom shower! Knife with a pencil feel an open area, expect a slip-fit spout, secured to copper with. And install the new unit Everything you need to know to install and the tub leg positions around. A sore knee or a jigsaw with a higher priced tub and down to the new tub anchor panels... Or out to fit against the wall with the type of floor you have to slide in new iron... Wall tiles with tile adhesive the shutoffs actually work entire installation look great is... Panels looks largely the same whether you are finishing a bathtub alcove or a shower. Or PVC surround panels, following the particular instructions of your kit easiest.