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Old 10-12-2008, 05:54 PM   #1
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tile shower versus shower insert

Does anyone have an opinion on tile shower versus shower insert? We are on the fence not sure which one? Thanks


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Old 10-12-2008, 08:39 PM   #2
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Tile shower looks so much better. We just went on the tour of the Street of Dreams and they had multimillion dollar homes with fiberglass showers. Talk about tacky.

Tile needs to be done well in a shower to make it look good. It also has to be waterproof, not water resistant, water proof.


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Old 10-12-2008, 08:56 PM   #3
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Depends on how hard you want to work. You can't beat a tile shower for value, and classy looks, but you can't beat the ease of installation of a fiberglass shower floor.

There are a lot of critical steps in the installation of a tile shower floor. Definately right and wrong ways to do it.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:25 AM   #4
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Definitely go with the tile shower. They look much nicer and fiberglass inserts tend to chip and peel. They need reglazed after time. The tile is more expensive but pays off in the end.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:41 AM   #5
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I remodeled my bathroom last year. The original tub/shower was a 1 piece tub/surround. Not bad enough to warrant a replacement by the sellar, but once I got the house, it came out. Granted, the tile I put in was not my choice, it was the GF's (Artistic Director for the house), but everytime I use the shower, I am so happy that I spent the time and effort to do it in tile. Fglass looks OK right after the install, but quickly loses any flare. And you have so many other options with tile for decorating, colors, shapes, spaces, etc...
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:42 PM   #6
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Tile definitely sounds like the way to go. Now we have to decide whether to do it ourselves or have someone else do it. We hear that the tile base is the tricky part. Any helpful hints out there? My husband is pretty handy, but never has worked with tile. Thanks
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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I woudld NOT do a tile base. You can do a solid surface base or even an acrylic or fiberglass base and tile the walls. Lots of base only options. It will make plumbing connections, waterproofing and everything else much easier for a DIYer.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:13 AM   #8
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I would do a tile base, and will NEVER have a acrylic/fiberglass shower/surround again.

I built a tile shower in our home, used the mud deck and kerdi system. And for a DIY'er...it's a great way to go. While it's a bit more expensive...it's a dream to work with, and fully water proof. Go over to the John Bridge forum and do some reading, he also wrote and sells a book that lays out the steps very clearly from start to finish...worth every penny. There's a ton of pictures to give you some ideas...plus you can read up on the kerdi product. If you go the Kerdi route, I'd recommend the Tile-Experts, very knowledgeable, and great to work with. Their site is a bit cumbersome...if you get frustrated, give them a call and they'll set you right up with either a kit or individual pieces...what ever you need.

Just this weekend, my wife commented that every morning is like showering at a resort (that was our first experience with a fully tiled shower). And you know how it goes...if the wife's happy...we're all happy!
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:42 PM   #9
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Whether you use a tile base or a solid-surface, they key is to get slope to the drain (from all directions) and a complete waterproof liner underneath everything. One piece liner is fairly DIY friendly as long as you remember to fold it not cut it, and not poke holes in it too low.
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:03 AM   #10
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here is a little sugestion go to you local tile or box store and look at all the differant tile then look at the surrounds once you see all the options you have with tile and how much better it looks you will answer this question for yourself.I was a first time bath tiler myself and to tell you the truth it was not that hard to do the job right and now the bath that I did looks great.Every time we have people ove the comment on how nice it looks and ask ok now when are you going to replace the one upstairs it has a surround.I will tell you this though the one thing that made it easy was the info from this site or I would have really made a mess of things and Rippy is right on the Kirdi system is idiot proff..........good luck and let us see how it turns out
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:51 PM   #11
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I've used both when building new homes and Tile is the way to go. For a few dollars more upfront it has a better value for resale and appearance. The insert is easy to install but no matter what quality of style you select, the bottom line, it's still plastic (oh I mean fiberglass).
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:05 PM   #12
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tile vs. shower insert

Originally Posted by yakgirl View Post
Does anyone have an opinion on tile shower versus shower insert? We are on the fence not sure which one? Thanks
Hi, I have both in my home and because I have hard water, the insert is far easier to clean. The insert still looks sleek, while the tile shower has issues with build-up on the grout. I didn't go cheap with the insert or the tile/installation. I'm particular about cleanliness and scrubbing the grout (with tile/grout safe cleaning products) is time consuming. Even after my tenacity with trying to keep ahead of build-up it still seems to appear and is difficult to remove, thus taking it's toll on the grout itself and in some areas the tile as well. I have had to re-grout the floor of the shower once and it's ready for it again, I'll probably have to do the wall grout this time as well. A big job!
So, I guess you might take your water hardness into consideration before making a final decision.
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:26 PM   #13
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We will be taking out our shower surround and installing tile in that space. It just looks SO MUCH BETTER and will have a better return value if we ever decide to sell.

That being said, if you go with a tile, make sure you do it in neutral colors so that you don't 'date' your bathroom. All trends come and go, and what color/styles may look fab-o now may not in a few years. We are going to go with a natural color (tan) and use paint to bring in color.

Good luck! It's much more work (and don't forget to add insets for shampoo/soap!) but so worth it in the end!


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