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Old 04-07-2008, 12:13 PM   #1
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Plastic shower surround on top of tile ok?


Greetings to all of you! My wife would like to get one of those plastic shower surround kits because of ease of cleaning, and because our tile is of 1968 vintage (read: pretty ugly). I can't redo the tile right now because it's our only shower, and also because she's really not too keen on tile anyway. So the question is this: Is it acceptable to install the surround on top of tile? I've heard/read differing opinions on this, but I figured it'd be a good idea to poll as many audiences as possible. Thanks for the help!

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Old 04-07-2008, 05:01 PM   #2
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Plastic shower surround on top of tile ok?


My guess would be no. Because you are creating a double vapor barrier where moisture can be trapped and mold can grow.

Plus, it doesn't take appreciably more time to demo the old tile and install the surround than it would be to just install the surround. Do it right the 1st time.

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Old 04-07-2008, 06:12 PM   #3
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Plastic shower surround on top of tile ok?


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Originally Posted by mdalli View Post
My guess would be no. Because you are creating a double vapor barrier where moisture can be trapped and mold can grow.

Plus, it doesn't take appreciably more time to demo the old tile and install the surround than it would be to just install the surround. Do it right the 1st time.
To demo the tile should only take the better part of a saturday afternoon, then a few hours to drywall and a few hours to put int he surround.

I JUST finished my surround about 45 min ago. I started at 3pm today. It is the first one I have ever done. 3 1/2 hours, start to finish (including caulking).


NO MATTER WHAT, you will not be able to use it for 36 hours while the caulk cures. You could still take a bath, but you would have to be REAL careful.

I started a week ago today, had to tear out the surround and a bunch of drywall and let things air out because of a mold issue. Then I had to mud and tape, so that took me 3 days. I really only worked on it a few hours at a time after the kids went to bed. While the drywall was out, we still took baths, just had to be really careful because it was open framing with unfaced insulation. I did this with a family of 5.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:11 PM   #4
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Plastic shower surround on top of tile ok?


This is done all the time. If you do it correctly, you shouldn't have a problem. The walls need to be clean and bone dry. Any mold needs to be killed and removed. Use the correct adhesive and plenty of it. There's nothing worse than a wobbly surround.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:22 AM   #5
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Plastic shower surround on top of tile ok?


I agree with Ron6519 on this one.

It is done all of the time and just like painting, it's only as good as the prep work. Getting rid of soap scum it critical!

The only other problem you might have is a 1/4" gap underneath the two leading edges of surround created by thickness of tile. Sometimes you'll get the edging with the kit and that'll help, but you may need a fairly healthy bead of caulk as well.

It'll look fine.

Good Luck!
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