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Proulx06 03-10-2007 02:03 PM

Replacing a fiberglass shower
Our house was built in 1988 by someone with horrid taste. So we want to remove the puke-yellow fiberglass shower and put in a simple, white fiberglass shower. What might I be getting into? How are these held in place?

I figure the demo should be easy, but I have no idea what is involved with the install or what I might find behind the old unit. Is there drywall behind there? Should I have to do any carpentry if the units are the same size? What about plumbing, is this better left to a pro? It will be on the second floor so I don't want to make any huge mistakes, but I am fairly confident in my weekend-warrior abilities.

So do I do this myself or hire it out? How much are people paying for this service from a pro? Looks to be about a grand to DIY...

redline 03-10-2007 02:24 PM

How many bathrooms are in the house?
Is this a shower unit or a bathtub and shower?

rb_in_va 03-10-2007 04:28 PM


Originally Posted by Proulx06 (Post 36450)
Our house was built in 1988 by someone with horrid taste. So we want to remove the puke-yellow fiberglass shower and put in a simple, white fiberglass shower

Evidently the yellow fixture craze lasted a decade or two. Probably seemed very tame after the 60s.:laughing:

AtlanticWBConst. 03-10-2007 04:34 PM

I posted this previously to a similar question someone had:
I think it is a DIY type project.

Taking out a Fiberglass shower unit:
Remove the sheetrock around the unit first, so that you can access the flange that is nailed to the studs. The flange of the unit should only be about 1" wide on the top and sides. Use a level to draw out some straight lines to score the sheetrock with a utility knife. Then, use a reciprocating saw to make shallow cuts along those scores. If tiling the area - you should remove the sheetrock up to the ceiling. If you do this carefully, you will not have to do any ceiling work.

Obviously: Shut-off and disconnect all water lines prior to removing the unit. You may wish to 'cap' the lines if shutting off the water means that a large part of your house will not have water for an extended period of time.

You may cut the unit up with a reciprocating saw to get it out the door (If it's size is an issue -some larger models were installed prior to closing the bath walls in)

Clean up the areas that you made a mess out of (sheetrock). Install any additional studs that you may need in order to have proper nailing surfaces - for new materials (like cement board).

Proulx06 03-10-2007 10:24 PM

This is one of two full bathrooms. It is a full tub/shower unit. If I completely fubar this project, we can shower in the downstairs bathroom, but obviously that won't be the plan.

There actually IS no drywall around the unit, except on either side. The entire alcove is covered in the fiberglass, including the top of the unit. I've never seen another one like this, but the fiberglass walls go all the way up and connect to a fiberglass "roof" inside the shower. I'm expecting to replace it with a fiberglass unit that goes maybe 5/6 of the way up the wall, then having to cementboart and tile up the sides and put in a new ceiling. But I guess it depends what's behind the current unit.

shapeshifter 03-11-2007 08:08 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Proulx, I have exactly the same situation, the fiberglass shower/tub/surround set up. Demolition and renovation were not an option for me so we did some looking and found someone to refinish the tub and surround. Mine was a dingy beige but now it is sparkling white. Attached is a picture of the finished product, and in our opinion, it looks better now than it did when new. We waited about 72 hours before installing the new fixtures and clean it with vinegar and a paper towel. Maybe demolition won't be necessary. [Don't telly hubby this, but I accidentally poured a pint of brown paint all over it the day after it was completed. Cleaned up as above. :laughing: ]

shapeshifter 03-11-2007 08:09 PM

Oops I didn't realize I attached the pix 2X. So sorry. :(

Proulx06 03-11-2007 09:52 PM

WOW shapeshifter, that looks fantastic. Mind if I ask what the cost was? How durable is it and are warrantees available? We're really doing this for looks, the current unit is not cracked or anything. thanks for posting this!

shapeshifter 03-12-2007 10:11 AM

Proux, it was done about 4 weeks ago. So far, so good. Cost because of the combo surround was $400 and they changed the color to 'oyster white'. We are going to do our guest bath in April. This company was named "Master Refinishers" and is in San Antonio, TX. I do not know if they are nation-wide or not. We have a 5 year un-conditional guarantee in writing from them.

But I'm sure the same services are available just about every where.

Our unit was dingy and the fiberglass finish was worn. It had one ding that they covered. We weren't able to remove the drain thingy despite our best efforts. So they just sprayed it too and it looks great.

As far as durability, since I cleaned up that paint I spilled [I was touching up the wall around the tub] with paper towels and vinegar, I was sold. That gleam and shine that you see is for real. No camera tricks here.

redline 03-12-2007 10:56 AM

Repair or refinish of fiberglass tubs is common. You should be able to get a good amount of use out of the refinish. Fiberglass boats and cars that have fiberglass repair are painted everyday and the paint holds up well. If you are unable to locate a refinisher then call a local motel/hotel and ask them who they have that refinishes their tubs units when it needs repair.

Proulx06 03-12-2007 11:41 AM

You guys probably just saved me a weekend and at least $2000. I LOVE THIS WEBSITE! I'll post what I end up doing for closure...

kshankle 06-20-2008 04:50 PM

is the refinish still holding up?

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