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Old 09-11-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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Trying to decide how to do bathtub surround


We have a chipped bathtub and I've never been happy with the tile job around the tub, so I'm planning on tearing it all out starting over. I was pretty much set on 12" tile rather than a vinyl surround, but a friend's girlfriend (who owns a plumbing and remodeling business) said "I wouldn't." She's no longer in the picture and I never ended up asking why. Left to my own devices I'd probably still choose tile but I'd like to hear some thoughts.

We only have a single bathroom in the house so ideally I want to get this done in a weekend if possible, or it at least needs to remain usable at the end of each day. I've tiled a handful of floors and learned when I did this bathtub surround so I'm confident in my ability.

Vinyl surround pros:
- Built-in shelves
- Easier to not screw up

Vinyl surround cons:
- Doesn't go all the way to ceiling
- I'll need to do some drywall work and texturing

Tile pros:
- Can cover any area I want, up to ceiling
- Cheaper

Tile cons:
- No built-in shelves
- I'm afraid grout will be impossible to keep looking good with our hard water

The built in shelves thing is what has me a bit off. I see these things at Home Depot, which look great, but they're 8" which doesn't really jive with the 12" tile I would be using. Everywhere else I've seen them the cost is absolutely ridiculous (like $90+ apiece). I want built-in shelves but I don't know how to make that work.

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Old 09-11-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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Trying to decide how to do bathtub surround


If the time it's unusable is your main concern then your stuck wil less options. A company like Bathfitters can come in and install a tub liner, and the enclosure in one day.
Going to cost far more but it can be done.

If you go with tile and a new tub there's just no way your going to be doing this over a weekend.
Even a new tub and nail up encloshure will take more then that for a DIY.

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Old 09-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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Trying to decide how to do bathtub surround


Demo tub and surround

Replace mixer valve

fix studs so wall is flat----day one

Durrock walls ---add waterproof coating---start tiling-----day two

Finish tiling---day three

Epoxy grout (nasty water won't stain that!) install trims---caulk---day four,
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:12 PM   #4
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Trying to decide how to do bathtub surround


If I can sit in the bathtub, that's a day that counts as okay. The plan is to do it while my wife is out of town so I could also baby wipe for a day. Here's what I see happening:

Thursday night: Tear out tile
Friday night: Take out and replace the tub
Long Saturday: Durrock and tile
Sunday: Grout

Maybe tiling takes through Sunday and I do the grout on Monday.

That's reasonable, isn't it? Mike, I'm not sure what you mean by fixing the studs. After I tear out the old, what is there to do other than putting up new durrock?
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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Trying to decide how to do bathtub surround


My .02? I'm a female, and I hate hate hate tub enclosures. Tile is so much prettier, and it's easier to keep shiny and clean.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:00 PM   #6
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Trying to decide how to do bathtub surround


A couple of thoughts:

Tile is usually considered an upgrade.

When you compare costs, don't forget to include tools and supplies. Unless you have a good buddy with a tile saw, float, trowels, sponges,etc., by the time you add it all up you may not be saving much.

Doing an enclosure will be infinitely faster, especially if you don't have tiling experience. A good tiling job takes time planning. If you start in a corner and just start slapping it up, it will look like a newbie job.

Lastly, and very important. If you manage to do this in four days, you will be tired, and thinking "Oh, I'll just finish cleaning this grout haze off tomorrow." DON"T DO IT! Don't go to bed until the haze is as gone as you're gonna want it cuz odds are it won't come off the next day.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:45 PM   #7
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I do not understand how tile can be less expensive than 5 panel glue in tub surround.
They can be ordered 80 inches tall and can be had for$200 here in Ontario Canada, I am sure they are even cheaper in the U.S. I plan to use a glue in over blue drywall to lower cost.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:30 PM   #8
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Do the tile...will look better and better for resale later on
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by arnoldander View Post
I do not understand how tile can be less expensive than 5 panel glue in tub surround.
They can be ordered 80 inches tall and can be had for$200 here in Ontario Canada, I am sure they are even cheaper in the U.S. I plan to use a glue in over blue drywall to lower cost.
Well, I don't have the receipts but I did it for about $200. ~60 tiles at $1.50 apiece was the biggest cost.

Now, I bought these porcelain shelves to put in the corners that I haven't dealt with yet. I need to cut the porcelain tile 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" but I have no idea what the best way is going to be. I have a diamond cutoff wheel for the rotary that worked great for pass thru holes that were going to be covered with shrouds, but the flange on these shelves is only 1/4". I need to have square corners and little margin for error.

Any advice? My best guess at this point is to make the long parts of the cuts with that diamond cutoff wheel, then use an oscillating tool in the corners.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Now, I bought these porcelain shelves to put in the corners that I haven't dealt with yet. I need to cut the porcelain tile 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" but I have no idea what the best way is going to be. I have a diamond cutoff wheel for the rotary that worked great for pass thru holes that were going to be covered with shrouds, but the flange on these shelves is only 1/4". I need to have square corners and little margin for error.

Any advice? My best guess at this point is to make the long parts of the cuts with that diamond cutoff wheel, then use an oscillating tool in the corners.
Sounds like these shelves should have been installed as the tile was going up, and the cuts on the wall tiles done before installation.
I don't know what you want to do is possible, but I'd be real hesitant to risk my new tile job.
In your shoes I might look for a plan B. Maybe you can find a shelf you like that is flat to the wall using silicone adhesive.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:14 AM   #11
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Trying to decide how to do bathtub surround


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In your shoes I might look for a plan B. Maybe you can find a shelf you like that is flat to the wall using silicone adhesive.
I think that's probably the way to go. These stupid flanged shelves make absolutely no sense. They want you to epoxy it in place anyway, why wouldn't it just be a surface mount? And there are very, very few options for a surface mount shelf. Ugh.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:59 AM   #12
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Trying to decide how to do bathtub surround


Ebay has some.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marble-Trave...item3f1d4e7f87

If you have an Ikea store nearby, you might check out these:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50072645/
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90072648/
I bought the pair and installed them with silicone. I really like them. The basket is great for small bottles, razors etc. Then add S hooks for bath poofs or anything that can be hung up. Saves limited shelf space for the big bottles.


Last edited by Blondesense; 11-29-2012 at 10:11 AM.
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