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LBreaux 01-12-2008 11:54 AM

Air bubbles forming in new tub surround
I recently installed an American Shower & Bath 5 piece tub surround over drywall, some of it painted, some of it new. I used 8 tubes of adhesive, spreading it with a 1/4 V trowel, using Liquid Nails Tub tub surround adhesive. I followed all directions. Initially the surround laid out flat and looked good, but now I see air bubbles are starting to form under the surround, 2-4 inches wide, breaking away from the adhesive, maybe 1/8" or higher.

Is there a way to fix this? What happened?


redline 01-13-2008 01:25 PM

It may have needed bracing until the adhesive dried.

LBreaux 01-13-2008 04:14 PM

Thanks for your response, redline. My post wasn't clear on the fact that it's a thin-wall tub surround, the kind that bonds directly over the wall surface. I did a little research (after posting here) on the Liquid Nails website and found out that the adhesive I used, Liquid Nails for Bath and Shower Surrounds, isn't recommended for thin-wall surrounds. Their adhesive display, however, was sitting next to the surrounds at Home Depot, and the associate indicated it was the kind I needed. After it started to cure, in a couple days, the thin-wall surround began to bulge out in spots with air bubbles underneath (not a pretty sight) and became brittle, as I found when I began to take it off. Some sort of adverse chemical reaction had taken place. One wall where I used another type of adhesive had no such problems.

So, anyone putting up a thin-wall surround, don't use Liquid Nails unless you want to risk doing the job over. I'll be heading back to HD tomorrow to hopefully get another surround for no cost and the correct adhesive this time.

ChrisT 02-12-2008 03:30 AM

How did it go?
How did your talk with HD go? We had a similar thing happen (and they gave us the wrong tub too) but we figured they would never admit to it so we have just been living with it. Did you have any luck?

AtlanticWBConst. 02-12-2008 07:50 AM

Take some pictures of the display location (covertly), get the name of the HD person you originally spoke to also.

mikey48 02-12-2008 09:08 AM

I installed one three weeks ago using the same glue you used, so far no problem. The directions tell you to install the panel and the pull it off for a couple of minutes to let the glue vapors dissipate, if you did not do that it may be the problem. The dap glue was recommended by the mfr of the surround.

AtlanticWBConst. 02-12-2008 09:59 AM

I can't speak for any of the adhesives or items here, but I will say that most adhesive manufacturer's will state that you may need to allow time for the adhesive to set up and become "tacky" prior to the actual placement of the materials.

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