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Old 03-21-2015, 08:40 PM   #1
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Bathtub wall options?


We had a bathtub with the surround tiled, but the tile started coming off around the bottom where it meets the tub. After ignoring this for too long, we finally demoed the entire wall area, removed all tile, and dry wall. Installed new dry wall, taped, mudded, with the full intention of installing the fabricated wall surrounds like you can get at Home Depot or Lowes, and now after months of prepping, we read...."direct to stud tub surround"! We really do not want tile, and feel that tile will have the same problem it had before. Are we correct that this will not work for us as we now have dry wall installed? Any economical solutions we can look at would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:59 PM   #2
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Bellard:

I expect that wording that says that you can install the tub surround directly to the studs is simply a manufacturer trying to cater to the people who only have the one bathroom in their house and want to take the fastest, easiest and cheapest route to fix up their tub/shower sufficiently well to get something they can shower in.

I fully expect that you CAN still install the surround you have over your drywall, but confirm that with the manufacturer's 1-800 customer service phone number. If not, there are lots of other tub surrounds (one manufacturer that comes to mind is Manhattan) that make tub surrounds you stick over your existing tile or over whatever wall surface you have around your tub.

In any situation like yours, you want the drywall to stop about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch ABOVE the flange that goes around the tub.The tub surround should be glued to the drywall and drop down IN FRONT of that flange. I wouldn't caulk the surround with silicone because of the difficulty in removing the silicone from your plastic surround. I'd wait to see what other people suggest as a caulk that you can remove with a solvent like mineral spirits, which wouldn't hurt your plastic.

If your surround is PVC, I'd test acetone on a scrap piece of that plastic to see if acetone harms it or even dulls it's gloss. If not, then I would use a caulk called "Kop-R-Lastic" because it sticks well but pulls off very much like a rubber rope when you want to remove it, and acetone will dissolve old Kop-R-Lastic.

Also, there is a way to clean mildew off of silicone caulk that should work for other caulks as well. I've never tried cleaning mildew off any caulk except silicone so I can't say it WILL work for other caulks, I just don't see why it wouldn't.
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 03-21-2015 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:34 PM   #3
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Manhattan makes some pretty high end tub surrounds.

http://www.manhattanshowers.co.uk/

To my knowledge, MOST tub surrounds are made to be installed over the existing deteriorated tiling (or whatever) or installed over new drywall or greenboard, which is what we have in your case. I expect you should be able to find lots of tub surrounds that will install over your drywall at Home Depot for under $200.

But, I would contact the manufacturer's 1-800 customer service phone number to check. It's possible that they can make a tub surround that HAS TO be installed onto the studs, but so far as I know, lots of people install tub surrounds directly over their existing deteriorated walls, and I can't see how installing a tub surround over deteriorated tiling would be any different than installing it over new drywall.
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:25 AM   #4
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A nail on would have been a far better choice.
There at least three times thicker.
Little late for that now.
Your stuck with a glued on.
Any Lowes or HD will have them.
Read the box and pick up the suggested adhesive while your there.
Also going to need some hole saws and a caulking gun.
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:18 AM   #5
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I'd say if the manufacturer recommends directly to studs, you do that. Tearing out drywall is easy!

My views on bath surround is that you can tile for the same price (if you DIY) and it will be a lot nicer. That being said, drywall is not a suitable substrate for tile. You can fix this by putting cement board in instead, or covering the drywall with Kerdi membrane. You may be able to use a topical membrane like Redguard, but I really don't know.

If you have a properly done substrate, you shouldn't have the tile problem again. The previous tile probably came off because it was on drywall which will deteriorate in moisture.

You can make the tile job easier by using bigger tile, buying premixed premium grout and thinset, buying a decent saw (then selling on craigslist).

If you've never done tile, watch a bunch of videos...it's not that bad (just take your time).

Good luck!
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Old 03-30-2015, 01:04 PM   #6
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Drywall isn't the right substrate for tile anyway.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:54 PM   #7
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Those direct to tub surrounds typically go with a particular tub. If they are an add on to a preexisting tub, you will want to make sure you can get a good fit to your existing tub. You will also have to remove the drywall you installed. I had to do that myself and was not happy about the extra work. They do make a glue on tub surround and that you would not want to apply directly to the studs, it would not make a strong enough wall. It really comes down to what you want. I did not want to to tile at first but am glad I went through the extra effort now. That you want to put on cement board of some other approved backer board, not dry wall.
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