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Old 03-08-2009, 04:03 PM   #1
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Rotting shower walls PICTURE

My shower and bathtub are a nightmare. To start things off I have a metal bathtub that the previous owner for some unknown reason decided to paint with regular wall paint, so that obviously isn't looking so good. And the main problem is the shower walls. The walls are wood with some sort of coating on them and then just regular paint on top of that. Now since the walls are wood, and the shower is a wet place - the wood is getting wet and rotting. I tried buying a shower wall kit but they don't sell them in my size. All pre-made kits are all about one and a half feet to short height wise. And I don't want to put one of those shell like things over the whole tub because I would imagine that would cause a lot of mold in between the layers. Now replacing the shower walls with some other material is the preferred choice since I can't use tile because the uneven surface and whole along the bottom not to mention I don't think I could afford to do it anyway. I don't know what to do exactly. I thought that maybe to save money I could replace the walls and try covering them in another water proof material... maybe flooring material. In the picture, you can't see the main rotting part because I tried covering it with some extra counter piece I had just so the shower would be usable for the time being. But to be honest I am at my wits end with this project and running out of money fast. So any tips on how to do this... and do it affordably would be enormously appreciated.
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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Use glass steel
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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I hate to say it, but there really is no cheap fix to your problem. Trying to do the 'cheap fix' (like the duct tape) is only going to lead to bigger, more expensive repairs in the near future. Your least expensive route would be to go with the replacement insert you mentioned, but do noy worry about the height being to low, because you would need to remove the existing walls down to the studs (doing what ever repair is needed and a new valve would be a smart decision as well), install the tub and surround to the studs, then new greenboard above the stall. Use the search function and you will find many threads worth reading on this subject.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:43 PM   #4
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Wow, this reminds me of some of my projects. We're on our second fixer-upper and just redid two bathrooms, one of which had a tub just that blue color. The other was avocado green.

We started out to do a fairly simple fix-up and, in both cases, ended up gutting the bathrooms down to the studs and redoing them entirely. One thing leads to another, and pretty soon.... Well, you get the idea.

The answer to your question depends on so many things.

What is your budget?
Do you own the home and do you want to invest in it?
How long do you plan to stay there?
Do you have another bath to use while you work on this one?
Do you want to really fix it right or just do something to get by for awhile?
How bad is the rot and is it contained or is it spreading?

I'd start by tearing off the surrounding wood. That would give you a sense of what's going on behind it. You can always replace it temporarily with more of the same, backed by vapor barrier. Exterior plywood primed and painted with a good enamel and well calked could give you one or two year's reprieve.

I know someone with a tub surround made of redwood and well calked with silicone. It seems to work.

Alternatively, there are vinyl products in sheets made to be installed around tubs and showers. When I was a kid, we had a tub surrounded by Formica.

So there are options. None of them are very appealing, but they might get you by for awhile and stop the damage from spreading.

Be aware, too, a lot of communities have Habitat for Humanity stores where they sell used/donated building materials and fixtures inexpensively, so that may be a source of a replacement tub and enclosure.

Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:22 AM   #5
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Sarah, I think you will need to peel off that wood and make sure nothing is going on behind, but you might start buy cutting out the lowest 6" or 1 foot to inspect. It looks like your moisture problem started at tub level and crept up.Then if you're in a tight spot financially you can get some idea of how extensive this will be and if there is any hope of waterproofing over the upper surface and covering it with a panel. You will still likely want to pull all the wood and put in a moisture resistant drywall as a minimum , then find a surface covering.
There are panels you can buy and trim to size and there are companies who could refinsh your tub as an option if you need to do this in stages. Some of those companies will sell and install complete tub kits as well, but either way you do not want to trap rot behind your panals.
I think one panel I have seen is called Barker Board, not an endorsement just a suggestion. You don't want to get overwhelmed with the cost and give up half way through so plan to do it as your budget allows but allow for the worst case scenario time and budget wise.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:01 AM   #6
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Tape up a sheet of poly till you can afford to do it right.

New tub, shower body, waterproof walls and tile.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:09 AM   #7
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i feel your pain.

in our house we had an old shower with similar problem. i quarantined it with CAUTION tape until we have the money to remove it and fix properly (its been like that for 2 years and counting...)

luckily we have a 2nd bathroom which is fully functioning.

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