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Old 11-04-2018, 08:10 AM   #1
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Tub surround securing to wall


I have installed a new 3 piece tub surround from American Standard. The unit has very flimsy walls. After we secured the top flange to the wall we found that the back wall "oil cans". The surround did not come with install instructions but I was reading online that adhesive is recommended and adding extra studs. The surround was put in over lathe. Plaster had been removed from a previous install. Could the adhesive just be applied to the lathe to secure this better to the wall? And I also see there is a special adhesive just for tub surrounds. Does this make the surround removable at a later date? Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:29 AM   #2
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Re: Tub surround securing to wall


That type shower is usually installed over green board or another solid strata, rather than to the studs, and is glued to the board. It gives it a better backing than air. There is no reason to make the surround "removable", so I doubt there would be an adhesive that would accommodate that.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:05 AM   #3
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I was going to put green board up but there just wasn’t enough clearance. Whoever framed the tub on the last remodel left no wiggle room. And I wasn’t looking to reframe the walls to make room for it. Would the adhesive stick to the lathe and hold it?
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:06 AM   #4
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Re: Tub surround securing to wall


I would say that if you're going to try the adhesive method.......1) You will need a very strong adhesive, something better than Liquid Nails and 2) You will have to find a way to put some bracing up that won't damage the surround so that there is good, overall pressure on the surround/adhesive to ensure it bonds to the lathe. Certainly seems doable. When I did my own tub surround, I just added extra studs to compensate. You don't have that option.

Was there any reason you could not remove the lathe?
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: Tub surround securing to wall


Gymschu,



Thank you for the insight. There is no reason I can not remove the lathe. I was going to use it as a back "wall". I was only going to put green board above the flange of the surround and then use setting compound to fill the gap. I did this one before and I didn't have to have a full wall behind the surround but I think that was because the surround was stiffer and of better quality. I can add more studs if I need to, I was just hoping the lathe would suffice as a solid surface.
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:12 PM   #6
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Re: Tub surround securing to wall


I know what you mean about the thinness of tub surrounds. I was shocked at how "paper thin" some of them are and you pay premium prices for those! Mine had instructions that said you could have drywall behind it or added framing for support. I opted for the added framing and haven't had any issues although there are areas I wouldn't want to lean too heavily on. Another thing to watch out for is the possibility of damage to the plastic from a heavy dose of adhesive. Some of those thin-walled surrounds are thin enough that you can actually see the adhesive behind it!
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Old 11-04-2018, 05:28 PM   #7
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Re: Tub surround securing to wall


Then make an adhesive specifically designed for shower surrounds. It can be found in the caulking/adhesive section of the big box stores. It is specifically designed for this application and will not bleed through the plastic and be visible on the outside. You will have to apply liberally and use some form of wedge and wood to hold the surround in place until the adhesive sets up.


If memory is correct, I think you apply, stick them together, then pull them apart and then stick them together again. There may be a wait time between initial tack and reattachment. Read instructions on what ever product you use.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:23 PM   #8
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Re: Tub surround securing to wall


Well everyone I appreciate the advice. I bought a tube of Loctite Power Grab tub surround adhesive at Lowe's. I decided to roll the dice and leave the lathe in place. I ran horizontal strips about every third strip of lathe and secured the surround back in. We then just gently continued to press the surround into the wall. The instructions said to check again at 20 minutes and we repeated the pressing everywhere that we had done before. So far so good. That thing seems secured well and the "oil can" effect is completely gone. Rock solid.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:45 PM   #9
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Re: Tub surround securing to wall


Years ago when I was still working I found that the tiled shower wall was "mushy" and had been leaking between the grout for quite some time. I didn't have time to mess with it and as a temporary measure, bought one of those tub surrounds. I tore down the wall to the studs, replaced the wet insulation and made sure there was no rotted studs, and added green board. The tub surround was glued in place on top of the green board and it held up for a year until I decided to replace it. Even thought it was pretty expensive, it looked and felt cheap and I hated it. I tore it out and it ripped to pieces in the process. Took it all down to the studs again and added cement board and new tiles.
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