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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my bathroom I have some water damage in my shower. The first three inches up the wall from the tub is pretty bad. To be honest I'm not sure what the shower wall is made off. It's seems to be some sort of wood with a thin coating of a paint. It's difficult to tell since the previous owners painted the shower walls to try to hide damage.

I had planned to put up shower wall paneling, but when I got the panels home I realized that they were about a foot and a half too short (I have a very small tub), so I returned them. But now I can't think of any other option then to put up shorter walls. I definitely can't afford to pay someone. We are so far over budget at this point. So I'm wondering how difficult it would be to replace the walls with an affordable and better quality material. We've done a lot of work ourselves like replacing floors, so I'm curious to know if we could handle this ourselves. I guess I just need to do this in the most affordable way - my house isn't the kind of house you want to dump a whole lot of money in.

Any tips would be so very greatly appreciated.
 

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Sorry to say, but if you don't know how to do tile, it will be expensive. You should find some good DIY books on tile at home store libraries. But I see two choices, neither easy or inexpensive. One is remove all the tile and start over with the proper backing, duroc or hardibacker, never drywall. The other is solid surface material(1/4"--Corian, Surrell, Swanstone, etc), which can be cut to size as needed.
 

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You can find tiles on close out pretty cheap if you are patient and look around. Get an idea of the square footage required and go to the supply houses. They may have enough of a lot left from a big job that you can get cheap. Or try the box stores.

First, go check out the tile forums at johnbridge.com Lots of pros there with good advice and very friendly to diy.
 

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I had planned to put up shower wall paneling, but when I got the panels home I realized that they were about a foot and a half too short (I have a very small tub), so I returned them.
I'm not sure I understand this statement. Are you saying they don't go up to the ceiling? Our tub surround in our last home didn't go up to the ceiling, just several inches above the shower head. I'm very much not an expert, but I don't think you necessarily have to take it to the ceiling.

You do want to address any water damage or mold issues before you cover things up if you go this route.
 

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I agree, we need a little more info here. Shower walls might still be an option for you. What do you mean by the panels were too short? Blondesence is right, and in fact, shower walls often stop several inches below the shower head. The tubs surrounds you can buy come in different sizes as well. you Also might be able to use a preformed shower unit if that works best for you.

I must say though, regardless of what you do, you have to take care of the damaged areas first. SImple covering them up with shower surrounds is not an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not sure I understand this statement. Are you saying they don't go up to the ceiling? Our tub surround in our last home didn't go up to the ceiling, just several inches above the shower head. I'm very much not an expert, but I don't think you necessarily have to take it to the ceiling.

You do want to address any water damage or mold issues before you cover things up if you go this route.

To clear things up: the shower panels only go a few inches above the shower head which is about a foot short to the ceiling. I have a very uncommon tub and shower size. The tub I have is metal and was put in the house in 1968, and taking that out is not an option. I won't use one of those liners that basically covers your whole tub and walls... any moisture trapped would breed mold like crazy. And I can't tile the walls because... well, I can't afford it. So I think maybe I'll just fix the damaged parts of the walls and then just buy plastic paneling and just deal with the fact it'll be a bit to short.
 

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I also agree we need more information, but let's try and go with what we have: It sounds like you may have the type wall covering that was made from compressed sawdust/glue with a very thin wood veneer or plastic coating on it. IF it is this stuff it will act much like a sponge once moisture becomes exposed to it. Now IF you are planning on covering this material, you should remove the damaged material back, say an inch or two beyond the damaged area. Then repair with a material of the same thickness. I have installed those "plastic" shower panels over this type material with great success in rental properties I maintain. I have even had to order panels for a nine foot ceiling bath so you should be able to find panels that go all the way to the ceiling if that is what you want. Install these properly, and with some "low cost" decorative trim this can be a nice addition to a bath. Again, proper installation and caulking should prevent any moisture build-up behind these panels and prevent mold. Good Luck, David
 
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