need economical shower upgrades - what's available ?

kingtootMarch 5, 2014

I have a circa 1974 all tile shower stall, not quite standard size (29.5" x 57.5") that also has old style faucet knobs (separate hot and cold as opposed to the newer regulation single dial). We want to rent out the unit with this stall, and so we need to replace faucet knobs with a dial to minimize potential scalding and a low maintenance surface pan to put over the existing tiles (as grout/tiles on the floor part is slippery and high maintenance), and to be properly sealed and waterproofed in place. Previous posts to this forum suggest acrylic pans are a good value, but I am still not able to tell how feasible it is to get one mounted over the existing tile and properly sealed. Aside from the size and drainhole placement issues (as I say, I think our stall is not a standard size), I get conflicting stories from vendors as to whether sealing against existing tile is possible. I see no reason to retile/rebuild the whole stall ! The tile is good, needs cleaning regrout recaulk is all. Also, a few tiles/a bit of wall will have to be ripped/cut out and replaced in order to replace the faucet handles, fine, even a rectangle of new tiles of a different but complimentary color is fine with me. I see no need to rip out the whole wall. But I am having a hard time finding anyone who will do anything but replace the whole stall for upwards of $5K. Any suggestions/experience ? I live in Mountain View CA. (I also don't want to do anything big enough to require a permit. Complete stall redo requires a permit.)

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"The tile is good, needs cleaning regrout recaulk is all."

Does this mean there are cracks or gaps in the grout and/or caulk? This could mean more than just a facelift.
If any water has gotten behind the tiles, there could be mold and a compromised wall. Knock on the tiles around where any grout is cracked or caulking missing. If any sound hollow, there could be hidden problems.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 12:13AM
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The bathtub refinishing companies do the same for shower pans and tile walls. When the 'miracle coating' is applied over tile, it will be only one color - no contrasting grout lines, but it's all sealed. Same tub, same tile in both pictures below.

I've never had it done, but when I looked into it, I found different methods and it's not clear to me which is better, lasts longer, etc.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:45AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You just described a tearout. The only way that you will be able to do the chewing gum and visqueen halfassery over what exists is if you don't care about damage to the structure longterm, or about any personal liability from a renter dealing with a slumlord complaint.

Rentals have certain health and safety requirements that must be met. And permitted.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:48AM
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