What did you do at the edges of your alcove bath/shower?

suzanne_slMay 6, 2014

We're going to tear out this 43 year old acrylic sunken tub/shower.

That sunken tub was so cool when I was 23 - it's become way less cool as I approach retirement age. The plan is to remove what's there, build up the floor and put in the Kohler Villager tub with the 4" ledge in back, making the total width about 34-1/2". Even with the 4" ledge, the new tub will be recessed further than the current tub. The new edge will be in the middle of the square piece of blue tape. There will also be a shower; that tub never actually gets used except for the couple of times a year the grandchildren are here. We considered using a solid surface surround of some sort, but it seems that everything would have to be custom because of the odd width. We're thinking tile, probably large format (12x24). I looked on houzz to see what others had done to finish off the edges, but those bathrooms all seem to be endlessly spacious with a distinct lack of plain-Jane shower/tub combos like ours. Bring the tile all the way to the corner of the wall? Around it? Just past the tub? On the door end, I assume the tile should go to the door jamb? I know some people here have bathrooms more like this, so I'm hoping you'll share photos of what they look like, especially around the edges. Thanks much!

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I have a very nice but relatively speaking "plain Jane" bathroom - we brought the tile out farther than the tub edges and finished the tile edges with Schluter pieces (which are metal strips made for this purpose).

Here is a link that might be useful: schluter

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:53PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Schluter edge. And be sure that your tub has the integral tile flange to make it suitable for alcove installation.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:55PM
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All the way to the edge. Your tile may also have matching bullnose as another option.

Also Swanstone makes tub shower surrounds with end pieces deeper than 34.5 so it wouldn't necessarily be custom.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:02PM
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My current alcove has 4" tiles and is finished around the edges with a 4" with quarter-round. My new alcove will have subways with 1x6" quarter-round around the edges. It's a nice and simple, but gives a finished edge.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:09PM
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The remodel of my daughter's small bathroom with alcove tub was just finished last month. Her alcove is 36 inches deep and her tub is 32 inches deep. She used 12x24 tile. She considered using the Schluter edge but the tiler convinced her that a bullnose edge was classier looking.

On this end of the alcove the tile goes right up to the door frame. Above the door frame the tiler used bullnose trim. The tile and bullnose trim goes to the ceiling.

Other end of tub

The tiler who did this job said he likes to leave a little reveal of the wall instead of going right to the edge of the corner. There is about 1/2" of reveal. In my house, the tiler ran the tiles right to the edge in my alcove area. So I guess it is just a matter of personal preference.

You should be able to see the reveal a little better in this picture

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 11:08PM
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Thank you, everyone! That is very helpful.

hollysprings - I sure hope it has that flange. I've been checking the specs online, but it's not clear. On the other hand, that tub is designed specifically for alcove installation and the instructions refer to bringing the cement board and tile/whatever down over the tub edge, so I presume it does have that flange. I'll know for sure when it gets delivered today, although we won't install for a couple of weeks.

sjhockeyfan - we used that Schluter edging on a fireplace surround now that you mention it. (What is it with San Jose and the Sharks?! We were there recently and there were Sharks flags, banners, and stickers everywhere!)

ineffablespace - I'll check the Swanstone for extra-deep. I thought it didn't come that size.

linelle - 1/4 round seems like a good finish on the non-door side.

badgergal - thanks for the photos, I'm really visual. I like the way the tile dies into the door jamb. That's what I thought it would look like, but wasn't sure. I think I like that little reveal where the wall turns the corner too. (What a difference between before and after the grout!)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:49AM
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Wall edges aren't usually perfect and tile are. They are gonna disagree when they meet on that edge and that won't be pretty.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Good point, Trebruchet. We're wondering how wonky the walls of the alcove are going to prove to be. If they're anything like the kitchen walls were, we going to be in for some shimming, furring, sistering, whatever.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 2:06PM
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