Tile vs. fiberglass shower

redhareNovember 18, 2008

So our old fiberglass shower needs to go. We got a quote to rip out the unit and install a tile shower with the Kerdi system and the price is way higher than we expected for our 3' x 4' shower.

Just looking for people's opinions on tile vs. the fiberglass units, which is easier to keep clean, dealing with grout, etc. Everywhere we have lived has has the molded units, not my favorite thing, but my cheap gene is kicking in and I'm considering opting out of tile because of the cost (around $4000; I'm in SE MA)....Any advice appreciated!

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What about cultured marble shower surround? They can do a cultured marble pan also. They look lovely and there is no grout to keep clean and not as expensive probably as Kerdi.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:39PM
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We just had a tiled shower put in, and we're also in SE Mass. We bought our tiles at Lowe's (tile guy commented that tiles from tile stores are better quality, these look fine but of course I'm wishing I'd gone pricier). The tile guy charged us close to $2000 for the labor, and we paid about $500 for the tile (3x3 shower). We're getting a glass door installed this week, and that's another $500.00. I sealed all the grout. Upkeep is bound to be more than a fiberglass shower, but the looks certainly are different. Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:49PM
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We recently removed our fiberglass unit and replaced it with a tile shower. If you can afford the expense of the tile, then I'd do it! You won't regret it. Your price seems reasonable to me... ours was about 4,800 which didn't include the tile and involved some work gutting out what the first guy did who began an incorrect Kerdi installation.

Our shower is bigger now.... you'll gain a few inches in each direction and just seems luxurious. We had room for a handshower in addition to the main showerhead, a small corner bench and a wonderful niche.

For me, the upkeep is less with the tile. After 23 years, our unit had deposits beyond belief, the doors were awful and I was thrilled when they sawed it apart and threw it out!

I rainx'd the frameless french doors and didn't seal the grout or tile. After each shower, I rinse the walls for a second with the handshower and then take a squeegee and go over the walls and seat. Then I take an old towel and give a quick wipe to the walls, glass and even do the floor by dragging it around with my foot. Leave the doors open to let any dampness out, hang the towel on the warming rack and I'm done. We've been showering for 2.5 months now and I haven't "cleaned" the shower yet, but it sparkles!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 1:19PM
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Only spend what is in your budget. Hold fast. There is no logical reason to overextend yourself. Many have learned this the hard way, as we all know too well. I know too many people that overspent, and now they have no savings and cannot afford more important items such as saving for retirement or college education. At the cost of expensive home renovations, just not worth it. We have many years left on this financial downturn, trust me.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Thanks everyone!

We can afford to do the tile job (have savings and we budget for home repairs), I'm just feeling cheap!

I also hear conflicting things about cleaning tile vs. fiberglass, some say tile is tougher to keep clean, others fiberglass (I know I can't ever seem to get my fiberglass unit clean enough).

We'll need the Kerdi, it will make me feel better because we have exposed beam ceilings under our master bath (on 2nd floor where the replacement is going).

We have another full bath, so maybe I'll put off the decision until after the holiday season! =)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 5:52PM
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I have a tile shower with glass doors. I squeegee the doors and spray doors and walls with shower cleaner after each use. I haven't "cleaned" it in 15 months and it looks great.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:47PM
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I agree with you Redhare about the Kerdi and peace of mind.

After having the fiberglass shower for so many years, I had never give leaks and seepage a thought! I had no moisture in my walls and I wanted it to stay that way with the new tile shower. Kerdi seemed the only way to go to insure the integrity of my house.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:48PM
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Our last house had a tiled walk-in shower with glass blocks forming the third wall. DH squeegied after his shower; I wiped down with an old towel, including the floor. I think it took about a minute, and I almost never "cleaned" it. I found it much easier to keep clean than the acrylic unit with a glass door in our previous house. I was constantly doing something to the door or walls of that one, and after a few years, I just didn't think it "sparkled" no matter what I did to it.

The master bath in the new house will have an almost identical tiled and glass block shower.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 12:22AM
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