Vikrell, poly composite or old school

fpgoaOctober 19, 2011

This is the first time we have ever had a bathroom remodel, everything else has been replaced in the 50 year old house but a pipe break and floor tile rip out has made this necessary.

The contractors (recommendation by friends who had a fancy bath done) supposedly have a good rep but we have to do the job inexpensively. We only have so much money and the old bathroom (and only full bath in the house) must be fixed.

The contractor recommended a Vikrell bath and surround. We saw poly composite and Vikrell surrounds and baths at both of the big box stores. We also see cast iron in the same range, give or take 200 or 300 bucks.

I keep seeing horrible reviews about wiggling and scratching and cracking tubs and tons of caulk and shims used to squeeze these surrounds in. I am a big guy (250 lbs) and we have a gymnastic toddler who really squirms around the bath. My wife and I are concerned that even an experienced contractor can't make low quality stuff into great long lasting stuff.

What is your experience? I know no other world than old scratched up and chipped ancient porceline tubs and dirty grout and tiles I have to scrub.

While I appreciate cheap and easy to clean, I don't want to do this again in five years when I crash through the tub or the wall cracks.

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Composites/fiberglass can give good service if they are installed with good backing and support, but the danger of cracking after dropping a full shampoo bottle is ever present.
Cast iron would seem to have the advantage in your situation. The thermal mass makes for a good soak.
Could you have the best of both worlds with a synthetic surround?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 6:12AM
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