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What material do you use for tub surrounding walls?

Posted by janesylvia (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 31, 12 at 3:49

I plan to have my bathroom remodeled. What material do you use for the tub surrounding walls? If using tiles, would tile grouts easy to clean?

Also, I don't know if I need to have new shower door or just get rid of the old one. The hard water stain is difficult to clean.

Thank you very much.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What material do you use for tub surrounding walls?

There are different methods/materials that are used for creating a "watertight" tub surround. We used Hardibacker for the tub walls (a type/brand of cement board), thinset (instead of joint compound) for "spackling", and Hydroban, a brush or roll-on waterproofing membrane. Or, you could use plastic (sheeting) between the studs and cement board, or Kerdi (a cloth-like membrane) over your cement board instead of Hydroban (or Redguard, which is another roll-on product). The important thing is to lay the groundwork first, before you tile and grout. They are only as good as what lies beneath them.

As an added measure, we used TEC XT grout, which is supposed to be more stain, crack, mildew resistant than other grouts, and caulked at changes of planes (niche shelves, where the tile meets the tub). We sealed the grout with a penetrating solvent-based sealer (only type to use with the XT grout). We used STT's SB sealer, which was easy to use and had minimal odor, as well.

We also are in the habit of using a daily shower spray, and wiping down the walls after showering. Probably overkill, but we lived with our really cruddy bathrooms for too long, and spent a lot of time, effort (and $!) to turn them into nice ones. We want them to remain nice for many years to come, so to us, the extra effort is worth it.

If your shower door is in really bad shape, you might want to consider a new one (esp if you are totally remodeling the room). There are baked in and sprayed on treatments available for the glass to help keep them looking nice and clear longer. Squeegeeing the doors after every shower helps, too.


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RE: What material do you use for tub surrounding walls?

Thanks cat_mom for the detailed report. Though I'm not the OP, we are going to be having a shower replaced with a standard tub and new tile surround. Appreciate knowing a lot more details about the job as a result of your post.


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RE: What material do you use for tub surrounding walls?

elphaba--glad to pass along what we learned along the way (much of it here!). We also replaced a shower with a tub in our MB (cast iron; Toto)--LOVE it!


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RE: What material do you use for tub surrounding walls?

I have tile now and we are getting a fiberglass surround for our new place and are going to use a shower curtain. I'm going with easy to clean in as many aspects as I can. I'm sure a fiberglass surround makes some people cringe but farting around with grout makes me cringe. When the shower curtain gets dirty, I'll let the washing machine do the work for me. I have to say that cleaning is one of my least favorite things to do so that really drives my choices.


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RE: What material do you use for tub surrounding walls?

We had tile in one bathroom; DH hates tile so that was one of his requests to eliminate it.

The other (our master) had an acrylic tub and surround that was cracking from poor installation (inadequate support).

Both were replaced with cultured granite-look surrounds. Our only mistake was in not putting in safety bars at the same time! They are WONDERFUL - beautiful and easy to clean. We use a sprayer solution after every shower and maybe every couple of months I spray some solution on a green scrubbie and run it around the lower half of the shower walls and enclosure. Takes maybe less than a minute!


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RE: What material do you use for tub surrounding walls?

We have just gutted our 1950 Kohler cast iron rusty tub with 4 x 4 salt & pepper tile tub surround, with mold and falling tiles and cracked grout to be replaced with? A Kohler acrylic soaking tub and white subway tile with gray grout, done right with all of the right hardi backer tile board, tile, sealed and caulked grout etc... I almost ordered the acrylic tub and surround but just could not do it. I will try to be good and clean, seal, caulk, maintain etc. Tile itself is the same as it was 60 years ago, however installation, backer board, mastic, grout and sealer and educated installers and owners have changed alot in 60 years. I just love that classic look. But I do love the easy maintenance of the acrylic Sterling shower we have in our other bath. It is just a personal choice.


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RE: What material do you use for tub surrounding walls?

Forgot to mention, I have also removed the tub/shower doors to be replaced with a shower curtain. If bathing grandchildren or puppies, the doors are just a pain, however, I did love them for a while in the beginning.


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