Author Topic: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?  (Read 8064 times)

Mu206Stach

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I'm adding a tub/shower to my basement bathroom (it was just a 1/2 bath).  The tub is selected, everything is framed, and 80% of the plumbing is in (hired a pro plumber for this).

I'm at the point where I need to decide what material to use for the tub/shower walls, and currently have 3 thoughts:

1. Those inexpensive 3 piece panel kits available at the big box stores.  My stepdad suggested those, as he has used them over the years.  I don't really like the ones I've seen, they look rather cheap, and not the style I want -- but they do seem frugal and easy to install. (The 1 piece kits aren't an option because I'm pretty sure there is no way to get that into my basement -- it was hard enough getting the tub down there).

2. Tile. Seems like the most work, and the most maintenance long term, but maybe the most forgiving in terms of fit, and could do a lot of different styles. I have done some tiling before (need to study up though on the best system to use behind the tile.

3. The higher end 3 piece kits, such as the swanstone products.  I like the look of this product, but have no experience working with it. I'd have to get my measurements 100% perfect to order the panels, and even then may have to do some onsite cutting as these go in -- not sure yet what tool I'd need to do that cutting. If done right, it seems like a very low maintenance end result, that I think would look a lot better than option #1 (the cheap panels). 
 
Any other ideas?  Anybody have experience installing those swanstone panels?

Thanks

MetalCap

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 11:37:08 AM »
I prefer tile as it actually is the most durable and doesn't hide the issues you have.  Hiding makes things worse like hiding dead cats in your couch.

Tile can be installed cheaply if you don't want to do it, just buy the materials yourself. 

If you grout and seal correctly it takes a lot less maintenance than the panel kits.

Greg

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 11:42:32 PM »
Check out Milestone by Artisan Finishes.  It's a trowel-on modified acrylic plaster that is paint-color tintable.  I've used it a few times and with a clear epoxy coating, it is easy to clean and of course, water proof.

http://www.artisanfinishes.com/pages/home.htm

Goldielocks

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 12:05:46 AM »
The cheaper 3 pc kits will yellow / fail after a series of years (10-15?).   and no candles on the bathtub surround (we melted a hole).

We have always tiled.  I had grout stains, but then discovered EPOXY GROUT.   We specify it at work for commercial applications, and although you need a different technique for it (and don't wash the excess down your drain!), it really, truly is easy to keep clean, non-mildow or yellowing.  Wasn't hard to install, just need to use small batches.


Thegoblinchief

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 06:26:11 AM »
The cheaper 3 pc kits will yellow / fail after a series of years (10-15?).   and no candles on the bathtub surround (we melted a hole).

We have always tiled.  I had grout stains, but then discovered EPOXY GROUT.   We specify it at work for commercial applications, and although you need a different technique for it (and don't wash the excess down your drain!), it really, truly is easy to keep clean, non-mildow or yellowing.  Wasn't hard to install, just need to use small batches.

Huh, I've never heard of that. Neat!

QajakBoy

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 09:29:46 AM »
A tile job would take longer, but would look nicer and be more durable and gives you more options for upgrades.  This would give you the opportunity to add convenience item such as a niche in the wall and upgrade safety/convenience by adding a grab bar.   Since you are at the studs, this is the time to add solid backing for a solid grab bar.

justajane

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 10:05:30 AM »
White subway tile. It's cheap, classic, and will last forever. We didn't DIY it, but we just had it installed in our new bathroom, and I rarely have to clean it. When I do I just wipe it down.

Spork

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 10:26:56 AM »
I prefer the look of tile -- but that is a personal thing.   But for our main shower we put in cultured marble for ease of cleaning.  It's big ass smooth sheets, so it cleans easily.  Since it's cultured marble (more or less a fancy name for fiberglass) it can be made in any size/shape.  It's also relatively inexpensive. 

b4u2

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 10:41:12 AM »
I made a custom tile shower following MMM guide. Check near the end of my thread for the pictures. Wasn't very hard to do and it was kinda fun. The walls follow the same principal I would think. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/21/how-to-make-a-relatively-sweet-shower-cheap/

Mu206Stach

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2015, 11:42:28 AM »
I made a custom tile shower following MMM guide. Check near the end of my thread for the pictures. Wasn't very hard to do and it was kinda fun. The walls follow the same principal I would think. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/21/how-to-make-a-relatively-sweet-shower-cheap/

Yes I saw that -- but that is about a DIY shower base, right?  I'm doing a tub with a shower wall surround.  That blog article seemed rather light on the details of how he finished the walls (unless I missed it). 

I've watched a couple of youtube vids and read a few blogs (before I found this site) that describe a cement board + redgard process -- which I'll probably follow -- after I study it a bit further.  Seems like there are some tricks with redgard on cement board -- as the board likes to suck the moisture out of the redgard while the redgard is being applied -- and so folks do the redgard in a few coats -- with the first coat or 2 diluted a bit to account for the fact that the cement board will suck the water out of it. 

Anybody have that level of experience?  Or have a suggestion for another approach that is just as solid in terms of being water tight?


Spork

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2015, 12:11:21 PM »
I made a custom tile shower following MMM guide. Check near the end of my thread for the pictures. Wasn't very hard to do and it was kinda fun. The walls follow the same principal I would think. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/21/how-to-make-a-relatively-sweet-shower-cheap/

Yes I saw that -- but that is about a DIY shower base, right?  I'm doing a tub with a shower wall surround.  That blog article seemed rather light on the details of how he finished the walls (unless I missed it). 

I've watched a couple of youtube vids and read a few blogs (before I found this site) that describe a cement board + redgard process -- which I'll probably follow -- after I study it a bit further.  Seems like there are some tricks with redgard on cement board -- as the board likes to suck the moisture out of the redgard while the redgard is being applied -- and so folks do the redgard in a few coats -- with the first coat or 2 diluted a bit to account for the fact that the cement board will suck the water out of it. 

Anybody have that level of experience?  Or have a suggestion for another approach that is just as solid in terms of being water tight?

I did cement board/redgaurd for one of my bathroom shower surrounds (and for the bathroom floor as well).  I put it on in 2 coats, but really didn't have overdrying issues.   I put it on pretty thick.   The second coat definitely has NO water sucking (or at least in my case).  The first coat was pretty darn waterproofing.  I mostly did the second because of thin spots -- which were due to my own inexperience getting an even coat.

b4u2

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Re: Tub shower wall solutions for remodeal? Tile? Swanstone? Others?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2015, 12:18:58 PM »
I applied 3 coats only because I had enough Redgard. I still had some left over when I was done. I went 4 feet up the wall. Let that dry then apply your mortar and tiles. One tip for tile on walls. I found it easier to apply the mortar to the tile itself and then stick it on the wall.