Shower surround - does it need adhesive?


An easy and inexpensive option when renovating the walls of a bathtub or shower is to use one of the three-piece or five-piece adhesive panel kits available for purchase. The adhesive walls are usually thin waterproof panels that gain their support from the surrounding wallboard, and installation is similar whether used in a bathtub or standup shower. If you are looking for a thicker surround, try a product designed for direct-to-stud installation.

The thin adhesive surrounds are the easiest to adjust for bathrooms with windows, or where the bathtub and/or shower enclosures are oddly sized. Before buying a surround, do some checking to make sure you buy the right-sized product for the tub or shower that you have.

NOTE: Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the warranty is not voided by improper installation.

Prepare the walls. Since this type of surround is going to be glued, the walls need to be clean to allow the adhesive to make good contact....
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I am sure you don't want to hear this, but you need to.

From what you describe, it sounds as if moisture has crept behind your surround, has separated it from the drywall, and mold is growing behind the surround.

What really needs to be done to do it right, it tear out the surround material and the drywall. Inspect the studs and floor for water damage. If the floor is damaged, the floor of the shower will need to be removed so it can be repaired.

Once the floor is repaired, cement board should be attached to the studs instead of drywall. Waterproofing sheet material needs to be applied over the cement board, down to the floor, and up to the drain. The whole system needs to be as watertight as a boat--bottom line.

Then you can work on replacing the surround material and caulking.

It's gone too far and caulk will do nothing at this point. This correction is beyond the scope of most DIYers. You probably should call in a professional unless you have...

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We will be discussing how to remove your shower surround; the one piece built in type surround, not tile or other types of shower surrounds. There are two basic ways that old shower surrounds may be attached. They can be attached with screws and caulking or more commonly, with adhesive and caulking. This page tells you how to best remove both types with minimal damage to the walls behind the old surround. Walls can be made of ordinary drywall, water resistant drywall (green board), tile or other less common materials.

Tools and Supplies Needed

Before you begin, it is a good idea to make sure you have all the required tools and supplies gathered together so you know you have what you need to complete the job. You will need:

• Screwdriver/ screw gun/ cordless screwdriver
• Pipe wrench
• Utility knife
• Level
• Pencil
• Jig saw/ hole saw
• Caulking gun
• Caulk
• Joint compound (as needed)
• Tile adhesive (as needed)

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A shower surround is a facade or cover that makes an old shower look new. It’s usually made from marine-grade plastics, and therefore it’s cheaper to install one of these devices than it is to replace tiled shower walls. Plus, you can paint your surround any color and finish you'd like. Install one yourself by using the article below.

Step 1 – Remove Shower Fixtures

Before you can install a shower surround, you have to remove everything in the shower. Use a small pry bar along with a hammer to carefully remove corner shelves and soap dishes. Use a screwdriver to remove faceplates that cover the drain. Do the same with the shower head.

Then, use a wrench to remove the remaining fixtures, such as the shower head and faucet. Exercise caution when completing this step, so that you don’t break any pipes.

Step 2 – Remove the Finish

Tile is smooth, and, as such, needs to be roughed up a little bit for the shower surround to properly fit. Use a palm...

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A couple years ago I paid a contractor to put in a bathroom in my basement. He did a poor job, many more problems than I'm going to get into here.

One issue is that, as far as I can tell he did not use nearly enough adhesive on the plastic shower walls. They buckle significantly as the shower warms up - to the point that one wall has developed a crack in it because of the buckling.

Do you think I have the problem diagnosed correctly, not enough adhesive was used? The wall is greenboard and I don't think water is getting back there.

If I understand the problem, then what I was thinking of doing was to pull the walls down, clean things up, and re-install.

1. How do I easily remove the plastic wall without damaging the wall or greenboard? Some solvents? I'm worried about just pulling. Not sure what adhesive he used. 2. What type of adhesive do you recommend? 3. How much and where exactly do I apply new adhesive to prevent buckling? I am hoping that a...

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DEAR MIKE: I have a bathtub and shower combination, and the walls need some work. The house is old and the shower walls are made of some type of fiber sheets that are warped and need to be replaced.

What is the least expensive way to repair the shower and make the walls watertight? -- Eric L.

DEAR ERIC: It sounds like you need a new tub surround. Your shower walls were probably made of a material called Marlite, which went out with disco.

Tub surrounds are made from a variety of materials, including plastic, cultured marble and Corian. The least expensive, plastic, start at less than $100. The kits come in five pieces. There are three panels that attach to the three walls surrounding the tub, and two corner pieces.

You will first need to remove the hardware from the front wall. Take off the tub spout and the handles. The tub spout will either unscrew or will have a setscrew underneath it that holds it to the pipe.

Each handle will have a small...

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How To Choose the Right Shower or Bathtub Surround

By Tim Koehler

Bathtub surrounds or shower wall surrounds need replacing? Fixing up to sell, remodeling or building your dream bathroom? Surrounds are available in many price levels. They can be tile installed on the job site or can be bought as a kit. Read on and I’ll walk you through the different types of surrounds, pros and cons, price levels, and give you some installation tips.

Tile Shower and Bathtub Surrounds

have been the standard for many years. Tile is perceived as high quality, and stock tile can be inexpensive. So you can have a high perceived value with a less expensive product. The most popular tiles for bathtubs and showers are ceramic, porcelain, and glass. Some of the newer tiles have the look of stone or marble. Tiles come in a variety of sizes so you can have different looks depending on the tile size.

• Pros: Tile is attractive and with some of the newer looks you can...

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Surface Preparation

Surfaces must be clean, dry, structurally sound and free of loose paint or other materials. Sand and roughen high-gloss paint.

Product Application

1. Cut nozzle at a 45° angle to a 1/8" bead size. 2. Puncture inner seal with wire or nail. Apply in a continuous 1/4" bead, following the tub surround manufacturer's instructions. Important for proper installation: It is recommended that each panel be "vented." Venting method: Apply adhesive, press panel firmly to wall, then pull away. Wait 3 to 5 minutes, then press back firmly into place. After 20 to 30 minutes, again press firmly over all flat surfaces of tub surround to ensure proper adhesion. If edges lift up, tape to wall with masking tape until adhesive dries. Product can be used as a caulk for edges of tub surrounds and at tub and surround interface, and between surround panels. Caulking may be done immediately after installation of surround.

Drying Time


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