DIY Home Improvement Tips – Installing a Tub Surround
A bathtub surround can become dated or damaged during the life of your bathroom. Consider installing a new shower surround to instantly change the appearance of your bathroom while protecting the area around your tub.
A tub-shower surround can be found at any home improvement store. They normally come in several standard sizes, so bring the measurements of your own tub or shower and wall to get the appropriately sized unit. You will also need construction adhesive, caulk, and a few basic tools to finish installing the covering.
Begin by protecting your tub during the install. Cardboard or a heavy drop cloth is appropriate for the purpose and will prevent chips in the fiberglass or enamel. You’ll also need to remove your showerhead and other fixtures in the wall that you will be installing the unit.
Now you must remove the existing shower surround. If the shower covering is made of a solid material, you can use a prybar. If the existing covering is tile, you should use a chisel to remove the tiles from the wall. Try to avoid letting any debris hit the tub or shower floor; it is easy to damage a bathtub.
Start installing the shower surround by beginning in the corner. Apply construction adhesive to the shower wall corner using a trowel. Also run a line of adhesive caulk at the point where the bathtub meets the wall. Then you can apply the corner piece to the wall by carefully pressing it into the prepared area.
Repeat the same steps to install the second corner piece to the opposite wall. With the corner pieces installed, you can use the same technique to apply the two wall panels that do not contain the shower or tub fixtures.
Before installing the final piece of tub wall covering, you must cut holes for the fixtures. Using a piece of cardboard that is the size of the desired panel, measure and cut a template for the piece. Cut the holes out of the cardboard and make sure it fits all of the holes for the fixtures.
Once the template has been sized, use it to mark the holes on the actual wall covering piece. Using a jigsaw, carefully cut out the holes for the fixtures.
To install the side piece of your surround that contains the fixtures, take the final panel and make sure that it is appropriately sized to cover the remaining wall. Pay particular attention to the openings cut for the bathtub fixtures and how the panel meets the corner piece.
If everything is fitted perfectly, you can then apply the construction adhesive and caulk necessary to secure the panel and press it into place. Then apply a bead of caulk around the entire seam between the surround and tub. This will further protect the seal between your new tub surround and the existing tub.
Once the shower surround is installed you can then reinstall the fixtures you removed at the beginning of the installation process. After everything is installed, you should then carefully remove any wayward debris. Save any heavy cleaning near the seams for 48 hours after installing to allow the caulk to fully cure.
Installing a tub surround can instantly update the look of your bathroom. Although installing the unit should only take a few hours, you should avoid using the shower until a full 48 hours after the installation. Of course, if you feel uneasy about installing your own surround, call a professional.