Bathtub surrounds are a great way to breathe new life into a tired bathroom. And it is an affordable way to bring color and texture to your bathroom, achieving the desired effect while adequately protecting the walls surrounding the tub. This installation is generally a quick turnaround for home projects, so your bathroom will be back to full use in no time.
Bathtub surrounds can be composed of various materials. And the type of material can determine how long your project takes. Solid panels constructed of acrylic or fiberglass will be easier to install, maintain, and are more cost-effective. This list of materials gives you an idea of the many options available.
- Ceramic tile
- Glass tile
- Natural stone
If you want to achieve a high-end look while being cost-conscious, then acrylic and fiberglass surrounds are great options and can replicate the look of tile, stone, and marble. The designs have become so detailed that it can be difficult to tell the difference between actual tile, stone and marble and materials designed to produce a striking resemblance.
One of the best ways to ensure the proper completion of your project is by working with a reputable construction service with experience in remodels and upgrades. Completing the job correctly from the beginning will ensure you will not have to revisit it at a later time. Water damage from improper sealing can go undetected, creating the perfect environment for significant damage.
Installing Bathtub Surrounds
By now, with the help of a knowledgeable contractor experienced in bath remodeling, the timeline is established for the start of your project and the most suitable surround panels chosen.
Prepare to be without water and use of the bathroom on the day of installation. Depending on your plumbing, water will either be shut off to the bathroom if there are isolation valves or to the entire house if isolation valves are not in place. Ensure you have plenty of drinking water for your normal daily home operations.
Beginning the Installation
The faucet, handles, and additional accessories are removed from the walls first. If there is any existing surround material in place, it will also be removed. The contractor will inspect the existing framing for any rot, mold, or weakness defects.
It is critical to address these hidden issues to ensure the life of your new surround installation. The cost of repairing discovered damage cannot be determined until after inspection, but preparing a stable mounting surface is crucial.
Concrete board, a material that is resistant to water and rotting while providing durability and strength, is a desirable product to attach surround panels to. But if wood or drywall framing is already in place and damage free, you may opt to work with what is there. Repairs are made to the existing framework by patching cracks or holes, addressing rot and mildew issues, and shoring up weak points.
Think of your home as a body; the bones and muscle structures keep your frame intact as long as they are strong. When the support structures of your home become compromised, its frame becomes weak.
Installing the Panels
The exciting part of any renovation is seeing the installation begin. Most surrounds are precut and molded to go right into place. Most bathtubs are a standard 60 inches.
A professional installer can make the proper adjustments if this is not the case with your bathtub. Altering the surround panels by cutting and trimming is a detailed task that requires appropriate tools. An experienced contractor will have done this many times and know the precise tools to make the measurements and cuts to fit your surround panels perfectly.
The panel installation is performed using a durable adhesive, resistant to moisture, steam, heat, and cold. Curing is a chemical reaction that happens over a specific time allowing the adhesive to change from liquid to solid. This process imparts a strong hold for your panels and prevents slipping.
Finalizing the Project
The seams of the surround now have to be caulked. Caulking takes a steady hand to impart a finished look. Filling all gaps and holes ensures you never have issues with leaking. As mentioned above, leaky seams on a bathtub can cause severe problems with your home’s structure that may go unnoticed until extensive damage has occurred.
Next is the installation of existing hardware, but you may opt to install a new faucet, handles and accessories. In this instance, discuss this beforehand so the installer can make plumbing adjustments to accommodate the new fixtures.
Is this a DIY Project?
If you have years of construction experience, you may consider this a DIY project. However, there are additional factors to consider before tackling this project.
- Structure preparation: Installation should not begin before inspection of the framing is complete. Noticing and replacing any damaged material will take additional skills and knowledge. Remember, these are the bones of your house and hold everything properly in place.
- Material selection: All adhesives and caulks are not created equal and do not produce the same outcome. Proper material choice ensures your panels stay in place permanently and water damage never becomes an issue.
- Panel alterations: At least one panel will require alteration and precise cuts made to accommodate the faucet, handles, and other accessories. Cutting takes precision and proper tools. Without these, cutting the holes can be challenging, and the tools you use can damage your surround panel if they are the wrong choice.
- Finalization: Caulking your surround panels may not seem that difficult, but poor caulk application will degrade the look and quality of the project. It can also lead to future trouble if not applied appropriately. Financially investing in home projects only for them to result in a poor ending at completion is not the goal and can end up costing more in the long run.
Let Bath Makeover By Capital Tackle your Project
If you live in Boston, there is no guesswork when the professionals from Bath Makeover by Capital install your bathtub surround. We provide a professional evaluation, installation, and completion of the project so that you get the desired outcome you are looking for.
Reach out today and let us make creating a beautiful, functional bathroom in your home a reality.