Would you recommend a tub surround?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ November 7, 2012 ~ No Comments

I am replacing an old tub. What kind of new tub should I get? Do caulkless surrounds work? Do I need to put down a bed of mortar?

Steven K. - Gloucester, VA

Brett Kulina

Steven, a simple and straightforward way to replace your bath tub would be to install an acrylic bath tub and shower surround into your existing bathroom. Not only are these units an economical alternative to a new cast iron tub and custom tile work, but an experienced DIY'er can install these units in about a day. Acrylic tubs are also easy to keep clean, because there are no grout lines or tile seams to maintain.

One piece tub/shower units are ideal for new construction, but you may need a 2 or 3 piece unit for your bathroom remodel so that you can get the tub through the existing doorway. Most often the tub portion of the unit is installed first, followed by the shower walls. The number of walls that come with your unit will depend on which brand and model you select, as well as the existing layout of your bathroom. It is not usually necessary to install a bed of mortar under an acrylic tub unit, but make sure to thoroughly read and follow the installation instructions that come with the tub that you purchase.

Acrylic tub/shower units cost between $800 and $1500, and most home improvement warehouses have several brands in stock. If you need a non-standard sized unit, then you may have to visit a plumbing supply store to see what options are available for special order. Prior to purchasing your new tub, you should consult a plumber, who will be needed to connect the new tub to your home's plumbing lines and waste pipe and can help ferret out any potential problems before your project gets under way.

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