Solid surface tub surround

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Old 12-29-07, 02:25 PM
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Solid surface tub surround

I need help deciding what material I want for a tub surround. Right now it's one of the cheap 4 piece units that the previous owners installed. I want a solid surface material that is non-porous like corian or granite, I think.....I also want a window installed in the tub. I'm having a hard time finding places locally that carry what I think I want. The country well water is not the best which is why I'm thinking solid surface. I've never done a bathroom remodel before, so I'm lost. I'm going to get some estimates but want to do my homework first so I don't look like a dumb female. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Barbara
 
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Old 12-29-07, 09:12 PM
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Tub surround

Go for the Corian surround. They are made in kits in various sizes which can be installed by anyone. They come with an installation video, silicone to seal the corners, and printed directions. The back panels, which are flat, go in first. They fit together with a tongue & groove joint. The end panels are thermoformed on one side to fit to the back panels with a curve. There's also two soap dishes made to fit the thermoformed corners. It's a very easy surround to keep clean. If you have a Corian Fabricator install it, he could seam the two back sheets together to make it even easier to clean. Good luck
 
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Old 12-30-07, 04:09 AM
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I know you really want the window installed "over" the tub rather than "in" the tub, but you will need to have this done prior to getting the estimates for the Corian or other surface, since they will have to measure for it. I just finished a remodel where the customer wanted a picture window in their shower unit (36 sq ft). I winced at first, knowing windows=leak, and I didn't want it to happen, but once it was installed and tiled up, it really made the bath.
 
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Old 12-30-07, 05:20 AM
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Talking

Thanks so much for the replies. I'm pretty sure now that I do want the Corian surround. And the view from that window is fabulous. Thanks again. I appreciate it. Barbara
 
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Old 12-31-07, 10:27 AM
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Have a look at this site http://www.theswancorp.com/products/tubWalls/

Not cheap but might end up less than Corian. You'll have to cut a hole for your window. I am thinking about getting a shower floor and walls from them.
 
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Old 12-31-07, 01:54 PM
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It's funny you should mention Swanstone. I think that's what I'm getting. I talked to the guy at Lowe's about it yesterday. They have a big selection of colors. I am printing the PDF file for installation now. There is a guy coming over Wednesday night to give me an estimate on the remodel and I want to make sure he is familiar with Swanstone installation. From the looks of it, it's going to cost around $1000 just for the surround and soap dishes. Oh well, we women want what we want. Thanks for the suggestion. Barbara
 
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Old 12-31-07, 02:46 PM
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Do what you want to, but talk to someone who has a Swanstone sink about ease of cleaning before putting the shower surround in. Swanstone is reinforced with fiberglass fibers which are just below the surface with a thin coat of resin over it. That makes it very strong, but stains tend to cling to it. Solid Surface, whether Corian or another brand, does not have that, and will be easier to clean for the life of the unit. I agree that the Swanstone surround will cost less. Good luck
 

Last edited by CNTRTOP; 12-31-07 at 02:50 PM. Reason: added last sentence
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Old 12-31-07, 06:18 PM
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Actually the reason I chose the Swanstone is because the guy at Lowe's had never heard of a Corian surround. He also asked a couple of other guys and they hadn't either. He was supposed to call I think DuPont and find out about it. Do you know of a website that has info? One of my biggest concern is stains because of our well water. Price is a factor of course but I'd rather go with a more durable and less staining material. I'd rather pay a little more for something that will last. Thanks for the reply.
 
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Old 01-01-08, 11:58 AM
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Shower Surround

OK. DuPont doesn't make it easy to find information on the web for shower surrounds. They're more focused on countertops. But go to corian.com, click on Search DuPont at the top of the screen, type in corian shower surrounds, then scroll down to 3-Wall shower surround to see a listing of colors and sizes available and a postage stamp size picture of one which doesn't blow up. But if you put in your ZIP code they will give you a list of dealers in your area. Only six colors are available in 3 precut sizes. If you want to choose from the whole spectrum of colors, 1/2" material could be used, but it's going to be a full custom job, thus probably a lot more expensive. The only way to know for sure is to go to a Corian Dealer (Kitchens) And get a quote. This way you would be working with a Certified Corian Fabricator.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 04:20 AM
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I have been reading these posts, and had to interject my thoughts. Sorry if it is out of place. Rather than going with the expense of Corian or others, wouldn't cultured marble be alot less expensive with a harder surface? Just curious, as we have these installed often. We have a local cultured marble manufacturer who does excellent work. Plus they can make it to fit your application if it is odd.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CNTRTOP View Post
Do what you want to, but talk to someone who has a Swanstone sink about ease of cleaning before putting the shower surround in. Swanstone is reinforced with fiberglass fibers which are just below the surface with a thin coat of resin over it. That makes it very strong, but stains tend to cling to it. Solid Surface, whether Corian or another brand, does not have that, and will be easier to clean for the life of the unit. I agree that the Swanstone surround will cost less. Good luck
CNTRTOP,

Are you talking about the Swanstone solid surface or one of their other materials? Here is what they say "Authentic solid surface. Color and texture run all the way through and cannot wear away." No mention of fiberglass or resin.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 11:24 PM
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I haven't kept up with them in recent years, but they used to make a big deal out of their fiberglas reinforcing, and fabricators I know who have worked with it complained of the fibers flying in the air when cutting it on a table saw and being itchy, kind of like installing unfaced fiberglas insulation on a hot summer day.
I just checked their website to see what I could learn. I see the reference you mentioned to "Authentic Solid Surface" as if admitting that it wasn't before. But if you click on kitchen sinks you'll see "Lasting beauty in our reinforced solid surface material". No more mention of what the reinforcing is. As for the resin, I'm not sure what it is, but that's what holds it all together. It's likely either polyester or acrylic. Most solid surfaces now use acrylic resin, except for some Avonite and Formica Solid Surface.
Chandler: The cultured marble probably would work as well, but isn't it protected with a gelcoat? She said she has well water which stains, probably rust. With Corian, and apparently New Swanstone, cleaning can be done with a green Scotch Brite pad and Bon Ami to look like new. Wouldn't this treatment scour the gelcoat off? Just a thought.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 03:29 AM
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Yeah, it would scratch it, but my thoughts on the gelcoat is if it is slick enough, it shouldn't need scouring. Probably a good shower spray would keep it clean. Take care.
 
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Old 03-15-08, 06:43 PM
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lovevmy swanstone!

We put in a swanstone shower pan and wall surrounds several years ago---almost 5 now. I love it! It was very easy to install, easy to maintain and always looks great! No grout to clean, just a smooth surface we squeugee (sorry for the spelling!) after each shower. It replaced our old, outdated 5 foot tub, so now we have 5 luxurious feet of showering. We are now looking into a tub surround for the kid's bathroom.
 
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Old 01-05-09, 07:25 AM
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Smile Looking for a sollution

Originally Posted by chandler View Post
I have been reading these posts, and had to interject my thoughts. Sorry if it is out of place. Rather than going with the expense of Corian or others, wouldn't cultured marble be alot less expensive with a harder surface? Just curious, as we have these installed often. We have a local cultured marble manufacturer who does excellent work. Plus they can make it to fit your application if it is odd.
Hi Chandler,
I arrived at this site while researching solid surface tub surrounds. We have a condo unit with two baths that need to have the tile removed and relplaced. I would prefer to use a solid surface and am not impressed with those fiberglas systems that can be glued over existing problems. I see Corian and Swan stone among these posts but I am worried that they are costly and I am thinking cultured marble might be a bit less pricy. Can you recommend any supecific cultured marble suppliers?
 
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Old 01-05-09, 02:33 PM
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Welcome to the forums! It is not so much the "suppliers", but the fabricators and installers that you need to look up. We are lucky to have a fabricating plant in our sleepy town, and they do really good work at a reasonable price. You may have to resort to yellow pages or a google search in your area. Good luck, and let us know if we can help further.
 
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