Nightmare (tub surround) bathroom

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Old 06-01-14, 11:03 AM
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Angry Nightmare (tub surround) bathroom

Hi everyone. I am working on redoing my bathroom with a contractor. So far everything has gone smooth except the tub surround. (I know this is the flooring section, but I'm getting to that bit) The 5 piece tub surround that we initially tried to install was horrible. The pieces were different shades of white and it bubbled all over and looked terrible, so we ripped it off. My mom did both her bathroom tub surrounds with vinyl flooring 10 years ago and they look awesome, just like the day they were laid down, so I figured I would try this.

First person at the hardware store reccomende PL Premium as an adhesive. So on the new drywall, primed with BIN primer, we troweled on the PL and stuck the lino on. After a few minutes it all peeled off and would not stick back on. So I went to a different store and asked their opinion and they said that PL will never work for this kind of thing, and they gave me Flextech pressure sensitive adhesive. Neither of have used this before so we tested it with some scrap vinyl and drywall first. We let it get tacky just like it said and sure enough it stuck beautifully - to the scraps. It is pretty much non-movable when you stick it on, so we only had one go at getting the lino up.

First we had to scrape off as much of the PL as possible which was a nightmare, then re-prime it with BIN. We couldn't get the surface 100% smooth but we did our best. We applied the adhesive about 2 hours before it got tacky enough to apply the vinyl. We did the backside first. It went on smooth but this morning there are some significant bubbling where the adhesive is not sticking to the vinyl. I have peeled back these areas and re-applied the adhesive and also applied a thin layer to the back of the vinyl too to see if that would work better.

Does anyone have any experience doing this kind of thing? I have wasted so much money on garbage tub surrounds and am on my second 200 dollar sheet of lino. I have searched and searched for info, but it seems that the only replied people get to advice on this project is "why would you do that, it looks like crap" so what I'm looking for is some help trying to get it to work. I know it works because I've seen it been done and I think it looks great. I am aware of the risk of water running behind the vinyl. This has never been a problem in the other two bathrooms I have seen as the top was well caulked with silicone and finished with a vinyl moulding.

I am so tired of throwing money at this thing, I'm ready to sell the whole house an just wash my hands of it! I have spent 18 months completely re-doing the inside of the house and have sank about 50 grand into it, this is the first hangup.

Thanks for all your constructive comments.
 
  #2  
Old 06-01-14, 11:58 AM
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Welcome to the forums! I need to confirm with you that you are trying to get a waterproof wall surround for a tub using vinyl flooring??? Definitely not an industry standard by any means. If you have a contractor involved, has he popped any red flags at you yet? If not something is wrong.

You would be much better off by installing concrete backer underlayment on the walls of your tub/shower unit, then installing tile. Have you given this consideration? Has your contractor mentioned this?

I can't advocate any use of vinyl flooring for wall use, sorry.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 03:16 PM
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Thanks Larry. I know it's a little off-the beaten path but it was the only thing I could think of to do after the tub surround didn't work. I have been trying to avoid using ceramic tile at all costs but it looks like that is what's going to have to happen. We've tried 3x now with different stuff and it's just not working and I'm fed up. It's been 5 weeks since I've been able to have a shower in my own house and I just want my bathroom back.

My contractor has never done any bathroom tile work. I'm a little worried about problems we could encounter because I've never done it either. The guy at the local hardware store who has done lots of it is on vacation right now so I can't ask him for any advice. I guess I have been avoiding tile work like the plague because I don't know anything about it, it looks hard to do, and the previous tiles that I had in were all cracked, moldy and the board behind them was punky and full of mold. The tiles we had in our kitchen growing up were constantly cracking and the grout was always crumbling and looking moldy and it was a nightmare.

I've been doing pretty much everything in the house myself but I wanted to hire someone for this bathroom because I don't know much about it and I wanted a break, but it's just causing me more and more stress. I'm worried about screwing up the tile. I don't want to hire a different person because I have a whole laundry list of other things I need done that I have asked my current guy to do and everyone I talk to who has had work done by him says that they were very pleased and I am pleased with what he has done so far. I did have a previous contractor who was very good and did everything to code and was super fussy but the guy never showed up when he said he was going to, left me hanging a lot when I was taking time off work for him, never answered his voicemail or emails. At least the guy I have now is dependable.

I've done all I can do with this stupid vinyl. I guess I have to go the tile route, I hope I don't screw it up! I've easily dumped over a grand into this tub surround adventure already and have nothing to show for it. I will have to check out the forum appriate for tiling and get some advice and do some research tonight!

Thanks
 
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Old 06-01-14, 03:40 PM
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Installing tile tub surround - never done it

So after a complete nightmare trying to first install a plastic tub surround (which was garbage) and then 2 attempts at using vinyl flooring on the wall as a tub surround. I am stuck doing tile. I am scared stiff of doing tile but it's my last resort. I do have a handyman contractor helping me out on this but he has never done tile either so it's new to both of us.

We just installed new drywall all around the tub as the old stuff was punky and moldy. Primed with BIN, and then attempted to use PL Premium to put up the vinyl. Ddn't work. sCraped off as much of the PL as possible, primed with BIN again, tried flextech adhesive. Didn't work. Is it a bad idea to try to remove the adhesive, re-prime and put the tiles on that? I hate the idea of having to rip out all that new drywall and put cement backing on there. Is it absolutely nessesary is what I'm asking. Is cement backing thin enough that you can install it overtop the existing drywall, because the drywall is already over the lip of the tub. The acrylic tub is already nailed to the studs underneath the drywall.

What would you do. I have dumped over a grand into tub surround ideas and have nothing to show for it. I havn't been able to shower at my house for 5 weeks now and I'm getting really depressed, and broke.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 03:53 PM
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First, you'll have to say what BIN and PL are.

Second, drywall is not a proper backing material for tile (or anything else for that matter) in the wet tub/shower surround area. You need something much more water resistant and you've alluded to it. You've tried several non-standard (I'm being polite) shower surround materials and methods and burned up a lot of time and money trying cheap and easy. I would sit down, take a deep breath and consider doing the job properly.

If you want something quick, cheap and easy than I'd glue up fiber reinforced plastic panels or a plastic surround kit (which you've already tried). It still not a good idea to put it up over standard sheetrock but it's probably the best of the cheap-n-dirty options if you want to stick with what you've already got on the walls.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 04:24 PM
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OK, you have two threads going. Look at Dane's comments in "tile". Double posting problems is only going to slow down our responses and confuse matters. Maybe the moderator of this forum can combine the posts to one train of thought.

Tile is not difficult. On the forum, there are at least a dozen of us who have done many bathroom tile jobs, so we can walk you through this thing if you want to do it. As I said, you must get back to studs and remove all drywall in the shower area and start from scratch.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 04:25 PM
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Is there regular sheetrock right down to and behind the tub ?
 
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Old 06-01-14, 04:26 PM
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Tile is not that hard. I've done it to a satisfactory outcome except when I skimped to save a few dollars (pre- sites like this). Is it a daunting task for a newbie...yes. Does it seem overwhelming at first...yes.

Can it be done well by a first timer...yes.

Main thing is not to expect something like you see on a home improvement show for $500. You can't use hand painted and fired tiles or all the fancy accent stuff and do it cheap.

If you are just doing a surround, I'd imagine thats probably a $300-400 dollar job, depending on the condition you find the surrounding materials in. Rotted studs and flooring...yeah, thats going to be a problem.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 04:44 PM
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I have agree with the others. Don't let it get you down. At the very least you're leaning an expensive lesson. We all went down that road at one point.

I hope you went back to that first guy that you talk to and let him know he gave very bad advise and it cost you big time because of it. Hopefully that might prevent him from doing the same thing to others.

First time tiling is not that hard as as Gunguy and Chandler said. But I agree that mabey you should strip to studs and do it right. And keep it simple. The only problem you might encounter is cutting tiles for angles or curves. And we can walk you thru it.

Here's the kicker. Once you're done you're ging to say, "Hey, that wasn't so bad. I wish I was able to add some accent or fancy stuff to it." But that's for another time.

I suggest larger tiles because they are currently in style and cover a bigger area.

Send some pics of you current situation.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 07:48 PM
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Thanks everyone, you've been very helpful. I'm experiencing some difficulty because when I share this story with people they tear a strip off me and accuse me of being a stupid cheapskate, when all I was doing was following instructions. It's nice to find some help without being degraded.

I posted in two places because I had two different sets of questions, one about the vinyl flooring and more about how to do ceramic tile. I wanted to make sure I was keeping the posts in the correct subject forum so I thought I had to separate the two, sorry. I'll keep this one and get rid of the other one.

I've been reading up on it all afternoon and I see that yes indeed I have to tear the drywall out. The drywall only goes down to just over the lip of the tub, not behind the tub. The guy helping me out is going to hate that but it is what it is. He's not a specialist at bathrooms but so far he's the only guy I can find that actually shows up and helps me. He did a great job on my stairs and my friend's deck looks fantastic. But both of us are very new to doing a tile tub surround. I feel bad because I've wasted a lot of his time fooling around with it so far, and he doesn't feel right about charging me for his time and I don't feel right about not paying for his time so it's a big awkward mess. I asked him if he was up to doing tile and he said he can do it if I help.

Another fun awkward fact is that the "first guy" I talked to who gave me advise about doing this was my mom - who has worked in building supply and estimating for 30 years :/ She knows I'm not happy.

So. Ceramic tile. First step is to take down all the drywall around the tub. How far up should I go? All the way to the ceiling?

I have the understanding that I am to lay roofing felt directly on the studs with a staplegun and seal the bottom edge of the felt to the tub lip with roofing tar. Then install the backerboard as you would drywall over top the felt.

I've never worked with backerboard before. Can you cut it with a skillsaw like drywall?
 
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Old 06-01-14, 08:06 PM
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Here are some pics of the bathroom as it stands now

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Old 06-01-14, 08:39 PM
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Jbobsfunnyfarm,

Here is a link to my bathroom remodel that you can use as a rough guide or at least a pic of what you need to do and the order is should be done. In this pic album I did a complete remodel including walls, tub, floor, toilet, electrical, combo fan,night light and light over the tub, vanity and medicine chest. You may want to look at the tiling portion to get a few ideas. Such as using the blue painters tape to help secure the tile while the thin set sets up.

https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=C4A58...703C56D6F!2510

I did not use a vapor barrier with my backer board. My bath is a totally interior room. No harm is using it but over the years I never saw a need for it.

FWIW...I know you're trying to keep cost down, especially since you spent money for naught. But if you decide to strip to studs, this would be an excellent time to update your bath plumbing. And if you do, buy the best you can afford (Moen or Delta, or AM STD.).
 
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Old 06-02-14, 04:29 AM
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Look through Norm's remodel and you'll pickup some visual hints. Great slideshow, BTW.

You see how he tore out all the sheet rock and replaced it with 1/2" Durock, taping the edges and a little RedGard to boot. No worry about the depth of the Durock and the lip of the tub. Install 6 mil plastic on the wall and let it fall into the tub, over the lip. Then install your Durock sitting on the lip of the tub. Don't try to bring it over the lip and into the tub area. Your tile can jump that small gap and prevent possible wicking. Once your Durock is installed, you can trim your plastic just above where the tile will terminate on your tub.

This is a lot for one session, but you get the drift. He can help you, you can help him, and we can work from the background making sure it all goes well. Post questions as needed. We're here.
 
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Old 06-02-14, 09:11 AM
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Two threads were in two separate forums initially. One moved here and the existing one originally posted here have now been merged into this single thread.

Making much easier to both read and follow along...

 
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Old 06-02-14, 09:40 AM
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Most tile is not particularly difficult to work with. I would pick something medium sized as both extremes of really small or really big tiles can present some unique difficulties, but bigger tiles mean fewer tiles to set, cut and grout.

There are tools that score and then snap tiles to size. Don't feel bad if you have trouble with it. I've never been able to get the bloody things to reliably work right so I cut everything. Tile saws can be rented or there are inexpensive ones for less that can get the job done.

One of your biggest "gotchas" will probably be the faucet and tub spout. Since you have a three knob faucet you're probably going to have to drill holes in the tile.
 
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Old 06-02-14, 11:14 AM
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One of your biggest "gotchas" will probably be the faucet and tub spout. Since you have a three knob faucet you're probably going to have to drill holes in the tile.
True! Buy some scrap tile and practice drilling and hole cutting.
 
 

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