Installing Bathtub Surrounds Over Tile
Bathtub surrounds are the cheapest and easiest way to remodel your bathing area. If you are tired of the drab tiled wall around your tub and want to replace it without much mess or investment, bathtub surrounds are your best bet. These do not require professional installers and can be placed directly over the tiles, without having to remove and re-tile the walls.
Tip 1: Choosing the Surrounds
You have a great range of bathtub surrounds to choose from. They are available in various styles to suit your interiors and render a fresh look to your bathing space. Make a choice between acrylic surrounds or fiberglass ones. Whatever you choose, you shall be the gainer as both are low maintenance materials and hardly require heavy duty cleaning and scrubbing, unlike the old tiles. You may choose any color and shade of the surround so that it matches up to the bathroom color. Surrounds have three types of texture: smooth, rough and slightly pebbled. Make a choice according to your taste.
Tip 2: Removal Tips
During the installation process, wear safety goggles as a precaution. Before you install the bathtub surrounds, you need to remove the existing shower head, handles of the faucet and shower extensions. Do not apply too much force while removing them. Simply turn the handles and head in a counter clock direction and gently pull them out. Make sure that the pipe inside the wall does not crack up. Preserve the dress up shower rings carefully.
Tip 3: Sanding
For sanding the tile surface it is best to use palm sandpaper of a high grit. The tiles must be completely de-glossed before you install the surrounds on them or else the surround will not be set up firmly.
Tip 4: Cleaning
Clean the bathtub and surrounding wall. Take a liquid soap solution mixed with warm water and dampen a clean cloth with it. Thoroughly wipe the tub and tiled walls with this cloth and leave to dry.
Tip 5: Preparations
Align the bathtub surrounds on the tiled parts before actually fitting them so that you can be sure that the surround is larger than the areas that are tiled. Carefully mark the places on the surround where the faucet and head is to be placed back, with a marker. Mark the outside edge of the tub surround for convenience during installation. See if the surround needs to be trimmed or cut in any part for proper fit on the tiles. When cutting out holes for the shower parts on the surround, use a circular saw. Check if the surround you bought has any corners that have to be screwed up before installing on the tiled area.
Tip 6: Adhesion
Buy an adhesive suitable for gluing the surround to the wall. Apply the adhesive on the tiles and the wall with a brush so that it spreads evenly. You may use a hand held roller brush on the surround for ensuring perfect adhesion. Make sure that the adhesive is applied till a height that is a quarter inch less than the outer edge line marked previously. On the surface where the adhesive is applied, firmly place the surround. Press hard on all portions of the surround, so that it does not come off.
Tip 7: Finishing Tips
After installation it is suggested that the sides and edges of the tub surround are caulked with a silicon based caulk. This is an effective sealant.