Boarding Shower Walls – Choosing the best shower or bathtub wall surround can be hard. Should you install acrylic, an excellent surface material like Swanstone, or use decorative tiles? Will the caliber of these products stand test of energy? Which one is the best match to your budget and tastes? Learn 7 practical steps to determine which wall method is best for you.
Step 1 – Determine if you would like to check out your existing walls – To spend less it’s nice to position a bathtub or shower wall surround over a preexisting surface. It is possible to use specialized glue or butyl tape to adhere acrylic or Swanstone solid surface materials over existing tile as long as the existing walls are not spongy or bowed. If you have a plastic or fiberglass system it’s not possible to set new walls over your existing materials. In these cases the existing system will need to removed, new backerboard installed then new walls set up.
Step 2 – Think through your budget- If you’re similar to you want to get the best deal to your money – a high quality material which doesn’t break the bank. If you’re looking for a fairly easy to wash cost-effective material acrylic is a superb choice. It is warm to the touch, installs quickly and includes a lifetime warranty.
For an even more elegant appearance (that’s for sale in more decorative patterns and designs) think about a Swanstone solid surface wall. Swanstone is not hard to maintain, doesn’t have joints to grout or seal and will come in numerous choices. Usually the more costly technique is tile (unless you have the ability to install it yourself and save the labor hours- tile is the most time consuming to setup vs. sheet items like acrylic & Swanstone). There are limitless choices and price ranges of tile and it creates a sophisticated look too.
Step 3 – Select your material, designs, colors and accents you would like – After you’ve selected between acrylic, Swanstone and tile you need to choose your design and color(s). Acrylic wall surrounds are available in numerous colors, patterns and finishes. There are solid, granite, metallic and also marble finishes. In addition the walls you choose could be smooth, 4″ x 4″ simulated tiles, 8″ x 10″ simulated tiles or perhaps a stone look. Acrylic is no longer just a white smooth faced wall.
Swanstone, while it has become noted for it’s strength, color and texture consistent, grout-free quality, as well as the fact it certainly can’t crack or craze – includes a very broad range of decorative options too. There are over 45 standard, shiny, and granite colors. In addition there are decorative panels to create unique architectural designs named Pebble, Geometric, Beadboard, Tangier and Barcelona. There are also designer trim pieces and rosettes to create a finished look. Tile provides widest product options in terms of color, accents, borders, sizes and thicknesses. Make sure to look for a high density water repellent tile to your bath or shower.
Step 4 -Choose your backerboard. Select material to adhere the wall material as well as in the case of tile finish the face of the wall- What you do not see inside a bathtub or shower wall panel project is as significant as everything you do see. Use the right material(s) behind the wall. Here are some recommendations: Acrylic – If the tile walls have been in good shape install over them by adhering the acrylic with butyl tape and color match sealant. This will save on landfill costs, lessen the project installation serious amounts of spend less. If the existing wall can’t be installed over set up moisture resistant green board or possibly a cement backer board. Swanstone – Like acrylic if your tile is at good structural shape install over the existing. If not, Swanstone could be installed over greenboard or possibly a cement board using special glue.
Tile – Poorly done tile installations have caused a lot of wasted money historically (cheap backer board could have been used, poor grouting jobs, poor are employed in the corners are just a few of the problems). For tile installations never use green board – use whether water repellent cement board or possibly a waterproof extruded polystyrene board like that created from Wedi Corporation. These boards must be glued and screwed to your framing. In addition to with all the right backer board consider investing inside a urethane grout. This type of grout doesn’t should be resealed and it is waterproof. Although it costs more up front it’ll spend less as time goes on within the should regrout, or worse yet the should redo the shower in case you have any water damage.
Step 5 – Fix what’s behind the wall – The best time to fix an undesirable performing shower valve, a shower head that’s too low, or add backer material to boost investing in your accessories occurs when you may have the wall opened up.
Step 6 – Identify the tub tub and shower accessories you want to add function and elegance to your project – Have you always wanted a leg ledge for shaving, a corner seat, a curved shower rod to keep the river in, a hand held shower, a corner caddy, a frameless shower door, shampoo or soap niche or possibly a grab bar? When you’re installing new wall surrounds is the perfect time for it to accessorize your bath or shower making it be right for you and your loved ones.
Step 7 – If the process sounds too difficult call a good contractor that’s not a “one size fits all” – Let’s face it, there are a lot of choices and installation details that should be done efficiently to make sure a successful project. Calling an expert could possibly be more costly within the short term but save long lasting costs. Make sure to pick a contractor which doesn’t try and push you into the one kind of shower or bath wall surround system you can purchase (such as a company selling acrylic systems pushes that one solution giving you). Look for a company skilled and competent in multiple systems that will attempt to understand your needs, budgets and tastes and supply different alternatives.
Know you’re equipped with 7 steps that will function as a good outline to plan your acrylic, Swanstone or tile bathtub or shower wall surround installation.