Since the topic of Tub Surrounds has been on this newsgroup, I got to
thinking about what to use in my own bathroom.
Several years ago, I had to remove the tub because the bathroom floor
needed repair. In order to remove the tub, I first had to remove the tub
surround. Initially, I thought I could just remove the panels by using a
putty knife on the adhesive, and later on, re-glue the same surround to
the walls. I soon found that was not going to happen. The surround was
very hard to remove and no matter how careful I tried, it broke apart,
leaving a huge mess of adhesive to remove, as well as sheetrock with
much of it's surface paper gone.
In the end, I ended up removing the sheetrock and replacing it, which
lead to pretty much redoing the entire bathroom, because the sheet rock
extended beyond the tub area.
After that ordeal, I decided to never install another tub surround. Not
only are they over priced, and you need to buy the more expensive models
to get something worth looking at, but, as I found out, they make it
impossible to remove a tub without nearly gutting the bathroom.
Since that time, I replaced the sheetrock, and the tub, and just painted
the walls. Since I rarely use the shower, and prefer baths, this is not
a big problem. However, I have been looking for something to put on
those walls which not only looks nicer, but there's a good chance a
relative will be moving in here, and they like showers.
Ceramic tile seems to be the next most used wall covering, and I think
it's a lot nicer looking than tub surrounds, and if the tub ever needs
to be removed, only the bottom row of the tile needs to be removed, and
they can be removed without destroying the whole wall. However, I recall
my father having to constantly re-do the grout in his bathroom when I
was younger, and how that grout gets real ugly from mildew, and it just
seems like a high maintenance thing I'd rather not have to deal with.
The only other alternnative I have seen, is some paneling made from
masonite with a finished surface, which does not seem to hold up after a
few years. And since this material is sold in 4x8' sheets, there is a
seam where water will get in.
I'm now looking for other alternatives.
So far, the only thing I've found is someone who used ribbed galvanized
steel sheets, which is made for siding on barns. That is something I'm
considering. That's easy to install, using neoprene washer screws, and
some silicone caulk in the seams. However this is not conventional, and
most people would probably not like it. But I found it on a website and
was used in what they referred to as a "cowboy bathroom". Personally, I
like the looks of it, and the ease to install it. I am seriously
But I'm sure there are other non-conventional materials which can be
used. I even thought about using vinyl siding, and that probably would
work, but I dont much care for the looks of it.
Another thing I have considered was to just put vinyl sheet flooring
(linoleum) on the walls. I think that would hold up a lot better than
that masonite paneling, and would look nice too, (and has a lot of
colors and patterns available).
So, what else is there? Does anyone have any ideas? Have you ever seen
other alternative materials used that you found desirable.