Fix tile shower or put new fiberglass insert

Found my tile shower to be leaking.. plumber in the house for another project told me to break out bottom 6 inches of tile, and the floor tile and he would install new pan.. then we tile back over and be done with it. One I did that it was clear the wet wood continues up higher than 6 inches..
Now my thought is that it would be stupid to try to repair and re-tile.. and I should just remove all tile and replace with one of those fiberglass insert jobs. Doesn't that make more sense?
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You *could* do that, but if it were mine, I'd at least take a trip to a real tile store, just to see if there were any patterns that are fantastic enough to make you want to do all the work. It would be nasty to put in a fiberglass thing, and then a week later, spot a tile job in a magazine and be kicking yourself for the next however many years.
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Jack wrote:

Hello Jack:
Been there, done that. Water was leaking through (very old plastic) tile seams and the soap dish, into the wood and wallboard behind it. We decided to do it right. Removed all of the tile, all the wallboard behind it, and some of the studs behind that-----the studs were wet too. Then we put in some new studding, concrete tile backerboard, and new tile. That was about fifteen years ago, and it still looks and works great.
My guess is that if the wood is wet, it will eventually rot. It is unlikely to dry out much after the new wallboard and tile are in place.
Best -- Terry
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I should have been more clear with my question:
I will not just cover over anything that is wet.. I will remove everything that is wet.
My real question is, should I then rebuild with tile.. or rebuild with a fiberglass insert. What are pros and cons of each?
I could take or leave aesthetics of tile, and if a fiberglass can do the same job cheaper I am leaning that way.. but again, looking for others opinions on what is the best way to rebuild after I repair all wet damage.
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Jack; You need to go to a home depot or lowes to see the actual difference. I for one was going down this very road awhile ago. The fiberglass / pastic walls(shower enclosures) are cheaper, but the dont look that great and also seem hollow/cheap. I dont even want to think of what would happen in the stuff cracked....
The ones I saw were around 500.00 for the whole unit.
With a good shower base and tiles I was in the 800.00 range.
The only thing is labor. I did the job myself. If I had someone else doing it, just putting in a whole unit would have been much cheaper. The work putting up the walls and tiling the whole thing would have made the tile job much more expensive if I had to pay for labor.
In any case, I went for putting in a nice heavy fiberglass/acrylic showerbase (400.00 one) with some concrete under it to really make it strong. (wasnt pure concrete it was some mixed that was sold at home depot)
Anyhow I put the base in and then put cement board up the walls with a tar paper underlayment.
I tiled the whole thing and am very pleased with it.
The plastic stuff looks cheap and reminds me of a bates motel sort of thing. Go to a showroom and see this stuff in person. I know its a matter of taste and money, but if you are going to do the work yourself you can probably get away with doing the material cost for only a little more money than the of the plastic enclosure. It will add more value to your home as well, people wont be scared to shower in it either!
Tom
Jack wrote:

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Depends what you're trying to optimize for, durability, ease of cleaning, ease of installation, feel, or cost.
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Jack wrote:

Hello again Jack:
Tile: much wider variety available; looks better (my opinion); stands up to scrubbing better in the long run; but requires some skill; cutting tile is a pain in the @$$; grouting is also a pain in the @$$; grout should be sealed regularly.
Fiberglass: probably easier for most people to install, and faster; fewer places for water to leak through (if grout chips out, water can pass thru). A single-piece fiberglass insert is likely to be best but is also fairly expensive and may be difficult to bring into the bathroom.
I don't know which is cheaper but when comparing price, it's probably best to compare the tile you wish to use against the fiberglass insert you wish to use. Don't forget to add the cost of adhesive and grout.
One other alternative is the kind of plastic insert that consists of flat panels. Two panels for the ends, two or three more for the back. A good-quality insert of that type runs about $100, isn't difficult to install, and will look good for quite a while. We installed one of those in the kids' bathroom two years ago, and it still looks very good. The type we got goes the whole way to the ceiling and has built-in soap/shampoo shelves and a washcloth rod. Be sure to get the correct adhesive and get more than you think you'll need.
Best -- Terry
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Had a tile shower stall--over time it was maintenance headache. Cleaning the tile, regrouting etc. Had a problem that required one of two ways to go----retile the stall or rip it out and go for an acrylic. Went for a Sterling Neo-Corner acrylic shower stall. Haven't looked back since----it was a pain to put in but it has been a pleasure-----squeegee after a shower keeps it nice and clean, NO grout, no scum, no scrubbing the base. If you're going long term do what you want, don't let short term dictate what you end up with. MLD
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One issue would be size. Fiberglass pans only come in certain sizes. I'm just in the process tiling a mud-set shower that I built to replace a tiny fiberglass pan shower. By going to tile, I could increase the size to the largest that would fit in my available space.
Bob
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Get rid of the tile ASAP!!!! Smooth surfaces are easy to clean and last longer without the problems of grout cracking and mildew. I'm so happy to have that in my house. Spray and wipe and its good as new
Jack wrote:

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Jack wrote:

They both get cruddy unless you do daily maintenance. Tile lasts forever, fib. doesn't. Last year I removed and replaced the grout in one of our 35 y/o baths. The second bath is fine. Neighbors have ripped theirs out because the grout deteriorated and major leaks existed before anything was done. Tile bath, good ventilation, done right, is my choice :o) Put in a grab bar - you might get old or break a leg someday :o)
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