Tub and tub walls

Replacing a porcelain steel tub and the ceramic and walls, which are 30+ years old.
Undecided on a product from American Standard, which is a material called Americast with porcelain over it, or an acrylic tub. Cast is out of the question at this point because of the weight and small area it's going into. Comments on negative or positive of the two choices would be welcome.
The existing walls are regular drywall, no green/blue board and has never deteriorated. Will be replacing the drywall, however everything I read says to go with cement board. I've looked at numerous pictures on the net, and people are still using green and blue board. Is it really necessary to use cement board?
Thanks
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Definitely use concrete board around the tub area. If drywall held up it's only because it never got wet. 30 years ago the only options were drywall or plywood. Drywall would usually get ruined by water and plywood expands and contracts too much to be a good substrate for tile. But there wasn't concrete board then. (There was, of course, always the option of masonry over metal lathe, but that's a specialty skill that's rarely done anymore.)
Someone else probably has better advice on the tub. I prefer the porcelain look and suspect the acrylic tub will get badly scratched up over time. But the plastic tubs are popular. If I were you I'd try to find a friend who put one in some years ago, and make sure it still looks good, before deciding on the plastic.
| Replacing a porcelain steel tub and the ceramic and walls, which are 30+ | years old. | | Undecided on a product from American Standard, which is a material | called Americast with porcelain over it, or an acrylic tub. Cast is out | of the question at this point because of the weight and small area it's | going into. Comments on negative or positive of the two choices would be | welcome. | | The existing walls are regular drywall, no green/blue board and has | never deteriorated. Will be replacing the drywall, however everything I | read says to go with cement board. I've looked at numerous pictures on | the net, and people are still using green and blue board. Is it really | necessary to use cement board? | | Thanks
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On 7/24/2014 6:03 PM, ralf wrote:

Do you use the tub? Or do you shower all the time? Last time anyone took a bath in my hous was over 15 years ago when the grandkids were little.
We had a fiberglass tub and surround and took it out. Now we have a 60" shower in the palace of the tub and we love it. Bought a 32 x 60 pan from Swanstone and it replaced the tub and the drain was in the right position. Ceramic tile walls, glass door, Kohler valves and a Delta rainhead and handheld. Looks fantastic and we all like it'
Right now I'm in the process of doing the downstairs bath the same way. The shower has tile to the ceiling, the rest of the room has 5 tiles high (50") with a 3" trim band and a 3" bullnose on the top.
The shower also has two grab bars. They are a must as you get older. My wife also uses a seat in the shower and there is plenty of room in it.
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'ralf[_2_ Wrote:

Can't speak about "Americast", but anything with the word "Acrylic" in front of it means that it's made of the same plastic that Plexiglas is made of, namely polymethyl methacrylate, or "PMMA" for short. PMMA is great in terms of water resistance, but it's not a very hard plastic, and would be susceptible to scratches. You're going to have to do the wall tiling installation after the tub is in place, so ensure you get a piece of nice thick pile carpeting and place it pile side down in the tub to protect the plastic.
You should also know that nail polish is acetone, and acetone will dissolve PMMA. So, wherever anyone is going to be doing their nails, it's best not to use an Acrylic working surface. Plastic laminate stands up well to acetone spills, and my understanding is that the natural rocks like marble and granite do as well.
Here's how to do your tiling: 1. Install new tub, and tub & shower faucet. If you're going to have a shower, install the shower arm onto lumber that is braced to the studs so that in future you can twist hard on the shower arm to remove it from the elbow in the wall without the elbow bouncing all over the place. The elbow in the wall is called a "wing back elbow" or "shower elbow" and will have two holes in it for screws to anchor it securely to any wood bracing behind it.
2. Also install 3/4 inch plywood in the areas where the shower rod ends will be mounted to the walls. Make sure the front of that plywood is flush with the adjacent wall studs.
3. Install a proper tile backer board on the wall studs. The most popular tile backer boards are cement boards like Wonderboard and Durock, but Georgia Pacific makes a gypsum based ceramic tile backer board for baths and showers called "Dens-Shield". I've used it on the walls around a few tub enclosures, and it's as resistant to water as any cement board, but it's not as strong as most cement boards.
4. Now, paint over your tile backer board with a moisture barrier like Red Gard. Ceramic tiling is not impermeable to water, and the moisture that passes through the porous cement based grout can accumulate in the wall and support the growth of mold or mildew inside the wall. A moisture barrier like Red Gard effectively prevents the passage of moisture through the tiled walls.
Now, do your ceramic tiling. I've set more than my fair share of wall tiles, and I can tell you the following:
A) It's a bad idea to start your bottom row of tiles on the tub. If the tub isn't flat and level, then all your tiling will be crooked too. Instead, fasten straight piece of wood (like pieces of wooden molding) around the tub enclosure a little way above the tub and going around all three walls around the tub. Set your first course of tiles on that wooden molding, and tile up to the ceiling. Then, remove the wooden molding strips, and cut your bottom row of tile to fit down to the tub. You want those wood molding strips to be installed so that you have to cut as little as possible off that last row of tiles that fits down to the tub. That way, it just looks like the bottom row are full tiles, but they're not. The advantage of doing it this way is that no matter how out of whack your tub is, your tiling will still be straight.
B) If you're going to grout, then you have to choose between an epoxy grout and a portland cement based grout. Epoxy grouts never mildew, but they're inherently harder to work with. Portland cement based grouts are much easier to work with, but they need to be sealed in order to prevent mildew from growing on them in time. If you opt for a portland cement based grout, then you have two choices: to use a penetrating grout sealer or a film forming grout sealer. Penetrating grout sealers theoretically last very much longer than film forming grout sealers. In my own case, I use a film forming grout sealer on the 21 bathrooms in my apartment block. If you decide to use a film forming grout sealer, make sure it says that it's an ACRYLIC grout sealer. There are also silicone based film forming grout sealers, and the problem with them is that once they're cured, you can't apply more grout sealer over them to increase the protection of the grout. That's because nothing sticks well to silicone based plastics, not even another silicone based plastic. So, any grout sealer that says "something siloxane" on the bottle will be a silicone based grout sealer, and if it's meant to just remain on the surface of the grout, you shouldn't use it. Use an acrylic grout sealer instead which will allow you to continue adding coats of grout sealer to the grout lines as the tiling gets older.
C) Do all your tiling first, and then stick your soap dishes and corner shelves to the tiling. Recessed soap dishes are notorious for being the cause of leaks into the wall. Better to have the soap dish stuck to the tiling with silicone caulk so that there's no way water can leak in around that soap dish. In my building, I have about 25 or more soap dishes and corner shelves installed that way in 21 bathrooms, and not a single soap dish or corner shelf has come off in over 25 years now.
--
nestork

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On Fri, 25 Jul 2014 05:33:53 +0200, nestork

Pay the extra money and use epoxy grout. The long term benefits are so far superior you'd be crazy to think about using Portland grout in a shower.
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I replaced an enameled steel tub with Americast about 25 years ago. Still looks new, although you have to be careful not to use any abrasive cleansers. Use cement board if the shower is going to be used to any degree. That the drywall held up for you would seem to indicate more baths than showers.
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On 8/3/2014 11:05 AM, BuenoOffenhauser wrote:

And use epoxy grout. Better waterproofing than sand grout.
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