Advice on replacing bathrub/tile with fiberglass

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by kevinrug, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. kevinrug

    kevinrug New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Washington State
    My wife and I have decided to remodel the bathroom by putting in new flooring and vanity. What we have not decided on is if we should replace the bathtub and existing tile with a fiberglass enclosure.

    I'd like a few thougths on things to consider in doing so ie pro/con etc.

    The main reason we want to replace it is the existing tile grout is unsightly, stained with mildew etc.
    I'd like to know how difficult it would be to replace the grout / caulking vs replacing the tub/tile. Also how durable would a grout/Caulking R&R be and would it eliminate the mildew problem or just hide it for a while and it would be back?

    Also, what are the steps to remove and replace the tub? I have done a toilet, but never a bathtub before.

    all input greatly appreciated.
    Kevin
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    Unless you have a large doorway or a way to make access, the only fiberglass enclosure you will be able to use would be sectional one, and I have never been impressed with their looks, and sometimes their performance.
  3. kevinrug

    kevinrug New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Washington State
    thanks so much

    I didn't even consider getting it into the bathroom. Guess these are meant to be installed before the walls it sounds like.
    thanks again.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Grout can be cleaned. If badly stained/mildewed, it can be scraped out and regrouted. There is a tool called a grout saw...sort of a small carbide scraper. This is tedious, and could be an all day job, but replacing the tub is all MONTH if you do it your self. If you get all new grout in there, then get 2 coats of grout sealer, and reseal every six months, you can be happy with tile. Fibreglas for me is not nearly as friendly, especially if if gets stained.

    The best remedy for mold and mildew is AIR . Consider investing your time and energy in a new, much larger air flow, quieter exhaust fan.
  5. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    Messages:
    131
    Here's a tip for once you've replaced the grout and thoroughly cleaned the tile and chrome.
    You can save yourself a lot of work maintaining your tile if, after every shower, you simply wipe it down with an old towel. Especially dry the bright work around the valve handles. This area rapidly builds up a film that is difficult to clean. You can still disinfect (I like ScrubFree) but you won't have to do the work of removing soap scum. I never neglect this chore and my tile and faucets look new after many years. (If a little mildew appears I spray with a bleach containing product, let sit and then rinse.)
  6. kevinrug

    kevinrug New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Washington State
    one down, one 1/2 done

    as an update, we did pull the tile out and insert a 5 piece wrap-around. The second bath has the tile out but the wrap around is not in yet. In the meantime, I ended up having to move some water and drain pipes for the vanity. oh the joy of remodeling.
    The second bath was badly rotted on the long side of the tub wall where the grout / caulk had been. I'm glad in the long run we pulled this tile or we'd never have seen the rotting.
    If there is one thing I can pass along about these type of projects, it is
    to expect the unexpected, plan *very* carefully before starting, and have more money than you think you will need.
    kevin
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