conflicting advice

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by travelgirl81, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. travelgirl81

    travelgirl81 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I need advice on what to purchase for a remodel tub and surround. My existing set-up has a 5-piece surround and tub- cast iron with porcelain, I believe. The surround is extremely moldy around the caulk, so this is why I want to replace it.

    The contruction man says that fiberglass tubs will crack. Several people have told me that cast-iron tubs will chip. I found a Vikrell snap-together tub and surround today at Home Depot that the salesman swears by.

    What should I do? I also have heard varying reports from friends who redid a tub with caulk-filled surround only to have to re-replace it 6 months later because of the same mold problem. They swear by an interlocking/snap-together set-up.

    I found a cast-iron covered with porcelain Kohler tub at Home Depot and a Mustee 3-piece surround that is very very sturdy, but it'll need to be caulked.

    Help! My head is swimming with details.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Cast iron is the cadillac of tubs. Very durable and long lasting. It is possible to chip it , but it does not chip easily, like porcelain on steel does. The Vikrelll is also a quality tub. If cared for properly, it would be quite long lasting, but comparing A to B, cast iron probably has the longer life expectancy.

    Any type of fiberglas or acrylic surround will have to be caulked in the seams. In fact, even a marble or tile surround will have some seams to caulk. There is no secret to mold prevention......ventilation. If you do not have a good exhaust fan, any tub/shower will be prone to mildew. You must use a quality mildew-inhibitive caulk, and clean FREQUENTLY, and immediately at the first sign of mold, with Moldex. If mold is allowed to remain and grow on caulk, it is incurable. And if not properly treated when you scrape out the caulk for redo, the mold will reappear.
  3. travelgirl81

    travelgirl81 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thank you

    Thank you, jimbo for your advice. How do you make sure all mold is cleaned up on the remodel?
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Treatment of any signs of mold or mildew with a product like Moldex, followed by thorough drying using fans.
  5. bigbird

    bigbird New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Canada
    I can't speak for the US, but in Canada a company called FIAT (owned by Crane) and a company called MAXX produce reno 3 piece acrylic tub/shower units that have overlapping seams that require NO caulking. There is a simple latch system to hold the 3 pieces together, and a factory applied adhesive strip keeps the 3 sections aligned and tight until the unit is screwed to its required framing. I just installed a FIAT in my reno'd bathroom, and it is superb.

    Here's the unit I installed:
    http://fiat.ca/viewProduct.asp?ID=4
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