Best practices for wood bathtub surround

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by anthony mathile, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. anthony mathile

    anthony mathile New Member

    Sep 25, 2019
    Joshua Tree
    Hi All,

    Looking to do a wooden bathtub surround and can only really find details and info for a tile install so was hoping to get some knowledge from the board on my specifics. I've attached an image reference the client wants to emulate.

    First off this is a tub only - no shower in this area. The wood deck surround will be cedar. The tub is a resin tub - and while not an undermount it does have a 1" lip around and we are planning to have the wood deck go over the lip and flush with the sides of the tub. The floor is concrete slab and there is a 1'x1' tub box in the slab.

    My question is for best practices on waterproofing the install. I've come up with a few install options and wondering if anyone has any insight that could help me choose what would be best:

    Frame out and cover with 3/4" plywood deck under cedar deck with 1/4"/ft slope towards tub.
    - waterproof plywood deck with 60 mil EPDM (similar to a roof install) and attach EPDM to tub lip with water cutoff mastic
    - or cover plywood deck in something like NobleSeal TS and carry the nobleseal over the lip
    I'm thinking EPDM is going to be a more durable material for the waterproofing since I won't be tiling over but not sure.
    Then :
    1a. Fully seal the cedar deck above for drainage layer and pitch towards tub or:
    1b. Leave gaps between cedar deck and let hit the drainage layer below.

    In either case I would have to affix the cedar deck with adhesive for no punctures. And space it off the drainage layer with 1/8" shims to provide drainage space. thinking sikka flex or similar would be a good option.

    Thanks for any help or guidance on this.

    Attached Files:

  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    I'm assuming the cedar gets nailed up? If so, you might want to use something designed to seal around the nails like the self-stick rolls used on a roof that helps prevent damage from ice dams.

    I'd pose this question over at While dealing mostly with tile, they have shed some insight into some of the problems with moisture when dealing with a soaking tub and subsequent structural platforms for the tub.
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