Swanstone Wall Panels

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by BS, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. BS

    BS New Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Central Ohio
    I'm getting ready to install Swanstone bathtub wall panels and have a few questions for those who have experience with these.

    I've removed the original fiberglas surround and left the 21" of drywall that was above it to the ceiling. I'll be installing new drywall over the exposed studs so that all three walls will be completed sheathed in drywall. I do not intend to tape the joints between the old and new drywall because the Swanstone panels (which will be glued to the drywall) will cover these joints. I'll keep the bottom edge of the drywall about 1/4" above the top of the tub's installation flange. The instructions say nothing about a vapor barrier so I don't think I need to install one. Or do I?

    All of the studs in the bathtub alcove are perfectly plumb (in this house, that's amazing), although one or two stick out a little bit. I could shave them down but I'm concerned that doing so will cause the joints between the old and new drywall not to be flush, affecting the contact surface between the drywall and Swanstone panels. If I were to leave the studs as they are, will the panels conform to the slight curvature in the drywall and remain adhered? Or does the wall have to be perfectly flat?

    Should the panels rest on the tub or be suspended slightly above it (say 1/8") as with a tiled wall? Given the weight of these panels, it seems they should rest on the tub, but the instructions say nothing about this. (The tub is Swanstone Veritek.)

    Finally, do the wall corners have to be perfectly square (90 deg.) or can the corner molding and trim tolerate slight variation?

    Comments (+ or -) about any of this would be most appreciated. Thanks.

    - Bernie
  2. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    swanstone panels are very nice..

    If you have a perfectly plumb situation

    you are very lucky and

    you ought to go out and buy some lottery tickets.....

    cause it dont happen often...

    you should set the panels directly on the tub,

    of course do the back wall first
    they are heavy and will probably settle to it anyway...

    I suggest
    you would be wise to run a bead of clear 100% silicone along the
    bottom and perhaps up a 1/2 inch or so on the drywall to totally make that seam 100% water proof....
    then wipe of the excess with a rag

    the side walls will never work out exactly perfect...

    .and that is what those side and corner trim pieces are for..
    they really can hide some nasty gaps and angles..

    again the Clear silicone is the answer to fill in the nasty gaps
    and glue the trim over the gaps with...

    the trim will never leak or
    ever come down again once the silicone has set up....

    its a good idea to tape the trim in place till it sets up
    cause you certainly dont want it to move on you

    have fun..
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  4. BS

    BS New Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Central Ohio

    Thanks, Master Plumber. Your answers will help me install the panels with more confidence. I forgot to ask about whether a corner that's a little greater than 90 deg will affect the installation of a soap dish since the soap dish is installed by gluing it into the corner. Any experience with that?

    Has anyone out there had any trouble installing the Swanstone panels or any lessons-learned or other tips to pass on before I tackle this project?

    - Bernie
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