Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

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sc173
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Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by sc173 »

I've recently purchased a late 1960s house in MA, with 2.5 bathrooms. The non-master shower has a glazed tub and tile surround, original to the house. The shower valve was very old and needed replacement. Due to its age, it ate away at some of the cement board under the tile with a slow leak. I knew all this going into the purchase and have budgeted accordingly for plumbing work.

That said, it is looking like up to $1,600 for demolition and restoration under all of the tile with a trusted local resource. This seems fair to me for the labor involved, but my question is, should I look to just get a vinyl insert done? A number of other repairs on this house came in under budget, and so I can swing a few extra thousand for an upgrade to a vinyl surround if it would be lower maintenance (I hear glazed tiles/tub chip easily) and last a long time. The current tub also has a broken stopper chain, and so this would be an opportunity to get in under the tub and redo that part of the drain as well.

Thoughts would be appreciated, I'm in a spot where I can afford to do so, so I'd like to get things right the first time with this house as I intend to live here for a fairly long time.
FI4LIFE
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by FI4LIFE »

When you say $1600 for repair, what does that mean? What is the scope of the work?
dmk395
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by dmk395 »

If you can swing it, and plan to live there for awhile....gut the bathroom and do tile all around
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by jabberwockOG »

If you are doing that much repair work to a 60 year old bathroom my advice is to bite the bullet and gut and redo/update the entire bathroom. Unless everything else is in perfect shape or you love the vintage look and function it's time to update.

Demo the entire bathroom and update all fixtures and add tile or solid slab surround shower. If you want budget solution demo tub and install one piece fiberglass tub shower.
ponyboy
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by ponyboy »

Put a fiberglass tub/shower in. Yeah, its not as hip or trendy as a tile. It will last longer, easier to clean, and will look better over the years than tile. All tile gets disgusting, specifically the grout. You gonna clean it 3x a week?
HomeStretch
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by HomeStretch »

+1 to a complete demo and replacement due to age and the leak.

Tile vs. fiberglass surround is a personal choice. I personally prefer the look of tile. To minimize grout lines, there are larger tiles available including very large format tiles. Darker grout is easier to maintain than white.
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lthenderson
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by lthenderson »

Inserts look and feel exactly like what they are, cheap fixes that probably subtract value from your house. If that is your thing, go for it. I wouldn't do it in my house though.
dbr
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by dbr »

In any shower the key to keeping clean is to squeegee the tile and doors with every use and to avoid bar soap. Also frameless glass avoids trying to keep aluminum frames and tracks clean.
chet96
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by chet96 »

We moved into a house where they installed a bath fitters type fiberglass shower.

Even after cutting out the caulk and replacing it - mold is coming through.

I'm dreading what I find when I tear it out.
earlywynnfan
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by earlywynnfan »

chet96 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:23 am We moved into a house where they installed a bath fitters type fiberglass shower.

Even after cutting out the caulk and replacing it - mold is coming through.

I'm dreading what I find when I tear it out.
This is exactly what happened to us, the caulk kept molding no matter what. We ended up ripping it out and fully replacing with tile, couldn't be happier.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by adamthesmythe »

sc173 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:26 am That said, it is looking like up to $1,600 for demolition and restoration under all of the tile with a trusted local resource. This seems fair to me for the labor involved, but my question is, should I look to just get a vinyl insert done? A number of other repairs on this house came in under budget, and so I can swing a few extra thousand for an upgrade to a vinyl surround if it would be lower maintenance (I hear glazed tiles/tub chip easily) and last a long time. The current tub also has a broken stopper chain, and so this would be an opportunity to get in under the tub and redo that part of the drain as well.
Vinyl surround is a low-budget solution (compared to tile). Make sure it is consistent with the rest of the house if resale is at all a consideration.

> I hear glazed tiles/tub chip easily

You didn't hear it from ME and I had tiled baths for decades. But then I am not accustomed to use tools in the shower.
dbr
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by dbr »

adamthesmythe wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 11:28 am
Vinyl surround is a low-budget solution (compared to tile). Make sure it is consistent with the rest of the house if resale is at all a consideration.

> I hear glazed tiles/tub chip easily

You didn't hear it from ME and I had tiled baths for decades. But then I am not accustomed to use tools in the shower.
Yes, and vinyl scratches and abrades and yellows.
tibbitts
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by tibbitts »

sc173 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:26 am
That said, it is looking like up to $1,600 for demolition and restoration under all of the tile with a trusted local resource. This seems fair to me for the labor involved, but my question is, should I look to just get a vinyl insert done? A number of other repairs on this house came in under budget, and so I can swing a few extra thousand for an upgrade to a vinyl surround if it would be lower maintenance (I hear glazed tiles/tub chip easily) and last a long time. The current tub also has a broken stopper chain, and so this would be an opportunity to get in under the tub and redo that part of the drain as well.
My thought is to have the work done before somebody figures out there's a zero missing and the estimate was supposed to be $16,000.
Last edited by tibbitts on Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Spooky
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by Spooky »

We have a Corian type insertion in our shower which is fairly easy to clean, but looks better than the vinyl/acrylic/fiberglass inserts.
tibbitts
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by tibbitts »

Spooky wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 12:55 pm We have a Corian type insertion in our shower which is fairly easy to clean, but looks better than the vinyl/acrylic/fiberglass inserts.
Is it an insert, as in seamless, or just a combination of slabs.? Did you remove the old tile and replace the backing before installing it? When did you install it and what did it cost?
123
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by 123 »

Spooky wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 12:55 pm We have a Corian type insertion in our shower which is fairly easy to clean, but looks better than the vinyl/acrylic/fiberglass inserts.
+1 We have a couple of baths with Corian type (or engineered stone) surrounds. I guess you could use marble or quartz if you wanted as well. Basically slabs on the shower walls (corners are sealed). The shower floor can be a shower plan of a similar material or you can tile the floor. Gives a much more upscale appearance than a vinyl surround without the grout issues of tile. Available in a wide array of colors and textures. You can have it be neutral or textured like a kitchen countertop. Often very easy to get a matching vanity top. Don't have any exact pricing but likely priced more toward vinyl surround than tile. You can jack up the costs with custom shower doors etc just like with tile. Since it comes in slabs it can be easier to move through the house to the bathroom than a large one-piece vinyl shower insert.

We picked out kitchen countertop and bath surrounds by visiting a couple of contractor building supply yards where they stacks and stacks of materials in different color and textures. Of course the contractor has to cut them to size and bore holes for faucets etc but the raw materials are not extraordinary expensive. Firms that do kitchen countertops and bath surrounds make a ton of profit. Of course it takes skill to work with stone, you don't get a second chance to cut or drill.
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como
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by como »

I hate the hollow feel of fiberglass inserts, but I also hate cleaning tile. We did tile walls with a base from the Onyx Collection https://www.onyxcollection.com/shower-bases-pans.html. For reference, we ordered our base through Home Depot in 2017 and it was ~$600 for a 54"x42" standard base. They also make wall panels of the same material, some textured to look like tile. Now that it's been a couple of years and our grout is no longer new-looking, I kind of wish we'd done panels instead. Of course, we stayed with some friends whose shower walls were just thin slabs of granite (or some other stone-like material) and that might have been my favorite seemless option.

I'm not sure if you're talking about putting in a shower or a tub, but we also looked at Kohler's Cast iron shower bases https://www.us.kohler.com/us/browse/bat ... 8rZ1z13vg7, but their sizes didn't fit out opening.
Shallowpockets
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by Shallowpockets »

We did the onyx collection also. Not the tile look. Still looks good. From Home Depot.
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GerryL
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by GerryL »

I had my old fiberglass (or acrylic, I don't know) tub/shower removed and turned into a walk-in shower. Walk-in, with low lip, not roll-in. I'd thought of doing the pre-formed acrylic ones but 1) I could not find a layout and model I liked and 2) the bump outs take up a lot of inches, and I really wanted to maximize space in the room I had to work with. I also looked at a few of the other pre-fab types.

I figured out that the cost difference between the acrylic and tile installation was not significant. I went with tile, large-size to limit amount of grouting, and an acrylic pan instead of tile. My bathroom is not a showroom, and I wasn't sure I would like the feel of pebbles or tile on my feet. I also paid a little extra for urethane grout, which resists mildew.

Really happy with the results. Those few extra inches make it feel so much larger. I also had an attractive safety bar installed at the end. Looks like a thick towel bar but can hold the weight of someone more than twice as big as me.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by Sandtrap »

jabberwockOG wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 6:27 am If you are doing that much repair work to a 60 year old bathroom my advice is to bite the bullet and gut and redo/update the entire bathroom. Unless everything else is in perfect shape or you love the vintage look and function it's time to update.

Demo the entire bathroom and update all fixtures and add tile or solid slab surround shower. If you want budget solution demo tub and install one piece fiberglass tub shower.
+1
Take it down to the studs and subfloor and do an excellent build with the best materials you can afford.

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anoop
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by anoop »

tibbitts wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 12:50 pm
sc173 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:26 am
That said, it is looking like up to $1,600 for demolition and restoration under all of the tile with a trusted local resource. This seems fair to me for the labor involved, but my question is, should I look to just get a vinyl insert done? A number of other repairs on this house came in under budget, and so I can swing a few extra thousand for an upgrade to a vinyl surround if it would be lower maintenance (I hear glazed tiles/tub chip easily) and last a long time. The current tub also has a broken stopper chain, and so this would be an opportunity to get in under the tub and redo that part of the drain as well.
My thought it to have the work done before somebody figures out there's a zero missing and the estimate was supposed to be $16,000.
That was my thought too. Seemed like it's too low. Just to get a chipped tile removed and replaced is a few hundred here.
Topic Author
sc173
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by sc173 »

So I think I may not have fully explained the situation. The bathroom has been remodeled, new flooring, new fixtures. The original materials are the tub and surrounding tile, which were professionally re-glazed (and very well done from what I can tell). I would gut out the tub and surround, but there is no reason to gut the entire bathroom.

This is a bathroom that will eventually be used by children, so my goal is not to have a showroom bathroom, I care far more about utility than looks or resale potential. I live in an area where houses go the first weekend as long as they aren't falling apart (may not last, but it has been like this for over a decade). This house is in a very nice neighborhood location that especially supports its resale value. It is in a middle to upper-middle class town, so luxury high-end finishes are not really expected here. A tiled walk-in shower is not appropriate for and does not make sense in this bathroom.

I would certainly not use a bath-fitter overlay. If I went vinyl, I would take out the tub, pan/sub-flooring, tile and drywall all around the tub (most plumbing was replaced from below), and have the surround installed by itself.

And yes, the $1,600 is for demolition of a single wall of the tile (where the shower valve is), and replacement. It is not a typo, the area that actually needs repair is small and the damage is contained. The plumber already did enough demo to see where the leak damage stopped (it was a slow weep, not a leak). Perhaps the way to go may be to rip out all tile in the shower and the tub, and get an acrylic tub with the walls re-done with new tile.
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Steelersfan
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by Steelersfan »

I had my vintage 1928 porcelain tile tub enclosure and porcelain tub refinished by a local company. He refinished, reseated and grouted the tile enclosure. He stripped the tub down and put on two coats of new finish. Ten years later and it's still good. It cost $1,500 all done but I know he put more work into than that. But that was the maximum of his bid range and he stuck to it.

The fellow in the condo unit below me put a vinyl (or whatever) enclosure in before he sold the unit. It looked awful. The new owners replaced it.
CurlyDave
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by CurlyDave »

Spooky wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 12:55 pm We have a Corian type insertion in our shower which is fairly easy to clean, but looks better than the vinyl/acrylic/fiberglass inserts.
+1

We have "cultured marble" which is really just big sheets of about 3/8" or 1/2" thick sheets of plastic. Might have some marble powder in it. It is much nicer than fiberglass, and has no grout lines to maintain. Just a joint at each corner.
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VeryBlessedCali
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Re: Tile or Vinyl Shower Insert

Post by VeryBlessedCali »

There are Shower Wall Boards I've seen at showrooms that look very durable and luxurious.

https://www.kzkitchen.com/shower-walls

But because I am unfamiliar how it will look over time, I just went with reliable Porcelain Calcatta Tile. Happy as could be.
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