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Valued Contributor
Posts: 671
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

I have an original 1958 (when home was built) bathroom! Smiley Happy  The past few years this bathroom has really grown on me! I LOVE it!!  To save money on other remodeling things I need done and am prioritizing, I would like to be economical in fixing my main issue with this particular bathroom. Namely the tile walls in the shower are not properly insulated behind the tiles and therefore you really cannot take a shower for fear of any water leaking into the walls/etc! Caulking the tiles would not solve the bigger issue as I'd fear even the tiniest crack could cause major water issues if taking a shower.

 

SO...I've been thinking of doing a bathtub/shower wall liner replacement-i.e. like a bathfitter or other similar type product. Have 3 places already to possibly call for estimates when I get my list together.  Anyone have experience or has done this and what have you liked or not liked about it? 

 

Besides this, the bathroom as a whole is in remarkabe condition!  Which is why I'd like to hopefully solve this issue and make it fully functioning!  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,717
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

Can you post a pic of the shower wall? I'm not sure what you mean by "there's no insulation" behind the ceramic tiles? Tiles would not be fastened to insulation.

 

The wall the tiles are mounted on should be drywall specifically for the bath. As old as your home is, the wall may be plaster.

 

Stay far away from Bathfitter. It's junk. There are cheaper and better ways to fix your shower.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

[ Edited ]

My Mom had this done by Bathfitters. It looked beautiful. She picked one that was solid but had a bit of texture. A friend had hers done over a tile wall - also by Bathfitters. Her's actually looks like a tile enclosure - also very nice.

They put it in right over your tub and whatever your walls are.It is tightly glued to the wall under it.My Mom's was a 1 piece instalation in a mobile home bathroom, my friend's was in a midcentury home they had owned a long time, and the old pink and burgundy tile and the pink tub were just shot.

Anyway, both were very satisfied with their new bathtubs. I can't address how long it lasts because my Mom died shortly after they had it done and I sold their home and my friend only recently - maybe at most 2 years ago - had this done.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,168
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

I researched this option for my upstairs bathroom...I talked to three companies that do the onepiece installation over the tub and walls. I decided to go with a traditional redo....replacing the tub and putting up tile I have leftover from my master bath redo will actually be cheaper than bathfitters....they may be faster than having a traditional remodel but I spoke with several who had this done and some had mold issues because they installed directly over the existing tile....you need to have hardboard, etc. behind whatever goes up...tile, fiberglass, etc. 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 671
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

My apologies! I meant not waterproofed behind the tiles. The tiles were just put over the plaster walls. Yes, everything is plaster (both a blessing and a curse).  In some regards this home is SOLID, yet being as old as it is, there are things that need to be upgraded or replaced.  

 

Converted to gas from oil a few years ago w new water heater that didn't exist prior. Upgraded to A/C few years ago which was fun (I jest) because there was no ductwork!! so they had to create that from scratch plus this home has 5 levels/floors (it is a zigzag layout, not sure how to best describe it cause it really is one of a kind) so that was an interesting project (but they guys who did it were fabulous and did incredible work!)That took a solid week of 2 guys working pretty much all day every day.

 

I'm working on bigger projects as I have the funding to do so! 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,108
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

We used Bathfitters 5 years ago for our bathroom and haven't had any problems at all with it however it was waaay more expensive than tiling and a new tub.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,779
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

You need cement board or backer board in the shower installed before installing the tile. You can also apply Ditra Waterproofing Membrane over the backer board before the tile. They also make a paint on waterproofing membrane that can be painted on before installing the tile.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,186
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

Bathfitters are always advertising on tv - so I checked out reviews - NOT GOOD!!!! I would call in a reputable tile company (check out Yelp) and put in tile with new walls. I replaced myt shower stall/bathtub surround last year - and the guys pulled off the cultured marble from the walls of the shower stall -- and rebuilt the wall - and did the most amazing Tile Job!!! I live in oxnard, ca - if anyone needs a GREAT tile company, I have one.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 650
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

I was just in Home Depot today and they actually sell the tub & shower sections for refitting.  That would be a real savings if you can DIY.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,258
Registered: ‎10-25-2010

Re: Bathtub/Shower Wall Liner replacement -- Anyone w/experience??

I don't have any experience with those units that go right over your old rub and walls, but my son does.  He is a HVAC technician and does countless plumbing work in bathrooms.

 

He is adamant about hating those fit over units like Bathfitters install....he says they are junk and too expensive and he has had to fix many problems with them.  Usually they have to be torn out and the original tub needs to be removed.  This costs the homeowner double the money.

 

it is okay to remove everything down to the studs and install a one's or two piece fiberglass tub/ shower unit, if you don't want to do tile again.