How to Install a Tub Surround

Bathtub surrounds protect the walls from moisture. They may, however, become stained or discolored with age. You can give your bathroom a face lift by replacing bathtub surrounds. Bathtub paneling costs less than tile, and aren't as difficult to install. In fact, you may be able to finish the project in a day.

Steps

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    Measure the height and width of the old surround with a measuring tape and write the measurements down. When replacing bathtub surrounds, you want to purchase the correct size, so bring your measurements with you.
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    Select new bathtub panels.
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    Remove old surround.
    • Protect the tub with a drop cloth or blanket. When installing tub surrounds, you want to safeguard your bathtub.
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    • Turn the water to the bathroom off.
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    • Take out the spout and faucet handles with a screwdriver and crescent wrench.
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    • Pry out the old panels with a hammer and flat head screwdriver. To install bathtub panels, you must remove the old ones first. Some panels have push button tabs and/or glue attaching them to the wall.
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    Apply wall putty to any holes in the walls with a putty knife.
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    Cut the apron trim to size with a hacksaw. To install bathtub panels, you need to set the trim in first. Strip backing from foam tape on each piece of trim and set them in place around the edge of the tub.
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    Set up vertical reference points on each side of the tub. Use a 4 foot (1.219 m) level to draw a straight line from the outer corner of the apron pieces. Sometimes, the tub might not be in square, and installing tub surrounds correctly requires a plumb line.
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    Install the corner surrounds.
    • Set the panels into place before gluing them to make sure they fit.
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    • Apply surround adhesive around the outside edges of the back of the panel. Spread extra glue diagonally in the middle of the panel when replacing bathtub surrounds.
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    • Strip foam tape off the edges of the panel and put the panel in place. To install bathtub panels properly, you must make sure they will stick. The foam tape will hold the panel in place while the adhesive sets.
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    • Push the panel into place, smoothing it down with your hand. Continue replacing bathtub surrounds by setting the next panel with the same procedure.
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    Put in the faucet panel. To install bathtub panels, you'll need to cut holes for the faucets and spout.
    • Create a template for the faucet wall. Use the cardboard the new surround came in. Set the board against the faucet wall, and mark the faucet areas with a pencil.
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    Measure the new faucet panel with the template. When installing tub surrounds, carefully cut the holes with a jigsaw or hole-saw.
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    Follow the instructions for installing the corner panels with the faucet panel, making sure the holes line up with the plumbing.
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    Reinstall the faucets and spout.
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    Seal the joint between the tub and the surround with silicone caulk. You only need a little bit of caulk when installing tub surrounds. Wipe off excess caulk with paper towels.
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    Let the panels set for 24 hours before using.

Tips

  • Different manufacturers produce tub surrounds. Be sure to read and follow the instructions provided with your panels when installing tub surrounds.
  • You may want to wear gloves while applying adhesive.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil and paper
  • Bathroom panels
  • Drop cloth or blanket
  • Screwdriver
  • Crescent wrench
  • Hammer
  • Wall putty
  • Putty knife
  • Hacksaw
  • 4 foot (1.219 cm) level
  • Adhesive
  • Jigsaw or hole-saw
  • Silicon caulk
  • Paper towels

Article Info

Categories: Swimming Pools Spas and Hot Tubs