What if I wanted to tile over acrylic shower/tub surround? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : What if I wanted to tile over acrylic shower/tub surround?

09-10-2004, 07:31 PM
Is it possible to tile over an acrylic shower/tub surround? Stick it on with Liquid Nails or some such thing? The acrylic is only a couple of years old---perfect shape. I'm a super newbie....but I just built a block and flagstone wall and firepit that hasn't fallen down in 3 (count 'em....THREE...windstorms).
Not bad for an old broad.

Thanks folks,


Sponsored Links

09-10-2004, 07:34 PM
If you're talking about tiling the whole tub, i wouldn't recommend it, it's not stable enough.But something tells me we haven't heard the last from you :)

09-10-2004, 08:56 PM
It's true Davestone....I have returned!

I was just hoping to tile the acrylic walls around the tub....not the tub itself.
Also the walls of the shower.

I live in Arizona. It is hot so we are all hibernating till the end of October.
While stuck inside one gets ideas for little projects. Some good, some not so good.

Thanks, Kerry

09-10-2004, 09:27 PM
OK, I'll play devils advocate for Kerry - If thinset mortar will stick to glass, why not acrylic? Assuming of course this acrylic liner is not just hanging out on the wall, all loose and wobbly like. Clean it up real well and roughen it up some too. Never done it before but don't see why it wouldn't wurk.

Get ready for some action now Kerry. :nod: :D

09-10-2004, 09:36 PM
Ok I'll play the devil. Is this a one piece shower? If not I would tear it out (the surround)and start fresh. Mike you do have a point though, thinset will stick to glass and most likely stick to the acrylic if it's ruffed up but how long will it stay on if the stuff flexes??

09-10-2004, 09:45 PM
It's not a one piece.

It's not wobbly.....however the operator may possibly be at certain times. One does tend to get thirsty out here.

Anyway, if I can figure out how....I might send along a picture if that would help.

Thanks for your answers so far fellas.

Pretty neat website. Nice folks!


Raymond S
09-10-2004, 09:59 PM
But the acrylic probably isn't flat, is it? Doesn't it have all sorts of contours and such? That would seem to present a challenge.

09-10-2004, 10:16 PM
Well, y'all just go on ahead and advocate for whomsoever y'all wanna.

Me? I'm callin' the Tile Ranger right now. :D

09-10-2004, 10:20 PM
:tongue: :sick: :devil:

09-10-2004, 10:48 PM
If you have the photos stored in your confuser, Kerry, scroll down to the "Manage Attachments" button in the "Attach Files" box. You hafta have your photo reduced electronically to 50K or less, but you can upload them directly from your hard drive.

You can delete those test posts (I think), or I can delete them for you.

John Bridge
09-11-2004, 06:46 AM
Hi Kerry, :)

I spent quite a bit of time in Phoenix. Know where you're coming from, heat wise. ;)

I don't like your scheme. Tear the walls out and leave the base. Put up some backer board and then tile it. Say you'll do it right before the Tile Ranger descends upon us. He is such a pain in the . . . . :)

09-11-2004, 07:50 AM
You be taking all the fun out of this JB.....and I was all set to tell him to grout the corners as well, just like John Bridge do. :D

And the gentleman from Boerne blowing the Tile Ranger whistle and all.....don't he have something better to do like cleaning out da trailer or restocking his supply of sheetrock screws for next week's CT install. :D

09-11-2004, 01:24 PM
The gentleman from Boerne's trailer is parked onna job site, where there's never no time for cleaning and re-stocking on accounta some peoples gotta work for their living - unlike some left-coast Yankees we know! :mad:

Besides, I got plenty sheetrock screws in nearly every size made. Whole bucket full of'em. Lots and lots. :tongue:

Today I'm the hot tub installer and the screen door repair man and the cabinet repair man after I was the under-counter water heater man yesterday and I ain't gotta do no CT for a long time. But maybe I'll just go run some sheetrock screws into something anyway. Maybe someplace wet, even. :D

09-11-2004, 02:00 PM
If Mike and CX get done bumpin their gums,i'll jump in here and agree with JB, and put a nix on the unstable tile over acrylic idea. :)

09-11-2004, 02:28 PM
Hey Stoner, ya gotta look at this in the grand scheme of things. You see, in Texas they grout everything and machine-gun cabinet tops with sheetrock screws; in California they hot mop shower pans over cedar shingles; in Washington they will try to stick a tile on anything that don't moves; and in Florida, well I guess y'ous folks just too damn busy chasing alligators and fixin bug screens to do anything wrong these days. :D

Duster, you wanna email that picture to me? I'll post it for you. We gotta stick together since everyone else is ganging up on us. ;)

09-11-2004, 02:37 PM
I got a feeling this is gonna rival a "What kind of saw should i buy thread" :crazy: :)

09-11-2004, 02:41 PM
In theory this can be done. I like Bill Vincent's project , somewhere here he has pics of a tub he did. It may have been rough fiberglass...and that may be entirely diff. than your acrylic. Epoxy may work, I know Bostics ultra set will stick tiles to anything short of spun wool insulation. The movement is the real issue I can see, as real grout will likely crack out. Also this sounds like a 5/8'' tile mosaic affair, since you need to conform the shapes.
I have an existing shower/sauna that was site built of fiberglass in my own house. The guy that did it was a boat builder, and it's been begging me for tile. I think I'll hang wire on it and float it, though because it's small I have toyed with directly bonding.

09-11-2004, 03:21 PM
Tell you what Trask 'bout that fiberglass shower. The surface agent (a wax) they pewt in gelcoat can give thinset fits, even Laticrete 272 mixed with 333. But if it's cleaned up good, scuffed up with a grinder then roll coated again with a gelcoat mixed 50:50 with a vinylesterl resin (no-wax), you are good to go.

Don't know why you would want to do all that of course....but just in case that boat builder wants to do this for someone else. Run all that by him and see what he says.

Between Duster and myself we'll try to get a pichure of this tub surround up for all to see, including myself. Since it's not a one piece, I'm thinking this is not much more than acrylic sheet-goods.

I sent you a PM Duster with my email address if you need someone to post that picher for you.

David Taylor
09-11-2004, 05:50 PM
There are three words that I haven't seen mentioned here yet:

"Sledgehammer" and "pry bar".


(Smile when you say either word)

09-11-2004, 06:37 PM
I tol you to get ready for some action Duster. Now they're coming at us from north of the border.

Don't you have a book to write, peas to eat, or sumthun else Taylor?? :D

...haven't heard from Duster in a while....maybe he just caved in and ripped it out...oh well...we had somewhat of a run one this one...

Anyone ever tile a tree?... I gotta do sumthing with that ugly sucker next door.

David Taylor
09-11-2004, 06:41 PM
Right now I'm a wonderin' how ta put a 4" deep niche in a wall that has a heating duct running behind it. I sure do like surprises like this.

I'm thinking it'll hold a bar of soap on its side or a few upright toothbrushes. :D

09-11-2004, 06:44 PM
I told ya Mike :D Ya gotta pick your battles wisely.Yeah you can scuff it and get tile to stick,with sumthin,for awhile,but time is on my side :yipee: :) If only we could get Duster to put his efforts towards good, and not evil. :bang: :D :D :D

09-11-2004, 06:51 PM
why would you even use thinset? It has to be a urethane or epoxy. The boatbuilder didn't make it for tile..it was made as a fiberglass shower. I just hate to have a steam room/ shower without tile, so I'm gonna tile over it all.

09-11-2004, 07:07 PM
:nod: I certainly agree on that one Trask...epoxy wurks great, prolly better that anything else. And moisture cure urethane is what we used to bond f.g. panels together with. Onlyest reason I even mentioned thinset is the vertical sag problem with epoxy some of us (I top that list) have never mastered.

09-11-2004, 09:56 PM
I'm still here.
This Duster is a "she" by the way.....but that's neither here, nor there.

I've just been reading all the different advice and thoughts. It will take a bit of time to digest it all.

My little project consists of no curves....I was thinking of placing the tile on the flat wall surfaces that surround the tub.

There's surely not much movement if any. Certainly less than a wood floor with tile on it.


09-12-2004, 07:11 AM
Well, then i would put a few screws through to the studs, cause it's probably just got a couple squiggly beads of liquid nails holdin it,and i've seen it peel away,then i'd go with the epoxy. :)