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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
RhondaS
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Tiling an alcove tub/shower surround

I've watched just enough DIY network to be dangerous, and I've decided I want to remodel one of my bathrooms. The house was built in 2000, and it's basic, cheap builder construction. The bathroom I want to do is small and has an acrylic alcove tub and shower surround. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a five foot tub standard? I've ordered a new 5' tub, but when I measure the current one piece tub and surround, it comes up a bit shorter, about 58". I'm trying to convince myself that it really IS 5', it's just embedded into the walls a bit. Is this true, or is my new tub not going to fit? What am I going to see when I remove the acrylic surround; just sheet rock? What do I need to do to the walls in order to do a tile surround? Do I need to replace the sheetrock with something else, or just cover it with something? I've helped my husband do some floor tiling in our old house many years ago, so I'm not a COMPLETE noob, but I've never tackled a wall! Thanks for any pointers or advice you can give me.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Rhonda.

No way for us to answer most of your questions from way over here. I, for example, can't see any part of your bathroom even if I stand on Paul's chair.

You're gonna need to do some demolition to be sure what's behind your current shower unit.

Five feet is a common opening size for bathtubs, but the only way you'll know what you have is to measure it. Either a 60-inch tub will fit in there or it won't, but that's just a guess.

Once you get the old unit torn out and get a good look at what you've got, post some photos and we'll be much better able to advise you on the next steps.

If you find good, clean drywall back there (unlikely) and can install your new tub without damaging it (more unlikely), it's possible you could do a Kerdi installation for your surround.

Otherwise you'll need to tear out everything to the studs and start over with whatever wallboard suits your water containment plan.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #3
MDtile
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I believe most of the one piece tub units fit in standard 60" framing like a standard tub. Quite often, after the composite tub is installed, the studs are furred 1/4", so that the sheet rock can cover the tub unit's 2" flange that goes all the way around. It is not unusual for the walls to end-up measuring 58-58 1/2" as a result. The framing will still be 60", or close to it.

Also, you should not find sheet rock behind the tub unit, just open framing.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 12:24 AM   #4
RhondaS
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Thank you both for your input!

Marty, yes, thank you, that's what I was trying to ask...lol So, whether or not there is drywall under the acrylic surround, what SHOULD I replace it with or cover it with for tiling?
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Unread 08-02-2013, 07:07 AM   #5
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After you remove the tub unit, you will need to install the new tub. If you don't feel up to doing the plumbing work, there is no shame in hiring a Plumber to do that.

After the new tub is in, you can fill-in the area formerly occupied by the tub unit with cement backer board. You may or may not have a problem if the sheet rock was furred off the studs. Once you have the old tub unit out, you can get a better idea about what you will need to do, just as CX suggested. Until we know what was done, we can only guess.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 08:37 AM   #6
RhondaS
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Thanks sgain. I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions once I get started, which won't be for a few weeks. Thank God we have more than one bathroom, because I'm pretty sure this is going to take a while...lol. I'll be back! :-)
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