While time and daily use can wear down your bathtub and shower, it can also start to deteriorate the surroundings of tubs, causing tiles to come loose, colors to fade and the appearance to be less than appealing.
When you are ready to update the surrounding walls, here are the essential steps to take:
- Start with flat, structurally sound, clean walls – If the walls are not flat, glue down any loose tiles; if there are a lot of loose tiles, remove them, and cover the wall with water-resistant drywall.
- Prep the area around the walls – This includes laying down cardboard in the tub, putting plastic sheeting over the tub, and removing the showerhead, faucet handles and tub spout. If there is any shelving, racks or soap dishes on the walls that will be updated, remove these fixtures also.
- Sand the walls – As you do this, remember to wear eye protection, and remove any remaining sanding dust with a damp cloth to keep the surface clean.
- Measure out the materials to be applied – This step will vary according to the type of material you will be applying to your walls. If you will be updating with wall paneling, cut out the proper panel sizes with a circular saw or a router. Cut out holes for features you want to mount to the new walls (like soap dishes, towel racks, etc.).
- Apply silicon adhesive to the wall and start laying the materials – Apply the glue in a grid pattern, and firmly press the materials (panels/tile) to the wall.
- Install your decorative molding and let the adhesive set – Put up any decorative molding or trim if desired and let the silicon adhesive set for at least 24 hours.
What can really complement a new tub surrounding is a newly refinished bathtub. In fact, the combination of these updates can breathe new life into a bathroom, changing the feel of the room and making it far more attractive.