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Bathroom tub surround or tile?

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  • Oct 13th, 2016 9:17 pm
Sr. Member
Nov 26, 2013
512 posts

Bathroom tub surround or tile?

I am finishing a bathroom in the basement and right now I have the tub installed and the wall is insulated(tub is on exterior wall) but none of the bathrooms walls are finished. I am looking for the cheapest option that I should go with. I imagine it's cheaper to go with a tub surround? Can I cut the plastic panels of the tub surround because I don't have much height, the house was built in 1959 and the ceiling is pretty low. If I go with a tub surround, I just finish the bathroom with mold resistant drywall and apply the tub surround over it with adhesive? If I decide to do tile, I need cement backer board, tile adhesive,tiles, tile spacers, caulking, grout and that's pretty much it?I would need to use 3 sheets of cement backer board on all 3 sides I imagine. So I guess a tub surround would be my cheapest option?
4 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17911 posts
The surround would give a DIYer a much better chance of a water tight product at a much lower cost. If cost is your primary concern, then yes, go with the surround panels as opposed to a tile job.

I prefer tile myself, but everyone has different priorities.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 26, 2002
6450 posts
We had this same decision to make a few months ago. Wanted to put in a new tub so had to take everything out. We had an ugly tub surround so it wasnt a matter of going cheap, wanted something that would look great and give the bathroom a new look, so we went with tile. We got all new fixtures, tile on 3 walls to the ceiling and tile around the wall to the sink and above the sink. We paid someone to come in and do the job and came in at just under $2000. Felt it was well worth it for how great the bathroom looks now. And the cost was for everything, including screws, spacers and even insulation for the walls... old house and none there we found once we tore everything out.

Sure you can get a cheap surround, but do you want it to look good?
That's my 2cents worth


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