Bathroom tile/tub replacement issues

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MelissaG

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I'm trying to think of the name but I remember there are some places that can do a total replacement. Almost like a skin that goes over your tile and bathtub. Anyone here know what I'm talking about and where to find it?

A bit more info, found out the grout in both our bathrooms is regular grout. Which means so not waterproof in any possible way and its why we are having problems with mold and mildew growing so quickly in them. The last owners of this house did all the upgrade work themselves and were apparently not the brightest of people. This is so not how I would have done the bathrooms if I had had a choice. All the grout needs to be replaced which is alot of work especially since I have a broken ankle atm and a very bad leg that makes it hard to get down on the floor and back up again. Husband is ummm... too large (he's working on it and has lost about 80 lbs but still...) lol.

So we were thinking of viable alternatives and looking for prices. An all in one replacement with a proper surround seems like a great idea. It could be just dropped in and sealed. But I can't remember for the life of me where I've seen those commercials are even what it's called.

Any ideas?
 
https://www.bath-fitter.com/

Just a word of warning, google up some bathfitter horror stories. Putting in these surrounds is a fast easy and fairly cheap way to dress up a bathroom, but everything that is sealed behind the surround stays sealed... moisture, mold, leaks. Just because you can't see it anymore doesn't mean it stops molding and rotting. Mr. E, the nordic god plumber, has shared more than a few horror stories. If you dont' have a trouble door to get at your shower plumbing, if you ever have a leak, the entire thing has to come out.

In your climate, I'd look at all the possibilities and try to get real-world stories from people who have used surrounds.

ETA: You might be FAR better off giving your grout a good deep cleaning and then sealing it:
https://goprotect.co/waterproof-grout-sealer/#:~:text=Often people think the grout,properly maintained and looked after.

 
Last edited:
https://www.bath-fitter.com/

Just a word of warning, google up some bathfitter horror stories. Putting in these surrounds is a fast easy and fairly cheap way to dress up a bathroom, but everything that is sealed behind the surround stays sealed... moisture, mold, leaks. Just because you can't see it anymore doesn't mean it stops molding and rotting. Mr. E, the nordic god plumber, has shared more than a few horror stories. If you dont' have a trouble door to get at your shower plumbing, if you ever have a leak, the entire thing has to come out.

In your climate, I'd look at all the possibilities and try to get real-world stories from people who have used surrounds.

ETA: You might be FAR better off giving your grout a good deep cleaning and then sealing it:
https://goprotect.co/waterproof-grout-sealer/#:~:text=Often people think the grout,properly maintained and looked after.


Yeah, I did that after I posted this and am a bit horrified. It's like going to amazon and finding out EVERYTHING has really really bad reviews ever since we hit covid a few years back. I'm starting to get leery of buying anything now.

I really don't want grout in my shower. I think it's just a really stupid idea. Grout degrades and discolors and there's every chance in the world that it will let water in no matter how good it is. But I'm thinking we don't really have an option given the prices and horror stories I've been seeing.

I messaged a handyman we know to see what can be done. He did our deck awning a couple years back and it's absolutely wonderful but I'm not sure if he knows anything about this stuff. He hasn't replied yet.

When did companies stop being proud of doing good work? I'd be horrified if my business was coming up with the kind of reviews I'm seeing from others. I take pride in my product being good and I work hard to make sure my customers are happy even completely replacing things for free if something goes wrong.

Heck I've been looking for good soap scum and mold/mildew removers for the bathroom too and the reviews are terrible or every single one of them. Usually because they went and changed their recipes for the worse.
 
I don't recommend bath fitter for the reasons posted above as well.
there is a epoxy coating that u can spray on the shower/bath tub. it requires sanding/prep work, then spray coat. the epoxy has a very strong chemical smell and needs ventilation. the DIY version at Home Depot/lowes lasted about 10 years for us. not bad for $100-200 dollars.
 
Ugh, like you needed one more thing going on - so sorry!

Grout sealer would have worked if it had been applied at the time of construction. And to be fair, it needs to be re-sealed every few years, especially if you use some of the harsher cleaners that remove lime scale.

At this pint, if moisture has already soaked through the grout and behind the tile, then it all needs to come out in order to remove anything damp, rotted, moldy, etc. Due to price point, shower/tub kits are fairly common features in many houses, but the lack of access to pipes behind it can be a drawback. Risk v. benefit.
 
Ugh, like you needed one more thing going on - so sorry!

Grout sealer would have worked if it had been applied at the time of construction. And to be fair, it needs to be re-sealed every few years, especially if you use some of the harsher cleaners that remove lime scale.

At this pint, if moisture has already soaked through the grout and behind the tile, then it all needs to come out in order to remove anything damp, rotted, moldy, etc. Due to price point, shower/tub kits are fairly common features in many houses, but the lack of access to pipes behind it can be a drawback. Risk v. benefit.
Yeah, when it rains it storms.
 
Yeah, I did that after I posted this and am a bit horrified. It's like going to amazon and finding out EVERYTHING has really really bad reviews ever since we hit covid a few years back. I'm starting to get leery of buying anything now.

I really don't want grout in my shower. I think it's just a really stupid idea. Grout degrades and discolors and there's every chance in the world that it will let water in no matter how good it is. But I'm thinking we don't really have an option given the prices and horror stories I've been seeing.

I messaged a handyman we know to see what can be done. He did our deck awning a couple years back and it's absolutely wonderful but I'm not sure if he knows anything about this stuff. He hasn't replied yet.

When did companies stop being proud of doing good work? I'd be horrified if my business was coming up with the kind of reviews I'm seeing from others. I take pride in my product being good and I work hard to make sure my customers are happy even completely replacing things for free if something goes wrong.

Heck I've been looking for good soap scum and mold/mildew removers for the bathroom too and the reviews are terrible or every single one of them. Usually because they went and changed their recipes for the worse.
I redid my bathroom. Stripped it down to the studs. Then rebuilt by waterproofing the tub/shower area after putting up the concrete backer board, then putting up everything and using oversized tiles (48" x 18") and 1/16th" grout lines. Best decision made.
 
You must have a local person who can re-do your bath at a reasonable price. They are out there. Maybe ask friends whom they would recommend and then talk with them. They do make vinyl inserts for the walls which work great as long as you make sure you have no underlying “issues” which must be addressed before just covering up the walls.
 
I don't recommend bath fitter for the reasons posted above as well.
there is a epoxy coating that u can spray on the shower/bath tub. it requires sanding/prep work, then spray coat. the epoxy has a very strong chemical smell and needs ventilation. the DIY version at Home Depot/lowes lasted about 10 years for us. not bad for $100-200 dollars.
We had this done by a professional many years ago. The results were less than impressive. I absolutely wouldn’t recommend a homeowner attempt it. Spraying the epoxy is similar to painting a car, it is not easy to get it right and it’s not at all like using a can of spray paint. In theory it sounds great. The professional that did ours had significant orange peel, where the surface is bumpy like an orange.
 
I'm trying to think of the name but I remember there are some places that can do a total replacement. Almost like a skin that goes over your tile and bathtub. Anyone here know what I'm talking about and where to find it?

A bit more info, found out the grout in both our bathrooms is regular grout. Which means so not waterproof in any possible way and its why we are having problems with mold and mildew growing so quickly in them. The last owners of this house did all the upgrade work themselves and were apparently not the brightest of people. This is so not how I would have done the bathrooms if I had had a choice. All the grout needs to be replaced which is alot of work especially since I have a broken ankle atm and a very bad leg that makes it hard to get down on the floor and back up again. Husband is ummm... too large (he's working on it and has lost about 80 lbs but still...) lol.

So we were thinking of viable alternatives and looking for prices. An all in one replacement with a proper surround seems like a great idea. It could be just dropped in and sealed. But I can't remember for the life of me where I've seen those commercials are even what it's called.

Any ide
My concern is your mentioning mold and mildew growing quickly. That's NOT good.
Mold will make you sick. Have you also been having headaches? Problems with allergies?

With the inserts, I'm thinking they aren't going to tell you if there's a problem with the plumbing. They insert for days on end, and leave.

Buy a battery powered bathroom scrubber. Check Amazon. That will help you to remover the mold.
Once it's removed. Let it dry completely.

For a quick inexpensive, not a permanent solution. You could try contact paper. Check hardware stores. Or Dollar Tree
Buy the extra smoothing tool kits for easier installation.Oh, and a heat gun, hair dryer and small pin to pop the air bubbles if they show up. You probably already have the necessary tools.

I've used it before for a project. Found it much easier to use by unrolling the paper and laying it out flat as possible a few days. Let it relax. Beats a wrassling match. Don't ask how I found that out, almost lost the match! :)

Then I measured the project giving it a few inches above and bottom. Made working with it much easier. Cut away the excess.

Munky.
 
The other thing you could consider is putting a dehumidifier in your bathroom to control moisture. Also be sure your vent fan is properly working and its being used. My master bath is an odd shape in a corner of the house and doesn't have naturally good air circulation. We run the vent fan during showers and leave it running until the room is fully dry.
 
The vent fan is broken. And yes, I have problems with allergies but always have particularly in spring and summer. I'll look for an electric grout cleaner because doing it by hand is not easy.

What does it cost to have the bathroom redone?
 
The vent fan is broken.
Even if you have your bathroom totally redone, you will forever battle mold issues if you can't mitigate moisture in the air. You might spend thousands and find yourself in the same exact position again, sooner than you imagine. It appears that you live in a very humid climate. I would suggest focusing on your vent fan first.

What does it cost to have the bathroom redone?
This is akin to asking 'how long is a piece of string'. There are too many variables to answer this here, you need to talk to people you trust and get information on local businesses that can give you a quote.

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/bathrooms/21019134/redoing-your-bathroom-read-this#:~:text=If you're happy with,run you $30,000 to $40,000.

If you’re happy with the current layout of your bathroom and all it needs for a refresh is a coat of paint, new plumbing, light fixtures, and modern hardware, you can expect to pay under $5,000. At the other extreme, a major down-to-the-studs renovation might run you $30,000 to $40,000.
 
The vent fan is broken. And yes, I have problems with allergies but always have particularly in spring and summer. I'll look for an electric grout cleaner because doing it by hand is not easy.

What does it cost to have the bathroom redone?
Before covid it was around $10K in the Metro DC area. But I did my own design work and purchasing before I knew I could've paid to have that done too.

Oh, and, that's with keeping everything where it is.
 
We had this done by a professional many years ago. The results were less than impressive. I absolutely wouldn’t recommend a homeowner attempt it. Spraying the epoxy is similar to painting a car, it is not easy to get it right and it’s not at all like using a can of spray paint. In theory it sounds great. The professional that did ours had significant orange peel, where the surface is bumpy like an orange.
We have this done in three bathrooms, but we have a person who does a wonderful job and I have been happy with it. In the house I am in, I had the tile all around the tub sprayed and the full shower done in the other bathroom. I like it better than the original tile and the grout is sealed. I also had the sink done in the kitchen of my rental house over 7 years ago, we just replaced the sink a couple of weeks ago. If you can find a person that knows what he is doing and money is a factor it can be something to consider. I also had my tub in my hill house sprayed over 10 years ago and it held up beautifully, which is how I found the fella I used this time. We could not replace the odd-sized tub in our kid's bathroom without completely tearing out the entire bathroom. The problem is finding the right person to do the work. It will hold up well if you take care of it.
 
Even if you have your bathroom totally redone, you will forever battle mold issues if you can't mitigate moisture in the air. You might spend thousands and find yourself in the same exact position again, sooner than you imagine. It appears that you live in a very humid climate. I would suggest focusing on your vent fan first.


This is akin to asking 'how long is a piece of string'. There are too many variables to answer this here, you need to talk to people you trust and get information on local businesses that can give you a quote.

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/bathrooms/21019134/redoing-your-bathroom-read-this#:~:text=If you're happy with,run you $30,000 to $40,000.

If you’re happy with the current layout of your bathroom and all it needs for a refresh is a coat of paint, new plumbing, light fixtures, and modern hardware, you can expect to pay under $5,000. At the other extreme, a major down-to-the-studs renovation might run you $30,000 to $40,000.
Yes, I contacted someone to replace it. He hasn't replied to me though. If I don't hear anything back by Monday, I'll call someone else. Thing is, we've worked with him before so I trust his work.

$30-$40k. That's wayyyyyyyy beyond us atm. Sounds like it will be cheapest to just replace the grout.
 
Yes, I contacted someone to replace it. He hasn't replied to me though. If I don't hear anything back by Monday, I'll call someone else. Thing is, we've worked with him before so I trust his work.

$30-$40k. That's wayyyyyyyy beyond us atm. Sounds like it will be cheapest to just replace the grout.
I'd strongly recommend you get at least 3 quotes. In writing.
Check reviews.
If the person hasn't contacted you yet. He's not going to. That's a red flag right off.
A simple reply to your msg " I've received it, will contact you soon" means he's interested in the job. Is respectful of you.
Make sure they have a business license and insurance.
 
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