Hi gang. A new shower (and bathroom remodel) are in my future so lots to ponder. Wondering what materials recent remodelers used in their showers, floors and countertops???
Ease of care and durability are prime factors. The thought of having to deal with glass doors, though tracks are history, as well as squeegee use on tiles and glass are no doubt in my future I am still open to options regarding materials. A neighbor used marble which is lovely, but expensive to maintain while a friend opted for porcelain tile. Please tell me what choices you made and the pros and cons associated with them.
To begin the survey?....
Swanstone solid surface walls (like Corian)was what we used in one rebuilt shower stall (after taking out old 4 inch tile that failed after many decades), and I like it very much, but the shower does have a glass door to squeegee and wipe down. Swanstone has a matte finish, easy to clean and no grout to seal, and was less costly than Corian.
Removed the downstairs glass doors and have shower curtains with liners. (Liners can either be washed or just replaced cheaply as needed)
Our older neighbor solved her glass door cleaning issue, by hanging a shower curtain just inside the doors.
We have Porcelain tile walls and a plastic base. The base does not appear to be fiberglass and it is starting to flex. I expect it will have to be repaired before long. I would expect fiberglass to be much stronger. The base has a pebble finish and my wife uses a baking soda concoction to clean it occasionally. Again fiberglass may be easier to clean.
Clear glass upper wall on one side and the door. My wife uses a squeegee on the glass but I wipe down with my towel after I wipe me down. I think either works well. I got into that habit when I had my knees replaced because I can do it sitting down.
A fiberglass base would have ribs molded into the underside to make it stronger; I recommend this.
Plastic or fiberglass bases are very popular nowadays because they are so easy to install and inexpensive. A tile base is easier to clean and very solid if done right, but are tougher to install. Read the tile topic on my website at www.bobf.info to get an idea of what it involved in making a tile base.
The plastic bases and acrylic tubs should be set in concrete on the floor to keep them from flexing. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a mound of wet concrete before the base is set. You mash it into the concrete and the base is very solid.
We had a plastic base in our last house, it was a bit of a pain to keep clean though.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
We redid our master bath about 5-6 years ago. Shower stall was lined with solid surface cultured onyx panels and coordinating base. Ease of cleaning was my main motivation for this choice. Being older, I wanted to be DONE with grout upkeep.
We chose glass doors, but not clear. They have a frosted crackle finish that hides spots and scum for X amount of time, until I get the gumption to clean them (with Tilex bath cleaner, which works best). I know they aren't considered as stylish as clear, but again... I was after practicality, not fashion.
I appreciate everyone's imput thus far. I hope others will contribute more options too.
Have one bath with tile shower and the other with imitation marble panels. I much prefer the panels. Don't like dealing with the grout.
Both have glass doors that are not clear. Like nettiejay they take quite awhile to look cruddy and clean up easily with a little work. (I'm sorry Nettie jay. I think I just said you look cruddy after awhile . Lol)
Sparky, I agree that a plastic shower base should have mortar set under it, but if there is nothing under the base to set the mortar on, one has a problem. Same if there is no way to get the mortar under the plastic base. The other problem is that a typical small shower does not have enough room around the drain to allow mortar to be placed.
Thus, I vote for a ribbed fiberglass shower base.
I know not to opt for a fiberglass shower base. Our current shower has one circa 1988 and it is permanently discolored and the grout where the pan meets the tiled walls is an ongoing maintenance problem. In addition, that grout line is wider than it should be. The new shower will have a tiled floor, but what type remains the question??? My new shower will be noticeably an upgrade at an affordable cost (I hope).
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