Redoing A Bathroom Surround... HELP?... - Family Handyman DIY Home Forum
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Redoing A Bathroom Surround... HELP?...

Posted: 1 Aug 2014 8:18 PM By: highmarcs Replies: 3

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  • Redoing A Bathroom Surround... HELP?...

    I'm redoing an old house and will be ripping out the current bathroom surround walls. I know not to use sheet rock, of course, but I have received a bunch of conflicting information on how to build the tub surround.

    First. I see two different products in use. Some is called "cement board" and some is called "cement backer board". I initially thought that this was just two different names for the same thing, until I saw that the home stores label and sell both "cement board" and "cement backer board".

    Which one do I need for a tub surround?

    To further complicate things, some people say to put up some kind of plastic barrier on the studs prior to hanging the panels. Other folks swear that this is a bad thing to do, and that it causes mold problems behind the wall. And yet another person told me something about some sort of felt strips.

    Lastly. Another person on YouTube, who is very much against moisture barriers, swears by a cement board/backer board that has an integrated moisture barrier. The name of the product is DensoShield, but I can't seem to find it in the United States.

    Any help clearing some of this up for me would be greatly appreciated.


  • Re: Redoing A Bathroom Surround... HELP?...

    I had to repair/rebuild my tub surround last summer. I have a cast-iron tub in a faux-tile box, for lack of a better explanation. Are you building the whole surround right from scratch, or building a half-box and attaching it to pre-existing walls?

    For the top of my surround, because the lip of the tub is quite rounded and I was getting a lot of overflow along the three wall sides, we beefed it up in an unconventional method that works great! We sliced up pool noodles into strips that matched the slope of the lip of the tub, using waterproof foam insulation to attach the slices to the top of the tub surround box. Then we molded the rest of the surround out of Plaster of Paris. A few coats of spar varnish, alternating with a few coats of a mould- and mildew-resistant paint, and voila!

    I don't know if this'll help you, but shoot me an email if you want to see pictures. I can't seem to figure out how to embed them here - I'm new :)

  • Re: Redoing A Bathroom Surround... HELP?...

    Well, you have just described the whole industry, everyone wants to be top dog.

    Makers of products want to sell their product, therefore, their method and product is superior to all others.

    Installers want to tell you their method and work is far superior then others.

    So, rather then start one big ####### contest.

    You should decide on what method makes you comfortable. Since you have come here seeking advice let's go with the Family Handyman, here are some links.......

    Still confused....?

    Here's some good advice.

    Only use products that are recommended for your intended use. Many products get a bad name simply because people use the product for other then what it was intended for.

    For instance, plywood...

    Here's a good read. This shows there is deffintely a difference in plywood ratings.


    I hope this helps......


  • Re: Redoing A Bathroom Surround... HELP?...

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    Installing cement backerboard is one of the more popular and best available option to choose from as it gives you many years of durable shower construction. Cement backerboards include Hardiebacker, Durock, Fiberboard, wonderboard, and similar products. These materials bridge the gap between expense and effectiveness and they are dimensionally stable when wet.


    <a href="">plastic extrusion suppliers</a>

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