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    vinyl flooring as shower stall surround

    Asked Feb 18, 2008, 12:49 PM 8 Answers
    As part of a tight budget remodel, I am using vinyl flooring to line the walls of a shower stall. The shower base and all plumbing is in place. I know that when vinyl is used as flooring, a heavy roller (75 pounds) is used to roll over the vinyl, pushing out air and spreading the glue. How can this be accomplished on a vertical surface? The one I removed, which was also flooring vinyl, was very well adhered and there was no mold, mildew or evidence of moisture, even at the top and bottom edges.

    Last edited by sirhiss; Feb 18, 2008 at 12:51 PM. Reason: syntax error
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    8 Answers
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
    Home Repair & Remodeling Expert

    Feb 18, 2008, 04:11 PM

    This will be a disaster if you go ahead with this idea. Ceramic tile is the better choice and porcelain even better.
    glavine's Avatar
    glavine Posts: 895, Reputation: 87
    Senior Member

    Feb 18, 2008, 05:54 PM
    I just had visuals worse than saw 4. Not only will this not work, but your asking for a lot of problems in the near future, not only replacing the surround but repairing a lot of rotten wood in the walls and floor.
    my advise would be to buy a insert kit. Its basically fake tile boards that come in 4 x 8 sheets. They can withstand water contact. It looks cheap to me but its much better than using vinyl flooring. Go to Lowe's or homedepot and ask for tub surrounds and kits, that should get you started
    DawnSmith's Avatar
    DawnSmith Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 24, 2011, 09:32 AM
    I as well would like to use the same product for a tub surround as for the bathroom flooring.
    My thoughts are that vinyl flooring should be as durable a product as a tub surround which is just cheap plastic that yellows (especially if you have a window in the bathroom and it gets sun exposure). A traditional plastic tub surround would not stand up to being "walked on" so I feel a product made to withstand traffic and water and detergents should be durable as a tub surround. Not to mention the fact that Vinyl flooring is now so realistic (the high end product), one can barely tell it from real tile.
    I also feel `Barker Board` or other wall board products DO look cheap, don`t understand why they haven`t upgraded their products in 20 years or so to look more realistic as flooring manufacturers have.
    Why not go to `real tile``? - I don`t want the hassle or work of thickening my subfloor, cutting tile, grouting, sealing, or the upkeep required for real tile. Not to mention the cold surface (no in floor heating).
    Any thoughts or VALID INFORMATION (as opposed to opinions) as to why (if properly sealed at edges) this is not a viable alternative to plastic tub surrounds?
    wakeup's Avatar
    wakeup Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 29, 2011, 07:34 AM
    My father had good quality cushion floor installed as a tub surround and it looked great, much better than barker tile wood crap. It was glued on using the same glue you would use to glue it to the floor. It's been there 5yrs with no sign of mildew or swelling of the gyproc under it.
    Everyone is really quick to shoot ideas down but if you thought about it for a minute why wouldn't it work.
    It's rubber for frig sakes. What the hell is going to penetrate that? I realize it's not meant for that but when you have zero dollars you need to be creative.
    I also saw a bathroom that had this installed around the tub for 12yrs and tore it out with absolutely no damage to the gyproc under it.
    I wouldn't want to be lost with some of you guys in the woods without a match or lighter trying to start a fire. "No don't use the lens from your binoculars to start the fire, it wasn't meant for that" LOL
    DawnSmith's Avatar
    DawnSmith Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 30, 2011, 09:37 AM
    It is good to be able to be creative and open minded to products and options for sure.

    I don't know about a “rubber” flooring product, I believe it would be either vinyl or linoleum and in today's world, most likely vinyl. But vinyl is synthetic, does not breath and therefore water resistant. I think you would want to be careful not to use a cheap “paper backed” vinyl, but a good quality vinyl flooring should withstand far better than a thin plastic (tub surround). I was wanting to do it more for design choice than for cost. I checked with Armstrong flooring who said they would not warrant their product in a high moisture atmosphere and that it was designed for horizontal surfaces. My thoughts on that are that water does not seep through my vinyl flooring on the floor. That said though, they are “the man”.
    I did use vinyl flooring many years ago as a tub surround in a mobile home reno where structure itself limited choice and real tile was not an option. It looked great (even the 80's vinyl choices). Scored the back of the vinyl at the two corners and applied silicone to the back of the score, installed it with flooring adhesive and it went in all in one piece. Trimmed the top edge with moulding and the sides with paintable calking. And of course installed it ¼ inch up from tub edge and sealed the join with quality tub silicone. I went back to the place to visit new owners 10 years later and it looked as good as the day it was done. Received lots of comments about how good it looked, ease of clean and care etc.

    In the end though, in the current house I am doing, resale is an issue and I just wanted to get a feel for level of acceptance, and it is just not there. People seem to be quite negative about using “flooring” on the wall (even though it is acceptable to use real floor tile on the wall). My final call was “the man” so I will use a plastic tub surround and hope it holds up to yellowing for a couple of years so I don't have to re-install before I sell.
    DawnSmith's Avatar
    DawnSmith Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 30, 2011, 09:46 AM
    Hope you can read around the weird asci characters (new keyboard!! :(
    klh36's Avatar
    klh36 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 20, 2012, 12:45 PM
    I am getting ready to do that very thing. I previously had vinyl around my (mobile home) garden tub that was same as floor. Since we recently had water leak underneath the old flooring had to come out. Again we put the vinyl around the tub and decided to do the shower walls as well. One thing though, we are using a very expensive fiberglass based vinyl for this. It is a stone look and the tub looks like it is sitting in a rock garden. I don't think I would try it with a standard run of the mill vinyl though. I have this brand of floor in my kitchen and love it, so low maintenance. If we ever have water damage again the floor can be removed and sub floor dried out and the floor can lay right back down. It requires no adhesive when installed on floor.
    j3j3j3j3's Avatar
    j3j3j3j3 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 13, 2014, 10:56 AM
    Thank you for responses that are not opinions, but real experience. I flip houses for a living and vinyl tile over everything and it's mother in houses, but never a shower surround. But why wouldn't it work? Obviously with the responses, it does work and seals better that tile "in many cases." I live in the South, where every house is built on shifty clay and every old house had a tile shower installed. I have bought four houses with ceramic tile showers (which all need to be torn out) and looked at many more that have all done what tile and grout do when the foundation/walls shift. There are rubberized thinsets and grouts, but the rubberization does not provide enough movement/adhesion in our environment with conventional old houses. If a ceramic tile shower is installed in any of the houses in my area A. it will be cracked B. it will crack in the near future if fixed (torn out two ceramic tile showers that have been redone with pvc sheet running one foot up each wall C. the water will cause foundation/truss damage and the house all around the shower will "sink." I'm looking for a more tastefull, cheaper, longer lasting replacement than coming back with ceramic repair jobs or fiberglass inserts. Cheapest option I've thought of is a fiberglass shower base, cement board up walls, grouted vinyl floor tiles on walls. What are yall's thoughts? First hand experience please, not tradition for tradition's sake.

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