Bathtub Skirt Idea

As previously mentioned, we had to remove the glass doors from the shower in our bathroom remodel. They were old and not maintained well by the previous owners. The textured glass was stained, and the aluminum tracks had corrosion and rusted in spots. So out the doors went. To remove them, we took out all the screws and pulled up the caulk lines along the tracks. However when we attempted to lift the tracks off, some yahoo applied strong construction adhesive to the bottom. It was super glued down. WHY?! If ever someone has to replace the tracks someday, why would you glue them down with NASA glue! Ugh. So yep, you guessed it, bits of tub came up along with the tracks. With two scrapers in hand, Aaron and I went to work getting it all up.

The Typical Builder Grade Shower Tub Combo.

The bathtub surround, including the skirt, is just your typical builder grade shower tub combo, only it was badly neglected. Even the tub filler is corroded. To top it off, the shower color is a creamy off white, not a nice bright fresh white. Sad. I so much wanted to rip the whole thing out.

 But Aaron pointed out the folly of that idea. The inside walls and tub floor while gross, were still in good shape, it was just fixtures and the edge and outside of the tub that needed help. And since we are doing this on a budget, keeping the tub and working with it was the wiser choice. The original plan was to hang a shower curtain so that I wouldn’t have to look at the outer tub wall, and simply patch the screw holes with a tub repair kit. But as you can see from the above photos, it was going to take a lot more than a patch kit to fix that mess.

Bathtub Skirt Idea

I spent a couple of days looking for ways, ideas, suggestions, products, tutorials, anything to fix the tub edge. Nothing. We finally settled on the realization that it couldn’t be fixed. It’d have to be covered over completely. That’s when I started looking at photos of bathtub skirts. Granted they are for drop-in tubs, but as I studied them, I thought I saw a way we could do something similar. For a couple of weeks Aaron and I went back and forth over materials, should we do tile, should we do metal, how about wood? As with many things, it comes down to matter of cost. Tile won out. First, because the tub wall is beveled, we made wood shims that we screwed to the tub. This leveled the surface and also added support. Next we screwed on cement board.

We continued the cement board up and over the sides, thereby boxing in all three edges.

Once the cement board was down Aaron cut the tile and applied the mortar.

 We aren’t concerned about the cement board flexing too much or getting wet. The wood shims add stability, and the cement board is designed for flexural strength, and is formulated to protect it from water damage. On top of that, it’s covered in mortar, we’ll seal the grout, and caulk all along the inner edge were water might splash. I can’t wait to show you the finished tub, but we’re not actually finished yet, so stay tuned!