How can I update my hideous shower stall?

by Angel
Does anyone have any tips for my ugly bath/shower stall? I'm thinking of tiling, because the doorway is far too narrow to fit one of those new tub inserts in. I've tried to include pictures to show that the surface is bubbled and scratched. It is in a mobile home, and I think it's particle board with some type of coating over it. I would like to tile it, hopefully right over the existing material. I'd be grateful for ANY ideas!
  7 answers
  • Carmen Carmen on Mar 30, 2015
    I would be very careful about tiling it, because if as you suspect it is some type of particle board and not properly tiled and sealed you can get mold behind the tile and not be aware of it. Mold can be a dangerous health issue. I've no knowledge or experience this is just an idea that popped into my head. Maybe you can refinish the current wall, by first removing the metal surround, clean well with vinegar or bleach, let dry completely (maybe a day or dry with a blower). Prepare wall with Zinsser Mold Killing Primer (or similar product). Rustoleum has refinishing paints for out door decks that repair and smooth out the texture this might work on your shower walls, smoothing out the bumps, sealing the wall and water proofing. Then add back your metal surround and caulk edges with something that is both water proof and mildew resistant. Let dry at least 24+ hours before letting area get wet. Maybe as an additional protection use Never Wet products. All these things are toxic so if even just considering this make sure area is well ventilated, use respirator mask, eye protection, long sleeves and gloves.
    • Angel Angel on Mar 30, 2015
      @Carmen in that case, maybe I should first replace the board with some new plywood?
  • Jean Jean on Mar 30, 2015
    There are places like Menards that have Mobile Home and Manufactured home replacement pieces. I would not keep that stuff in your bath, save the moulding if you can...just in case you can't find a replacement and you can use backer board if you have proper support to tile. It's pretty light and mold resistant. There are fiberglass inserts that come in pieces you can look at to see if you can bring them through the doorway as well. Good luck with the project!
  • Lisa Lisa on Mar 30, 2015
    I agree with the tile backerboard. Also mapei aqua defense membrane. Then you can use an ultra-lite thinset for the tile and use a grout boost additive with the grout.
    • Angel Angel on Mar 30, 2015
      @Lisa I'm thinking that looks a lot like my best bet. Thank you.
  • Moxie Moxie on Mar 30, 2015
    You can get the shower surrounds in briken down pieces so yhey will fit through the door to
    • Angel Angel on Mar 30, 2015
      @Moxie Thanks Moxie, but when I say I have a really narrow hallway and door, I mean the door is barely two feet wide, and at a very tight angle to the front door, so I don't see any way I can do that. Thanks for the idea, though.
  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Mar 30, 2015
    The current panel board would probably not support the weight of tile. Tile is usually applied to a cement backer board that is screwed directly to studs. It's a gut job. There are plastic panels available at most lumber yards that can be cut with an Exacto knife and applied with construction adhesive. It would look better but probably be a temporary fix. A permanent fix would be to demo and use a heavier weight backing board.
  • Debi53 Debi53 on May 28, 2015
    We had countertops & shower surrounds that were in good condition, just really ugly. We had a company called Miracle Method come out and coat them. It is a chemical bonding spray. It has been 4 years & they still look brand new. I'm sure there are other companies that do the same thing. You can customize your color. Ours looks like stone with flecks in it. They do the process in 2 days-one for prep & painting, one for sealing. When they leave, there is no mess. Your shower is ready to use the next day.
    • Angel Angel on May 28, 2015
      @Debi53 Interesting you should mention that, I decided to go with paint. I used three different shades sponged on top of each other in an attempt to make it look like marble or granite. The last and darkest shade I mixed some fine glitter in it. Not sure it looks exactly as planned, but definitely a huge improvement. I've had several compliments on it so far. After I finish the rest of the bathroom I plan to post some pictures. Thanks for the input. Oh, and one more thing, I did use three coats of primer first, letting each one dry overnight.
  • Joy Peters Kurtz Joy Peters Kurtz on Sep 04, 2017

    tear off all the tile, clean any mildew, paint with waterproofing and use a thin set made for showers