How to Replace Fiberglass Shower With Tile | Step By Step Guide

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One of the first elements that you notice upon entering a bathroom is the shower box. How about replacing your old fiberglass shower with tile to give a new and modern look to your bathroom? Without a doubt, the tile is a distinctive element of bathroom furniture, and evaluating its replacement becomes a smart choice to keep the bathroom tidy and functional. In this guide, we will discuss how to replace the fiberglass shower with tile.

How to Replace Fiberglass Shower with Tile

Fiberglass shower replacement with tile: when necessary

The reasons why you should evaluate a possible replacement of the fiberglass shower with tile are related to the daily use of the same, which in the long run can present natural wear.

Or you may find yourself having to replace the Fiberglass shower enclosure if, for example, the silicone used in the assembly phase was not of good quality. This can be noticed when the silicone in contact with water darkens or generates mold (unsightly and unsanitary).

Encrustations of this type could also affect the shower enclosure structure, mostly if it is not made of a resistant or antibacterial material, damaging the frame or the doors of the same and making it necessary to replace it.

However, changing the Fiberglass shower should be the prerogative of those who have noticed that it has deteriorated over time. It is an opportunity to renew that area of ​​the bathroom so much used every day. 

Maybe you want a functional and design model for your stall shower, or you are tired of seeing the inexorable action of limestone making the glass of the box opaque, and you have decided to buy a new one.

To renovate the area dedicated to the shower, you can intervene on four fundamental elements:

  • The shower cubicle
  • The plate
  • The surrounding tiles
  • The taps
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Change the shower cubicle

You can radically modify the shower area by replacing your old Fiberglass shower with a modern tile proposal for the design and the technology used. You could also create a masonry niche to renovate your old corner shower, or get rid of any obstacle in favor of a spacious and increasingly current walk in, or even definitively switch to the use of quality materials such as crystal.

Whatever solution reflects your tastes, the advice for a new shower enclosure is to keep in mind an enclosure made of tempered glass: a pleasant aesthetic touch to your bathroom with safety in case of accidental breakage.

Also, do not forget to evaluate any shower enclosures with anti-limescale treatment, limiting halos’ formation due to the evaporation of water and the deposit of calcium particles on the glass.

How to Replace Fiberglass Shower With Tile

Replace the shower tray

In many cases, replacing the Fiberglass shower is an opportunity to replace the old shower tray. 

Modern solutions turn towards lighter and more easily usable materials such as acrylic, which guarantees a lower temperature difference in contact with the body, greater resistance, and ease of assembly than the equivalent ceramic.

A trendy alternative today is that of the shower floor-level tray, a discreet and modern solution.

How to Replace Fiberglass Shower With Tile

Shower tiles

  • In addition to the shower box units and the tray, you can also consider changing the shower tiles, creating geometric patterns or using suggestive mosaics, or installing waterproof panels that protect the shower walls with solutions devoted to aesthetics contemporary and clean stone tile shower regularly. The options with regards to replacing a fiberglass shower pan with tile walls are numerous.

Renew the taps

With the new shower tile, you also have to think about the taps and waterproof it, also the choice often focuses on two solutions:

The first option is the most appropriate for the more traditionalists: a column installed in the shower, with a shower head in the upper part to deliver a homogeneous and pleasant water jet. Here, the top can be combined with a hand shower and sliding rail.

how to replace a fiberglass shower pan with tile walls

How to Replace Fiberglass Shower with Tile: The tools needed.

To Replace Fiberglass Shower with Tile, some tools would be needed. These include:

  • The electric tile cutter
  • The parrot’s beak pliers
  • Trowel
  • Spatula
  • Tillers bat
  • Mallet

Preparation for replacing the Fiberglass shower 

Before replacing your acrylic or fiberglass shower and its surroundings, it’s best to complete the necessary prep work. If you are replacing an old fiberglass shower and its surroundings, remove the old fiberglass shower and its downspouts. Before demolishing the old fiberglass shower’s vicinity, measure the surroundings and compare its dimensions with the new surroundings’ dimensions to be tiled. If you want a larger one, remove enough walls around the old fiberglass shower’s perimeter so that the new environment can easily meet your needs.

Drain pipes and faucet

Replace the old drain pipes installed together with the old fiberglass shower on the bathroom floor, and install a new drain assembly. The best time to install the new drain pipes is after the old fiberglass shower has been removed, as you don’t have to work through the narrow access door space in the wall behind the bathtub faucet. If you also want to install a new faucet, the best time to do so is after the old environment has been removed before the new one is installed. By following this schedule, you can cut the holes needed to put in the new faucet instead of changing the faucets later and patch the holes around the old faucet that will no longer be required for the new faucet.

how to remove a tub surround and replace with tile

Preparation for tile installation 

When preparing for tiling, the starting point should be determined according to the receiver’s interior shape (inclined plane, diamond point, etc.). The tiles’ size, the decoration envisaged, and the position (centered or offset) of the emptying system. This can consist of a siphoid drain or a gutter.

Next, make a layout to balance the necessary cuts and to distribute the elements harmoniously. You can use tiles of the same dimensions or play with different formats, lay mosaic, pebbles, or combine them.

To make the cuts, you’ve got several options. This includes the tile cutter (manual), the electric tile cutter, or the parrot’s beak pliers. This is also entirely dependent on the material and the sizes of the elements to be cut.

The mosaic and pebbles are sold in plates or pre-assembled friezes on a frame or net (easy to cut with a cutter) of approximately 30 x 30 or 30 x 10 cm.

The walls are to be tiled before the receiver. Certain products (epoxy tile adhesive, etc.) can be used for laying and grouting. Wait at least 48 hours before turning on the water through the shower valve. You’ll want to pay attention to what I’m going to say if you detest tile grout quite enough as 99 percent of the folks I converse with do.

Installing the tiles

To install the tiles, do make use of the following steps:

  • Please choose a suitable adhesive mortar and prepare it following the instructions in the manual. Don’t waste too much product at once; take into account the indicated usage time.
  • The gluing should be carried out in areas of 0.50 to 1 m 2.
  • Spread the glue roughly with a trowel, and then equalize the thickness with a notched spatula.
  • Apply the tile to the glue by sliding it to adjust the position. Use a tiller’s bat or hit a martyr with a mallet to make it stick well.
  • If you are installing pebbles or mosaic tiles, press with the flat part of your hand to ensure good glue transfer. 
  • Progress row by row. The alignment of the tile joints should be adjusted using spacers.
  • The mosaic sheets should be laid edge to edge to ensure a constant joint width. The differences in shape and size of the pebbles also allow more freedom.
  • Use the spirit level to perform an end-to-end check of the flatness of the coating.
replace fiberglass tub with tile shower

Joint filling and finishing

Since most tile and stone slabs are just 2 cm thick, they require frequent sealing and are more prone to break over time. Although technically not gemstones, quartz slabs include around 90% real quartz rock. Use the following procedures to change the filling:

  • Wait 24 hours to fill the joints with mortar paste (ready to use) or powder to mix.

• Using a trowel or a spatula, spread the connected mortar.

• Pass it diagonally, applying pressure on the mortar to fill in the gaps as necessary.

• Use an angled scraper to remove any surplus material without damaging the joints. We intended to have the walls straight and level when we said to do so. Ninety-five percent of frequent tile users won’t do this.

  • Rinse it often with clean water. 
  • Let sit for 30 minutes, and then clean the residual traces with a foam float or a slightly damp sponge. 
  • Wait a couple of hours before wiping off the veil of mortar with a dry cloth.
how to replace a shower pan with tile

How to Replace Fiberglass Shower with Tile: FAQ

How much does it cost to replace a fiberglass shower with tile?

Many fiberglass showers are smaller, so unless you are enlarging the existing shower, your costs are likely closer to $5,000 to $6,000 to replace a fiberglass shower with tile. This also covers over 5% to 25% of total bathroom renovation costs), as well as Luxury (walk-in shower and soaker tub): Furthermore, according to HomeAdvisor, labor accounts for around 40% to 65% of a home shower remodel project. To avoid unforeseen circumstances, you should build into your budget a 10-15% cushion. You can also add up the wall areas and then add 10% more so you have extra time for mistakes or future repairs.

Can you put tile on the fiberglass shower?

Yes. But especially when attaching the ceramic tile to fiberglassyou need to use a strong adhesive that can stick to smooth surfaces.

Which is better, tile or fiberglass shower?

According to Networx, a home pro matching platform since 2004, a prefabricated shower has been manufactured in bulk at a factory and is usually made of three materials for added convenience. Thus, the fiberglass shower is better than the tile.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the shower is an essential element in the bathroom. And for those who desire to learn how to replace fiberglass showers with tile, the steps above would be indispensable.

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