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 Bathtub and surround advice
Author: MyIdaho (ID)

First time poster here! After much research, I think I have narrowed down what I want to use for replacing our bathtub and surround. I like the looks of the gray Swanstone surround (BA-3060-042) and one can match it with a Swanstone tub. This the veritek material, not their premium line. I have found several positive reviews on the surround and tub. Alternatively, I could use an Americast tub. Locally we have truestone distributer that would install a bathtub surround for just under a $1000, works with either tub. Which would you reommend?

Bit of background, our home was built in 1962 and has quite small bathrooms. My wife and I are in our late 50's and want an easy to maintain & clean bathroom.

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: North Carolina Plumber (NC)

I'll take Americast over the swanstone any day.

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: HelpMePlumb (FL)

I'd take a tiled shower surround any day over some plastic/acrylic/whatever glued on panel.

Use bigger tiles, tighter grout lines and mildew resistant caulk/silicone and you won't have a cleaning issue.

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: MyIdaho (ID)

The missus is not interested in tile so would be a big battle and if I win, I would likely then become head surround cleaner for its lifetime. Not so sure I'm interested in tile either under that scenario.... You made excellent points in support of tile.

The Swanstone surround I am considering is not attached by glue, rather it is screwed to the studs and the pieces interlock preventing leakage. Their premium line is thicker material and their recommended installation method is to glue to green board or cement board.

The Americast tub was recommended by our plumber but the missus liked the color coordination for the tub and surround with veritek.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: waukeshaplumbing (WI)

i wouldnt get any of them

not a fan of the swan stone
ive installed Americast...im not exactly proud of it though...they have quality issues

are you limited to 30"? is that the problem?

id get a Kohler Villager...similar price to the Americast...maybe $100 more

for fiber glass/ Acrylic in 32" id get an Aker...they have some nice mid level models


what size do you need? will a 32" work?

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: SMSPlumbing (PA)

A tub that I use is the Sterling Accord. Its a 4 piece caulkless unit. Very durable.

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: MyIdaho (ID)

Yes, there is a window that restricts tub width. It is 32.5 inches in so a 32 inch tub might fit...

My plumber has earned lots of cred over the years and the Americast was his recommendation. It would be the first time I didn't go with his recommendation. I imagine he'd survive the blow but would probably expect me to explain why... So why is Americast a poor choice and yours better?

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: MyIdaho (ID)

Waukesha, can your provide a link for Aker, I'm not finding their tubs online. Have they been sold to Maax? Give me a model number of one of your preferred models. thanks

SMS, I'll take a look at the Sterlings. thanks.

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: waukeshaplumbing (WI)

Americast has quality issues...they grind the sides and sometimes they grind too much...the edge will have a 1/2" chipped look....sometimes they go 1" or more....on 1 project i had to return 2 tubs and give the owner $$ to accept the 3rd one...all were bad

they also say NOT to put mortar under them...they flex...

if thats the route your going then id just get a Kohler Villager...a true cast iron tub

Aker has been bought by Maax, but Aker is still the brand name

Aker SBA-3260 is very nice
Aker ACA-3060 is nicer
Aker ACA-3260 is what id buy...its got style, arm rests, deep and acrylic

your americast is shallow

I also install a ton of Sterling Accords...id recommend it also if your looking for a module

Aker and Lasco are the industry standard here in the Midwest for tub modules

ive heard Sterling is the most used module in the USA

American Standard makes junk....i only install the Americast because i dont want to lift a true cast iron tub...as my business has become focused more and more on quality ive been installing more and more Kohler Villagers...no one can question its quality

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: Anonymous User

I would recommend a few quality options. The best choice is to get a Kohler brand tub. They have a great line of many options that are very cost efective and quality is always the best choice out of many options.

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: MyIdaho (ID)

Waukesha,

I'm curious what this midwest standard looks like so want to once again clarify. Are you referring to the KTDS 3060 tub and surround? I could not find the ACA 3060 you listed.

Twothumbsup, I agree the Kohlers are very nice, especially with a tile surround but the missus doesn't want to mess with tile...

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: HelpMePlumb (FL)

What's the missus' problem with tile ???????

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: MyIdaho (ID)

"What's the missus' issue with tile?"

A great question. She does bring up cleaning, mildew, leakage, and eventual need for regrouting. She tends to lump all tile together when that really is not fair nor wise. A poorly done job that is not well maintained is gonna have problems... She really likes the swanstone walls for ease of cleaning and their appearance. But, they are more expensive than tile. More initial cost with less effort to clean is a fair tradeoff in my book. We obviously haven't decided what we're going to do. We're taking a large bathroom and converting it to 1 and 3/4 baths (each new bathroom would be 5 feet wide by 10 ft long). The tub and surround would be in the guest bath. Our master bath would have a walk in shower (I started a separate thread on that option).

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: HelpMePlumb (FL)

Interesting. Here in Florida everything is tile. And all the bathroom remodels entail ripping out 4x4 or 1x1 tiles and replacing with 12x12s and up. Less grout lines- and even those are thin. Not hard at all to keep clean.

My bathrooms are a good example. I do minimal cleaning and the walls are in excellent condition, even 4 years into their replacement.

And solid as a rock too. You can't compare a plastic wall to tile IMO.

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 Re: Bathtub and surround advice
Author: davidh4321 (CA)

Couldn't agree more, 12" tile is the way to go. If there is a pattern it hides the dirt/scale. Also, tile holds up to scrubbing better than all the fake stuff so it is easier to clean (don't go nuts with a wire brush though).
And yes, I also put in the Koehler cast iron Villager, love it.

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