A tub surround refers to the space around your tub-specifically, the tiles or trim surrounding or around the outside of your tub. The surround is extremely important for not just aesthetic reasons-it serves as a buffer for whatever water leak or constant bath use may be going on in your tub and for structural stability between the tub and the walls. It is also a safety factor to have this space around your tub because it can help prevent falls. If you are installing a surround around a new tub you need to make sure that you follow the instructions that come with your tub to ensure its proper installation and that your surround will work well within your tub's dimensions.
There are two types of tub surrounds to choose from: solid surfacing and veneer surfacing. While both are pretty effective, solid surfacing can be more expensive and adds a certain style to a tub. While the cost can add up fast, with proper preparation, it can be done quite easily. If you don't feel comfortable doing the work yourself, there are many companies that do it for a reasonable price.
Tile Surrounds Are considered the cheapest way to put a tub surround on, but it does have its draw backs. You can easily install tile surrounds by yourself-you won't have to pay an expensive remodeling crew or order brick and mortar, and you won't have to deal with the messy process of cutting and sanding the tile either. The biggest drawback to using tile is the fact that it is not a very sturdy surface. If you are not planning to replace your existing floor, you may be alright with using tile. However, it is always best to have some sort of concrete or wood surface on top. This can help support your surround and keep your family safe from falling objects.
With the cost of materials going up, there is another less expensive way to cover your tub surround and that is with drywall. Drywall can be installed by either professional or at home, and it is a much sturdier option than tile or vinyl. You still need to have some type of joint compound applied to the panels to prevent any leaking. The biggest downfall with drywall is that it can be messy and time consuming to install. If you don't mind doing a little bit of the work yourself, then drywall is a good option.
Installing Installed Cement As the name implies, cement blocks are used for tub surrounds. It is the cheapest of the options, but like anything else, it can fall apart if something is not done right. It is the easiest to install as well, so most homeowners prefer this to the other options. The biggest downfall with cement is that it can start to leak once it starts to set, which can create a mess.
Installing Siding When you're ready to finish your bathroom remodel, installing a siding around the tubs can be a perfect way to finish it off. It is a more permanent solution, unlike the options mentioned above. In addition, the best part about installing a siding is the fact that you do not have to cut into your walls to do it. Your tub surrounds and walls can be covered completely.