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Walk in tub surround

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May 08, 2013, 01:42 PM
Walk in tub surround
We recently installed a walk in tub due to very small bathroom space and had the plumbing installed to leave a regular shower head in place.

We have not seen a solution for a tub surround for a walk in tub. Does anyone have any ideas?

The jet buttons are on the decking of the tub, so there is only about 1.5 inches to work with.... and the door opening is not in line with the 1.5 inches to install a railed system.

Any ideas?
May 08, 2013, 04:59 PM
Got a picture?

May 08, 2013, 05:58 PM
tub surround meaning... what?

if you have walls around three sides of the tub, put up a rod or track and a shower curtain.

if you have no walls around that tub, install an oval curtain track and a long, long shower curtain.

in either event, tuck in the free-air edges of the shower curtain inside the tub, and now the splashes and sprays won't get loose.

if you have a ledge around the tub for Stuff, and it doesn't have height and slope to drain into the tub, you have a mistake. don't ask me how I know that. so the shower head is now useful for cleaning litter boxes and window screens, but not for showering standees, because a river is going to run off the ledge onto the floor.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
May 09, 2013, 07:46 AM
Joecaption ~ I do have pics. I'm trying to figure out how to post pics on the message board.

SWSchrad ~ thanks for your ideas, but I'm looking for something more substantial and cooler looking than a shower curtain.

I do have three walls and haven't seen anyone who has tried to put a shower door type solution on a walk in tub.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts!
May 09, 2013, 08:17 AM
Have you ever seen showers in nursing homes? Is your walk-in tub similar to those? I'm trying to picture the situation.
May 09, 2013, 09:11 AM
GardenSprite ~ yes. The walk in tub is originally set up for use by handicapped or less flexible folks.

We opted for this tub because we are renovating a historic home and our bathroom space is very, very limited. I still wanted a jet tub and shower combination and this fit the space.

My tub is very similar to the tub shown on this Costco site:

Mine has the control buttons on the outside deck, so I have a very narrow area to work with.
May 09, 2013, 10:05 AM
OK... figured out how to post pics <sigh>
May 09, 2013, 10:34 AM
Thanks for the photos. I was thinking you had something more like those in a nursing home or hospitals which are large walk-in showers with basically nothing between the bathroom floor and the shower.

Are you actually thinking more in line of something to close off the shower area, like a shower curtain would do? Something for privacy? The tub is enclosed, so there's not the issue of water spilling over as there would be in a completely open shower.
May 09, 2013, 10:51 AM
GardenSprite ~ I had the plumbers leave the full working showerhead, so I want to use this tub as a jacuzzi tub and fully operational shower.

I want something to fully enclose the shower in a more solid, glass door fashion. We used a shower curtain during the demo/construction and I'm through with shower curtains.

I was hoping for something slick looking with glass and metal, but haven't seen anyone try to do anything like that yet.
May 09, 2013, 11:14 AM
Maybe you should look up in the yellow pages under "Glass" and call a company that specializes in making custom shower doors. They can give advice, come over and check it out, give you ideas, pricing, etc etc..

They make it look so easy on tv, don't they
May 10, 2013, 08:22 AM
SB, thanks for the clarifications. I don't know of anything that would be appropriate, but I'm not really knowledgeable in this area. I was thinking that you might have wanted something more portable, like a screen (something like those used in theatre dressing rooms) to provide cover for the area when not in use, and which could be pulled back when needed.

I would wonder about the moisture issues that might arise with something more permanent, especially since you stated that the bathroom is small. Also, I'm assuming that the type of screen you want would have to have tracks on the bottom and top, so there might be a small issue of tripping on the track when entering the bath.

Sorry, this is beyond my realm of knowledge, but I do wish you the best of luck. I think Re-mdlr's suggestion is a good one to pursue.
May 10, 2013, 09:02 AM
Thanks for everyone's input.

I have a glass place right across the street, so they were going to have to get involved to create the end product anyway. I'll have to have a thin track on the longer end of the tub to accommodate the jet controls that meets up with a track that swivels on the door.

Walk in tubs are a great idea for small spaces and folks that are less flexible and they are becoming more common in the market, so it won't be long before there will be a big need for an enclosure solution. I was just hoping that someone else had done something similar so that I could discuss lessons learned.

This isn't the first time I've been the lone ranger when it comes to being a creative home remodeler. Funny how some of my solutions turn up later as 'cool new innovations'. I need to patent some of these ideas!

Thanks again everyone!
May 10, 2013, 10:27 AM
I think you're right about small tubs and their potential value and use.

Sounds like you and your inventions (if they are in fact all yours) are a candidate for patent application. Go for it, get the credit due and protect your ideas.
May 10, 2013, 11:36 AM
simple solution...put a floor drain in the floor in fron of the tub. any water that gets on the floor will drain away
this will require you to tile the floor and add some plumbing
we do these all the time. with walk in showers
there done in highschools and hospitals etc..
no curtain is needed

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,
May 10, 2013, 12:16 PM
Frodo ~ if you check out the photos from my earlier post, I'm looking for a shower enclosure for the top half of a walk in tub. I'm trying to keep the water in the tub area without having to use a shower curtain. Although an interesting thought, I'm not really into having shower water in the rest of my bathroom.

Thanks for your post.
May 10, 2013, 12:59 PM
Hi SBruce,

Building a Glass Shower enclosure for this Tub could be a costly affair. It is unique but will need to be carefully designed and use materials that are safe in such a space. With this in mind Safety glass may be used but would need to be close to a 1/2" thick along the front edge with a minimum point of attachment to the tub because of the location of the tub controls. The area behind the back rest of the tub will also be a concern as water may collect there because of the high slope. There is also the tub door so that the glass will need to swing much like the tub door but will it strike the shower head when open. There is also the thought that between the 2 doors there will need to be some kind of seal to prevent water from exiting the shower area between the glass and the door. In addition because the tub door is narrower then the outside wall and glass shower wall would be located on the outer surface of the tub to allow tub controls from within the tub, there will need to be a corner glass wall to which the shower door would abut. Finally the wall surfaces on the 3 wall enclosing the tub unit are unfinished in most cases and if glass is used the walls will be seen when in the shower. These walls need to be finished. There is also a possibility that the glass on those 3 wall which attaches to the tub may need to be mounted to the tub and not to the walls creating a space between which will be very difficult to clean.

Now if you only wish a glass wall across the front of the tub, the 3 walls must be finished in such a way to withstand water and be sealed to the tub in such a way so that their are no leaks. This will prove to be a real challenge and I suspect that a great deal of silicone caulking will be constantly used to maintain the seal. The seal must be excellent otherwise water damage will be a major issue in the future.

You might consider using plexiglass in this structure as it may be cheaper than safety glass but it will water mark more readily and cleaning will require greater care to not mark it. You also might check with the glass company to determine what other materials may be available possibly a polycarbonate of some sort.

As far as finding a tub surround to adapt to your needs, I would take the dimensions of this tub and with those dimensions in hand check out the various bathroom centers and see what you can find that you may adapt to your specific needs where cuts are kept to a minimum to re-size the enclosure to fit your needs while forming a good seal between the edge of the tub and the wall. Using this idea and a single glass wall across the front edge of the tub with a door that has a seal at its bottom to match the tub door work likely be a workable plan.

These are just some thoughts to consider.

Good Luck!
May 10, 2013, 06:10 PM
If you would just post a picture I'm pretty sure someone would come up with an idea so you would not have to reinvent the wheel.

May 10, 2013, 06:40 PM
Hi joecaption,

Below is a link to the first picture. Click on Next or the Arrow to the right of the picture to view the other remaining pictures. I believe there are 5 in all.

Good Luck!
May 10, 2013, 06:45 PM
Joe, SB did post photos, in the 7th post.

Oops. I didn't see SM's post.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
May 10, 2013, 07:35 PM
Wow, 1/2 inch thick, I'm thinking that's a typo -- or the poster needs bullet proof glass. Tempered glass yes, but not that thick.

They make it look so easy on tv, don't they