Step 1 : Unpack your Panels Kit
Easy to install let me show you how this is the shower surround kit it consists of three panels one for the back one for each end and two trim strips now something that's important here is you want to bring this indoors into the same room you're going to install it at least 24 hours in advance so that it can acclimate to temperature and humidity.
Step 2 : Remove the Plumbing Fixtures
The first thing we'll want to do is remove the plumbing fixtures for the spout. I'm using a strap wrench to prevent any damage to the finish the shower valve is removed by loosening the set screw on the underside of the handle then removing the screws that hold the adjusting ring in place and pulling it free next. I remove the two screws holding the escutcheon or trim plate and take it off finally I unscrew the shower head and shower arm.
Step 3 : Cut the Panels Kit
The panels come oversized and need to be trimmed to the correct width and height measure and mark the dimensions. I, want and draw a cut line making sure it's parallel to the opposite edge when it comes to cutting the panels. I have several choices I can use a pair of scissors a sharp utility knife several shallow passes work best here or a pair of snips. I find that the snips give me more leverage than the scissors with the panel cut to size.
Step 4 : Measure the Side Wall
I begin measuring the wall location of the fittings. I need to get precise measurements from the back wall and the top edge of the tub to the center of the fixtures then transfer those measurements to the side panel and mark the fixture locations the side panels have a folding flap that will wrap around the corner and onto the back wall to create a watertight joint there is a crease for that fold molded into the panel when transferring the measurement from the back corner to the fixture centers. I'm careful to measure from the crease rather than the edge of the panel I mark the location for the faucet the shower valve and the shower arm.
Step 5: Drill the Panels Kit
Next, I place the panel on a piece of rigid foam insulation a piece of plywood or heavy cardboard can also work this is to protect the floor when I drill through the panel then using a hole saw I more holes for the fixture now it's time to bend the panel along the crease and create the flap that will extend into the corner and onto the back wall. This ensures that the corner remains waterproof more about this in a moment with the corner folded and the fixture holes board I do a test fit to make sure that everything aligns properly.
Step 6 : Verify the Panels Fit Correctly
Tape the left panel in place temporarily while I go to work on the opposite end section and the back wall. Next, I make the fold on the right panel no boring is necessary here since there are no fixtures on this wall here too, I test fit the panel and use masking tape to hold it in place for the moment. Finally, I put up the panel for the back wall align the edges and apply masking tape to keep things in position with all three panels up. I stand back and get an overall view and once I'm satisfied everything looks good draw a pencil line around the top and side edges. I'll use this line as a guide when I apply the adhesive so as to avoid getting any excess material on the wall.
Step 7: Apply an FRP Adhesive
Now that everything is outlined remove the masking tape and take the panels down to make cleanup easier apply strips of masking tape along the pencil outline and around the top edges of the bathtub. Well, we've done our test fit and everything fits perfectly now it's time to put our panels up permanently we'll be using FRP adhesive Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic panel adhesive to adhere the panels to the wall to make sure the panels stick without a problem I do a final wipe down using a clean dry cloth to remove any dust or particles from the surface with a putty knife.
I apply adhesive to the edge of a notched trowel now to spread the adhesive on the wall I keep the trowel fairly flat then tip it up on edge about 30 degrees to create uniform arrows or ridges when the panel is put up these ridges will flatten ensuring that the adhesive makes uniform contact with the back of the panel and compensating for any undulations or unevenness in the walls. I'll be honest here this can be a somewhat messy process but I avoid rushing since this adhesive has a work time of 30 to 45 minutes now this is quick grab adhesive that we'll be using for that flap we folded up the one that will go into and around the corner I apply it in a zigzag pattern starting in the corner and coming out about six to eight inches.
Step 8 : Fit the Panels Kit
It's time for the moment of truth although there's really not much suspense here since I've pre-tested the fit using the flat of my hand press the panel firmly into the adhesive. Then use a j roller to make sure any air bubbles are pressed out now it's important here to move from the center of the panel to the edges alternately I could use a heavy rag and perform the same operation again starting in the center and moving outward with the left panel up I move to the right panel first applying the RFP adhesive then the high-tech instant grab material and finally setting the panel in position and pressing out any air bubbles.
Step 9: Cut the Trim Pieces
This is j trim or j channel and we're going to slip this over the front edge of the panels now give them a more finished look the trim can be cut to length using either a sharp utility knife or a pair of scissors to secure the trim to the panels. I'll be using clear silicone adhesive cut the nozzle closer to the tip to create a rather small opening puncture the seal load it in the caulking gun and apply a bead inside the channel then pull the edge of the panel away from the wall slip on the j trim apply another bead to the back of the trim and press against the wall to create a watertight seal along the edge now remember the RFP adhesive has a work time of 30 minutes or more.
So be sure to apply the trim before the panel adhesive is set actually there are two methods for applying the trim the first one just demonstrated the second and I think prefer this is to apply the adhesive to the inside of the channel slip the trim onto the panel edge apply silicone to the back of the trim then set the panel in place with the trim already attached.
Step 10: Clean the Panels Kit
Well, we're nearing the home stretch I apply the adhesive to the back wall set the panel in place and roll out any air bubbles once the back panel is in place peel back the edges where they overlap the flap on the end sections apply a bead of silicone to the edge of the flap and press the back panel into the silicone bead this ensures a watertight seal between the back and end panels.
The adhesive bond is quite strong almost immediately but just to make certain the panels don't move while the adhesive dries apply strips of masking tape around the edges when the adhesive is set take them off apply a bead of white silicone sealant where the bottom of the panel meets the tub again this is to ensure a watertight seal to create a smooth professional looking finish spray on a solution of water denatured alcohol and a few drops of dishwashing detergent then use my finger to tool out the bead with the surround installed.
Step 11: Replace the Plumbing Fixtures
It's time to replace the plumbing fixtures before replacing them though I, first apply a bead of silicone around the edges where they contact the wall. I, begin with the spout then the valve and trim and finally, the shower arm and shower head this shower surround is durable non-porous grout free easy to clean and an affordable alternative to traditional ceramic tile. so if you want the look of tile without the expense then a shower surround like this just could be the answer best of all it is a project you can do yourself.
Finished Shower and Wall Panels
Tools & Materials Required
- Razor knife, Scissors
- Tape measure
- Hole saw
- MirroFlex™ Tub and Shower Walls
- Silicone Sealant
- Soap, Water, & Damp Cloth for Panel Clean-Up
- Mineral Spirits to Remove Excess Adhesive or silicone Sealant
- Painter’s tape