One Piece VS Tile Shower

5 Replies

Ive seen on a BP thread that one Landlord preferred those one piece showers over the traditional tile and grout showers because of the maintenance. No grout to remove and regrout when it get moldy when tenants dont clean and maintain. Ive seen really luxurious one pieces and manufacturers claim it to be very easy to maintain and resistant to mold. Whats your opinion BP? Any input is appreciated :)

We run a buy-fix-hold real estate company for investors.  We have to do something with the shower almost everytime.  My preference is to the single piece shower, or even the three piece shower surround (because of what can fit in the door).  I stay away and do not allow the 5 piece vinyl sets because the seems fail.  I agree about the tile, it needs to be maintained and we prefer to havve less maintenance issues.

We have both. We prefer tiled tub/shower surrounds and so do the tenants. The tenants will either keep the shower clean or not, regardless of the material. 

Compare the materials.... plastic, acrylic, fiberglass, tile, porcelain, enameled cast iron, etc. Compare the variety of grouts and caulking materials too.

The new tile grout is easy to maintain and quite durable. We rarely need to re-grout.  Most of our ongoing maintenance needs and issues occur with the caulking line between the acrylic or plastic tub/shower surrounds and the porcelain or enameled cast iron tubs. 

We tried both ways at one of our older duplexes. In one unit we installed a tub/shower combo, four pieces I believe. It was difficult to install and has been problematic as it bends with the weight of our two overweight tenants who like to take showers together. In the other unit we created a simple surround with 6x6 white tiles from the top of the traditional tub to the ceiling. This has stood the test of time and has proven to be the better choice.

At our 8-plex we had one tenant burn a hole in a plastic/acrylic tub surround when she placed tea light candles in the soap holder. Somehow tenant's have created holes in other plastic/acrylic surrounds too. We've had tub surrounds improperly installed too which caused problems. The plastic/acrylic stains easier than tile. The magic eraser works fairly well for cleaning off the stains, but it is more work.  In our primary home we have one combo tub/shower acrylic unit and also one acrylic shower unit and that's been working for us for 30 years. But I long for a tiled shower. :-)

Here's a link to good information about this topic....

http://www.askthebuilder.com/acrylic-fiberglass-tu...

Thanks for the info @Marcia Maynard , seems like whatever investors decide to put in a bathroom or home for that matter, tenants always find a way to damage things. 

@William Robison Im right there with you. When I was a handyman for an apartment complex, every time there was a turn over, the bathroom was the first thing on the list. Remove and regrout, clean the mold, and replace broken tiles. 

Thank you for the advice!

Thanks I will use this guidance.  I think it is critical to get a good tile installer and do it right.   I have purchased lots of houses with bad tile work that failed - in my own house, which I built, the tile work simply failed.  Despite this, as a long term investment, I will follow Marcia Maynard's advice here.  I think she is spot on.....I wish she were not right, fiberglass is a quick install.

Love the single piece tub surround vs tile. Love it!

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