Advise on bathtub surround for rental unit

5 Replies

Recently acquired 4plex unit has a leak from the bathroom, where the tub meet the tile wall. Several bottom row tiles have cracks in the grout, and a crack in the new caulk where the whole tub meets the tile wall. The tile is dated yellow from 1978. I would like a somewhat quick inexpensive fix. Does anyone recommend gluing a custom tub surround to the existing tile walls? This would not only look nicer but seal it up as well. Any advise?

I had a really gross tub surround and had it removed and tiled. It turned out really, really nice. I know you don't currently have a tub surround but are looking for one but if you have a good tile guy/gal I recommend putting new tile in. 

I paid a guy $1000 to do the tub tile as well as the bathroom floor and including tile it cost around $1200 (and I had lots of tile left over). 

The guy who did the tile was a legit tile guy; if you want a photo I can post one; the rent went from $438 a month to $590 a month (the apartment was originally a Section 8 apartment and they wouldn't even go $450 a month because "one bedroom apartments in your neighborhood don't go that high") yet after the Section 8 tenant left and I rehabbed the apartment, as mentioned, I ended up getting way more than I could have ever gotten had I stuck with Section 8 (I also had luxury tile flooring installed in the rest of the apartment - all my flooring/tile work will pay for itself in just over two years due to the bump in rent). 

@Karl B. Thanks for the reply. What was "gross" about the tub surround you removed? Could it not be cleaned up? I'm not in a position to stick $1000+ at the time, but I do want to make the right move.

Originally posted by @Mike Weiskopf :

@Karl B. Thanks for the reply. What was "gross" about the tub surround you removed? Could it not be cleaned up? I'm not in a position to stick $1000+ at the time, but I do want to make the right move.

Oh, man, it was dirty, stained and looked like garbage as it was buckling from the wall (and cracking toward the bottom of the surround). I don't know how old it was but it was not very nice. 

 

Here's the after in all its glory:

I don't recommend a cheap fix around the tub. Fix it the right way which is tile. Tub surrounds make it look like a cheap hotel. In the future, take money in up front to repair everything the day you buy it otherwise you get nickel and dimed like this over and over again.

@Mike Weiskopf , I agree with @Stephen J Davis , cheap and quick is never either of those.  My experience with tub surrounds is you get about 2-5 years out of them.  They will leak and continue to do greater damage where damage is already done.  

The correct fix would be tear it all out, cement board the whole tub surround, redgard to create a waterproof surface, and then tile.  While it will likely be a few thousand dollars now to do all of this, you will likely never need to touch it again, looks nicer to tenant (and maybe be able to increase rent a touch) and when you sell, you will likely get a premium simply becuase it is maintenance proof to the new owner.