In a world of rapidly changing tastes and home décor trends, it’s not always easy to predict what your bathroom will look like in five or ten years. Fortunately, it’s also not difficult to retrofit your bathroom without spending a fortune. There are several ways you can achieve the look you want without breaking the bank, including using glue over tile. Fortunately, gluing a tub surround over an existing tile wall is perfectly possible, and can cost as little as $50 if you find used plumbing components or inexpensive tiles at a thrift store or resale shop. You may even be able to get these materials for free from friends or family members who have remodeled recently. No matter what state your bathroom is in right now, read on for advice on how to use glue to transform it into something that suits your preferences.
Can I Glue A Tub Surround Over Existing Tile?
Yes, you can glue a tub surround over the existing tile, but the installation will be more difficult. One of the benefits of installing tub surrounds is that they are easy to install and require minimal installation effort. With a tub surround, all you have to do is slide it into place and secure it with the included adhesive.
How To Glue A Tub Surround Over Existing Tile?
Use a caulking gun and caulk
When the tub surround surface is clean, dry, and free of debris, apply a thin layer of caulk to the recessed side of the tiles. Use a caulking gun to help you properly control the application. After the adhesive dries, you can glue the tub surround to your existing tiles. Caulk is a strong adhesive that is water-resistant and does not require an extended curing time before use. However, caulks are not the strongest adhesives and may not withstand constant water exposure.
Glue a thin layer of built-up tape
If you have a large tub surround to glue, a thin layer of built-up tape may be a less expensive and easier alternative than caulking. First, clean and dry the existing tile. Next, peel and press a thin layer of built-up tape onto the existing tile. You can glue the built-up tape to both the tub surround and the existing tile. When applying the built-up tape, apply pressure to ensure a good bond. Built-up tape is an excellent adhesive for gluing a tub surround to the existing tile. However, the only downside is that built-up tape cannot be removed without damaging the existing tile.
Use thin set mortar
If your tiles are in good condition, use thin-set mortar to help glue the tub surround to your existing tile. Thin-set mortar is a premixed adhesive that is ideal for attaching tile to tile. Before starting, make sure the existing tile is clean and dry. If the tiles are stained, chipped, or cracked, you may want to replace them with new tiles. Cover the existing tiles with a thin layer of thin-set mortar. Let the mortar set for a few hours before attaching the tub surround.
Use structural adhesives
If your existing tile is in good condition, you may want to glue the tub surround to the tile with a structural adhesive. Structural adhesives are designed to be applied to surfaces that are porous and free of dust. These adhesives are very strong and capable of bonding many different materials together. Since structural adhesives require clean and dry surfaces, make sure that your existing tile is clean and free of dust and debris. Any surface contaminants will prevent the adhesive from properly bonding.
Use epoxy glues
If the existing tiles are stained, damaged or in poor condition, you may want to use epoxy glues to glue a tub surround over them. Epoxy glues are easy to use and provide excellent bonding strength. First, clean and dry the existing tiles. Use a putty knife to scrape away any loose tiles and grout. Next, mix the epoxy glue according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the adhesive to the recessed side of the existing tile and to the surface of the tub surround.
What You’ll Need
- You’ll need a few tools and materials to get this job done, including a hacksaw or other tool for cutting tile, a level, a pencil or marker, a bucket with warm water, a sponge or rag, a putty knife, a small paintbrush, a caulk gun, joint compound, sandpaper, and a tub surround that fits your existing dimensions.
- If you’re gluing over tile but don’t have any tile on hand to keep costs down, you may want to visit a hardware store and pick up a few samples to see which kind of tile you like best. You’ll have a better idea of what the tile looks like once it’s been glued to the wall, and can choose the best tile for your home décor.
Limitations Of Tiling Over Existing Tile
- Tiling over an existing tile wall may seem like a quick and easy solution to updating your bathroom, but it does have some disadvantages.
- First, you won’t be able to choose your tile until you’ve removed the old tile, so you may end up with a tile you don’t like or want.
- You will also have to cut the old tile to fit into your new design, which can be difficult, messy, and time-consuming.
- Finally, if the wall you plan to tile over has a non-standard stud layout or is made from an unusual material, such as concrete or fiberboard, you may run into problems. For example, if the wall is made from concrete or fiberboard, tiling over it may not be possible at all.
Pros Of Using Glue To Install A Tub Surround
- You can choose your tiles before you begin the project, so you can be sure they’re a good match for your home décor and color scheme.
- You can also choose your edging material and color, so you can ensure the tub surround suits the rest of your bathroom design.
- You can use glue to install a tub surround in just one day, so you won’t have to take time off work to finish the project.
- You can cut costs by using inexpensive tiles that you find at secondhand or resale shops.
- You may even be able to find tiles for free from friends or family members who have remodeled recently.
Cons Of Installing With Glue Instead Of Tape
- It takes some practice to know how much glue to use and how to apply it. It’s difficult to match the pattern on the tiles when using glue instead of tape to install the tub surround.
- You can’t adjust the tiles if you discover a problem before the glue has dried. You will need to wait several hours or days for the glue to dry before you can caulk the joints and then grout the tiles.
No matter what route you choose to install a tub surround, you’ll need to be patient while the project dries and cures. If you’re impatient, you can always keep yourself busy while you wait by cleaning the rest of your bathroom or rearranging furniture in another room. If you’re uncertain which route to take to install a tub surround, you can always ask friends or family members who have recently remodeled. They may be able to give you tiles or pieces of tile that you can use or may have advice for you based on their experience.