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How to Install a Bathtub Surround

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An image showcasing step-by-step visuals of a bathtub surround installation

So, you’ve decided it’s time to give your bathroom a much-needed update. Well, my friend, you’re in luck because I’m here to show you exactly how to install a bathtub surround.

This step-by-step guide will have you feeling like a DIY pro in no time. We’ll start by prepping the area and removing that old, outdated surround.

Then, we’ll measure and cut the new surround to perfection before seamlessly installing the panels.

Finally, we’ll add some finishing touches with a little caulk. Trust me, with a little elbow grease and these simple instructions, you’ll have a beautiful new bathtub surround in no time.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Turn off water supply and disconnect plumbing connections
  • Choose a bathtub surround material that suits your style and budget
  • Remove the old surround by removing caulk or sealant and locating and removing screws or nails
  • Measure and cut the new surround material, following manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions

Preparing the Area

Before you can install the bathtub surround, you’ll need to clear out the area and remove any existing fixtures. Start by turning off the water supply and disconnecting the plumbing connections. Remove the old bathtub, showerhead, and any other accessories.

Once the area is clear, it’s time to focus on waterproofing techniques. One common method is to apply a waterproof membrane to the walls and floor surrounding the bathtub. This helps prevent water damage and mold growth. Another option is to use waterproofing paint or sealant.

Now, let’s consider the types of bathtub surround materials. There are various options available, such as acrylic, fiberglass, tile, or stone. Each material has its own advantages and considerations, so choose one that fits your style and budget.

Removing the Old Surround

To start, you’ll need to carefully detach the existing surround from the walls. First, remove any caulk or sealant around the edges using a utility knife or caulk remover tool.

Next, locate the screws or nails holding the surround in place. Use a screwdriver or pry bar to loosen and remove them. Be cautious not to damage the walls or tub while doing this.

Once the surround is loose, gently pull it away from the walls.

Now, it’s time to dispose of the old surround. Check with your local waste management facility for guidelines on proper disposal.

Lastly, when choosing the right replacement material, consider factors such as durability, maintenance requirements, and aesthetics. Options include fiberglass, acrylic, and tile surrounds. Choose one that suits your needs and personal style.

Measuring and Cutting the New Surround

Once you’ve carefully removed the old surround, it’s time to measure and cut the new one.

Proper measuring techniques are crucial to ensure a precise fit. Start by measuring the height and width of the bathtub walls where the surround will be installed. Use a tape measure to accurately measure these dimensions.

Next, transfer the measurements onto the new surround material, marking the areas that need to be cut.

Now, it’s time to gather your cutting tools. A utility knife or a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade are commonly used for cutting bathtub surrounds. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take necessary safety precautions when using these tools.

Double-check your measurements before making any cuts to avoid any costly mistakes.

Installing the Surround Panels

Now that you have the panels cut and ready, it’s time to start securing them in place.

First, make sure the area around the bathtub is clean and free of any debris.

Next, apply a waterproofing membrane to the wall surface. This membrane will help prevent any water from seeping behind the surround panels, protecting the structure of your bathroom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the membrane, making sure to cover the entire wall area that will be covered by the surround.

Once the membrane is applied, it’s time to start installing the panels. Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the back of each panel and press it firmly onto the wall, making sure it is level and straight. Repeat this process for each panel, ensuring they are properly aligned.

Caulking and Finishing Touches

After securing the panels in place, you’ll need to caulk the edges to ensure a watertight seal. Choosing the right caulk is crucial for a lasting and seamless finish. There are various types of caulk available, such as silicone, acrylic, and latex. I recommend using a silicone caulk as it is waterproof and flexible.

Here are some tips to achieve a seamless finish:

  1. Clean the surface: Before applying caulk, make sure the surface is clean and dry. Remove any dirt, dust, or old caulk.

  2. Cut the caulk tube tip: Cut the tip of the caulk tube at a 45-degree angle to create a small opening.

  3. Apply caulk: Hold the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle and slowly apply the caulk in a continuous motion along the edges of the surround panels.


In conclusion, installing a bathtub surround is a relatively simple task that can greatly enhance the appearance of your bathroom.

By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this article, you can easily remove the old surround, measure and cut the new panels, and install them with ease.

Remember to take your time and ensure a proper fit before caulking and finishing the job.

So why wait? Transform your bathroom today and enjoy a luxurious bathing experience.

Isn’t it time to upgrade your bathtub surround?