View Full Version : tile surround for whirlpool tub
01-07-2005, 09:26 AM
I'm having a whirlpool tub installed in an alcove, with three tiled walls surrounding the tub. we wanted a tiled "skirt" or short knee-wall supporting the open fourth side. But you do need a removable panel for the pump maintenance. (not expected to be often :-) The contractor is trying to talk me out of the tile, since a removable panel is likely to be susceptible to cracking around the tile, as the panel is removed. I konw having tile surrounds is common. what do others do to handle this situation? and how do you fasten the removable panel such that it can be removed, yet the fasteners dont detract from the tile decor?
01-07-2005, 10:51 AM
I'm in this situation right now. It was suggested to me to buy some round magnetic disks, recess them into the tiled panel substrate and a mating one in the framing (make sure you get the sides right, or they'll repell instead of attract! or you could screw a metal plate to the framing), then epoxy them in their holes. I plan to use some removable trim pieces on the ends. Don't know how well it will work! Another suggestion from a tile guy that I trust was to caulk the edges. This will act as a glue. WHen you need access, cut the caulk out, pull the panel, then put new caulk back in when you replace it.
01-09-2005, 03:03 PM
I installed a corner tub last year and put an access panel in the skirt to access the plumbing - just in case.
I planned the skirt framing to leave an opening adjacet to the facets and cut a hole in the plywood skirt at this location. Reinforced the opening with a 1x2 backer protruding into 3/4" into the opening. Next, I thinsetted the tile to the plywood cover. When the thinset cured, I grouted the tile with the access cover still removed.
Next, I used some thin wooden shims to wedge the access cover in place and used color matched caulking around the perimeter of the the access cover tile to hold the panel in place. With the colour matched caulking, you can't tell where the access cover is - it looks like regular grout.
If ever, you need to access the plumbing, simply cut the caulking with a knife and pull the access cover out.
I have attached a before and after picture which will make the above explanation much more clear. :)