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.

Don Zorn
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. :)

Kind Regards,


10-23-2013, 11:02 PM
What looks best is to just cover it up. Make it so that one tile or a few can be cut out later. To be smart make sure you leave a few replacement tile inside under the tub or in the cavity.

Schluter does make clips now just for this step.

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/IMG_2573_zps79b79563.jpg (http://s839.photobucket.com/user/jfrwhipple/media/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/IMG_2573_zps79b79563.jpg.html)

With this current build out in Coquitlam we choose to skip access. Will need to cut into the tile to make any changes. Access to the tubs pump we put via a panel in the bedroom.

We ran mutliple fill drain and function tests before covering up the access.

Tub turned out great - my buddies place. Tub is from Home Depot.

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/IMG_2570_zps22ef4bb4.jpg (http://s839.photobucket.com/user/jfrwhipple/media/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/IMG_2570_zps22ef4bb4.jpg.html)

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/IMG_2565_zps95599726.jpg (http://s839.photobucket.com/user/jfrwhipple/media/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/IMG_2565_zps95599726.jpg.html)

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/IMG_2538_zps79eb6ae8.jpg (http://s839.photobucket.com/user/jfrwhipple/media/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/IMG_2538_zps79eb6ae8.jpg.html)

Good Luck

10-24-2013, 03:30 PM
More sales info, the OP's message was last accessed over 8-years ago...not exactly addressing the intent of the help forum. John hates me and anything I say, so expect a snide remark, and take his advice like fill the toilet with ice water then boiling water to try to dislodge some spray foam packing material overspray...ask him if he'll pay for your new toilet bowl.

10-24-2013, 09:07 PM
I found these clip things at Pacific Rim Flooring in Burnaby. Made by Schluter.

This could be a great option for anyone I think. I have not used them but imagine they can be used from everything to tub access panels, led ligthing panel access and on and on. Not sure why Jim is talking about boiling a toilet? Odd.

Here is a picture. Never seen one a job site but they are stocked everyday here in Vancouver - or should I say Burnaby.


Personally I would do a better job of the back panel - maybe some kind of full tile instead of just the square. But the photo should give you an idea. The magnets get set into the thin-set behind the fixed tile I think. I'm sure Jim will research it and then cut and paste some info for us soon.

I'm really sorry Jim if it bothers you I update these old threads. They come up every day and it would be a shame if all we did was send people over to John's page. Terry's site needs more content from men in the business - since you are not a tile guy - or a general contractor - or a pro - or even in the business I thought I would help keep Terry's site humming along.

I would imagine Terry doesn't mind me helping out the content here. I read the rules and it was pretty clear - no where does it say you get the last word. It doesn't say anywhere that once a thread is more than a week old and you have answered we can not continue to contribute.

It might be easier for you to ignore me I think. I will be updating dozens and dozens more. I like seeing Terry's Forum outrank the other construction forums online. Makes me smile every time one does.

Just being a team player.


10-24-2013, 09:18 PM
http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/ScreenShot2013-10-24at92136PM_zpsa67e863d.png (http://s839.photobucket.com/user/jfrwhipple/media/Terry%20Love%20-%20Random%20Pictures/ScreenShot2013-10-24at92136PM_zpsa67e863d.png.html)

My client Holger Hoos designed this gem of a bathroom. Hardest bathroom we have built to date. The entire front of this custom MTI tub is back painted glass (tempered). We installed LED lights behind it and fiber optic lights in the slate surround. When Holger designed this bathroom he thought of everything. Even placing all the access controls on the back side so we could access it from the master closet.

I have learned a lot over the years building Holger's masterpieces and space planning is one of his strong points. In case we need to get the the jets we can remove the white glass by slicing away white silicone. The entire piece of glass is shimmed by maybe 6 shims and the rst is silicone. I installed the silicone in two parts. A light touch coat and then a final finish.

Love the way this room turned out.