How to Install a Tub Surround

A tub surround is a low-maintenance plastic wall system which can be installed over your existing walls and can be cut to fit around windows, alcoves, and irregularities. They are available in kit form and, when installed correctly, provide waterproof, neat, easy-to-clean protection for the walls in your tub and shower area.

These general instructions are a guideline only. If you are not confident that you will be able to execute this project, please do not attempt to do so. Consult your local building codes as required, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and get additional advice from the experts at your local Kent store that is suited to your specific project.

You Will Need:

Adjustable Wrench Caulking Gun and Caulk
Sandpaper Jig Saw or Hole Saw
Pencil Adhesive
Square Pencil/Marking Tool


  1. Make sure that you use adhesive which is recommended for the kit that you choose. Otherwise the plastic may be damaged and it could void your warranty.

  2. Remove any plumbing fixtures and towel bars. Remember to turn off the water before you start removing fixtures!

  3. Remove the old tub surround (if there is one) and patch any holes.

  4. Sand any glossy surfaces and wash the walls thoroughly. Allow them to dry completely.

  5. If you are planning to paint your bathroom, you may want to do this before you install your new tub surround so you don’t get paint on it by accident.


  1. Center the back panel on the wall and mark its location with a pencil; make sure it is square. Apply a bead of mildew-proof caulk at the base and cover the wall area with adhesive. Set the panel in the caulk and press it firmly to the wall from bottom to top.

  2. You can use the carton from the tub surround kit to make templates for fixture locations that will require cutting. Use them to trace the locations onto the panels as necessary. Remember, measure twice and cut once!

  3. Cut holes in the panel with a jig saw or hole saw and test their fit with the fixtures before installing them.

  4. Center and mark the location of the side panels. Apply the caulk and adhesive as above and press panels into wall.

  5. Test fit the corner panels without adhesive. Then apply caulk at base and where corner panels overlap back and side panels. Apply adhesive and press in corner panels.

  6. Clean up any excess adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  7. Brace the panels with wood and allow the adhesive to set for 24 hours.

  8. Apply caulk to all the seams and joints on the panels and tub.

  9. Re-install the plumbing fixtures and clean the area with non-abrasive household cleanser.

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