Install tub surround on exterior wall

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Posted by: from Spruce Grove
4/20/2020 at 11:30:31 AM

I want to install a prefab bath and shower wall surround. The install directions call for bare stud and construction adhesive directly between back of wall surround and wall stud. The exterior wall is insulated with vapour barrier. I can either:

A) remove the vapour barrier so I can get contact between wall surround and wall stud

B) leave vapour barrier in place, install wall surround with no adhesive (rely on flange screws only)

C) other???

The install directions do NOT recommend drywall behind the wall surround. It specifically states that the back of surround should have direct contact with wall stud.

Any thoughts?

User Icon
Date/Time4/20/2020 at 1:10:58 PM

What we would do is remove the existing insulation and vapour varier and use an expendable foam insulation that acts to insulate and provides vapour protection.

This way you can remove the plastic all together.

Good luck.

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Date/Time4/20/2020 at 2:24:58 PM

I would follow the manufacturers instructions for warranty purposes. I believe the reason for removing the drywall (or not having it behind the surround)has to do with breathing space between the outside wall and the tub surround. The condensation would accumulate in the drywall area and be a potential health issue. I would call the supplier and ask about the insulation and vapour barrier. I like the foam concept but there may be other options.

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Dave from 360renos in Ottawa
Date/Time4/20/2020 at 6:07:43 PM

Hi Jody

You must have the 6ml vapour barrier in place or you will have warm air making its way through the walls and condensing.

I would replace the existing vapour barrier as it most likely damaged from your drywall removal. New vapour barrier with the perimeter acoustic sealed and sheath taped will ensure no warm air enters the wall and insulation space.

The acrylic panels can be secured with stainless steel screws directly to the studs. The vapour barrier will not compromise the installation. This installation method would be considered direct to stud.



User Icon
Date/Time4/21/2020 at 10:47:53 AM

Hi Jody

There are several ways we could still attach the surround. One common way is to use cement board instead of drywall. The cement board will provide the secure adhesion required and still accept the anchors provided.

Let me know if we can be of further assistance


Remi Corbiere

Remi's Handyman Services - RENO TEAM

cell: 780-940-2252

User Icon
Date/Time4/24/2020 at 10:27:31 AM

A simple solution would be to install a 1/4 strapping to the studs Over the vapour barrier that would allow you to keep the existing insulation and vapour barrier and still use an adhesive to secure the panels as per manufacturers recommendations

You could use a inexpensive 1/4 plywood cut into 1-1/2 strips and secure it with ring nails or 1/4 x 1 narrow crown staples

Hope this helps

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