Tub and Shower Walls: A Common Problem Area

Tub areas and shower stalls are some of the most common trouble areas in any home. The main reason for these problems can be summed up in one word: water. Water from tubs and showers often damage walls and floors. Water, in the form of vapor, can damage interior wall surfaces. This water vapor can enter the wall cavity and damage the framing of the structure. It can even damage the paint on the exterior surface of the bathroom wall.

Leaks from water supply lines and the drain system can also cause damage in and around tub and shower areas. Such plumbing leaks get most of the blame for tub and shower area problems. In fact, most of the water damage in these areas is caused between the time the water came out of the spigot or shower head to the time it was supposed to flow down the drain.

There are good, inexpensive materials which can provide many years of service in both tub and shower walls. Regardless of the price tag, the wrong material, or material that is poorly installed, is bound to fail.

The following sections are a list of materials intended as an overview of the most commonly used tub and shower wall materials. It also includes some basic recommendations for their proper installation.