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What is a Bathtub Surround?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A bathtub surround is a water resistant lining that can be placed over the walls that surround a tub. This can protect the original walls from water damage, as water does not tend to only stay in the bathtub in many cases. Installing a bathtub surround is often considered a quick method of bathroom remodeling, since it can add to the décor, similar to choosing new tile for the floors. Of course, surrounds can also be plain and white, functioning only as a way to prevent water damage rather than also adding to the décor. They can be purchased at most home improvement stores and then installed by the typical homeowner, or they can be professionally installed, instead.

Most bathtub surrounds extend from the top of the tub to the bathroom ceiling, allowing total protection for the home's drywall. They are usually considered necessary because drops of water tend to bounce out of the tub and onto the wall, which can result in water damage over time. It is for this reason that the typical bathtub surround is installed primarily to protect the wall, which is why plain white ones are often available. This practical product often also includes at least one small shelf so that homeowners can keep the soap or shampoo stored above the tub.

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On the other hand, many homeowners take advantage of the large selection of tub surrounds, resulting in finding one that suits their bathroom décor. For instance, those going for a rustic look may decide on a bathtub surround that is made to resemble stone, while those with modern décor may prefer tile. It is also often possible to find colored surrounds, further allowing homeowners to match this item to the rest of their bathroom. Of course, they may prefer to create a contrast by choosing a bathtub surround that features a different color than the remainder of the room. Additionally, it is usually possible to purchase a surround that boasts an interesting design or appealing pattern, adding a unique look to the room.

One of the most convenient characteristics of a bathtub surround is that it can be installed by most homeowners. In fact, there are typically kits available at most home improvement stores, containing all the necessary wall panels. Most panels interlock with each other, making them quite easy to install, especially since there are usually only three to five panels in most tub surround kits. It should be noted that while kits with three panels are typically the easiest ones to install, walls that are not plumb are usually better off with at least five panels.

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