How to Install a 3-Piece Tub and Shower Surround

Lead Image
  • 5-7 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-500
What You'll Need
Caulking gun
Silicone caulk
Small pry bar
Clean rags
Oil-free cleanser
Scrub brush
Putty knife
Drywall mud
3-piece tub and shower surround

When you are in dire need of a new look in your bathroom you can make use of a 3-piece tub and shower surround system. The name is kind of a misnomer in two ways. The first is that it actually has nothing to do with sound and the second is that it’s not three pieces but typically 4. A 3-piece tub and shower surround is made from durable plastic and covers an existing tub and shower. In many cases the tub and far wall will be one piece and the extra piece will be a corner section. The 3-piece tub and shower surround is incredibly easy to install and the article below will show you how.

Step 1 - Preparing the Bathroom

In order to properly install a 3-piece surround, you need to make sure the bathroom is clean and prepared. The surround sits directly on top of the tub and against the bathroom walls. An unobstructed surface is paramount to the success of the project. Use the wrench and screwdriver to begin removing all of the fixtures that are installed in the shower and tub. You will need to lift up the metal plates and either twist them off or unscrew them. Once the fixtures are removed use the pry bar to begin removing the tile. Use the putty knife to get behind tough tiles to rip off away the seal holding it in place. Use the drywall mud to patch any holes you may have inadvertently made. Spread the mud out as flat as possible. Once dry you can sand it down.

Step 2 - Sizing the Surround

A 3-piece tub and shower surround is sized larger than is what is needed. This will allow you to fit and trim it to what you really need. Remove it from its box and dry fit the pieces. The tub section goes on first, then the sides. Make sure the precut holes are over the faucet and showerhead area. The corner and other wall then go in place. Place all pieces flush together and use the marker to draw a line behind the surround where there is overhang. Remove the pieces and cut them with the shears along the lines you drew.

Step 3 - Install the Surround

With the surround trimmed to fit, you can now install it. Insert the silicone caulk in the gun. Place the main section over the tub and put a bead of silicone along the bottom edge of the tub. Place the left wall flush with the back wall and apply silicone along the seam where they meet. Place the right wall over the fixtures and seal with silicone where the pieces meet and around the fixtures. Place silicone around the top edges and sides. Use a wet finger to smooth out the silicone. Replace the fixtures and the 3-piece tub and shower surround is done.