Tubs and Showers with
Custom Built Walls

For those who choose to have more artistic control over the final
appearance of their bathing alcove, it may be desirable to install a
tub or shower pan and finish the walls with tile.  Tile can be made
out of a huge range of materials, with an infinite color pattern.  
Accent tiles, chair rails and border tiles can add statement and
definition to any degree.

For longevity, the sub-walls should be made of cement board. This
sub-wall should be covered with plastic waterproofing designed
specifically for this type of application.  It is never a good idea to
depend on the tile and grout to be both the first and the last barrier
against water leaking through the wall.

Even though the walls are custom made and not prefabricated, the
tubs and shower pans must be installed level.  Failure to do so will
make the future installation of tub and shower doors difficult or
even impossible.

Like prefabricated units, these types of basins are available in
many sizes and shapes.  Nonetheless, you are limited in selection
to whatever is on the market.  Again, the majority of the shower
pans are for above-floor installation, and thus are not “barrier-free”.

While the shower pans are either fiberglass or high impact plastic,
the tubs may also be made of steel.  Steel tubs with baked on
enamel are light and durable.  There is no particular reason to
favor one type of material (steel, say) over another (fiberglass).