knoxville bathroom remodeling

The ultimate guide for tub to shower conversions in East Tennessee. Common trends for homeowners in Knoxville, Farragut,Halls,Karns,Mascot and Powell. 

The Ultimate Guide for Tub to Shower Conversions

You may be thinking about completing a tub-to-shower conversion for your Knoxville home, but you are unsure of which material to choose. Getting the most function, style, and customization out of your bathroom remodeling investment is important. According to the pros, ceramic tile, acrylic panels, and Aqua-Lock panels are the top choices for tub-to-shower conversions in East Tennessee. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these three main types of materials.

1. Ceramic

When choosing a new material to use for your freestanding shower, tile is one of the three main choices. While tile does have its advantages, there are several disadvantages to be aware of when using this material for your tub-to-shower conversion.


The main advantage of ceramic tile is its wide variety of colors and designs. If you are looking for a certain color, your local home store or wholesale supplier most likely has the one you need. In addition to a wide selection of colors, ceramic tiles come in many sizes customizable to fit any shower design. Big or small, ceramic tiles can be cut to fit most shower spaces.


Choosing ceramic tile for your tub-to-shower conversion may seem like a perfect fit, but there are several reasons why it is not the best choice.
Grout joints are one of the biggest downfalls of having a ceramic tile shower. Grout joints are where the two walls of your ceramic tile meet to form a corner. These corners are hard to scrub and increase the risk of mold when not cleaned correctly. Not only do you need to clean the grout joints, but the entire tile shower will require constant upkeep. Tile showers should be resealed every six months or so depending on how frequently the shower is used. Ceramic tile must have proper maintenance to avoid issues down the road.
Another disadvantage of ceramic tile showers is finding a contractor to do the job. Your highly-rated local Knoxville, Tennessee tile contractor is most likely booked for months. Tile setters are hard to find and are costly to hire. If you do find a contractor, the installation process of ceramic tile takes a lot of time. It may take a few days or weeks to install ceramic tile for your shower. There are several steps to installing ceramic tile making it more than a one-day project.
Furthermore, ceramic tile showers are known for leaking water. The water damage from a leaking tile shower ruins your flooring and ceiling, especially if your shower is located upstairs. This issue may be avoidable, but some contractors use older methods when installing the tiling. Using older methods for installing ceramic tile increases the risk of shower leaks.

2. Acrylic Wall Panels

Acrylic panels were a popular choice for East Tennessee homeowners in the mid-2000s, but they are not a common choice for current bathroom remodel projects. These panels may be quick to install, but there are downfalls to using acrylic when converting your tub to a shower.


In comparison to ceramic tile showers, acrylic panels have no grout to seal. Acrylic panels do not need to be cleaned as frequently as ceramic tile showers.  Acrylic panels do not fade, yellow, or stain over time. The main attribute of acrylic panels is the quick installation, it take one or two days to install instead of multiple days or weeks.


One disadvantage of choosing acrylic panels for your tub-to-shower conversion is their outdated styles and colors. When remodeling your bathroom, you want to have a fresh, modern look. Pros suggest that instead of using acrylic panels, Knoxville homeowners might consider using alternatives like laminate shower wall systems.
Additionally, there are many acrylic manufacturers and installers. This might not be a bad thing when working with a local company but beware of high-pressure sales tactics, gimmicks and bloated pricing from regional contractors. Choosing a new bathroom material takes time, and you should not be rushed into deciding.
A major downfall of acrylic panels is the installation of new liners over the existing material to save time on installations.  This technique, often advertised as an advantage increases your risk of mold growing between the old and new materials after your shower remodel is completed. When converting your tub to a shower, make sure the contractor pulls out the old material first before installing the new acrylic panels. If you do have water and mold growth between the materials, everything must be torn out and redone by a reputable local home improvement contractor.

3. Aqua-Lock Wet Wall Systems

 Aqua-Lock is used in bathrooms and kitchens across the world because of its high-quality, watertight system. This material has several benefits when you choose it for your tub-to-shower bathroom remodel.


One of the best advantages of Aqua-Lock wet wall systems is that it is 100% watertight and has more durability when compared to ceramic tile and acrylic panels. The 3/8″ thick Aqua-Lock panels lock together and connect with a polymer based sealant to give your Oak Ridge property bathroom a seamless watertight look.  The membrane of the panels is located on the front, with a vapor barrier on the back, so you do not have to worry about water, mold, or other hidden damage inside your wall.
The Aqua-Lock material is eco-friendly and comes in various modern and contemporary designs for your bathroom remodel or tub to shower conversion. The high-pressure laminate surface of Aqua-Lock looks like real tile because of the aluminum trim and CNC machined faux grout lines. Compared to actual ceramic tile and acrylic panels, this material is thick and doesn’t require daily cleaning to keep it in good condition.
 Since Aqua-Lock wall systems were designed for a “wet wall” solution they’re suitable and approved for use in any interior wet area such as bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens where an upscale designer look may be preferred.


The main disadvantage of Aqua-lock wet wall systems is that since it’s considered a premium product, it is a more expensive wholesale product and not many home improvement contractors are willing to give up bloated profit margins associated with acrylic panels to install a premium product for their customers.


When you are deciding which material to use for your bathroom remodel, research your options thoroughly. If you are looking to remodel your Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Maryville, or surrounding area property bathroom, contact Knoxville Tub to Shower Conversions. We offer expert bathroom remodeling, whether it’s a full bathroom remodel, tub to shower conversion, bathtub replacement or a walk-in safety tub project. Schedule a free design consultation with Knoxville tub to shower conversions

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