What is better for tub wall area: pre-fab or tile? We are renovating our bathroom.

Asked by Rebecca
Longmeadow, MA

Bathroom is for boys, so ease of cleaning is important. Both boys have asthma and allergies, however.


Edward Wright

Answered by Edward Wright

Cincinnati, OH

Wright Design, LLC

October 8, 2012


Both are good, durable choices. If you are doing this work yourself, a tub with a surround may an easier installation choice, since there are fewer parts vs. tile. 

However, I am partial to the look of tile. We recently installed a Mauicast tub for our boys.

  • The bathing area is 15" in depth over 2" deeper than the standard 5' bathtub, which is nice.
  • It weighs only 100 lbs. which is easy to transport and install vs. cast iron.
  • It has great heat retention.

Our surround is made from white 3"x6" subway tiles with a glass mosaic band just below the valve.

Another good alternative is a Solid surface surround, like Corian or similar product. The three smooth panels make for fairly easy installation and sealing of the corners with low/Zero VOC adhesives.

Good luck with your choice,



For more information:

Read "I am having trouble finding information on companies that manufacture tub surrounds/walls that are made of low-VOC materials." a Q&A answered by Molly McCabe.

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