Replacing a shower, trying to decide on materials

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Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Kent, Washington

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:17 am

We've recently bought a '79 Liberty double-wide. The master bath has a big garden tub and a tiny shower stall. We want to replace the tub with a large walk-in shower, and turn the existing shower stall into a linen closet. I've seen a lot of posts here from people doing that exact remodel, but I haven't seen much about this aspect of the project.

We can do basic DIY stuff ourselves, but we know our limits, so we're hiring someone for this job. We've found a plumber whose rates are reasonable (for a plumber!) and he has a lot of experience with mobile homes.

But I still want to be a well-informed consumer, so I've been Googling and talking to folks who know construction and remodeling. A friend recommend some cultured marble products that we like—3/8" slabs for the shower walls, and a matching shower base. You can see them here ... nite-onyx/. I've looked at samples--this stuff looks great, it comes in a lot of different patterns and colors, and it's not frighteningly expensive. We can order it in the sizes we need. But when I mentioned it to our plumber, he was pretty skeptical about using it in a mobile home. He's never worked with these materials and wasn't at all familiar with them. He recommends a fiberglass or acrylic shower enclosure kit—that's his go-to solution for a mobile home shower replacement. The thing is, there aren't a lot of those kits available in the size we need (60" x 48"—my husband is a BIG guy, so we need a big shower), and they're pretty much all, well…boring. Our plumber agreed—he said that with the kits he's talking about, we'll probably be limited to plain white or off-white walls and base with that unconvincing molded faux-tile finish. I could cope with that, but I don't want to.

So, is our plumber just old-fashioned and suspicious of anything new? Or does he have a point—are materials like these cultured marble panels and base not appropriate for a mobile home shower?

Bonus question #1: I just found another type of material that also looks pretty good: these solid surface shower bases and wall panel kits ... all-panels. I haven't done much homework on them yet so I know very little about them—for one thing, I have no idea what they cost. But assuming this stuff is also within our budget, same question as above: would you recommend it for a mobile home shower remodel?

Bonus question #2: Like I said, my husband is a very big guy. We need materials and installation that are going to hold up under a fair bit of weight. Any advice that anybody can offer on that would be extra-helpful.

Thanks much!
Kent, Washington

“Espresso est, ergo cogito."

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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:45 pm

Question # 2 is the factor that applies to the other questions. WEIGHT is always a factor in any mobile home repair. You may want to add a pillar or two under the shower to help support any extra weight and help take any flex out of the floor.
We have a 60x48 in our master bath but I used a 5 piece universal surround. I have seen anything on the marble type that you are looking at so again weight could be an issue.

"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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