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Old 11-25-2018, 07:04 PM   #1
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Tile on fiberglass shower

I would like to tile the inside of my shower.....spruce it up a bit.
After several YouTube searches, I can’t seem to find my answer.
I’d like to attach ceramic tile to the walls of my fiberglass shower. Does anyone know how to do this so the tile sticks?
A tile guy told me to rip out the fiberglass to do it properly.
I don’t want to do that.
Just looking for the right material to glue the tile to the walls.

Any thoughts?

Thank you

Taras
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:33 PM   #2
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Gotta’ find/choose tile that will cover the various inside and outside radii of the fiberglass. Gott’a figure out how you’ll handle working around the drain and faucets / fittings ( normally, the drain grating will be flush with the tile, and the tile would be extended under the faucet / fittings). Gotta’ decide where / how you’ll stop the tile. Normally, you would avoid (like the plague!) crossing joints between fiberglass parts or between fiberglass and the Formica. Doing so will simply crack and leak with the temperature and movement of the boat. Gotta’ get the fiberglass CLEAN and roughed up. Then any decent filled / stiffened epoxy will work fine for adhesion from ‘glass to ceramic (not porcelain or glass tile w/o more research). “Furan” epoxies are suitable for wood or ceramic substrates; not sure about sticking to ‘glass. There are epoxy grouts, too. Ordinary cementitous grout will work if the ceramic tile edges are clean of epoxy and the grout includes latex for flexibility.

Sounds like an awful job, and you need to be perfect for resale.

Other alternatives might include a rip-out and replacement with, say, Corian or similar, or even the aluminum honeycomb-backed real stone made for boat countertops and building facades.
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:47 PM   #3
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I think it would be tough to get the tile to stick to the fiberglass, maybe epoxy. I would and have gone the route of refinishing the fiberglass for any needed repairs and painting it with Awlgrip.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:01 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mt. T. For the reasons already mentioned, why go with tile if all you want to do is a "spruce-up"? Contact a company that refinishes bathtubs. I'm sure they can apply a suitable, durable coating that is water friendly.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:06 PM   #5
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Fiberglass walls are in fine shape. Just want to change the look.
Tile would look great.
Just wondering if there is any experience out there doing this and if so, what adhesive would be best to stick the tile to the fiberglass walls?
Thanks for all the advice:-)
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:34 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. T. I think a fellow TF member (Ms. Donna) did some exceptional work with self stick on tiles.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:40 PM   #7
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The fibreglass walls will flex. You could stick the tiles on with 3M 5200 or something similar, but grouting the tiles is another matter. I don't know any grout that will be flexible enough to stay in place other than a silicone based product that will look like crap within a year or two.
A cheap renovation will look like a cheap renovation.


The stick-on faux tile panels may look slightly better and be less work if you want something fast and low cost.


ah - RT beat me to it.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:43 PM   #8
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My shower cabinet has radius style corners. This prevents me from using the bright and attractive ceramic board from Home Depot or Lowes. I could space the board out a bit to square the corners, but these boat showers are already tight. The finish of my fiberglass is fine as it is, but it’s a beige that looks almost brown, something my Admiral complains about being “too dark in there”. It’s not on my list of priorities, but I might eventually scratch and paint.
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:47 AM   #9
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I use to build boats. Showers are usually boxed in plywood unless it's a steel boat. I always fiberglassed the shower, especially wood boats. To prepare for tile cement the fiberglass needs to be sanded. I used 40 to 60 grit. Then regular tile cement.

I fiberglassed first in case the tile later cracked. The key to avoid cracking is having floors and walls that don't flex, even a little, solidly supported.
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Old 11-26-2018, 03:41 AM   #10
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You will most likely end up ripping it out later..there is a good reason there is not much info out there.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:35 AM   #11
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There is special wall covering that is made for bathrooms , that could change the look, and have no danger of cracking up.

Changing it again or removing it would be a snap.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:26 AM   #12
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For that 70's look you could use 1" tile. That would go into the corners better. My first sailboat had something like that in the head (shower).
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:35 AM   #13
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Your boat flexes in a sea. Tile will fall off the fibreglass or the grout will crack. I envy you if your boat is so spiffy the only project is to "spruce up the shower?"
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