Dress It Up: Bathtub Surrounds

Dress It Up: Bathtub Surrounds

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Regina Yunghans
Aug 9, 2010

One trick we've seen to transform an off-the-shelf bathtub into something special and custom is to enclose it with a surround. Sometimes, this is a marble rim cut to the shape of the bathtub opening and finished on the side with yet more stone. Other times, it's trimmed out in millwork. Here are a few examples of such treatments:

1 a contemporary concrete rim by Concrete Age Artworks
2 A slate tile surround would be cheaper than a slab. This one's via Better Homes & Gardens.
3 Paneling surrounds this tub for a classic look, also from Better Homes & Gardens.
4 A limestone and wood surround at the Smith Residence by SkB Architects.

Have you seen this done or used a tub with such treatment? How do you like it? We've found it can be quite expensive, but it can completely transform a not-so-pretty bathtub into something spectacular.

One word of advice: Watch out for how exactly the surround's rim joins the tub: you definitely don't want it to become impossible to clean where the two materials meet. If the tub is dropped into the surround (as in examples 2-4), this won't be a problem. But if the tub has a rim mounted over it, that detail needs special attention (think of an undermount sink and the joint between it and the countertop).

Images: Concrete Age Artworks, Better Homes & Gardens, SkB Architects

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