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I just had a plumbing company over to install a tub and shower surround.

I noticed when showering that the walls all bounce against the studs if you touch them. Not sure if that's normal, I looked at the installation instructions, and if I understand them correctly, it says they were supposed to be glued to the studs.

Should they have glued them to the studs, or is it common practice to just screw the flange and not glue the walls?

This is the shower surround: http://www.lyonsindustries.com/whirlpools/whirlpool-bathtub-walls/elite-corner-shelf-wall/elite-wall-corner-32x60x59/

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I usually glue them so they don't buckle like you are describing. – Ed Beal Feb 29 at 18:20
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The installation instructions you linked specifically say to "Apply a generous bead of polystyrene compatible adhesive" on the back wall studs first, then on the side panels.

These installation instructions are the authoritative guide for how this product should be installed, so yes they should have been glued. Hopefully it's not too late to unscrew, add the appropriate adhesive, and reattach.

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Thanks. I thought as much, after looking at the instructions, but I thought maybe it was a standard thing not to, or... I don't know. Just wanted to verify. – Dave Feb 29 at 19:57
They may have glued it, but failed to apply pressure overnight to let the glue set properly. Or, they may have used an incompatible glue. Either way, you'll be seeing your installers again. – Aloysius Defenestrate Mar 1 at 2:23
@AloysiusDefenestrate, Pretty positive they used no glue. I'm glad to find out that my hunch was right about it not being "ok" that it bangs around so much. – Dave Mar 1 at 2:51

Also note that these surrounds function A LOT better when you do not glue directly to the framing. By creating a wall - drywall or concrete board - and filling voids with insulation your finished product will be much nicer. Even if glued to studs it may still have a rather "hollow/thin/wobbly" feel to it.

Edit: Given the fact that this insert has a install hooks at the top and a drywall lip my install would slightly differ from a typical insert install. I would done the following:

  • Lay down 1/4" drywall in back wall - the whole wall. (room loses 1/4")
  • lay blocking between the framing for the left and right panel with a 1/4" gap
  • put drywall even with framing for the sides - only need to go as high as surround.
  • Silicone the shower down everywhere - again insulation in the open areas like the trays.
  • note the goal isn't 100% coverage, it is as much as you can reasonably cover. Even the back wall being done would solve 80-90% of the issues since when you bump into these it is usually the side.
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Good to know. Sure wish they would have told me that – Dave Feb 29 at 22:16
@Dave - Not sure your exact install but in most it is actually a lot easier to throw drywall up behind these. It take literally 30 mins and cost $15. Putting these up attached to just the studs is a bit tricky and then you have to worry about the seam of drywall to shower surround. Sounds like they might have been maroons. – DMoore Feb 29 at 22:22
Unless I'm mistaken, the installation instructions say it should be installed on the studs and doesn't mention a backing. Thoughts? – Dave Feb 29 at 22:26
@Dave - Will edit my answer. – DMoore Feb 29 at 22:32

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