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I'm (slowly) remodelling a bathroom, and have a shower-stall kit that includes thin plastic sheets to glue to the walls. I'm debating if I want to tear out what I have now and replace it with cement board and fully tile it.

I was thinking that rolled vinyl flooring has come a long way recently, and maybe I could put that up on the walls? I'm thinking a non-water based contact adhesive like from DAP would give good hold.

Is this a spectacularly bad idea? Would I need to seal or treat it for this use? Are there any companies that make a product intended for what I'm planning to do? (a lighter-weight product that doesn't need to have the wearability of something you'd be walking on; there seem to be plenty of 'direct to stud' type shower walls available, but those are only available in a limited number of sizes and significantly more expensive)

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Surrounds are rigid for a reason. You're likely to have bulges and edges coming loose just because vinyl flooring is flexible.

The adhesives designed for vinyl floor are not instant-grab. This means that you'd need to somehow hold the vinyl tight to the wall and perfectly flat for a day or more. You could use panel or contact adhesive, but this means you get one shot to get it right. It's partly for that reason that surround kits are in multiple pieces. I shudder at the thought of installing a three-wall sheet in one motion.

It's not the worst idea ever had, but it's a recipe for a lot of sweating and swearing, and it may not hold up to the test of time as you'd hope.

  • The good news is that it's a corner ... so only two walls. And I have a lot of experience with contact cement. I was thinking about either doing each wall separately and caulking then putting something over the corner and caulking again. Worst case would be to glue up half at a time (leaving some plastic strips on the second wall to prevent it from getting a good adhesion until I was ready) – Joe Feb 14 at 16:44
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    I'm just not sure I trust contact cement for a soft sheet that's subject to gravity. – isherwood Feb 14 at 16:55

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