I am renovating the bathroom and everything I see online says to tile over the lip. This creates one obvious problem - to replace the bathtub one would have to remove the tile, and since style and trends change all the time, you won't find the same tile again.

It would seem logical to tile up to the bathtub, so it can be removed if needed. Why is everyone tiling over the lip? Still have to use silicone between the tile and bathtub surface. I am almost at the stage of tiling and trying to finalize the plan.

The reason I started to doubt the tile over the lip technique is because I know someone who did tiling up to the lip and had no water problems for 15 years, at which stage they remodeled and all walls were dry.

  • 2
    A good bathtub will last for decades. Why is tub replacement a concern in your case? If it is for some reason, just store a box of spare tile.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 21:21
  • 1
    FYI: silicon | silicone
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 21:24
  • If you only tile up to the lip how do you hide the screws used to attach the lip to the studs?
    – redlude97
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 21:34
  • Could always drop something and chip/crack the tub. My current one has some deep marks, doesn't leak, but sure looks ugly.
    – anm767
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 21:35
  • @redlude97 The new one is a corner freestanding tub. It has the lip to go flush with the wall, but it stands on its own frame. In case of my friend they did not screw to studs, wonder if that is needed, because I have used that tub and it did not flex/move.
    – anm767
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 21:38

2 Answers 2


I have good news for you - it does not matter!

Whether you tile over or under the lip (it's over and should be obvious why), you will absolutely be destroying the bottom of the water proofing of that shower/tub system - either way. There is no way you are getting a tub out and a new one back in like they are lego blocks. Good luck, never seen it - ever.

So you would rather install your tiles wrong and chance having water issues on the walls and have to take down an entire wall or a few walls, so you might be able to replace tub? Hmmmm.

OK so if you are hazy on this tub. If it is of low quality or you don't think it will last, you should spend money on new tub before doing anything to your walls. You can get a good cast iron tub used for 300-400 plus another 300 to reface it. Minus a refacing every 10-15 years it should last forever. Tubs and shower pans are not items that can be swapped. They are the bottom edge of a waterproofing system and once you try to swap them you take a huge chance of water issues - and thats given you have the room to get old one out and new one in without having to rip things down.


Is the tub on a ledger? are the legs visible? what's the tub made of? Is it meant to be installed against the corner? Is it meant to be free standing away from walls? Anyway if it's meant to be in a corner the tile base should be down OVER THE LIP. The tile has to be over the lip or it will leak and you'll have big problems. The previous post is right.

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