I have a bath remodel that I will start in about four weeks and the customer wants "Swanstone" bathtub wall panels. I have always used tile and I'm not familiar with this product. The manufactures instructions are fairly straightforward and appear to be an easy installation. I would like to know if anyone has field experience with "Swanstone" and if there are any important points to consider. This is a complete demo and remodel. Is there a particular subsurface that is recommended over another? Any pertinent information concerning this product will be appreciated.
Swanstone makes great washtubs and probably the best of the box pancake batter crap vanity tops although Corian is now making some from Lowes.
That's the key word :Corian. In other words , dont confuse Swanstone with Corian. It don't happen. I remember seeing Swanstone wraps at a trade show about ten years ago. They looked OK. When you get them home they end up looking tacky at best. You are probably best buying the beaded inside corners even when you scribe the planes perfectly. Calking looks exceptionally tacky. They tend to look even tackier that cultured marble stuff ( and I rate all that product as dog crap , and less that that five years later).
I find it hard to be kind , although it does wear pretty well. It's still like sticking those tile pannels of masonite of the wall. Make sure the walls are plum and square as possible and prime the surfaces. Probably my best scenario of that world is the Swanstone pan with tile over , to get by the tile floor symdrome... ron
I have used both the "crap cultured marble" and the Swanstone in surrounds, pans, and a custom shower or two. They both are great as you don't have to clean the crap out of the grout, and they don't leak so you aren't forever having a debate over moisture behind the tile. You can cut them accurately with a skill saw(much dust), and you can butt them together at the corners with silicone caulk and they look great(mask the edges of the material about 1/16" from the edge, and tool with your finger or wet paper towel). I have had them in my homes in one case for 10+ years without problems. Ask the wife, they beat the heck out of cleaning grout - and my present home has grout, one tub, and one Swanstone pan. If they have one disadvantage, you are replacing the value added in tile installation with the capital cost of the material and hence moving more of the profit to the manufacturer or big box. THAT is the problem with them. However, as a remodeler, you can use the same tools used for wood and save the capital cost of tile saws, trowels, etc. I have both so it really doesn't matter.
We are a Swanstone fabricator. We do both packaged products like the shower walls and we fabricate countertops, etc.
We like Swan for several reasons. Swan can hold up to chemicals like nail polish remover, which corian gets eaten up by. For a bathroom application Swan is great especially with more opportunity to come in contact with chemicals.
We are remodeling contractors, so we sub out our corian installs. We've been unimpressed with their shower surrounds for the price. Yes they may have more colors, but darn it costs me 3 times what Swan does.