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  1. #1

    Default Prefab Shower Stalls

    Hello -

    We're in the process of repairing our bathroom shower and trying to decide what type of shower unit to purchase. We cannot afford tile, so we resigned to a prefab shower unit. Due to the small size of our bathroom, a 40x40 neo corner unit is the max size.

    I've looked a lot of junk and have narrowed down our selections to a Sterling Vikrell kit (about $1000) and the American Bathroom Factory (ABF) product, about twice the cost. My question is, is the ABF product worth the extra expense? Are there any issues with it? Should I be snubbing my nose at Sterling, or is this a really good product?

    Any other insight/suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Prefab Shower Stalls

    Due to the expensive nature of new bathroom fittings, and finishes, I have, in the past, come up with some innovative solutions. For one job, we bought an inexpensive black plastic mixing tub (intended for mortar mixing), drilled a hole in the center, and installed a drain. A length of electrical conduit, bent to reflect the shape of the tub, was then hung from the ceiling with some leftover copper wire. For a curtain, the paint section held a plastic dropcloth that worked very well, and with the extra money we saved, we bought a quart of paint, and decorated it with some large flowers.

    All in all, including the drain for the shower, we managed to pull this off for less than $50.
    The extra money saved was put into a fund to hire a contractor, who could use their experience to provide proper products and to get the work done in a professional manner.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Prefab Shower Stalls

    Thanks for the feedback. I could have built the same shower for under $30. Only a contractor would charge you $50.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    7,535

    Default Re: Prefab Shower Stalls

    An even cheaper solution, actually free, is to loiter at the local quarter car wash. Disrobe and enjoy the errant spray from other people washing their cars. If you're not so good looking, they might even spray you on purpose.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,566

    Default Re: Prefab Shower Stalls

    I've installed the Sterling Vikrell kits several times and they're actually a surprisingly good product for situations when a limited budget demands an economical corner shower or tub enclosure.

    Sterling is owned by Kohler. It's not their top of the line but it's still decent quality.

    You generally get what you pay for in this business. That being said, I can't see where American Bathroom Factory would be that much better but I'm not at all familiar with their products.
    Joe Adams
    Deep Creek Builders, Inc.
    Houston, Texas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    5,576

    Default Re: Prefab Shower Stalls

    Joe,

    I have install both brands, there is a vast difference between ABF and Sterling. The ABF is a solid surface material and the Sterling is Vikrell. When you pick up the parts, you will know the difference instantly.

    Tom
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,566

    Default Re: Prefab Shower Stalls

    Quote Originally Posted by tjbnwi View Post
    There is a vast difference between ABF and Sterling. The ABF is a solid surface material and the Sterling is Vikrell.
    I stand corrected. Sounds like another case of getting what you pay for. Solid surface is a big step up from Vikrell which is essentially thick plastic. I had assumed ABF used a similar material to Sterling. Apples and Oranges. There are many other solid surface manufacturers to consider as well.

    I will say this. If you're stepping up to solid surface, a traditional tile shower should fit the budget as well.
    Joe Adams
    Deep Creek Builders, Inc.
    Houston, Texas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ashland,Ma.
    Posts
    590

    Default Re: Prefab Shower Stalls

    Quote Originally Posted by worldcommander View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. I could have built the same shower for under $30. Only a contractor would charge you $50.

    So you are not a contractor and should not be using this forum.PRO ONLY
    Tom D.

    more tools please.

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