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Best Bathtub Surrounds of 2022

Updated
Make a style statement with these 7 bathtub surrounds.

Bathtub walls can be expensive to tile. It takes time, skill, and patience to perfect the look, but there are alternatives. The best bathtub surrounds make light work of finishing off the tub, are easier to install, and deliver instant results.

We review 7 of the best bathtub surrounds, judging them for their price, quality, and material to make your choice easier.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Transolid SWK603660-27 SaraMar 36 X 60-in Glue 3-Piece Tub Wall Kit, Grey Beach
Best Premium
Transolid SaraMar 3-Piece Tub Wall Kit
  • Repairable and scratch-resistant
  • Fits directly onto other surface
  • Maintenance-free subway tile pattern
Product Image of the American Standard 2946BW.011 Studio 60' x 32' Bathtub Wall Set, White
Best Direct To Stud
American Standard Studio Bathtub Surround
  • Lightweight and modern design
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • 6 corner shelves for maximum storage
Product Image of the Palisade 23.2 in. x 11.1 in. Tile Shower and Tub Surround Kit in Carrara Marble
Best Marble Effect
Palisade Shower and Tub
  • Easy to cut the pieces to size
  • Interlocked edges, so you don’t need grout
  • 100 percent waterproof protects your walls from moisture
Product Image of the Mustee 56WHT Durawall Fiberglass Bathtub Wall Surround, White
Best With Shelves
Mustee Durawall Fiberglass Bathtub Surround
  • 6 self-draining shelves for storage
  • Price is set somewhere in between
  • Mold and mildew-resistant
Product Image of the Maax 101604-000-129 5-Piece Bathtub Wall Kit, 48-60 in L X 31 in W X 59 in H, Polystyrene, White
Best Budget
Maax 5-Piece Bathtub Wall Kit
  • Unbelievable price
  • 6 generous shelves for added storage
  • Weighing just 4.38 pounds
Product Image of the Swanstone TI50000.010 Veritek Glue-Up 5-Panel Bathtub Wall Kit, 32-in L X 60-in H X 59.625-in H, White
Best Tile-Effect
Swanstone Veritek Glue-Up 5-Panel Kit
  • High-quality Veritek so it won't chip or crack
  • Stylish tile-effect surface
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Product Image of the Swanstone SS00605.010 Solid Surface Glue-up 5 Panel Bathtub Wall Kit, 30-in L X 60-in H X 60-in H, White
Best Solid Surface
Swanstone Glue-Up 5-Piece Wall Kit
  • Doesn’t fade, scratch, or crack
  • Durable and would last for years
  • Recreate that swanky hotel bathroom look


Product Reviews

Here is our review of the 7 top bathtub surrounds, based on price, quality, and material. We also look at options like 3-piece and 5-piece kits.

1. Transolid SWK603660-27 SaraMar 3-Piece Tub Wall Kit

Best Premium Bathtub Surround

This Transolid kit comes with 3 wall panels and 2 color-coordinated inside trim pieces. It measures 36 inches by 60 inches, but you can get it in larger 72-inch and 96-inch panels.

It has a maintenance-free subway tile pattern, which enhances your bathroom style, and the panels glue directly over other surfaces, making them ideal for a bathroom remodel or new construction project.

Because the material has color running all the way through rather than on the surface, it is scratch-resistant and repairable, keeping it looking good for longer.

The downside is you pay for the added quality. This kit costs several times the amount of other examples, but the plus side is it looks good. And to top it all, you get a 10-year warranty, which instills peace of mind when you purchase.

Pros

  • The color runs through the entire material, so it is repairable and scratch-resistant.
  • It fits directly onto other surfaces, making it ideal for remodels.
  • You get a maintenance-free subway tile pattern for a modern-looking bathtub surround.
  • The 10-year warranty is industry-leading.

Cons

  • This surround costs several times the amount of other bathtub surrounds.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 180
Dimensions (inches) 36 x 60 x 60
Material Saramar
Number of pieces Three
Price $$$$$
Warranty 10 years

2. American Standard Studio 60-inch x 32-Inch Bathtub Surround

Best Direct To Stud Bathtub Surround

This American Standard bathtub surround comes with a high-gloss finish. It has 6 large corner shelves and is constructed from acrylic. The central wall area is free of shelving to make getting in and out of the bathtub easier.

This surround mounts directly to studs and has a tongue and groove interlocking system so that the panels are watertight to prevent seepage. This model is 60 inches by 32 inches, although you can order it in smaller and larger sizes.

It comes as a 3-piece set, and best of all, you get a limited lifetime warranty to guard against defects in the manufacturing process. It’s also a lot lighter than the Transolid model, so installing it won’t need an army of people to lift it.

Pros

  • The lightweight and modern design complement the Studio range of bathtubs.
  • It fits directly onto studs for a super-secure installation.
  • You get a limited lifetime warranty, giving you peace of mind against defects.
  • It has 6 generous corner shelves for maximum storage.

Cons

  • It still costs a lot of money for a molded plastic kit.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 27
Dimensions (inches) 60 x 32 x 58
Material High-gloss acrylic
Number of pieces Three
Price $$$$
Warranty Limited lifetime

3. Palisade Shower and Tub Surround Kit

Best Marble Effect

Marble is trendy, but real marble can be expensive and time-consuming to install. With this surround kit, you get a stunning marble effect. The vinyl wall tiles are easy to install and look super realistic. It comes in various colors, including white and grey, darker grey, beige and more.

The kit includes four large pieces, 23.2 inches by 11.1 inches. This lets you get it up in your bathroom in no time at all.

The pieces are made from durable PVC, which is durable to moisture, sunlight, and soap. They’re 100 percent waterproof, so you never need to worry about getting them wet.

Pros

  • Easy to cut the pieces to size.
  • The edges interlock, so you don’t need grout.
  • Elegant aesthetic looks good in any space.
  • 100 percent waterproof protects your walls from moisture.
  • Over 10 color options.
  • Durable material can withstand moisture and sunlight.

Cons

  • It’s a pretty pricey kit.
  • Installation is easy but still requires a bit of a learning curve.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 118
Dimensions (inches) 23.23 x 0.2 x 11.11 (per piece)
Material Vinyl and PVC
Number of pieces Four
Price $$$
Warranty 10 years

4. Mustee 56WHT Durawall Fiberglass Bathtub Wall Surround

Best Bathtub Surround With Shelves

This Mustee is another 5-piece wall surround kit. It has 6 substantial self-draining shelves for keeping shampoo and soap, as well as other bathroom items, plus it has seamless overlapping corners and edges for a watertight seal.

These panels are formed from a high-grade thermoplastic and should stay looking good for years to come. It fits standard 60-inch by 30-inch bathtubs, as well as larger 32-inch by 60-inch models. It even accommodates whirlpool baths measuring 42 inches deep and 72 inches wide.

The colorfast satin finish is resistant to mold and mildew and easy to clean, just don’t use abrasive materials like scourers, or you risk damaging the material.

Mustee has pitched this wall surround in the middle price-point, so it should appeal to most customers.

Pros

  • You get 6 generous, self-draining shelves for storing shampoo and other bathroom items.
  • The price is set somewhere in between the cheapest and more expensive wall surrounds.
  • It fits standard, large, and whirlpool bathtubs.
  • Formed from high-grade thermoplastic that’s mold and mildew-resistant.

Cons

  • The thermoplastic easily scratches if you use the wrong cleaning products.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 25
Dimensions (inches) 39.8 x 5 x 59
Material Thermoplastic fiberglass
Number of pieces Five
Price $$$
Warranty 1 year

5. Maax 5-Piece Bathtub Wall Kit

Best Budget Bathtub Surround

When it comes to saving the pennies, this Maax bathtub surround is impossible to beat. It costs nearly 7 times less than the Transolid model and almost 4 times less than the American Standard.

This kit comes in 5 biscuit-colored pieces. You also get 6 generous shelves for added storage, although you might want to limit the weight you place on them, as this unit only weighs 4.38 pounds.

It fits bathtubs up to 60 inches in length and 31 inches in width. This is the budget option, so don’t expect the same quality as other models. The material is polystyrene, which may not have the durability of fiberglass or high-grade acrylic.

Pros

  • The unbelievable price makes this an instant favorite with customers.
  • You get 6 generous shelves for added storage.
  • This kit is super-lightweight, weighing just 4.38 pounds, so it’s easy to maneuver into place.
  • It fits bathtubs up to 60 inches long and 31 inches wide.

Cons

  • It weighs 4.38 pounds, so the flimsy construction might limit its durability.
  • This is not the highest quality bathtub surround you can buy.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 4.38
Dimensions (inches) 29.25 x 4.37 x 59.25
Material Polystyrene
Number of pieces Five
Price $
Warranty 1 year

6. Swanstone Veritek Glue-Up 5-Panel Kit

Best Tile-Effect Bathtub Surround

It seems that 5-panel bathtub surrounds are popular, and this Swanstone model is no exception. We liked the molded tile effect, giving it a higher-quality finish and a style that complements most modern bathroom suites.

It is constructed from Veritek, which is a compression-molded material that is non-porous and has no surface coating to chip or crack. So it should withstand the rigors of the family bathroom without a hitch.

Instead of 6 large shelves, Swanstone has been a little mean and only provided a thin soap rack and a ledge for shower products. Given that this unit costs 5 times more than the budget option, you might have expected more.

This kit is also heavy, weighing 90 pounds, so you might need to recruit help to install it. On the plus side, you also get a limited lifetime warranty, which instills confidence that this bathtub surround will last the distance.

Pros

  • It’s made from high-quality Veritek, which means it won’t chip or crack.
  • You get a stylish tile-effect surface, which complements most bathroom styles.
  • You get a limited lifetime warranty, covering you for manufacturer defects.
  • This surround is mold and mildew-resistant, keeping it looking its best for years.

Cons

  • This kit is expensive, costing 5 times the price of the budget model.
  • It’s also heavy, weighing 90 pounds, so you might need help maneuvering it into position.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 90
Dimensions (inches) 32 x 60 x 59.63
Material Veritek
Number of pieces Five
Price $$$$
Warranty Limited lifetime

7. Swanstone Solid Surface Glue-Up 5-Piece Wall Kit

Best Solid Surface Bathtub Surround

If you’ve ever stayed in an expensive hotel and dreamt of reproducing that bathroom style in your home, now you can. The Swanstone solid bathtub surround has the look you want. The solid material is colored all the way through, so there is no surface coating to chip or scratch.

It will not crack; it is mold and mildew-resistant and is ideal for bathroom remodels and new constructions. Furthermore, it can withstand heat up to 450° F.

On the downside, you sure pay for this durability and style. It costs almost 8 times the price of the budget model, and it weighs over 100 pounds, so you won’t be installing this on your own.

That said, if you are in the market for a high-quality bathtub surround that will last for years, once you reconcile the price, this is a fantastic option.

Pros

  • The material is color-through, so it doesn’t fade, scratch, or crack.
  • Bang for the buck because of its proven durability.
  • This surround scores highly for durability. Even though it costs a lot, it will last the distance.
  • You can recreate that swanky hotel bathroom look, adding a touch of class to your home.

Cons

  • This kit is expensive, costing almost 8 times the price of the budget model.
  • Limited color option.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 102.8
Dimensions (inches) 60 x 60 x 30
Material Solid surface
Number of pieces Five
Price $$$$$
Warranty Limited lifetime

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Weight Dimensions Material Number of pieces Price Warranty
Transolid SaraMar 3-Piece Kit Best Premium 180 lbs 36″ x 60″ x 60″ Saramar 3 $$$$$ 10-year
American Standard Studio Bathtub Surround Best Direct To Stud 27 lbs 60″ x 32″ x 58″ High-gloss acrylic 3 $$$$ Limited lifetime
Palisade Shower and Tub Kit Best Marble Effect 118 lbs 23.23″ x 0.2″ x 11.11″ Vinyl and PVC 4 $$$ 10-year
Mustee Durawall Fiberglass Wall Surround Best With Shelves 25 lbs 39.8″ x 5″ x 59″ Thermoplastic fiberglass 5 $$$ 1-year
Maax 5-Piece Bathtub Wall Kit Best Budget 4.38 lbs 29.25″ x 4.37″ x 59.25″ Polystyrene 5 $ 1-year
Swanstone Veritek Glue-Up Best Tile-Effect 90 lbs 32″ x 60″ x 59.63″ Veritek 5 $$$$ Limited lifetime
Swanstone Solid Surface Best Solid Surface 102.8 lbs 60″ x 60″ x 30″ Solid surface 5 $$$$$ Limited lifetime

Things to Consider (Buying Guide)

Getting the best bathtub surround is a challenge. There are some things you should keep in mind when making your choice. Here are the key considerations.

Choose the Correct Size

Most bathtub surrounds have a stipulated maximum and minimum size. Make sure you measure your space twice and then carefully cut the panel to size. Double-check the measurements are compatible with your tub.

If you cut it to size incorrectly, you can’t return it. The good news is that you can trim most fiberglass and acrylic surrounds, so even if your bathtub is not plumb, you can still cut the panels to a straight line to rectify the problem.

Select the Right Material

Most bathtub surrounds are made of plastic. However, there are many different materials available. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), thermoplastic, and acrylic are also commonly used.

The material affects the quality of the surround and its longevity. If you are looking for a short-term solution, a budget surround will do the job, but it won’t stay looking good for long.

Solid surface surrounds, and Veritek are hard-wearing materials. They cost a lot more than acrylic and fiberglass, but they can take a lot more punishment, so they look good for longer.

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Is It Easy To Maintain?

This follows on from material quality, in that the better the material, the easier it is to maintain. The advantage of a bathtub surround is it should retain its “like new” look, keeping your bathroom looking fresh.

Most surrounds just need a wipe around with a damp cloth to keep them looking good. Look out for materials like Veritk, which is non-porous and has no surface coating to easily scratch and chip. This material is a color-through product, meaning that it won’t fade and is repairable.

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Is It Easy To Install?

The time you spend installing the bathtub surround is crucial because, at some point in the future, you may need to remove the panel to gain access to pipework, so the last thing you would want is to spend hours fiddling with tools to remove the surround.

Some simply glue in place, while others fit directly to the studs. You should also keep an eye out for seamless panel edges and watertight seals. Once the surround is installed, the last thing you want is water seepage, forming mold and mildew behind the panels.

Does It Have Storage?

Some bathtub surrounds come with shelves and recesses where you can keep bottles and toiletries. If you have a large family, the smallest room in the house needs all the storage it can get.

Try and get a surround with self-draining shelves because water collects and causes mildew to grow. Also, some have rails to hang towels for convenience.


How To Install Bathtub Surrounds

Once the tub is fitted and you’ve removed the faucets and other fixtures, you need to attach the surround. Here’s the best way to do it.

1. Measure Twice

Grab a tape measure and double-check the length and width of the surrounding walls next to the bath. Remember to measure each surface that the bathtub makes contact with. Some tub surrounds are designed to fit the entire length of the wall, which is great for freestanding baths, but you want one that reaches the edge of the tub where it meets the wall.

2. Select the New Surround

Once you have the measurements, it’s time to select the new surround. They come in many different styles and materials, ranging from plastic acrylic to ABS. Some panes are wrap-around types and come as one complete unit with the sides attached, while others have individual panels that need to be connected together.

If you are going for wood, metal, or stone, expect to pay a lot more, and you might need special tools to install it, which increases your workload.

3. Install the Surround

Check the height of your walls, making a series of marks to denote the dimensions of the surround. Grab a carpenter’s level to join up the dots in a straight line.

The horizontal guideline needs to be plumb, even if the bathtub is not, which is where the carpenter’s level comes in.

Offering up the surround is the best way to see if it fits. It also gives you the chance to see where you need to cut openings for faucets and other fittings. This can be tricky to do on your own, so enlist some help for this.

4. Make Your Cuts

Now that you have dry-installed the panel and marked where you need to cut for faucets, showerheads, and other features, you are ready to start cutting. Grab a hole saw or jigsaw and carefully make the cuts.

Offer the panel back onto the wall to check your accuracy. If you need to make adjustments, repeat this process until you get it right.

Remember that you only get one shot at cutting these holes, so getting it wrong could be costly as you may need to buy another surround.

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5. Fit the Surround

Use a caulk gun and a trowel to spread the adhesive over the wall evenly. The adhesive sets quickly, so if your surround comes in individual panels, focus on one wall at a time.

Offer up the tub surround and press firmly, making sure that the glue covers the surround in all areas. Use your guideline to make sure the surround is square. If you are fitting panels one at a time, start with the sides rather than the back panel.

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6. Reinstall the Fixtures

Allow the surround to dry for 24 hours before you attempt to do any more work. Tug it to see if the panels have set. If it feels impossible to move, you are good to start sealing the edges and the fixtures to make them watertight.

Remember that individual panels will need waterproof silicone to seal between each section, or you might get water seeping behind the surround, which could cause damp issues.


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Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.