Tile & Grout 101: What You Need To Know Before You Install

The Dirt on Grout

Because profitability is a top priority for Apartment Owners and Managers, it’s essential to understand the risks and total cost of installing and maintaining tile and grout in your showers.

Installing tile and grout requires both skilled labor and downtime. Experienced tile setters can be challenging to schedule in today’s labor-starved economy. When done right, tiling is not a one-day job; mortar requires dry time, an additional set time is needed to grout, and a comeback trip for cleanup. As a result, your project can quickly become delayed and over-budget.

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Affordable Bathroom Updates That Make an Impact

Top apartment owners and managers continuously search for ways to create a competitive advantage over their competition. It may seem difficult to compete with the newly built complex down the road when it comes to securing new tenants. Most often the shower is a forgotten element when it comes time for unit updates, but can be a key differentiator between a good and a great apartment. A simple bathroom enhancement will create a visual impact and can become a useful tool to help lease units.

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Fiberglass Shower Surrounds vs AquaWalls

For years, fiberglass shower surrounds have been the go-to choice for covering tile & grout showers because few options were available. Since then, another shower solution has emerged and is making noise in the Multifamily industry. AquaWalls are installed directly over tile and grout and transform the shower space. Below we match up fiberglass shower surrounds against AquaWalls to see how they compare.

Installation Time

Fiberglass shower surrounds typically take a full day to install. Care must be taken when handling the fiberglass surrounds because they are thin and susceptible to scratching and cracking.  Compare this to the installation of AquaWalls, which takes less than three hours to install. AquaWalls panels are both durable and lightweight and are easily installed by your maintenance staff, your preferred contractor or by a certified installer.

Demolition Needs

Demolition is needed when a fiberglass shower surround is installed in place of tile and grout. Compare this to AquaWalls, which installs directly over tile and grout with no demolition required.

Renovation Timing

Because the installation of a fiberglass shower surround is lengthy, they are typically not installed in occupied units. This means communities often must wait until unit turn to install a fiberglass surround. AquaWalls can install in occupied units because it is both a fast and clean installation process.


Acting as the go-to option for many years, fiberglass surrounds are often considered to be a baseline standard. There is no ‘wow factor’ with fiberglass shower surrounds. They also do not add value to a bathroom. AquaWalls enhances the shower experience. The updated look of AquaWalls adds value to any bathroom.

Pattern Options

Fiberglass shower surrounds typically come in a plain white or neutral color. AquaWalls are available in 5 classic finishes including Calcutta White, English Linen, French Linen, Aspen White, and Onyx. After selecting your finish, you can select the optional laser-etched grout lines.