Q. Our bathroom is small and oddly shaped. Can you help us?
A. Bestbath has over 400 shower and bathtub models to choose from, and available accent colors are limited only by your imagination. Additionally, we offer custom solutions to meet the unique needs of your project. Please contact your nearby Bestbath Residential Dealer or Commercial Regional Sales Manager to discuss your specific requirements.
Q. Will a composite shower stand up to the wear and tear of a growing family?
A. All our products are built to withstand the rigors of heavy use. We use only the finest quality materials for our shower and bathing units, including laminate wood reinforced walls and extremely durable gelcoat finishes. Our products are purposely designed to be easily maintained, cleaned, and repaired. Because of our emphasis on durable construction, all our showers are backed by an industry-leading 30-year limited warranty.
Q. Safety is a concern in any shower, but we think looks are just as important. Will we have to choose between safety and beauty?
A. In our minds, safety, accessibility, and durability should not have to look institutional. Our showers come in an array of simulated tile or smooth finishes. Showers are available in up to five different base colors, along with countless combinations of color accents to choose from. Plus, we now offer Designer Series showers that have real tile or stone accents inlayed into the gelcoat walls. With over 400 models to choose from, we expect that you will find a shower or tub that suits your décor and tastes.
Q. Can grab bars and shower seats be installed in my shower at some point?
A. Yes. All Bestbath products are constructed with laminate wood core walls, making them strong enough to install grab bars anywhere on the shower wall with screws. No additional structural backing needs to be build into the backing walls or studs.
As long as your shower seat has swing down legs to transfer the weight to the floor, it can be installed in the shower as well. Note that cantilever-type seats may not be installed.
Q. How do I keep water from coming out of my low threshold shower?
A. If you have not installed shower doors in your unit, as an option you can use a weighted shower curtain in combination with a WaterStopper, our collapsible rubber water dam that installs on the floor along the shower opening. This collapsible threshold allows the unit to still be accessible for a wheelchair, yet immediately spring back to an upright position to prevent water from coming out of the unit.
Q. Why gelcoat finish instead of acrylic?
A. Both products are excellent finishes for bathroom fixtures. They are similar in properties and are both resin-based plastic materials. The primary difference is that acrylic comes in sheet form while gelcoat is liquid.
When acrylic is applied to a shower wall, it is heated and then stretched and formed to a mold. The process is called “vacuum forming”. During application, the edge of the acrylic sheet maintains its purchased thickness. When it is heated and stretched, the bottom of the tub becomes thinner. That’s why you can often see a shade difference on the floor or bowl/floor corner. The deeper the unit, the less material there is in the primary wear surface where you walk and where water drains.
All plastic products want to change shape because of “memory”. Since acrylic is a thermo forming plastic, when it gets warm enough it softens and can be reformed. Our experience with acrylic is that there is a tendency for the product to be less dimensionally stable.
Gelcoat is applied with a spray process to a mold in a process called “open contact molding”. When gelcoat application is controlled by a skilled operator a very uniform and consistently thick finish is the result. Once it is sprayed and cured, it maintains that shape as gelcoat is a thermoset product.
When a gelcoat finish is repaired correctly, the repair becomes a permanent chemical bond. Acrylic repairs are done with “patches” that can fail. They are also prone to discolor or mechanical bond releases.
At Bestbath we only use gelcoat. This supports our decision to provide our industry leading 30-year limited warranty.
Installation and Start-Up
Q. What are the wood blocks under my tub/shower meant for? May I remove them?
A. The wood blocks are placed under the shower and tub/shower units to keep the shower bottoms from resting on the ground during shipping and storage. They must be removed for proper installation of the unit.
Q. What holes, if any, are pre-cut on the shower unit? What do I use to cut additional holes with?
A. The only hole in your new walk-in shower will be for the drain. Tubs and tub/showers have the drain hole as well as the overflow hole unless otherwise specified. To cut holes for plumbing fixtures, the use of a hole saw is recommended. A carbide hole saw is preferred, but a fine-toothed sharp saw will also work. The hole should be cut from the finished side out. Applying masking tape over the gelcoat can be used to minimize chipping.
Q. When I set my tub/shower or shower stall into the alcove, the unit tips to the back. Is there meant to be a void under the unit?
A. When installing the unit, the only portion that touches the floor when the unit is leveled is the front threshold or apron and the rear leveling block(s). There will be a void underneath the unit for drain clearance purposes. Leaving a void under the unit is acceptable as the unit has been tested to three hundred pounds (ANSI Standard Z124.1 & 2). If desired, the void can be eliminated by setting the unit in wet cement or mortar. Please note that this does not apply to most accessible shower models.
Q. May I cut out a section of the shower wall for an existing window?
A. Yes. Because of the structural integrity of the walls, cutting portions out of the bathing unit out for windows is allowed. To cut the window opening out of your shower use a carbide tip saw (preferred) or a standard circular saw or reciprocating saw with a fine tooth blade. Applying masking tape over the gelcoat can be used to minimize chipping. Note that window trim kits are available for trimming out your window.
Q. Do I have to recess my barrier-free shower into the floor? What can I do if I’ve already installed it on top of the floor?
A. Bestbath showers are available as non-recessing, non-mud set units. If the shower is not recessed in a public or commercial facility, check the local and state ADA codes for public facilities to see if this type of installation is acceptable.
For a private home, the unit can be installed on top of the floor. If wheelchair access is required, the bathroom floor can be built up to the shower as a ramp. Note that ADA code typically does not apply in to private residences.
Q. Do I need to have access to the backside of my shower for my remodeling project in order to install it?
A. No. This is why we designed our Residential Remodel multi-piece showers with a front-installation SnapJoint wall assembly system.
Q. How do I remove any adhesive from the labels that were on the unit?
A. You may use acetone, WD40, nail polish remover, or mineral spirits applied to a soft cloth or cotton ball. Then wipe the area with a non-abrasive cleaner and rinse.
Q. What cleaners do you recommend I use to clean my Bestbath unit?
A. Any off the shelf non-abrasive liquid cleaner works well. Be sure to read the label and follow the cleanser’s recommendations. Do not use harsh abrasives like Comet, Ajax, Bon Ami, etc. as they will harm and dull the finish of your shower or tub.
Q. The anti-skid floor is not coming clean with my standard liquid cleanser. What do you recommend?
A. Try using C.L.R., Kaboom, or Simple Green per the instructions on the label.
Q. What do you recommend to remove hard water stains, calcium deposits, lime scale, or difficult soap scum from my unit?
A. Simple Green Lime Scale Remover, Lime-Away, or C.L.R. all work well. Applying automotive paste wax twice a year to the walls provides the best results, not only for cleaning your shower but for preventing buildup as well. Follow the product manufacturer’s directions, including the use of a mechanical buffer. For safety reasons, DO NOT use wax on shower or tub floors.
Q. How do I wash my Bestbath shower curtain?
A. Use neutral soapsuds and lukewarm water. Then rinse with water and allow the fabric to dry. For hard to clean spots, use a standard household/vinyl cleanser and/or a soft bristle brush. Heavy stains may first require soaking to loosen. DO NOT use harsh cleansers or solvents to clean the curtain.
Bestbath does not recommend using a washing machine, as it can substantially decrease the useful life of the fabric. However, if laundering is required, follow these guidelines from the International Fabric Care Institute:
- Wash and rinse according to the “Synthetic Washing Procedure for Coated Fabrics” with temperatures not exceeding 100° F.
- Extract water with centrifugal extractor.
- Tumble dry in a steam dryer (not gas) at 120° F maximum. For tailored, precise fitted items, tumble dry without heat or air dry. DO NOT IRON.
Q. The jets in my walk-in tub are not working, or one is more powerful than another. What can I do?
A. Try gently rotating the outside escutcheon of the jet clockwise to open the jet. Or turn it counterclockwise to lessen the flow of water.
Q. Is an access panel for my bathtub absolutely necessary? What are the consequences if I do not provide one? May I have an access panel on an outside wall?
A. An access panel is required by plumbing code so that the tub whirlpool components may be serviced. If you choose not to purchase a tub with an access panel, a hole in the closest wall will need to be made at the homeowner’s expense. You may have an access panel on an outside wall as long as all local and state building codes are followed.
Q. Can I install an in-line heater on my walk-in tub after purchase?
A. No. You would void the warranty on the jetting system, and it would violate the electrical listing to the U.L. Standard.
Q. What are the electrical requirements for installing a Bestbath jetted walk-in tub?
A. A dedicated 110v/120v 15 amp G.F.C.I protected circuit is required for your tub. If you have both jet system options, an additional dedicated 110v/120v 15 amp, G.F.C.I. protected circuit is necessary.
Q. What is the warranty of my new Bestbath product?
A. All manufacturer’s defects are warranted for 30 years from purchase date for the fiberglass shell. Any accessories or jetting parts are subject to the manufacturer’s warranty. All Bestbath walk-in tubs feature a Limited Lifetime warranty on the door seal.
Q. Does using a rubber mat in my shower affect the warranty?
A. You may use a rubber mat if you remove and completely dry the mat and the gel coat surface after every use. Otherwise, using a rubber mat does void the bathing fixture warranty.
Q. What is the life expectancy of a gelcoat unit?
A. The life expectancy of a gelcoat shower unit will vary based on the care taken with the product. However, industry-wide the expectancy is approximately 30 years.