An independent study conducted by RSMeans Company has determined that the installation of Bestbath Systems (www.bestbath.com) one-piece roll-in fiberglass shower surrounds takes significantly less time and money than ceramic tile and fiberglass mud set shower surrounds.
RSMeans, a division of Reed Construction Data, is a leading supplier of construction cost and materials pricing information. Developers, architects, engineers and contractors in North America rely on their products and services to project and control the cost of both new construction and renovation projects.
The 2009 study measured the average installation time and labor costs for seven Bestbath Systems one-piece shower surrounds in a continuing care retirement community in Massachusetts. Labor was based on the average wages in 30 major U.S. cities.
They determined benchmark average costs of installation at:
• Bestbath Systems one-piece roll-in shower surround: $126
• Mud set fiberglass surround: $178
• Ceramic tile surround: $685
Bestbath one-piece roll-in commercial shower surrounds are pre-leveled and require no additional mud set material. Designed for durability with a wood core, fiberglass and a gelcoat surface, they are ideally suited for the bathing needs of hospitals, independent living communities, university dormitories and condominiums where safety and accessibility are of the utmost concern.
Installing ceramic tile surrounds entails hanging cement backer boards, mixing and applying thin set mortar, laying tile, adding reinforced plywood bracing (hidden from view) for safety bars, grouting and grout sealing. Bestbath one-piece surrounds merely require adhesive to secure the unit. Comparing the two by installation time, ceramic surround installation averages 11 3/4 hours vs. 1.72 hours for the Bestbath surround.
Conventional fiberglass shower assemblies have a cavity that must be filled with a mud set to bond the unit into place. Installation time on average is 2.44 hours or 30% longer than Bestbath plus the additional material and mixing cost.
Findings of the study revealed that the Bestbath surround installation resulted in a cleaner job site, reduced training costs and easier installation of safe bathing accessories such as shower grab bars and seats at a later date.