How to Cut an Acrylic Tub Surround

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An acrylic tub surround is comprised of single molded piece that drops into the bottom of an existing tub or tub space. The walls install above the surround and consist of the same material as the base portion to form a consistent look. Although tub surrounds come according to the size of your enclosure space, some cuts are required during installation. Specifically, installers must cut the surround walls to accommodate the faucet, shower head and other plumbing fixtures.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Paper and pencil
  • Saw horses
  • Dry erase marker
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Drill with 1-inch spade bit
  • Jig saw
  • Tack cloth
  • Install the lower tub base of the acrylic surround per the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure the tub base sits flat on the floor before marking or cutting any portions to ensure the cut marks are accurate.

  • Climb inside the base of the acrylic tub and take the measurements for the cut locations. Measure up from the top edge of the tub portion to the location where the faucet pipe is on the wall. Note the measurement on a piece of paper. Then measure the location of the faucet from either the left or right side of the wall and note it as well.

  • Repeat the same measuring procedure for each of the handles of the faucet and for the location of the shower head.

  • Lay one of the wall panels of the surround on top of sawhorses in a well- ventilated location. Use the tape measure to locate the position of the faucet, each handle, and the shower head and mark them with a dry-erase marker. When marking the locations, measure from both the bottom and the side of the panel for accuracy.

  • Don safety glasses and a dust mask so you don't inhale the acrylic dust during cutting. Install a 1-inch spade bit into a drill. Place the tip of the spade bit on one marked location and drill through the acrylic to form a hole. Repeat the process to drill holes in each remaining marker location.

  • Measure the diameter of the faucet, each handle and the shower head, or refer to the installation instructions for each to determine the size holes needed. If any of the fixtures requires a large hole, expand the holes to the proper size using a jig saw.

  • Wipe the acrylic surround panel with a tack cloth to remove the acrylic dust from the surface. Slide it into the proper location in the tub enclosure to ensure the openings fit over the plumbing locations.

Tips & Warnings

  • When determining the measurement for the cuts, it’s wise to measure each location at least twice to ensure you have accurate locations for the cuts.

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