Adding some PVC trim around your shower is an easy way to upgrade while preventing humidity. PVC is easy to work with, and installing some trim is a project you can do with a few simple tools.
Is PVC trim around the shower a good option? PVC trim is a great option for your shower since this material is durable and waterproof. You can use PVC trim to connect waterproof boards and form a shower enclosure or even to seal the gap between your shower pan and the wall.
Why Choose PVC Trim for Your Shower
PVC is a popular construction material. Many professionals opt for PVC over wood since this material is durable and resists humidity well.
You can use PVC trim anywhere in your bathroom. It’s a great option for adding trim to a shower since it’s durable and easy to install. Plus, PVC trim is affordable, which means you can give your bathroom a makeover on a budget.
PVC trims come in many different lengths, thicknesses, widths, and even colors. You can also find products with decorative elements or a textured effect if you want to customize your shower.
Is PVC Trim Waterproof?
Installing PVC trim around the shower makes sense because it’s a waterproof material. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a type of plastic. It doesn’t absorb water, doesn’t rust, and doesn’t corrode over time.
PVC has established itself as a popular material for plumbing pipes. Compared to other materials, PVC has a much lower leak rate and results in durable pipes that never corrode.
Unlike materials like wood, PVC isn’t organic. It means mildew and mold spores won’t be able to thrive on a PVC surface, which is ideal for your shower.
However, you should know that condensation can form on PVC since this material doesn’t absorb water (if there’s more condensation around your AC, read here). Condensation can increase the risk of mold and mildew growing in your bathroom, but it’s an issue you can easily prevent with a bathroom exhaust fan.
PVC is a waterproof material but upgrading your shower with some PVC trim means you will have to cut the material carefully and create waterproof joints to prevent leaks and other issues.
Ideas for Upgrading Your Shower With PVC Trim
The most common use for PVC trim is to create strong joints between PVC or acrylic panels for your shower enclosure.
If you have a shower with a solid enclosure, you can use PVC trim to create a tight seal where the top of the enclosure meets the wall or ceiling. If you have tiles in your shower, you can place a piece of PVC trim in the corner if there are issues with the grout.
You can also use PVC trim to seal the gap between your bathtub or shower pan and the enclosure or tiles.
You can add PVC trim in other spots, including your bathroom window. Wood trim often absorbs humidity in bathrooms and ends up with peeling paint and other issues. Upgrading your bathroom window with PVC trim is a great option.
If you see signs of water damage around your bathtub or shower, you can add PVC trim to connect your bathtub or shower pan to your bathroom floor.
You can even apply PVC trim around your entire bathroom to replace baseboards or seal the gap where the walls meet the ceiling to address humidity issues (check out our guide on filling gaps in your bathroom like a pro).
How to Install PVC Trim in Your Shower
Upgrading your shower with some PVC trim is a simple DIY project that you can complete in one afternoon with a few simple tools.
Start by Preparing the Area
Remove the old trim if applicable. The best way to get rid of old trim is to use a baseboard puller tool to get between the trim and the wall. You can also pry the old trim carefully with a spatula.
If you’re installing PVC trim over a corner with grout, you need to clean the area. Use some hot water before applying a mix of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide and washing with a soft brush. The hydrogen peroxide will kill any mold or mildew spores.
Note that you need to work on an area that is completely dry. It’s also best to avoid showering for at least 24 hours after installing the PVC trim to let the adhesive cure.
Measure the Trim
Measure the length of the area where the trim will go. You can use a tape measure to get precise results.
If you need to apply PVC trim to a surface that isn’t straight, you should know that you can bend this material with heat. You can use a heat gun on a low setting and carefully bend the trim to match a curved surface.
Cut the Trim
Now that you know the length of the pieces you need, you can start cutting your PVC trim. Cutting PVC is similar to cutting wood, but steel blades can become dull when in contact with this material. If possible, use a carbide-tipped saw instead.
You should get good results with a combination saw blade. If you get a cut that doesn’t feel smooth, use some sanding paper on your piece of trim.
Glue the Trim
The best way to secure PVC trim is to glue it. You can apply an adhesive to the entire length of a piece of trim before pressing it into place.
You’ll need to use an adhesive that doubles as a sealant when installing PVC trim in your shower. Any product rated for outdoor use should resist humidity well.
If you’re applying trim on a wall, you can drive nails through it and cover the nails with spackle. However, using nails for trim that will go in your shower isn’t ideal since the nails can rust and corrode.
Sealing the PVC Trim and Creating Joints
When installing PVC trim in your shower, you’ll have to create waterproof joints between different pieces of trim. You will also have to form durable seals between the PVC trim and the bathtub, shower pan, tiles, or wall, depending on where you are installing trim.
The best way to form a waterproof joint between two pieces of PVC trim is to leave a small gap when you glue the trim and fill it with some PVC cement. This material is common in plumbing because it forms durable waterproof seals between PVC pipes. You can cover the PVC cement with some white spackle for cosmetic purposes or even apply some caulk.
Caulk is the best way to form a tight seal between a piece of PVC trim and your bathtub or shower pan. You can also apply caulk to connect PVC trim to your shower tiles or seal the small gap between a piece of PVC trim and your wall or flooring.
You can use acrylic, latex, or polyurethane caulk. These types of caulk act as an adhesive and sealant that won’t let any water in.
Choose a quality product when using caulk and go over the caulk with the tip of your finger to push the material into the seal. Spraying some soapy water over the area will help you glide over the caulk for a smooth result.
Note that caulk should last five years on average. You’ll have to strip these seals and replace them regularly to prevent humidity issues.
PVC trim is a durable and affordable material you can use to upgrade your shower. Make sure to measure your shower carefully and use quality materials to form tight seals where the PVC trim comes in contact with your shower pan or a wall.