How to Use Plastic Bead Board as a Shower Surround

A recent product, plastic bead board, is an effective mould-resistant product to use as a shower surround. It is a durable exterior product that is made of PVC and has the appearance of wainscoting. Plastic bead board is less expensive than tile and more durable than thin plastic inserts. The texture will add visual appeal to your shower and increase the value of your home. Green E-Board is strongly recommended to be used instead of cement board or drywall behind the plastic bead board as mould and mildew cannot grow on this construction material.

Remove faucet, spigot and shower head.

Protect the tub with plastic or heavy paper taped to the tub.

Remove existing shower wall insert or tile.

Scrape off all caulk with a heavy plastic spackle blade.

Check for mould. If mould is present consider replacing any mouldy drywall and/or wood. Use a solution of one part bleach and one part water to spray any visible mould on surfaces that will not be removed. Install Green E-Board if wall boards are to be replaced. Green E-Board is a moisture-resistant drywall product that will not grow mould or mildew.

Measure each section of the shower surround.

Cut pieces of Green E-Board to fit so edges will line up with existing framing. Mark where each piece will be cut and lay a straight edge on the cut line. Use the utility knife to create a deep score in the Green E-Board. Push down on one side of the Green E-Board to break the piece off.

Measure and mark placement in the piece of Green E-Board for pipes. Use a drill bit the same size as the pipes to drill holes so the pipes will fit through the Green E-Board.

Screw Green E-Board pieces to framing with drywall screws.

Apply a thin coat of joint compound where the pieces of Green E-Board meet on walls and corners.

Starting from a back corner, measure the shower area, mark each piece and cut to fit with a circular saw.

Install the first piece tight to the corner. Apply a thick squirt of glue on the back of the bead board. Check with a level to be sure the edge is plumb. Nail into place by nailing on an angle from the tongue towards the board so the end of the nail goes past the tongue and the next piece will fit snug on the tongue without hitting the nail. The nail should not be visible on the back side of the tongue. Space nails 6 inches apart with one in the top and one in the bottom along the edge of the tongue as described. Install subsequent pieces by running a thin bead of caulk in the groove and sliding the groove onto the tongue and repeating the process of gluing and nailing into place.

Measure the width of the area the end piece must fit at corners. Mark the top, bottom and middle. Use a straight edge to draw a line on the plastic bead board. Cut with a hand saw. Apply a larger amount of glue on end pieces, then gently push the piece onto the groove of the previous piece and push into place. Carefully nail on the edge to hold in place.

Use a drill with a drill bit the same size as the pipes to cut out the area for the pipes to fit through the bead board.

Caulk around the pipes, the bottom of the plastic bead board and in the corners.

Cut manufactured trim with a mitred edge and nail into place around the bottom and top of the plastic bead board.

Caulk around the bottom of the trim.

Cut manufactured corner trim and install on corners of the shower surround.

Reinstall plumbing fixtures.


Wear proper eye protection while working to protect eyes from dust and debris while cutting and installing.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic or heavy paper
  • Tape
  • Heavy plastic spackle blade
  • Tape measure
  • Green E-Board
  • Utility knife
  • T-Ruler or other metal straight edge
  • Drill with screwdriver bit
  • Drill bit the same size as pipes
  • Drywall screws
  • Joint compound
  • Circular saw
  • Epoxy glue
  • Level
  • Caulk gun
  • Clear or white caulk
  • Hand saw
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails
  • Mitre box and saw
  • Manufactured trim (waterproof)
  • Manufactured edge trim (waterproof)
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About the Author

Emily Patterson has been creating content for websites since 1996. She specializes in home improvement, natural body care and natural cleaning articles. Patterson holds a computing certificate from Penn State University.