Thread Number: 73575  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
1965 Shower/Tub surround frame trim and masonite panels
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Post# 971538   12/4/2017 at 18:05 (345 days old) by funktionalart (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Ok--a bit of a weird one here. I have a spare bathroom in my 1965 home--and it has the original goldtone aluminum framed/masonite panel shower surround in it. I *SHOULD* remove it and do a tile job but I'm cheap and don't want to go through all the work.

Does anyone know if these trim pieces are still available and what exactly are they called? My dad replaced a couple of these in a relative's home back in the 70s and I recall that stuff being readily available at hardware stores and lumber yards back then. I have looked around a little bit--not all that diligently, I have to admit. But lately I'm thinking I'll just replace the stuff with buffed or satin aluminum (if it's to be had) and some interesting waterproof panels (colored glass if the stuff can be had thin enough or A similar masonite in a color but WITHOUT that screen printed Venetian canal scene)...LOL!

Pics of it attached below...closeup pic is of a trim piece slid to the side off of the masonite panel.


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

Post# 971539 , Reply# 1   12/4/2017 at 18:07 (345 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Looks like the same stuff that was used on sliding closet doors.

Post# 971568 , Reply# 2   12/4/2017 at 20:30 (345 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, it might be easier and cheaper in the long run to run to Home Depot and get a tower/shower insert. They look like  they are fiberglass, which is probably as durable if not more so than masonite. I would think that leaks would be less of a problem with these pre-fab units.


Tile is also a  good choice because the prep for it usually involves a form of concrete over EPDM moisture barrier. However it looks like tiling is as much an art as a science and amateur attempts usually seem to look just that. The tricky part seems to be the corners and the sawing. But it's not rocket science. Some day I'll have to try it ;-)



Post# 971590 , Reply# 3   12/4/2017 at 22:13 (345 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Masonite still manufactures panels, and trim, but you're not likely to find it on the shelf at HD or Lowe's.  Check the internet.


Plastic laminate panels are thinner than true Masonite, but there are still companion trims available for them also.  Not sure again about availability as they're not used like they used to be.  A local plastic laminate distributor would probably have samples of the profiles and then order what you wanted if you went this route.



Post# 971616 , Reply# 4   12/5/2017 at 00:43 (345 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Masonite showers-Our house had this in Florida--I was taking my shower and leaned up on back panel-it collapsed!!And I almost fell thru the rest of the wall!Dad replaced the old panels with new fiberglass ones-the old Masonite ones had rotted from behind.They looked normal from the front.Remember the Masonite shower kits at hardware stores during the 70's and 80's.Thought of that incident in Florida.

Post# 971631 , Reply# 5   12/5/2017 at 02:10 (345 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Yeah, I'm thinking Masonite is just a few steps away from particle board. Not entirely waterproof.


The one thing about fiberglass tubs etc is that it's probably not a good idea to use anything abrasive on them.



Post# 971656 , Reply# 6   12/5/2017 at 06:40 (345 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The Melamine face on the shower panels is waterproof---but the BACK of the panels is not-water collects there-esp in humid Florida-and after many years those were in use.The shower stall came with the house when we bought it-already there.the previous owners must have installed them years ago.No,you can't use abrasives on ANY of those shower liner panels-esp the Masonite ones-abrasions will cause water to leak in on the front side.

Post# 971751 , Reply# 7   12/5/2017 at 16:16 (344 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Masonite (hardboard) is not a suitable product for use in wet areas. As Rex said, it will disintergrate after being repeatedly wet. There was a lawsuit about 20 years ago involving manufacturers of hardboard exterior siding.

My Uncle Kell & Aunt Julie's house (1965) had Masonite siding, and though they kept it properly painted, the ends would absorb water and swell. My uncle had worked at the Masonite plant in Laurel, MS, so got a discount on products. The interior walls in all rooms were Masonite Royalcote panelling (installed direct to studs). The bathroom had a tile pattern, and it got ugly quick, with cracks and swelling in the finish. The house was destroyed by fire in early Spring of '88, and needless to say, it went up quick.

Post# 971861 , Reply# 8   12/6/2017 at 01:42 (344 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

FRP is a cheap choice, I'd say it's a step up from Masonite.  HAs all the fittings for corners and edges, typically used in cabins and such.


Post# 971998 , Reply# 9   12/6/2017 at 17:43 (343 days old) by funktionalart (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Thanks all for the thoughts and info! Matt: your link is probably the ideal
scenario for what I'm thinking of. I was mostly concerned with replicating the style of metal trim currently in the shower and what that company has looks pretty ideal.

I'm going to sell the house at some point in the near future, and the peeling masonite panels in there have to go....I just refuse to spend tons of time and money tiling or putting in a nice marble surround only to have whatever new buyer rip it out to make whatever personalised changes they wish.

I just want it visually less off-putting but fully useable for whomever takes the place. After that they can do what they want...there is a trend in my condo community lately: millenials are buying these units up (at full price and OVER) and stripping them back to the studs for full-on remodel.

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