It’s time. After 30 or 40 years, your bathroom looks terrible. Full of mildew, the tub is rusting or cracked. The wall by the tub is all rot. The floor is shot and it’s actually an embarrassment when family and company come over. These may be signs it’s time to change and update your bathroom. Where do I start ? Who do I call to get ideas? Let’s figure this out. Let’s think about the options. Where to go, what to do, who to trust — what pressure.

There are many ways to go when considering a bathroom remodel. Most experts suggest homeowners start at the shower or tub area and then build around that. This means you should first pick what you want to do with the tub or shower — which one you want (this means style, color, door or no door).



The options are tile, fiberglass and steel tub with tile or a synthetic material.

Tile can be beautiful. Cost can go from $10,000-$12,000 on the low end to $20,000-$35,000 for the really fancy stuff. Drawbacks are tile has only a one-year warranty required by the state of Hawaii. If the tiles start falling off the wall or if the grout cracks and the shower leaks in the walls after a few years the warranty is up after one year. This means let’s do it again.

Fiberglass is a cheaper answer mostly installed in new homes because the product is less expensive. But remember, cheaper is never better. Cost can be between $7,000 and $11,000, and the only color you get is white. Most fiberglass has a five-year warranty and is very brittle. This is what I mean when I say the shower or tub unit is cracked. Again, it’s a short-term answer if you are selling or flipping a home but not a good answer for the regular homeowner.


Steel is a kind of a thing of the past. We do live in Hawaii where everything rusts so you figure it out. The positive is some companies give a 10-year warranty. And remember, you still have the tile issue on the walls.

Synthetics is the new world of products made of more durable materials like quartz and acrylic. I like acrylic because some manufactures like Jacuzzi, for example, have lifetime warranties. Plus, some manufactures like Jacuzzi infuse silver in the acrylic, which stops the growth and reproduction of bacteria. In other words, the silver stops mildew. Mildew will not grow on the acrylic with silver in it. The other plus is that acrylic with silver will not water spot. Actually, there is no need to wipe it down or squeegee the unit. There will be no water spots or mildew.

After all the options are explored, anyone can tell I am partial to acrylic made by Jacuzzi. That’s because I am Matt, the owner of Tropical. We install 15-20 acrylic bathroom units a month. We are the sole distributor of the Jacuzzi installed tub and shower products. These products are so good Costco is getting ready to put them in the local stores. The product is already in mainland stores. I believe this is the best mouse trap so much that I have all five bathrooms in my house with Jacuzzi acrylic products. The rest of bathroom remodeling is a snap because everything is available on island. But when starting the project, pick the best. Come to Tropical. Tropical has a 2,900-square-foot showroom at 1351 S. Beretania St. and we are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays. Or you can call us at 808-593-2000. Remember “Buy Local” and come to Tropical for the best products and the best deals.

CONTACT 808-593-2000 • 808-263-1252
ADDRESS 1351 S. Beretania St., Honolulu