After 30 or 40 years, if 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 an embarrassment when family and company come over — these may be signs it’s time to change and update your bathroom. Where to start? Who to call to get ideas? Let’s figure this out. Let’s think about the options, where to go, what to do and who to trust.

There are many options when considering a bathroom remodel. Most experts suggest homeowners start at the shower or tub area and then build around that, meaning you pick what you want to do with the tub or shower. You decide the style, color, door or no door, type of material and design.


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


Tile can be beautiful. Costs start from $10,000 to $12,000 and go up to $20,000 to $35,000 for the really good, fancy stuff. Drawbacks are that tile has only a one-year warranty required by the state of Hawaii. If the tile starts falling off the wall or if the grout cracks and the shower leaks through the walls after a few years, it will not be covered by the warranty. This means it must be done again.


Fiberglass is a cheaper option. It’s mostly installed in new homes because the product is cheap. But remember, cheaper is never better. Costs can be between $7,000 to $11,000, and most fiberglass also comes with a five-year warranty. Often, the only color you get is white, and most fiberglass is very brittle. This is what I mean when I say the shower or tub unit is cracked. This is a short-term answer if you are selling or flipping a home but not a good answer for the regular homeowner.



Steel is kind of a thing of the past. Living in Hawaii causes most things to rust. The positive is that some companies give a 10-year warranty on steel. And remember, you still have the tile issue on the walls.


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

After all the options are explored, anyone can tell that I am partial to acrylic made by Jacuzzi. That’s because I am Matt, the owner of Tropical. We install about 15 to 20 acrylic bathroom units per month. We are the sole distributor of the Jacuzzi-installed tub and shower products. These products are so good that Costco is getting ready to put them in local stores. The product is already in mainland stores. I have all the 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. We have a 2,900-square-foot showroom at 1351 S. Beretania St. and we are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays. Call Mike or Matt at 808-593-2000. Remember, “buy local,” come to Tropical for the best products and the best deals.

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