After 30 or 40 years, if your bathroom looks terrible — full of mildew, the tub is rusting or cracked, the wall is all rot, the floor is shot, and it’s an embarrassment when family and company come over — it may time to update your bathroom. Where to start? Who to call to for 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 then build around that. 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. Starting costs range from $10,000 to $12,000 and go up to $20,000 to $35,000 for the really good, fancy stuff. Drawbacks are that only a one-year warranty is required for tile in 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 brittle, meaning the shower or tub unit could easily crack.

Fiberglass is the 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. In Hawaii’s climate, most things rust. And remember, you still have the tile issue on the walls. The positive is that some companies offer a 10-year warranty on steel.

This is the new world of products with more durable materials like quartz and acrylic. We at Tropical Wholesale like acrylic because some manufacturers, like Jacuzzi for example, have lifetime warranties.

Plus, manufacturers like Jacuzzi infuse silver into the acrylic, which stops the growth and reproduction of bacteria, meaning mildew will not grow on the acrylic with silver in it. The other plus is acrylic with silver will not leave water spots. 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 Wholesale. 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. All the bathrooms in my house have Jacuzzi acrylic products. The rest of bathroom remodeling is a snap because everything is available on island.

When starting the project, pick the best. Come to Tropical. We have a 2,900-square-foot showroom at 1351 S. Beretania St. and that is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays. Call Mike or Matt at 808-593-2000.

Remember, buy local, and come to Tropical for the best products and the best deals.

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