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We purchased two of the same shower/tub inserts in 2016 for our new construction home. In 2019 while cleaning the tub around the drain I noticed a small crack in the surface and realized that this was the cause of a small slow leak in the basement. The plumbing supply store where the unit was purchased connected us with Maax as it was thought to be a defect in the fiberglass. Maax sent a repair company out who patched the site. I was told at the time that the patch should take care of the problem and that a hole in the tub surface was not indicative of a larger problem. And I was told that this should not happen again.
Now in July of 2022 the same area has 3 problem sites (one hole the size of a BB, a cracked spot and another site where the finish is wearing off). Maax states the warranty ended in 2021 and the repair work warranty was only for 1 year. This is obviously a defect in the product itself, a bathtub should not develop holes after 3 years of use and now more holes after 6 years of use. I reported the problem while under warranty and the “patch” fixed it enough to get through the warranty but a bathtub should last well over 5 or 6 years.
I have spoken to a service rep 4 times and am waiting for a call from a supervisor and the representative would only give me a first name for the supervisor and said there is no extension for the supervisor. I am hopeful that maax will assist with this issue. I have seen that others have had problems with cracks and holes in their units as well and feel that the problem was not fully investigated initially. No one removed the drain at the time of the initial repair to look for defects or further damage, the holes are all at the area around the drain. The serial number for the tub unit is 00006170788 if this helps.
We bought the Maax "aura" shower doors to replace our old shower doors. After getting the frame all cut to size and installed and moving on to the glass panels I quickly realized we were missing the nylon bushings that are suppose to come with the hardware. After further investigation the instructions were to a different model and the hardware pack was for another model. Don't waste time and money on this company.
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First of all I am in the process of getting my issues resolved - Not sure how it will turn out - But everything about this Product has been a fiasco. Let me first say the cocoon tub was a mess to install - it was off set but we made it work. I purchased the 3 piece tub surround and when we took off the plastic covering we immediately noticed scratches under the plastic which was not disturbed prior to this. Next the colors are hazy and looks like not finished properly. In addition to this the worst piece had damage in processing obviously and they tried to "horribly " cover it up. One is warped. I am anxiously awaiting a call from Maax! They do plan to replace the surround however who knows what the next will reveal. I am asking for monetary compensation. This is a nightmare. We now have no shower - project is completely on hold. This has to stop.
I dropped a pc of 2x6 wood off a window sill, it bounced 1 ft and put a huge hole in the side of it. I was already pissed because it requires 2" of filler to make it level front to rear which is ridiculous. If a homes is out of level 2 inches in 3 ft it cant be lived in. But I noticed the cheesy patches already on the side and after this happened I realized I should have looked for reviews prior to buying it. It is hard to find this type of shower in the current environment because of supply chain issues but this thing is so cheap that it takes so little to break it I am surprised it has any ratings over a 1. Do not buy this product! EVER! I tried to post photos but this forum says my pics are too big. Likely not the case because these people accept cash from these companies.
I am trying to select a shower door to go with a shower stall. There are two different product pages for the same product and each has different dimensions. They both link to the same technical drawing that has yet different dimensions. I tried to get clarification through the chat function, and the agent was rude and unhelpful, took several minutes to reply each time, and did not appear to see many of the messages I sent. When I asked which set of dimensions was correct, he quit replying altogether. Overall, I spent more than an hour on the chat line and never receive an answer.
My husband and I just installed a 4 piece walk-in shower, kds 3060. This shower was a nightmare. The pegs and holes did not line up and the back piece would not go on as shown in the Maax installation video. The back piece also has hazy looking patches where the shower wasn't buffed enough or buffed too much. Also, we had to return the first base due to a crack near the bottom left corner. It had small cracks that branches out on the front spreading from the main crack. What made that so bad, you could see where the company tried to cover up the defect after it was made. The back was also not made properly. The back flange on the bottom was too wide, so it wouldn't fit in the base right. My husband had to sand fiberglass down to make it fit into the base. And after all the fighting to halfway get everything to fit.
To get the base and top piece to look remotely correct, we wound up having the top be out from the wall about an inch. We had to shim it up to make it work. Now I have to add extra layers to make my back wall in my bathroom thicker to help fill the gap. We're wondering if we got factory seconds. This crap is ridiculous. From now on, we're just gonna stick with one piece showers. It would have been easier to make a hole through our wall and put a one piece than install this 4 piece shower. It took us hours, about 7 or 8 just to get it to look halfway decent. NEVER AGAIN!!!!
We recently added a MAAX uTile shower system to an existing basement 1/2 bathroom. We are pretty experienced DIY’ers, have previously completed remodeled a bathroom down to studs, and have many other projects within our experience. For this project, we were looking to “go fast and limit cost” in adding the new shower. uTile seemed a good solution to us. Our only hesitation: reviews of the product were mixed. Frankly, there was generally less information on the internet than we expected to find, except for MAAX’s own promotion.
Here’s the punchline: The project turned out to be NOT fast, NOT easy, and NOT particularly low cost, though we probably did complete at about 25% lower product cost than a traditional tile shower installation. There was no savings on time - we likely spent more time than on a traditional shower install. We would NOT recommend this product except in very specific circumstances. Our experience with a MAAX UTile installation was quite frustrating, though we eventually completed the project, but we are not confident in long-term performance of the system. Now, our story and the gory details:
DELIVERY AND QUALITY
Product delivery was difficult. We ordered through Menards, with a 6 week delivery promise. The order was delayed by an additional 6 weeks (to 12 weeks). The Menards team helped, providing an in-stock, same model shower base ahead of the delivery, to keep our overall basement renovation job moving. When the order did arrive, a wall was missing (a MAAX delivery error). Menards worked diligently to expedite the missing piece. When the last wall arrived (an additional 2+ weeks delay), we discovered one wall had a surface crack and each wall had some cosmetic defect. MAAX tech support offered good support in this moment: they quickly shipped a replacement for the cracked wall (we worked around the other cosmetic issues). Quickly = add another week of delay. Total delivery time: 15 weeks.
Unfortunately, quality was challenging beyond the walls. The Olympia model base is built by gluing a molded plastic floor to a styrofoam under-layer. The system SQUEAKED when stepped on. We had to evaluate if this was caused by a non-level floor issue (no), related to movement before the system was permanently secured (no), or something else. We determined the problem was between the surface and styrofoam layers, where the two surfaces rubbed together. The layers were not glued together well, or may just be a bad design: weight on the base’s surface creates friction between the layers which creates squeaking. With some research, we resolved this by pouring real talcum powder in the poorly glued gap between the layers, completely around the base edge - no more squeaking! We hope this will be a lasting fix.
MAAX indicates that the uTile system should be installed within an effectively perfect space - level and plumb in all (specific) dimensions except floor-to-ceiling height. Two “buts”: the instructions are not perfectly clear on how the pieces must install relative to the space, and the actual product quality does not match the demand for space construction quality. This created a cascade of problems for us.
Shower base location - We placed the shower base prior to the walls arriving, including setting the drain pipe location. We followed the specific instructions for a uTile installation (which are different to the shower base’s standard instructions). These say, absolutely, “Install the base pushing it completely against the studs” (page 7, step 2). NOT true, as we only found out later, after the plumbing was set. Setting the back of the shower base completely against the studs creates a later problem with alignment of the uTile shower walls with the front edge of the shower base.
We were completely screwed on this one, since we installed before testing fitting everything (due to delivery delays). We ended up with about a 1/4” overhang of wall beyond the edge of the shower pan. It doesn’t look terrible, but it is not right. You WILL need to shim the shower pan off the back wall by about 1/4” to get perfect alignment on the front edges. This is a significant error in the install instructions.
Installing the walls - As we placed the walls, in our nearly-perfect opening, we encountered odd panel alignment issues. We noted different-sized gaps on the back wall between the top and bottom of both the right and left sides of the wall; in testing fitting all the wall panels, this created an exaggerated gap in both corners where wall panels met, and seemed to pull the front edge of the side walls away from the studs. We checked our level and plumb on all walls, they were good.
We determined the back wall was slightly warped in the middle, by about 1/4”, from the center to the bottom of the wall. With no way to attach the center and bottom of the wall to the studs behind, we resolved this, as best we could, by attaching the back wall to the side studs about 6” from the bottom of the studs on both sides of the panel - an action definitely not in the instructions, which do not call for any screws-to-studs on the sides of the back wall. This resolved the warping problem enough that the corner gaps mostly closed up, and the side walls mostly squared up and touching their framing studs. We proceeding to “permanently” install the walls, and sealed up the corners.
Installing the corner shelves - This task seemed simple, but was in fact a challenge. The walls must be completely square for the shelves to fit relative to the shelf mounting template. We used the template. I expected there would be some allowance for adjustment in the alignment of the shelves. I was wrong - no play here at all. With slightly imperfect wall square, the screw openings to attach the shelves to the shelf mounts were off by 1/16” and could not be adjusted, so would not install. The mounts were already in, so I had to make the shelves work! I dealt with this by cutting off the bottom of one of the two screw sleeve fittings for each shelf, and tossed the related screw liners, creating the play we needed to fit the shelves. My best guess is this was ultimately related to the slight lack of square caused by the warped back panel; there should be more tolerance in the shelf’s design.
With the base, walls, and shelves installed - and if everything had arrived on time, without defects - I might say that UP TO THIS POINT, a uTile install was easier than a traditional tile shower install. After this point in the install, however, I CANNOT say this. Why? The instructions are silent on how adjacent surfaces should attach/align to the “edges” of the shower - which becomes a time consuming, ridiculous “finishing” challenge with the product.
In our case, uTile installation left about a 3” gap between the (low) ceiling and the top of the uTile panel, and wall finishing was needed along the front edges of the uTile panels. The panels themselves have a 1/8” thick, 1” wide “lip” that is used for securing the panel to studs. The finished panel surface is raised a little more than 1/2” (maybe 9/16”?) above this surface. Moisture-resistant drywall or some other water-resistant material needs to be wrapped over the lip, and you must decide how much reveal of the (finished) side edge of the raised panel you want to see. To create a level-with or parallel surface to the wall panel face, you must install the material by first shimming behind the material to deal with the thickness of the panel’s lip, and then attaching the material to the nearby wall structure in a way that leaves a clean finishing line with the wall panel. Simply put, this work is a total pain in the **.
In our case, with a 48x32 shower, the total amount of drywall to install was probably less than 4 square feet, but was spread along 24 linear feet, and had 48+ linear feet of related edge-finishing bead, outside corner bead, inside corner bead, etc. The drywall work, to make this all look good, took 2 additional days, including drying time for mud. THIS TOTALLY WIPED OUT ANY INSTALLATION TIME VALUE.
Relatively, the shower door went up quickly, but even this was a bit difficult with the uTile panels. In the case of uTile, you must attach the shower door framing to the uTile panels using screws and plastic expansion plugs, because there is an air gap between the back of the uTile panel and the studs behind. You cannot just use a longer screw to get to the stud and torque it down, or you risk cracking or breaking the uTile panel. We drilled the holes for the plugs to the MAAX spec, but these turned out to be too large to keep the MAAX-supplied plugs from turning in the relatively thin panels as screws were installed. So, we visited Menards one more time to find plugs that would work better and hold firmly in the MAAX-specified holes. This is an issue with uTile design - more thickness at these locations on the panel would prevent this kind of issue and allow for proper attachment through to the studs.
THE WRAP UP
Now that it is all finished, it looks “ok”, but I wish we had simply installed a traditional tiled shower without all the hassles associated with uTile as a system. We have concerns about the system’s rather complete reliance on the integrity of the large number of silicone seals at every panel edge for water protection.So:
- Kudos to Menards for helping us solve delivery problems.
- Kudos to MAAX tech support for owning their (worst) quality problems as reported by us.
- Negatives for product quality, installation instruction accuracy, and lack of product tolerance for real world conditions.
- Negatives for promise v. reality of installation effort, time, and cost.
- Overall, I cannot recommend this system to a DIY’er who could just as easily install a traditional tile shower system.
The Maxx shower doors are good quality, I would like the screws provided to be at least a half inch longer so they can reach the wood blocking behind the tile and cement board. By the time they penetrate 1/2" of tile and 1/4" of thinset, as well as 1/2" of cement board, there is only 1/4" left of the screw to penetrate into the wood backing....
The product finally arrived at the local store on Jul 30th. Thankfully nothing was damaged via shipment and the bathroom repair began promptly the week of the Aug 3. I was given some refund as an apology and I'm happy with that.
My upstairs bathroom had a flooding incident, and required a new floor and vanity. The contractor will be tearing most of the bathroom up, so why not replace the shower insert too - I thought. We ordered the shower insert at Lowe's on 4/23 morning. I informed the pro-desk that I'd like to add one additional glass shelf, so the staff went ahead and called MAAX to get the part number and double check on the delivery date. Over the phone, the Maax representative confirmed the 5/19 delivery, and added an extra glass shelf as I requested.
Lo and behold, 1 week before the delivery date, I called Lowes to follow up. They informed me that unfortunately the delivery has been delayed to 6/8. Okay, I understand, Covid and supply chain disruption is affecting everyone. We can last a bit more with using the bathroom with bare particle board floor and holes in the drywalls. Few days ago, I called the pro-desk again to check in with the order. The Lowes staff informed me that unfortunately, Maax have delayed the delivery date yet again. This time to 7/13. It is frustrating that there is literally no other option for me other than to wait and hope Maax will deliver, and that hopefully it will arrive in good condition. I understand Covid impacted just about everything, but please, have a better handle of your own inventory system.
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