How Much Does It Cost to Replace or Install a Bathtub?
Bathtub Replacement and Installation Costs at a Glance
- Reglazing: $300-$1,000
- Relining: $1,150-$1,400
- Replacing: $1,000-$5,000
- New tub installation: $50 per hour, plus materials
One of the overlooked luxuries in your home might be your bathtub. Soaking yourself in warm water can ease stress, help soothe aching muscles and, of course, get you squeaky clean.
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If you don't have a tub in your home, installing one may be more affordable than you imagined. Or, if your existing tub has seen better days, it might be time to renew or replace. Here's what you need to know.
Replace or Repair?
Tub looking a little tired? A refresh might be all you need. There are two main options when it comes to giving an existing tub a new look:
If the tub has only minor blemishes or if you simply want to change its color, you might decide to reglaze (or repaint) it. This process involves painting the surface of the tub with an epoxy.
For a truly affordable option, epoxy kits are available for around $25. It’s possible to do it yourself in a few simple steps:
- Remove all the fixtures, including the drain, and take out all the old caulk.
- Fill in any chips or pits with a tub repair product and sand those areas smooth. Sand the entire bathtub.
- Mix your epoxy and apply two coats. Epoxy fumes are extremely potent, so be sure to wear a respirator and have good ventilation while you work.
- Reapply caulk and reattach your fixtures. Your tub will be ready to use in three days.
... Or, you can pay someone else to do it. For a professional reglaze, you’re looking at an average cost of $700. Fiberglass tubs are harder to reglaze, so the costs can run between $300 and $1,000. Porcelain tubs are easier to tackle, so the cost is lower at an average of $475. Resurfacing a cast iron tub costs $350 to $600.
One benefit of reglazing a tub is that professional service providers can also reglaze the surrounding tile to give the entire area a fresh, cohesive look. This generally costs between $31 to $77 per square foot. Reglazing isn't a permanent renewal process, but the finish should last 10 to 15 years.
The second way to give your tub an instant upgrade is by using a liner. Liners are made from acrylic or PVC that has been molded to fit over your existing tub.
A contractor will take measurements of your tub and send them out for fabrication. Custom bath liners can take one to two months to produce. Once the liner is in stock, the contractor will return to your home and install it.
Before installing a liner, make sure the floor structure supporting your tub is sound. Also, check for evidence of mold or rot around the tub. These problems can worsen if hidden beneath the acrylic form.
Liners are a relatively inexpensive way to get the benefits of a new tub without paying for one. The price range to install a basin-only liner is between $1,150 and $1,400. Installing a liner on your tub's surround increases the overall project price to over $3,000.
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Time to Go
If your tub is too far gone, it might be time to replace it. If it continuously shows mold or mildew, this can be a sign its finish has eroded. Cracks and mysterious pools of water on your bathroom floor after you bathe are also telltale signs that you’re in need of a tub replacement.
The good news is that replacing your tub gives you the most options for customizing your bathroom. The not-so-good news is that it is also the most expensive option.
The average price for a new tub install is $2,500 with the range stretching from anywhere $1,000 to $5,000. Cost varies based on the type of tub and fixtures you choose, and whether or not you also redo your surround — though, this is the perfect time to do it. If you want your contractor to remove the old tub and put in a fully tiled surround, the cost can get as high as $6,300.
You’ll also want to consider that the project may cost more than the quoted price. As tiles are removed and plumbing is disconnected then reconnected, there’s a chance you might need additional work to finish the space.
Starting From Scratch
If you’ve decided to add a tub to a home that doesn't already have one, a new space and structure will have to be created for it. The subfloor will have to be sturdy enough to handle the weight of a tub full of water, new walls might need to be constructed and plumbing may need to be added or moved. This construction comes in addition to the prices listed above, so putting in a bathtub from scratch can be costly.
It's difficult to say just how much installing a new tub will cost because price varies drastically based on where you’re trying to put your new tub and what type of tub it is. The average rate for a general contractor is about $50 per hour. Considering the job could take up to 25 hours to complete, budget at least $1,250 for labor in addition to materials.
A standard bathtub/shower combination averages $300 to $2,000 for materials. For a freestanding tub, material costs range from $600 to $20,000, depending on the material the tub is made from.
Whether you reglaze, reline or replace your old tub, the value the project will add to your home and your lifestyle is significant. A new tub and surround can go a long way toward increasing your home's resale value. Adding a new tub to a bathroom that didn’t previously have one can further extend the appeal of your home to potential buyers. But beyond all that, just imagine how good it will feel to luxuriate in a sparkling clean new tub and soak your worries away!
A new tub can give you peace of mind for years knowing that it's sound, clean and leak-free. Another way to increase your confidence in your home is by being prepared with a plan from HomeServe. Once you have a plan in place and a covered issue arises, you can simply call the 24/7 repair hotline. A local, licensed and highly trained contractor will be sent out to you to get the job done to your satisfaction.