Bathtub questions

maryann_mFebruary 11, 2012

We're remodeling our home's main bathroom--which is mostly used when our grown daughters visit. We're leaning toward keeping the tub with surround, vanity and toilet in the current layout.

We have a cast iron tub from the late seventies, which we had thought about replacing,... but since we're sticking to the same layout, we're looking into reglazing.

We just had someone look at it and he quoted $550 to reglaze. It's just a standard 5' tub--nothing special. Is that price on the high side?

He said we should install the new surround, new flooring, etc. before he does the reglazing. Is that how it's normally done?

He mentioned that he can add an anti-slip surface, but it might not be comfortable for bathing. Does anyone have experience or recommendations related to that? The tub would occasionally be used for bathing, but probably mostly for showers at this point.

Thanks for any advice!

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For that price you can get a new cast iron tub or even an acrylic tub for much less. Reglazing will not last and you will regret it once it starts wearing after you've spent the money on a whole new bathroom.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I agree we purchased American Standard Americast soaking tub for under $500.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Yes, You could get the Kohler Villager Cast Iron for $320 at Lowes or we just installed the Kohler Mendota Cast Iron for $720.It is a little larger than the villager. But if you are just using it once and a while for your girls the villager is fine.

We reglazed our old tub once in our city apartment and totally regretted it. It started peeling and looked terrible. Had to have it redone before we sold.
Should have just replaced it for the money we spent.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 7:25AM
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I have stayed at nice hotels and noticed they use the
Villager for their tub shower installs. The nice thing
about the Villager is that the height is not so high and
is easy to step in and out of. The only thing I don't care
about the Villager is the chevron detail on the side of
the tub apron. I love the price of the Villager though!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 10:38AM
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I reglazed a tub in my first home many years ago so I can't really opine on the price except to say that it doesn't seem wildly out of line. I would suggest getting another quote. I had a great experience with my tub after reglazing, looked fabulous and no peeling although I confess that I was only in that house for about 5 years, but it got everyday use.

I chose to reglaze because paying to have the cast iron tub pulled out entirely and installing a new one was going to add significantly to the cost... and put something else in a landfill.

I would get references from them - and try telling them that you can buy a new tub for that price to get them to come down. (they will likely bring up the labor and disposal cost of the old tub) and try a second quote (check out angie's list if you can)
with regard to the order of things... pretty sure I had the tub done last. No sense having extra wear and tear on the glaze from things being dropped on it during tiling etc. Plus I do think it takes a few days/weeks for the glaze to completely cure...

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 2:53PM
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Why would anyone send an old cast iron tub to a landfill??
Even if you use a sledge hammer & break it up to get it out, you can still sell it as heavy iron scrap at a metal recycling yard.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Thanks for all of the advice. I think that the existing tub is a Kohler Villager (the 1977 version).

After spending part of the weekend tearing out the tile tub surround and seeing the shape of the walls behind the tub, we're back to thinking about replacing the tub--since it looks like we'd have to move it to repair the surround area anyway. (Lazypup, we'll be sure to take the pieces to our local recyling center.) As some of you mentioned, now would be the time to replace it. If we were to regret reglazing in the future, it would be much more difficult to replace after the rest of the bathroom has been remodeled. Perhaps we could even upgrade to a different model.

I'm confused by all of the options in tubs these days. I guess what we have is an alcove tub. It has three walls around it. Does that mean we need to replace with an alcove style? We must keep the three walls due to plumbing issues. Can a drop-in style be used? Or undermount? If we want to be able to use the tub area for showers, should we not choose a 'soaking' tub? Or is there a style of tub that is comfortable for soaking and has enough room for showering?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:55AM
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A soaking tub just means a tub without any kind of jets in it. Your villager is a soaking tub.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 2:04PM
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Thanks, writersblock, that makes sense. Here's what I'm wondering. I see some tubs that have one very sloped end to recline against--sometimes with armrests. These tubs seem to be specifically designed for comfortable bathing. Does that get in the way of being able to stand and take a shower (in a 5 foot tub)?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 3:56PM
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A tub with a lot of slope will have less "foot room" for showering. However, the slope is comfortable to lean on when bathing.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:26PM
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If you're going to get a tub surround it's best you get the tub that is fitted to it so you'll have very little adjustments if any at all. The Sterling at HD or Lowes goes in very easily. You can watch it being done on
We did Swanstone and it was much more difficult. It was all glueing and you only had five seconds to place it before it stuck so hard it would pull down the wallboard. The Sterling locks together easily. Wish I had gotten it but I love the look of the Swanstone and it's done now.
We bought the one with the anti skid floor, I love it.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 1:05AM
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