Replace or refinish a bathtub

frank300June 5, 2012

I am getting estimates to redo my bathroom. I got one estimate of about $1,900 to replace a bathtub and put a fiberglass wall unit around it. I have gotten 2 estimates that are even higher to refinish a bathtub along with a wall unit to make it look new and they were significantly higher. I am wondering a few things.

1 - I noticed in Home Depot that a new cast iron bathtub was $349 and a wall unit was $249. Based on that doesn't the $1,900 sound reasonable for a new tub installed and a wall unit.

2 - Why would refinishing an existing bathtub be more money if it seems like less work?

3 - Are there any risks in a new bathtub install?

Thanks

frank300

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writersblock

I would always opt for a new tub.

> Why would refinishing an existing bathtub be more money if it seems like less work?

Most probably since the wall unit is included you are dealing with companies that come in and make a mold of your space, then provide something that fits over the existing tub and wall.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 2:11PM
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tim45z10

Refinished tubs last a maximum of 5 years.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:26PM
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tim45z10

Refinished tubs last a maximum of 5 years.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:27PM
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williamsem

That sounds about right. I recently had our tub replaced with a new tub and surround. The estimate was $2500 including parts and labor plus a new ceiling vent with light. If the surround attaches to the studs, like ours, all the drywall around the tub gets replaced and needs to be painted. The contractor has worked on our house before and knows it has many hidden problems, so that and the fan may account for the difference. But I ended up having him redo the whole bathroom since it is pretty small, and he was already repainting. Total for his parts and labor plus everything I purchased was $6500 which is pretty good for a full remodel, though we did not rip out ALL the drywall. It was worth the labor costs to get it done vs DIY with my work schedule.

You can see pics I posted here a few weeks ago here if you are interested.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Swolly

I think there are always risks when you pry out something that's been in one spot for years and years, and attempt to replace it with a different model. This applies universally to anything. This is a main reason why refinishing exists.

I'm clueless as to how a refinish job could be more than $1,900. Most of them are between $300 and $700 that I've seen. Do you have something really unique?

The cast iron tub is likely adding several hundred to that $1,900 price. They are HEAVY. A one person job turns into a one person plus helper or two job.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 3:23PM
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pbx2_gw

Plus I believe if your tub wasn't cast iron before the area around & underneath the tub would need to be reinforced structurally.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:51PM
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jaidog

We had a PINK cast iron bathtub most likely made by Kohler. Cast iron and Kohler are two of the several reasons we decided to keep it. The company that reglazed it applied 14 coats of white porcelain, and guarantees the finish for 10 years. It has been 4 years since it was reglazed, and it still looks like new. This is a bath which is used at least once a day (for showers). The cost for reglazing was $300.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 4:53PM
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Lbrook

Jaidog,

Where are you located - would love to have information on your tub reglazer! We are in Central Jersey (Princeton) 0 would be great to have a local referral.

We are just about to start a bathroom renovation of our hall/kids bath. Our house was built in 1964 and it looks like the previous owner did not use the tub too often. We use the tub only once a month so it is still in great condition. I hate the idea of pitching something perfectly good into a landfill just because it happens to be turquoise.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 9:01PM
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jaidog

Sorry, I'm in the Chicago area. The company we used is called Aarco (www.aarcobaths.com). You could attempt to contact Kerry (the owner) to find out if he can refer someone in your area.

I 100% agree with you regarding throwing something perfectly good away just because of its color. Cast iron tubs were made to last a long time, and they should.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 11:18PM
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