Bathroom Remodel Advice

maureen9004April 28, 2010

My husband and I just bought our first place and while most of it is updated- the bathrooms could definitely use some work. Currently there is laminate on the floor which will be fairly easy to remove and replace with tile. The task that is a little more daunting is replacing the bathtub and surround...

Currently it is a beige tub and surround system. We want to replace both but can't decide whether or not I should purchase another surround or tile the area myself (My husband is a Naval officer so I'm on my own on most of the projects and am fairly handy). Anyone have any advice? Would replacing the surround with tile be really expensive?

I was planning on visiting lowes to purchase the tub/surround/new vanity and was hoping to have them install them. Any advice would be appreciated because I'm a bit of a novice

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Unfortunately it's a bigger job than you might think. When you replace the tub, you essentially have to rip up the tile near it, which ends up leading to gutting the walls, etc. and doing it all over.

But if you left the tub alone, then you could rip out the surround and replace with a new affordable one, leaving the tub to just be refinished ($350 or so to refinish). Swan makes some 3- and 5-piece surrounds that might work. (BTW, if you went with "ReB@th", it would probably run 4-5k (they don't do ballpark quotes at all until you have an appointment). Maybe that's the way to go to leave the tile. Their appts. are free. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 5:50PM
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thank you for the advice.. you're right- I was a little delusional (I thought it'd be a wam bam done kind of job). Instead we're looking into refinishing the bath tub are (I had no idea this was an option). Again.. thank you. You saved us a lot of money and time.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 11:07PM
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Also, post this on the bathroom forum...there are some people there who might have some alternatives for you so that you CAN have a cute bathroom and not spend huge amounts of money....

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 1:32AM
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Generally, they put the tub surround in and then drywall up to it. When you take it out, you are going to be down to the studs already.

If you really want a different color tub, now would be the time to do it. It sounds like you will be ripping out the floor and surround at the very least. Once you get those out, disconnecting the tub and installing a new one is not that much more work.

The real work in tiling is waterproofing the walls and making sure any moisture drains back into the tub area. It can be a DIY project, but you need to do your homework first. You can't just put up some drywall and tile the shower. Grout is not waterproof, so you need a water tight barrier behind that to keep moisture from getting into the wall cavity and causing mold and rot. It is one of those jobs where if you screw it up, you probably won't see any visible damage for years, but the problem will be slowly growing out of sight.

On the flip side, the fiberglass surrounds are already waterproof. You basically just screw them in and then caulk. You'll likely have to replace some of the surrounding drywall, but that is a very low cost project. It is obviously a lower end finish, but it is much easier to install.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 11:15AM
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Check out Designers Marble in Woodinville, do bathroom remodeling using solid surface materials for the shower areas and Vanity tops.I would guess $3-$4 for this project which would include all new plumbing fixtures.Don't recommend refinishing on a tub,it doesn't hold up.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 2:06PM
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