Replacing a bathtub - recommended contractors

12 Replies

I recently noticed a hairline crack on the floor of the almond colored bathtub in the house I'm currently living in, which I will be converting to a rental in the next three to six months.

I've already put in a new floor and vanity in this bathroom, but was holding off on replacing the bathtub due to the estimated costs I've heard from others.  

Has anyone recently had a bathtub replaced?  If so, what did it cost? (including labor and material).  What was the bathtub made of?

Also, a follow up for investors in the Grand Rapids area, who do you use as a contractor for minor rehabbing projects such as this?

@Steve Wilmers  

Hi Steve, Can you give more details or post a pic?  What kind of tub, how is it situated in the room, etc.?  it can be a pretty big job to replace a bathtub. 

I would be a little concerned as to where water going thru the crack is ending up. That is the cost to repair I would want to avoid.

Art A. I believe it's a fiberglass tub, and it's set on the back wall of the bathroom attached to the side walls as well (not sure what the layout is specifically called). I won't have a picture until later tonight, but it's not much larger than a hairline crack about six inches long.

@Jesse B. that's the cost I'm trying to avoid by taking care of it ASAP

I would seriously consider reglazing the tub.  This can be done in less than a day at a fraction of the cost of replacing the tub.  Fiberglass  can hairline crack and reglazing can address this.  

Here is a brief article on reglazing if you are not familiar with it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/realestate/30hom...

Home Depot sells a "Tub and Tile Refinishing Kit" for $26 that will address this issue

There's also different tub epoxy products on ebay you can try that can be used for repairing larger cracks

I've never gone the handyman route and have only dealt with professional reglazers.  They do a much better job than I ever could and the time savings alone is worth it for me.  I've had many tubs professionally reglazed over the years in my rental units. All have looked great and lasted. My cost is generally under $400 to do the tub only and I'm in the SF bay area.  As a note you can also have shower tile reglazed which is a easy fix for chipped or dated tile.  Especially when the colors are 70s colors and considered ugly by todays standards.

Terence

reglazing is like paint.  not like epoxy. it will be a waste of money. 

fiberglass showers and tubs tend to crack.  they are very thin.  epoxy will detach or will continue to crack elsewhere.  you can try to prevent this by drilling a small pilot hole on both ends of the crack to prevent the crack from spreading.  then put epoxy. 

I'd just change the tub.  money is money! the worst thing is trying to change the tub with tenants in the  house. 

@Steve Wilmers  

I'd replace it. Re glazing will only crack again. Fiberglass tubs should be installed with proper support underneath (e.g. mortar bed). Since it is in an alcove, it will be a big job to replace. Are the walls tiled?

Art A. The walls aren't tiled. The tub and wall surround is a one piece unit.

If I were to replace the tub, any suggestions on the material of the tub? From a logical standpoint, it seems like cast iron would be more durable, but I've read stories where the coating chips very easily.

Timely question, I just replaced one two weeks ago!  It was a one-piece fiberglass that the large tenants had cracked the base of.  I used my handiman to take a sawz-all to it for removal.  I bought a metal tub from Home Depot and a solid fiberglass surround for about $300.  He installed it in about 6 hours which included removing and replacing green-board and trim. 

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