Updating the Bathtub to a Spa Tub
Updating a bathtub can be an expensive and time consuming endeavor. Besides the cost of the bathtub itself, installation, wall adjustments and tile replacement can lead to a costly project. For homeowners who would like a variety of options for replacing their worn out tubs, consider the ideas below for updating the bathtub to a spa tub.
If the old bathtub simply has to go, then professional tub installers must be called. Only highly experienced do-it-yourself homeowners should even consider tackling a project of this magnitude, and even then, the convenience of having someone else figure out how to get the tub up the stairs is well worth the price. There are a variety of replacement options available if the entire tub is being torn out.
Spa tubs, or those that are typically more whirlpool than traditional bathtub, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most of them are bigger than a normal bathtub, so take that into consideration when planning the bathtub remodel. Having to enlarge the bathroom dimensions, rebuild walls and reroute plumbing will add significant expense to the tub replacement project. Plan on spending upwards of $5,000 for a total tub replacement.
If $5,000 is too steep for the budget, perhaps a bathtub liner is more appropriate. Although it will not provide swirling jets and spa type headrests, a bathtub liner will cover cracks and peeling bathtub finishes. Liners are custom made to fit the homeowner's tub and can also come with matching tub surrounds. Typically made of PVC, the liners and surrounds come in a variety of modern color choices to match any decor. They clean up easily and last for many, many years.
Usually installed by professional tub liner installers, bathtub liners will typically cost from $1,000 to $3,000: An expensive alternative, but not nearly as costly as a total tub replacement. From the time that the installation company comes to measure the tub and surrounding space until installation, there is usually a two to three week time gap. Once the liner has been manufactured it can be installed in about a day.
If the harsh smell of chemical refinishing is not a concern, bathtub refinishing may be the best option. It is usually less than $600 and completed by a professional bathtub refinisher. The chemicals provide a new top coat to the tub to seal cracks and prevent further chipping or peeling. The typical finish dries in about a day, but comes with a hefty chemical smell. Homes with people who have allergies, small children, pets or the elderly, may want to explore one of the other options instead.
Bathtub updating is an expensive proposition. It requires a significant monetary investment, not to mention the inability to use the tub for anywhere from a day to a few weeks. Consider all options when making the decision to update the bathtub to a spa tub and choose the one that not only fits the budget, but the family's lifestyle as well.
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