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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Kitchen & Bath > Replacing a Bathtub

Replacing a Bathtub Cost


How Much Does Replacing a Bathtub Cost?

 
low costLow: Equipment Can Run $200-$600, But Can Run $800-$3,000+average costMedium: Averages $2,500-$3,500 Installedhigh costHigh: Can Run Over $3,500 In Complicated Situations
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Replacing a bathtub usually involves a lot more than just buying a new tub. It can be necessary to move and/or replace the plumbing pipes to fit the new tub; repair carpentry, drywall and tile; and cut a hole in a wall to get the old tub out and the new one in. It's less expensive to refinish the bathtub ($300-$600) or install a bathtub liner ($500-$4,000), but a replacement can mean you get precisely the tub you want.

Typical costs:

  • A standard new bathtub starts around $200-$600, but can be $800-$3,000 or more, depending on size and features such as water jets. Fiberglass and steel are less expensive but not as durable as cast iron, which keeps the heat in better.
  • Total cost for removing the old tub and installing a new one can run $1,500-$5,000 or more but averages $2,500-$3,500 depending on the ease of access, local rates, the quality of the new fixtures, and the extent of the repairs/replacements for the walls, plumbing and flooring.
Related articles: Refinishing a Bathtub, Bathtub Liner, Bathroom Remodeling

What should be included:
  • A typical bathtub replacement project can take several days to a week or more, depending on what's involved. Often a one-piece tub won't fit into an existing home, so many manufacturers make sectional tub surrounds. Once installed, it can be hard to tell a sectional surround from a one-piece unit. But it's still important to make sure the replacement tub you select will fit through the doorway.
  • Replacing a bathtub can be somewhat complex for a beginning do-it-yourselfer, requiring some plumbing experience and basic carpentry tools. It can also call for soldering skills if you're working with copper piping. Stretcher.com describes how to cut up[1] the old bathtub to make it easier to carry it away and the Family Handyman magazine provides how-to instructions for installing a new acrylic tub and surround. However, AskTheBuilder.com recommends hiring a pro[2] to be sure the plumbing work meets the building codes.
  • Laws vary by location, so be sure to check with your local planning department to see what codes govern your bathtub replacement project and if you need a building permit.
Additional costs:
  • If the replacement tub is larger and heavier than the old bathtub, you might also need to install larger copper water pipes (anywhere from $1.30-$10 a foot) and a bigger-capacity hot water heater ($150-$3,500), and to reinforce the floor joists ($100-$300 per joist).
Discounts:
  • Replacing a bathtub can be less expensive if you're also doing other remodeling projects that involve opening up the walls, making it easier to get the old tub out and the new tub in. And some plumbers may agree to have you do some of the basic demolition or other back-breaking work yourself, to cut the total cost.
Shopping for replacing a bathtub:
  • Major bathtub manufacturers include American Standard[3] and Kohler[4] .
  • Get several estimates, making sure all services, charges and fees are included in each quote. Request and check references, and be sure they're properly bonded, insured and licensed in your state[5] . See if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[6] .
  • You might hire a local handyman to do a fairly straight-forward tub replacement without a lot of repairs or changes to plumbing, floors and walls.
  • For more extensive projects, referrals are available from the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association[7] and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry[8] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Replacing a fiberglass tub
Amount: $4,700.00 total
Posted by: S. Johnson in Columbus, GA.Posted: March 21st, 2011 07:03PM
Contractor: Benjamin Franklin
I am trying to replace a tub. Replacing a fiberglass one with an acrylic whirlpool one. The estimate I got was for $3900.00 with me buying the tub and with a notice that the costs could go up if they have difficulty setting the tub. The tub cost $800. I am trying to keep costs down, so I am having them minimize the tile replacement. Does this seem a little high?
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4 1/2 foot Tub
Amount: $1,600.00 total
Posted by: CharmCityPlumber in Baltimore, MD.Posted: October 8th, 2009 08:10AM
Contractor: Myself
Installed a Kohler Cast Iron 4 1/2 foot tub because they are the only ones who make Cast Iron 4 1/2 foot tubs. Yes...its little but that is all that would fit within the design. Tub list was $1800, my discount made it $1300. Cost listed was with demo, freight, and material. NO LABOR. And it would have been right up there around $1200 because that demo and install was a bear with the weight involved. That being said...every plumber will tell you Cast Iron is the only way to make it "quiet", everything else trying to do what it does naturally.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.stretcher.com/stories/99/991129h.cfm
  2.  www.askthebuilder.com/adding-a-new-tub-or-shower/
  3.  www.americanstandard-us.com/sitemap.aspx
  4.  www.us.kohler.com/us/catalog/merchandisingCategoryList.jsp?id=429296&parentCategoryId=4...
  5.  www.contractors-license.org/
  6.  search.bbb.org/
  7.  www.phccweb.org/applications/ContractorReferral/search.cfm?navItemNumber=532
  8.  www.nari.org/homeowners/findapro/
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