Bathtub Replacement Or Refinishing? Better Consider Your Options
When talking to any homeowner about bathtub replacement, it is recommended to first inspect and repair any cracks, holes or other underlying issues around and under the current bathtub, and replacing it with a brand new bathtub surround and wall surround then covering the old bathtub completely. The bathroom can be one of the most beautiful rooms in any home, but many times baths become stained, discolored and warped over time from continual use. Often the older bathtubs do not have very good installation methods and when remodeling will not be able to hold up to today’s high quality standards. Bathroom replacement is one of the most popular services offered in most major cities and often many smaller towns or cities lack the expertise to perform the complex tasks required to properly install bathtubs these days.
Most people think that bathtub replacement is just for those people who live in older homes that have worn out bathtub bases and maybe even the hardware. And while this is often the case, older homes usually have another more hidden problem that just won’t show up until the entire bathroom remodel project is underway. Basements and subways are prone to leaks and water damage due to the floor conditions being poor, wet and cold. And while it may seem more expensive to replace a bathtub base, especially if you can’t afford a brand new tub, an inexpensive fix is much cheaper in the long run to repair a subfloor leaking problem or for a bathtub replacement. In many cases it is cheaper to just fix the problem and buy a brand new tub rather than paying for a new bathtub entirely.
In older homes there are usually cast iron tubs that were installed by the homeowners themselves and as they began to crack, warp or drip, they simply replaced them with newer fiberglass or acrylic ones. Unfortunately, these fiberglass tubs are prone to cracking, peeling and fading over time, a problem that can make bathtub replacement an unnecessary expense. Because of this, it’s a good idea to check your local hardware store or home improvement outlet for fiberglass tubs or acrylic bathtubs and look for models that have been treated against stains and rust, both of which are very common in older homes. Cast iron tubs are also prone to leaking and damage due to water damage or seepage, so this too can make bathtub replacement an expense if you don’t have an expert make the repairs.
If you can’t find a model of bathtub replacement that will work, consider changing your liners to something more modern. New liners are available in a variety of finishes and colors that will hide any ugly flaws and keep your tub in good condition. Liners are made from either fiberglass or acrylic materials and are installed with adhesive. The advantage of fiberglass liners on bathtub is that they fit perfectly into the old hole without marring it, while acrylic liners are easier to remove and replace in the future. But whichever type you choose, you’ll find that new liners can extend the life of your bathtub significantly.
Another common bathtub remodeling task is to update your faucet and handles. Though many older tubs can be operated by a standard faucet, newer models will often require entirely new handles in order to function. If the bathtub you currently have required an antique style faucet, you may be able to find similar handles that will work with your tub. On the other hand, if your tub is a newer model and requires a modern style handle, you may need to buy completely new fittings. Either way, if you’re planning to do a complete remodel of your bathroom or are looking at an entirely new home, it’s a good idea to consider upgrading your bathtub faucets and handles as well.
Though bathtub refinishing and reglazing are not the most complex tasks, they are certainly time consuming and costly. So before you tackle one of these projects, it’s a good idea to check out your current tub. Make sure that it is not cracked or otherwise damaged. And if your tub is an acrylic tub, check with your local bathroom supplier about the best type of vinyl to use for your plumbing.