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If you’re thinking of a bathroom renovation and wondering about the bathtub replacement cost, you’ve reached the right place. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll not just give you an estimate for your bathtub replacement cost but also the factors that affect this kind of home improvement.

The fact is, replacing a bathtub is a lot more than simply buying a new tub and installing it. More often than not, built-in fixtures such as tubs and showers involve a series of collateral work such as moving or replacing the plumbing system in order to fit the new tub. There could be other remodeling tasks required including, repairing carpentry, drywall, or tiling. Not to forget, cutting a hole in the wall to get the old tub out and the new one in. 

Bathtub Replacement Cost

Standalone bathtubMuirfield Village } 16208 Morningside Dr Edmond OK, by Bill Wilson on flickr [CC BY 2.0]

When opting for a tub replacement, know that a standard new bathtub cost begins at around $600 — averaging at $3,000. The total price can go as high as $5,000 (or even more), depending on the size, type of the bathtub, and additional features such as water jets, etc. For instance, a fiberglass tub or a steel tub is less expensive than a cast iron one but it’s not as durable.

The first thing you need to do for a successful bathtub replacement is to ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • What’s your bathroom remodeling budget?
  • How much bathroom space do you have in your floor plan?
  • What tub size do you want?
  • What will be its location?
  • Do you want to include a shower?
  • What will be the bathtub material?
  • What will be the material for the tub surround?

Once you have the answers to the above, you can go ahead with your remodeling in a seamless manner. 

Planning a renovation for your bathroom? Try our free bathroom remodel cost estimator; it’s easy and convenient to use! 

Bathtub Replacement Cost Factors

As mentioned, your bathtub replacement cost will depend on the size, material, type of bathtub, and the complexity of the remodeling project. Let’s explore some of these cost factors below.

Type of bathtub

Acrylic bathtubPhoto by Indra Aprianto from Pexels CC0

Which type of fixture you choose will have a direct impact on your bathtub replacement costs. There are several bathtub materials, each with its own price and each determining the overall cost. Let’s tabulate all the options for easier comprehension:

Bathtub material Cost (excluding bathtub installation) Features
Acrylic bathtub $500 to $900
  • Popular bathtub option
  • Easily available in various shapes and styles
  • Usually, resistant to abrasion and fading
  • Has a non-porous finish
  • Easy to clean
  • Warm to the touch
Enameled cast iron bathtub $500 to $2,000
  • Heat-retaining quality
  • Durable and solid
  • Keeps bath water hotter for a longer time
  • Quite heavy; may require additional structural reinforcement
Cultured marble $1,500 to $2,400
  • Aesthetically appealing, stylish
  • Heavy
  • Durable option
  • Requires high maintenance
  • May scratch easily
Fiberglass bathtub $200 to $500
  • Economical option
  • Available in a wide range of colors and designs
  • Lightweight
  • Does not retain heat well
  • Not suitable for long soaks
Enameled steel bathtub $300 to $2,000
  • Looks beautiful
  • Not very expensive
  • May chip easily
  • Noisy bathtub

 

Bathtub Styles

Clawfoot bathtubImage by Jill Wellington from Pixabay CC0

Depending on how bathtubs are used, these fixtures are generally classified into four separate categories: 

Purpose Cost Features
General purpose tubs $125 to $600
  • No-frills bathtub
  • Generally placed in an alcove
  • Simple installation
Soaking tubs $250 to $13,000
  • Deeper than the standard tub
  • Perfect for long soaks
  • Examples: freestanding, clawfoot, vintage, or the Japanese soaking tubs
Walk-in tubs $1,500 to $10,000
  • Include a door
  • Offer comfort and flexibility
  • No need for the user to crawl over the side of the tub
  • Ideal choice for the elderly or people with mobility issues
Whirlpool tubs or air jet tubs $400 to $15,000
  • Create a spa-like bathroom experience
  • Gently massage tired muscles
  • Use more water
  • Costly installation

 

Do you want to have all your facts straight for your upcoming renovation process? Take a look at our ultimate guide on bathroom remodel.

Bathtub Installation Options

Bathtub installationImage by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay CC0

Depending on the configuration of the tub, there are five types of bathtub installations:

Type of installation Installation cost Features
Alcove tub installation $125 onwards The bathtub fits in a three-walled enclosure
Drop-in tub installation $250 to $13,000 Installed into a deck or platform
Under-mount tub installation $600 to $9,000 On a deck or platform but without bottom support
Freestanding tub installation $620 to $13,000 Available in styles such as clawfoot and flat bottom
Walk-in tub installation $1,500 to $10,000 You don’t have to climb over the side of the tub to enter


Labor Cost

We highly recommend hiring a professional to carry out the bathtub replacement rather than attempting a DIY project. Although a costlier proposition, a nicely done job will make your bathroom renovation seamless. 

Keep in mind that plumbing labor, typically, costs between $500 to $1,600, depending on the scope of work. Most licensed plumbers charge at the rate of $45 to $65 per hour. A tub installation will take anywhere between six to nine hours. To remove an existing tub, the process will require additional three hours.

FYI: Installing a Jacuzzi instead of a basic hot tub will add to your total cost. A Jacuzzi bathtub cost ranges from $900 to $20,000 — with an average price of $6,500. For such a labor-intensive installation, a professional contractor will charge between $60 and $85 per hour. And, the special project will take an average of 18 hours to complete!

Tub Surround Materials

Tub surroundPhoto by Curtis Adams from Pexels CC0

You really require the ideal bathtub surround to provide a smooth surface for the walls around your tub or tub/shower combination. Thankfully, there are no cracks to scour or tiles to crack on this non-porous surface — making it easy to clean and maintain. Moreover, tub surrounds give a modern feel to your bathroom. They are available in a variety of materials, each one in several colors. Here are some popular options. You can choose the most perfect one to fit the style of your bathroom.  

Material Cost Benefits
Composite $80 to $1,400 Durable and strong
Fiberglass $240 to $750 Easy to install
Acrylic $90 per sheet Inexpensive
Quartz $1,500 to $2,000 per pallet Checks mold or mildew growth


Other Costs and Considerations
 

  • Buying a new water heater to go with your new bathtub will cost you approximately $600 to $1,200.
  • You may need to upgrade your electric panel or install a separate one if you’re thinking of adding a whirlpool or air jet tub. This can raise your bathtub replacement cost by $1,400 to 3,000.
  • Instead of replacing your existing bathtub, you can choose to refinish your existing bathtub (remodeling cost: $300 to $600) or install a bathtub liner (remodeling cost: $500 to $4,000).
  • If you’re opting for a heavy bathtub, you may need to reinforce the bathroom floor. It may cost you additional $100 to $300 per joist. 
  • Factor in cost of plumbing permits and licenses. Check your building codes and standards for bathrooms. Keep in mind that these vary from area to area.
  • Always work with a licensed plumber. A professional handyman will ensure that the installation is compliant with the building codes.

Conclusion

Bathtubs are an important feature of any bathroom space. If you’re ready to replace your outdated or broken bathtub, this guide will help you understand the various bathtub replacement cost factors. 

Keep in mind that installing a bathtub requires careful planning. It’s important to choose the right materials as well as style. And, address all plumbing, structural, and aesthetic issues. A well-installed bathtub will add to the beauty and functionality of your bathroom — for years to come.

How Much Does a Bathtub Replacement Cost? was last modified: November 25th, 2019 by Ramona Sinha
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