A bathroom remodeling or renovation project changes the look of any home and makes showers and soaking in your bathtub something to look forward to every time. Your bathroom may give you the shivers, and a remodel may look beyond your budget, so that a Bath Fitter tub may be an excellent alternative.
But how much does a Bath Fitter tub cost? Is it more cost-effective than an entire bathtub replacement? We have all the answers you need in this article to help you make an informed decision.
What Is A Bath Fitter Tub?
Bath Fitter is a brand name, not a product name. The company has decades of experience installing tub fitters for homeowners to change the look of their bathrooms. A Bath Fitter tub is an acrylic bath liner that a contractor fits directly over your current tub instead of removing the old tub entirely.
The contractor will carefully measure your tub, surrounding walls, and plumbing to get an exact fit for your bathroom. Then, they will build and deliver a custom-made acrylic liner to fit over the tub, walls, and plumbing.
This option of bath liners is less expensive than removing the tub and fitting a new one. Sometimes, this step is necessary, but an expert must be on hand to inspect your space and check the tub to determine whether or not it can accommodate a tub liner.
Cost of Installing a Bath Fitter Tub
There is no definitive way of getting a good estimate of the cost of a Bath Fitter tub liner. Several factors are vital in determining the cost, the primary among them being your tub’s size and special fittings. You could pay as low as $1,000 or as much as $10,000 for the custom job.
You will need to consult with an expert or a consultant from Bath Fitter to know how much your special project will cost. You may spend around $2,000 to $3,000 because it is the typical average job cost, including the installation cost. A special installation may cost as much as $7,000 or $8,000, but this amount is still significantly lower than a new tub installation.
The bathtub liner alone may cost between $700 and $1,400, which is only a fraction of the cost already listed here. So, the rest of the estimated cost goes to the installation and other special fittings. You can buy the tub liner and install it yourself to lower the cost.
However, there is a danger in doing the job yourself. You may damage the bath fitter liner beyond repair, and while you can still install it with the fractures or cracks, it may cause mildew or mold growth and extensive damage due to water sipping under the liner over time.
Cost-Determining Factors to Consider
As mentioned, several factors determine how much you spend on a Bath Fitter tub liner. While the factors on our list are not exhaustive, you can use them as a pointer to get the job done. However, it is best to speak with a Bath Fitter consultant to get a full picture of what it involves to install the liner.
1. Installation Area and Tub Size
The layout of the installation area is vital to how much it will cost to get a Bath Fitter tub liner. The basic cost of the liner may be small, but some bathrooms have a complex layout. Also, your current tub may have an unusual shape requiring custom bath liners, which are more complex than usual.
Contractors consider these areas before giving you an estimate. Therefore, check your bathroom layout and tub shape before making a tub liner budget. You must also check the tub size; the bigger the tub, the more extensive the tub liner has to be to fit it.
2. Plumbing Repairs and Work
Another important factor to consider is the plumbing in the bathroom. Sometimes, the plumbing will need repairs, which significantly affects the cost of the installation project. Other times, the contractor may need to remove the faucets and move them to another part of the bathroom to accommodate the tub liner.
If that is the case with your bathroom, be prepared to pay more for the tub liner installation. The contractor will move the faucets and change the plumbing, which is extensive work. However, the cost may be small if your bathroom does not need work or repairs on the plumbing or faucets.
3. Style and Color
The style of the tub liner may also affect the cost, as will the color. Bath Fitter offers acrylic tub liners, but the colors vary to suit individual tastes. Your bathroom may also require a wall panel overhaul, and Bath Fitter offers wall panel designs, but they may increase the tub liner cost.
The most popular style choices are marble, ivory marble, and pearl. Apart from acrylic, you also have the option of PVC vinyl liners or fiberglass liners instead of acrylic, and these alternatives are more affordable. Although Bath Fitter may not offer these options, speak with the consultant to find out which works best for your home and bathroom.
4. Bathtub and Wall Condition
The condition of your bathroom walls and tub also affects how much the tub liner and installation will cost. You save some money if you buy the liner alone without the installation cost. You may have the skills to install it, so you do not have to worry about labor costs.
However, if you need to buy and install the tub liner, ensure your bathroom is in good condition before the installers come. An old or cracked bathtub will require some repairs before the liner installation. And the tub’s surrounding walls may also need a new tile design if they are cracked or weak.
You may want to perform repairs in your bathroom before installing the liner to cut costs. Note that a cracked or worn-out tub cannot hold a tub liner; installers may not lay the liner at all. If the existing tub is in terrible shape, consider a tub replacement instead of using a liner.
5. Other Accessories
Using a tub liner may change your bathroom’s look, but additional fixtures make all the difference. Removing and installing new faucets, shower heads, and tub doors improve the effects of the liner, but they come at a significant cost increase.
Fortunately, buying these accessories is not necessary for using the liner. You can simply buy and install the liner without additions, especially if your bathroom still has working accessories.
If you consider the cost of a Bath Fitter tub liner and installation, you may think it is an expensive project. But when you consider its durability, the cost becomes insignificant. Bath Fitter tub liners typically last long, and the brand offers a lifetime warranty.
That means you may never have to replace the liner. The warranty may even cover subsequent repairs, and the installation team fixes the liner and cleans your bathroom in record time. When you put everything together, the overall purchase and installation costs become justified.
However, you must carefully maintain the tub liner to ensure durability. Carelessly using the liner because of a lifetime guarantee may cause premature damage. Maintaining the liner means cleaning it when possible.
You must also use the right agents and materials to prevent damaging it. A microfiber cloth or a Teflon-safe sponge with mild cleaning detergent or other tub-cleaning agents should do the job. Additionally, speak with Bath Fitter to determine the authorized cleaning agents for its tubs and tub liners.
Is a DIY Bath Fitter Tub Installation Possible?
We mentioned that you could attempt to install the tub liner yourself if you want to cut costs. All you have to buy are the installation materials and the tub liner. If you are hands-on, you may fix it without damaging the material.
But Bath Fitter designs its tub liners so that it is near impossible to install them without the help of its contractors. The customized installation process is tailored so that the usual tub liner installation process may not work for Bath Fitter tubs. The contractors use your tub’s shape and size to measure and design the liner to fit it to the last inch.
Any mistake in the measurement may result in an ill-fitting liner, which may lead to irreparable water damage. In other words, you can install other tub liners yourself, but you cannot install a Bath Fitter tub liner yourself. It requires the expertise of the brand’s professional contractors.
A Bath Fitter tub liner costs between $700 and $1400. When you add the installation, the bath fitter cost may increase to $2000 or $3000. Depending on your request, special installations may go as high as $8000 to $10,000.
But before making a budget estimate, considering several factors is crucial. The size and shape of the tub affect the price, as well as the required repairs on the plumbing or accessories.
In addition, the style, color, and condition of the wall and old bathtub are vital in how much you pay for the project. Remember that a DIY installation may not be possible, but sit with a consultant for a free consultation to sort out the details.