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The Average Cost to Replace a Bathtub

The Average Cost to Replace a Bathtub

Bathtubs are a common fixture in most households. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to have two or three bathtubs in their home. However, many homeowners don’t know how much a new bathtub costs and the process of installing one. This blog post is going to cover both topics so that you can make an educated decision about whether or not you want to install a new tub when your old one is worn or becomes outdated.

In this blogpost we will talk about:

1. What factors affect the cost of replacing a bathtub

2. How to find a contractor to replace your bathtub

3. The average cost to replace a bathtub

4. How to prepare for the replacement of your bathtub

5. What are some tips for minimizing the cost of replacing a bathtub

What factors affect the cost of replacing a bathtub

There are several factors that affect the cost of replacing a bathtub. These include the size of the bathtub, whether or not it is made from fiberglass or traditional cast iron, whether or not there are additional components involved beyond just removing and re-installing the tub (such as new shower faucets), the type of plumbing system it is attached to, the location of the bathroom, and whether or not it will be tiled.

The cost can vary anywhere from $250 for a small single-piece fiberglass tub surround with no tile to over $2,000 for a large claw-foot cast iron tub. If the existing bathtub needs to be taken out or you need to add/remove a window from an exterior wall, factors such as framing, insulation, and electrical work can come into play. It is important to get a quote from a professional contractor familiar with the specific requirements of your home or run the risk of paying too much or having incomplete work done.

How to find a contractor to replace your bathtub

When it comes to renovations, switching out an old bathtub for a modern version is often the easiest change you can make. If your home's outdated pink tile or yellowing grout are making you depressed, this project may be just what you need to inject some life into the room. The national average cost of replacing a tub is $4,340, but the real figure depends on the type of tub you purchase, what's already in place and your home improvement experience.

Before you hire a contractor to replace your bathtub, take some time to determine:

  • Do I need to remove any existing fixtures before installation? For example, if your bathtub has a shower unit, you'll need to remove that first.

  • Is my home equipped with the necessary plumbing and ventilation? Replacing an old bathtub usually involves taking out pipes connected to the existing tub. If anything is in bad shape or interfering with installation, a contractor will let you know.

To make sure your contractor is experienced in bathtub installation, ask about previous projects and how long they took to complete. You also should check for a state-issued license and insurance that covers the scope of work.

When it comes to the cost of bathroom renovations, you typically get what you pay for. If a contractor is offering to do the job for $2,000 and another company charges $13,000, odds are good that there's at least an additional $11,000 worth of training and experience involved in the latter bid.

Some factors that affect the cost of bathtub installation include:

  • How long it takes to do each job. Contractors who have completed a similar project recently should be able to get the job done quickly.

  • The type of tub you choose. In general, custom-made options are more expensive than manufactured ones. On the high end, free-standing tubs typically cost $4,000 or more.

  • If you live in an urban area with expensive real estate, the contractor will need to charge more per hour to cover overhead costs.

An experienced company should estimate a timeframe for bathtub installation before giving you a bid. Keep in mind that some homes may be more difficult to work with than others, so the installation phase may take longer.

Many companies charge a fee for estimating the cost of bathtub installation. In some cases, this includes a consultation where they can go over design options and answer any questions you have about your renovation. If it's not included, ask for an estimate before they give you a complete bid.

Bathtub installation prices may increase in the following scenarios:

  • If your home is difficult to access, such as if it's located on a hill or in a gated community.

  • If you have an old tub that can't be removed without cutting it or other major components, it will increase the cost of your bathroom renovation.

  • If you have a custom-made tub installed, expect to spend more than if you buy a standard model from a retail store. Custom models often are mold to fit an exact space and match existing decor. In addition to being more expensive, installation usually is a two-day process. It's also important to know that some home renovation companies may not be able to install custom tubs at all, so ask about this before hiring anyone.

The average cost to replace a bathtub

The average total cost to renovate a bathroom in the United States is $10,000. This is what it typically costs for a complete bathroom renovation done by an experienced licensed contractor. The average cost to replace a tub is between $1,435 and $7,246, with the national average at $4,340. Nonetheless, the actual expense will be determined by the type of bathtub selected, whether plumbing modifications are required, and the prevailing rate of labor.

The cheapest way to replace a tub is to do it yourself. That said, most homeowners don't have the proper training, tools or equipment, and removing and replacing tile is not an easy process. If you plan to hire professionals, expect the pay good money for quality work.

Replacing a tub can be an expensive project. There are various factors that determine the final cost, including the type of bathroom in which you're performing the work.

Typical costs for replacing a bathtub include:

  • Hiring professional plumbers to remove and replace bathtubs (approx. $50 - $75 per/hr.)

  • Removing tile from the bathtub area (can range from $175-$475 per square foot depending on the amount of tile and difficulty removing it all together.)

  • New bathtub can cost $500 to $2,000 for a standard tub.

  • New Hydrotherapy tub can range from $5,000 to $7,000.

  • Installing new plumbing fixtures can typically cost between $2,000 and $10,000 most homeowners paying around $5,302 to install a new toilet, sink, faucet, two-piece tub and shower system.

  • Installing a jetted whirlpool bathtub ranges between $1,500 and $17,000 with an average price of $6,500. This price includes the cost of the tub itself as well as installation charges and materials.

  • A walk-in tub may cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,500 installed, with a national average of $5,500 including labor and installation. The unit might be purchased for less than $2,000 on its own. The final price is determined by the tub's features, technology, and ease of installation.

How to prepare for the replacement of your bathtub

You are informed that your bathtub will be replaced, what should you do? It is not enough to just wait for the day of replacement. If you want to take advantage of it and also avoid unnecessary trouble, then there are some things that must be prepared before the replacement work begins.

Here are some tips below:

  • Prepare yourself and all members of the family for workers to be in and out of the home.

  • Prepare to be without the bathroom for a few days.

  • Prepare yourself to deal with some noises during the replacement work.

When you are informed of your bathtub's replacement time, prepare yourself and make sure all family members also know about it. You must also be prepared to not have access to the bathroom for a few days because replacing bathtubs is quite messy, so do not expect that you can freely use the bathtub or bathroom. Prepare yourself also to have some noise and disruption when the work begins, so avoid planning a party during that time or working from home in close proximity.

That's a few tips to prepare for the bathtub replacement process. There are still more things to do, but they depend on each one's own preferences and needs. You can also contact your contractor to ask questions about some other preparations needed before replacement work begins. The tips above are just the basics of preparation before your new bathtub will be installed. Of course, there are also other preparations that must be done, especially if you want to make sure everything goes well, and your bathtub will be installed perfectly in your bathroom.

What are some tips for minimizing the cost of replacing a bathtub?

Know what you want before going in.

It's a huge hassle to phone a contractor before you know what you want. There will be a lot of guessing, as well as errors that may or may not happen. You may not be satisfied with the end result of the renovation once it's done. Then you'll have to spend additional money to make necessary adjustments. On that note, it's vital to think about the areas of the bathroom you want to renovate and the materials you want to use before beginning.

Leave it alone! The plumbing that is.

It's possible that you'll want to relocate the sinks, toilets, tub, and shower. However, this will need your contractor to install and move plumbing. You can be certain that doing so will cost you a lot of money. Designing a bathroom alone will cost you much more money than hiring a professional in the long run. Working with a designer will guarantee that you receive the appearance you desire without having to relocate fixtures. Moving plumbing fixtures costs, on average, $5,000.

Hire a company that sells and installs fixtures.

It's usually a good idea to choose a contractor who can both design and install the items. In the long run, this will save you time, money, and aggravation. There are some contractors that have bathtubs, countertops, cabinets, and other items in store or work directly with suppliers. They will come to your home and put it in once you buy it. Because you're working with just one firm for the design and installation of your bathroom renovation job, everything should go more smoothly.

Refinish instead of replacing.

Bathtub refinishing is a quick and easy way for you to completely transform the look of your bathroom without having to spend thousands on an updated one. And with the wide variety of colors and finishes offered, you can create a fresh new look that is both attractive and functional. In fact, bathtub refinishing brings an enormous amount of bang for your buck. Not only does it pay for itself in no time – most companies will refinish a tub for a flat fee – but it's also a fraction of the cost of replacement. Many companies even offer a warranty guaranteeing that their refinishing products will not chip, peel, or crack. The typical cost for this type of tub refinishing is $350 to $500 per tub, which includes all materials and tools necessary.

The most cost-effective solution for you.

You might be surprised to learn that the most practical solution is often the least expensive one. The average amount of money you spend to have a bathtub replaced will be up to more than five times what it would cost you to refinish it! Though this may seem counterintuitive, keep in mind that replacement costs can range from $4,000 all the way up to $15,000. And many homeowners spend even more depending on the complexity of their design choice and any additional features they choose. If you take cues from home improvement shows and splurge on luxurious add-ons like whirlpool tubs or soaking tubs, your replacement price will skyrocket even further.

All told, refinishing an old bathtub can cost a fraction of the cost to replace it. Need another reason why refinishing is the better choice? In addition to being less expensive, it's also much simpler and safer for you and your home. The process only takes one day, while replacement typically requires multiple days. Not only will you have to pay for a plumber, but your electricity and water will be shut off to that room during the entire procedure – resulting in a big inconvenience for you! Refinishing won't cause any of these headaches, because all it requires is a thorough cleaning followed by an application of a commercial-grade resurfacing product.


If you find yourself in need of a new bathtub, we hope this guide helped to prepare you for the process and minimized any potential stress. If you would like to know more about refinishing your bathtub instead of replacing, please reach out to us with any questions you have about the refinishing process. With our wealth of expertise and experience working on refinishing projects, we can ensure that you receive an attractive new bathtub resurfaced beautifully without breaking the bank.

Contact us today for your free bathtub refinishing estimate!

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