There was a time when taking a bath was a luxury reserved exclusively for the wealthy. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1950s that indoor plumbing became common in homes as we know it. While bathtubs have been around since ancient times, this doesn’t mean they need to look like relics. If the time has come for you to finally do something about your old bathtub, you need to know your options. Whether your tub needs to be refinished or totally replaced, here’s what you can do with an old bathtub.
Cracks, chips and scratches will naturally happen with regular use of your tub. While these are cosmetically unattractive, they can eventually lead to further problems over time. As small cracks and scratches build up over time, they can weaken the structure of your tub until it eventually cracks in half.
The easy solution is to fix chips and cracks as they happen, or more likely, when you notice them. The only downside to this is that it can be costly to hire a plumber or handyman to fix every scratch. The cost of hiring a handyman can start at $65 an hour. A plumber’s per hour fee varies greatly. You can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $260 per hour, or more in some cases. Try bundling this project with others to get the most out of their visit.
When it becomes too expensive or ineffective to keep repairing minor scratches, you can opt to refinish your tub. Refinishing, also known as resurfacing or reglazing, takes your old and damaged tub and returns it to a like-new condition. This process will help fill in any cracks, chips or other damage. It can also help with discolouration on old and worn tubs, or completely change the colour of your date tub.
To do this properly you will need the help of a pro. While you may find DIY kits at your local hardware store, the quality of products and final results are not nearly as high as when done by a professional. This process can cost you anywhere from $260 to $1,100 depending on the size of your tub and the severity of the damage.
With so many beautiful options available these days, it can be tempting to want to start fresh. While a basic tub can cost you around $400, there are hidden costs that can easily raise your project’s total price. For example, in order to replace your tub, you will first need to remove it. Demolition and removal can easily add an additional $200 to the final price.
With the tub removed, you will then need to pay to have the plumbing reattached by a plumber which can cost you an additional $400. Then there is the last cost of actually installing the tub. This cost can range, but typically you can expect to pay around $3,000 for installation. While the cost of a brand new bathtub may seem high, you can recoup these costs if and when you sell your home. A bathroom renovation including a new tub can see a 70% return on investment.
For some people, the thought of sitting in a tub of water is very unappealing. If you feel lukewarm towards bathtubs, you may want to consider removing it all together. By removing your tub you instantly gain square footage that can be used for more storage or a very luxurious walk in shower.
Once you’ve had your old bathtub removed, you can consider your options for its replacement. A basic shower will cost you about $500, while a high-end luxury shower can start at $2,000 and go up. Depending on how extravagant your new shower is, installation costs will vary. Typically you can expect to pay between $1,000 to $3,000 for an average shower installation.
If getting rid of your old bathtub seems like a waste, you can always repurpose it. Some homeowners have gotten really creative and have turned their old bathtubs into things like an outdoor cooler, flower pots, and even seating. Get creative and have some fun with your old tub.
If going the DIY route isn’t for you, you can always try donating your old tub if it’s still in good condition. Your old tub just might be the last piece needed for someone else’s reno.
Whether you love relaxing in a hot bath at the end of the day, or much prefer a quick shower, knowing your options when it comes to your old tub will help you decide what to do with it. Think about your lifestyle, if you’re planning to sell or want to invest in your home. When in doubt, you can always consult a pro for advice about what to do with your old tub.