Bathtub installation can be done by anyone with basic carpentry skills. There are numerous do-it-yourself kits that are sold in home improvement stores and on the Internet. However, an inexperienced do-it-yourself builder will find it difficult to perform a job of this size and complexity. It is advisable that anyone thinking of doing the bathtub installation themselves should get a professional to look at the project.
The national average cost for installing a new tub is more than $1,000, with most homeowners spending much more than that on a brand new tub with a full surround. The average cost for a bathtub installation, including labor, is around $850 for an acrylic claw foot tub, while the high end models can run several thousand dollars. Labor costs depend on who the individual person is working for and the complexity of the installation. An installation to replace an existing tub may require as little as one hour of work, whereas a freestanding installation could take up to three days.
Most installation companies start with a standard tub and liner combination. They then add the special hardware needed to surround the tub and drain. This usually includes caulk around all edges of the tub and around the sides of the walls and around the drain channel. Special fixtures may also be added to the walls to support plumbing, electrical outlets and light fixtures. After the entire area has been built, the installer can install the flooring according to the recommendations given by the home’s original manufacturer.
When choosing a special style of bathtub surround, the customer typically has several styles to choose from. Standard tub surrounds are generally available in white, black or in a variety of colors. A popular style is a two-toned, brushed nickel finish. Other options include a polished chrome finish or a smooth satin finish. For those wanting a more personalized look, tub surround panels can be custom designed. Special finishing techniques such as hand-scraped grooves can be used on the panels to give the walls a worn or antique appearance.
When installing bathtub surrounds, the manufacturer of the bathroom fixture will usually provide the basic layout instructions along with the special hardware needed. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully and make sure everything is installed properly. Not only will mistakes be made if plumbing and electrical components aren’t installed correctly, but poor construction can lead to leaks and possible water damage. Many times bathtub installation cost is less than the cost of a new toilet, so it’s well worth the extra investment. There’s nothing worse than a leaking toilet!
The price of new fixtures can vary widely depending on the material, style and complexity. In general, fixtures with a higher price tag are made of a better quality. For those on a budget, bathroom paneling, which includes the installation of jets, is a great alternative. Paneling comes in a wide variety of materials, styles, colors and prices. Prices start at less than two thousand dollars and go up from there.