Bathroom remodels can be enormously expensive, and people are always looking for a way to get things done without breaking the bank. These are problems that Montreal's Cotton brothers were hoping to solve for older tenancy projects when they began their company, Bath Fitter, in 1984. Today, the company has franchises throughout Canada and the United States, and they're making bathrooms beautiful with custom-fitted bath and shower inserts that are installed to cover existing features.
Which Website Is Right?
Before you start scratching your head, there are two websites that may confound you, BathFitter.com, the parent company, and Bath-Fitter.com, a regional chain of franchises under the Bath Fitter brand. The latter is only in 11 states, but they can point you to a local franchisee, or you can just visit the parent site and see who services your area.
Great Company With Local Franchisees
Bath Fitter has a terrific reputation with nearly four decades of customizing baths, showers and other bathroom aesthetics that can be installed over existing fixtures. While the brand itself is known for being professional with great quality, there's only so much oversight that can happen with franchisees.
While many operators might be true to the company's ethos, there will be the odd shoddy employee or poor workmanship that may occur. These, however, appear to be relatively infrequent experiences with the Bath Fitter brand.
Bath Fitter employees aren't plumbers, and one issue you may experience is that something is installed that isn't necessarily flush with your plumbing realities. Over time, this can lead to slow leaks, water damage under a shower pan and so on.
To avoid this, don't assume your local franchisee has the same glowing reviews as the national brand does. Check peer reviews on the local Google Map entry and look up the Better Business Bureau entry for that specific franchise to learn their track record.
Overall, according to Consumer Affairs and 252 reviews submitted in 2019 and 2020, the company gets 4.25 stars from clients all over the United States. What sets Bath Fitter apart from other bathroom updaters is that they custom design all their fittings, and that's how they're better able to control the price.
Known Bath Fitter Issues
Bath Fitter is a cosmetic fix, so if you've got an ugly bathroom that needs an update, this is an affordable way to put lipstick on that pig. If your underlying plumbing is solid, you've got nothing to worry about and this can be a great way to ditch the ugly past and embrace a nice, modern bathroom.
But if you've got underlying plumbing problems, "lipstick on a pig" is what you're getting because Bath Fitter doesn't fix plumbing or deal with it in any way — and they don't pretend they will, either — so fixing the appearance may mean you're in for more problems in the future.
Bath Fitter bathrooms need upkeep and maintenance. A shiny new tub and surround are great, but mold and other issues can fester underneath if you don't stay on top of upkeep. The company offers a handy PDF on how to maintain under the insert, but asking about it is a critical part of getting a quote from your Bath Fitter franchisee.
Ultimately, issues can be things like not getting a perfect fit, incomplete caulking, poor waterproofing or not having the right angle so water drains out entirely. Other common bathroom issues can result in dire structural problems like dry rot and hazardous molds.
But with over 35 years and going strong, Bath Fitter has a solid lifetime warranty on their bathroom installations that's good for as long as you're in your home. Contact your local franchise for a personal consultation or go play with their "Design Your Own Bath" interactive tool on the brand's website.
Steffani Cameron is the daughter of a realtor and interior decorator mother and a home contractor father. Steffani is a professional writer with over five years' experience writing about the home for BuildDirect and Bob Vila. Raised with a mad love for decorating, Steffani gave up her Art Deco apartment to travel and work remotely for five years. She's in love with experiencing traditional decor around the world, including stays in Thai teak plantations on the Mekong River and cave homes in Turkey.