An older bathtub can look dirty and unattractive, especially if the surface is cracked or worn. You can refinish some older bathtubs to give them a new lease on life, but this can be a time-consuming job, and the repair doesn't last for a very long time. An alternative to help give your older bathtub a makeover is buying a new bathtub liner. Knowing how much bathtub liners cost can help you decide if it's the best bathtub redesign option for you.
Bathtub liners can be a more affordable way to improve the look of your bathtub without replacing it, usually costing up to approximately $3,000, including installation.
What Is a Bathtub Liner?
A bathtub liner is a molded sheet of acrylic or PVC plastic that fits inside an old tub and gives the appearance of a brand-new one. The custom inserts are viewed as a cheaper alternative to installing a whole new bathtub but provide a similar appearance. A liner acts as a new layer to your old bathtub, which is more durable than refinishing your tub with a kit but still allows you to extend the life of an older tub rather than undergoing an expensive full refit.
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Liner Installation Process
Installing a bathtub liner is a job best left to professionals. There can be problems with attempting to undertake the installation of a bathtub liner as a DIY project. This project requires extreme precision in your measurements to make sure the liner fits into your bathtub perfectly. The liner can crack if it isn't perfectly flush with your old tub surface, and you may face problems if the drains and other fittings aren't properly aligned. Bathtub liners can also be very heavy and unwieldy.
Professional bathtub liner installers will first take very precise measurements of your existing tub; then the liner is custom fabricated in a factory, usually from acrylic. The installers then bring the liner into your home, and lift it into your tub. They may need to replace fixtures and reconnect plumbing, too. Finally, many bathtub liner installation packages also include the removal of your old liner, if necessary.
The cost of the liner itself accounts for about half of the total cost of the project. Acrylic liners range from around $850 to $1,400, according to HomeGuide. In addition, you can opt to include other upgrades, such as wall panels, shower surrounds, or extras like shelves or soap dishes.
Bathtub Liner Installation Costs
The price of a bathtub liner installation varies from project to project. HomeGuide notes that the average cost of a new liner plus installation is between $1,580 and $3,230, though it can be much more. Many liner installation services offer a free consultation, though, which can help you better assess the cost of your project before beginning. It may be worth trying out a few different free consultations to make sure you're getting the best price.
You'll need to reckon with the inconvenience of putting your bathtub out of action during the installation process as well. While this may be a quicker process than a full bathroom renovation, it can still disrupt your bathroom usage for a couple of days.
It's also worth bearing in mind that bathtub liners are not suitable for all older bathtubs. If your tub is prone to mold and mildew, installing a liner can exacerbate the issue. Liners can also damage the tub below, meaning that when you want to replace your liner, you may have no other option than to replace your entire tub.
- Home Depot: Installed Custom Bath Liners
- Home Depot: Tub & Shower Liner Installation
- HomeGuide: How Much Do Bathtub Liners Cost?
- Miracle Method: Bathtub Liners
- Bath Fitter: Bath Renovation — How It Works
- HomeAdvisor: How Much Does It Cost to Install a Bathtub or Shower Liner?
- Amazon: Bathtub Liner Installation