Refinish Bathtub or Install Bath Liner?
Getting a new bathtub does not seem to be a big problem, it’s not such a big expense – but there are some drawbacks. For instance, the upfront purchase costs for the tub represent just a fraction of the total expense, you’ll then have to remove the existing one, install the new one – and so on, and all these add up quickly. Also, if you need a special shape, the price can skyrocket. For such cases, a refinishing job or the application or bathtub liner can be a great solution to postpone the problem for a few more years, until you can afford a full bathroom remodeling job, for example.
Sometimes a DIY Project Works Great…
Refinishing is by far the cheapest solution available, when you need to breathe new life into your old tub. It’s also a fairly straightforward DIY project, and thus you can reduce the costs even more. Granted, you cannot expect this to last a lifetime – a few years is the best you can hope for, but still, considering how little money and effort you need to invest, it’s a great deal.
Research the Professional
If you’ve decided to hire a company to do the job for you – whether it’s refinishing or installing liners – check their references carefully. Ideally, you should have references or check out the previous work of the very person who comes to your house. Some contractors with no previous experience see opportunities to enter the market this way. If the price is suspiciously low, move away, before you end up with an expensive disaster on your hands.
Investing in the Future
Bathtub liners represent a bigger investment – sometimes people are shocked to find they cost more than a new tub. You’ll save however on the cost of installation and the time when your bathroom is out of commission – since these typically don’t need more than a few hours to be installed. Also, they’re a lot sturdier than a refinishing job, and they can add many years of life to your existing bathtub.
Bathtub Liners – the Alternative to Remodeling Jobs
If the entire room is in poor shape, and the walls have been eaten by mold, for example, you should know that there are liners that cover not just the tub itself, but the wall behind it, and sometimes they have built-in shelves. So, it’s pretty much the equivalent of getting the entire remodeling job done – for a fraction of the cost! And, just like with a remodeling job, remember there are risks involved: you’ll be adding a few good inches to your tub, so you’ll end up with a lot less space.
Maintenance Issues for Both Refinishing and Liner Jobs
If you want to keep your bathtub looking sparkling new for as long as possible, you’ll have to take extra care of it, regardless of which method you’ve chosen. Refurbishing is more sensitive and prone to damage, but liners can also be damaged – particularly if infiltrated by water, which causes mold. However, if you pay attention and use non-abrasive cleaners and don’t allow water accumulations in the room, you stand a good chance of avoiding a full remodeling job for many years.
Below are two pictures; a before and an after. The after is a bath liner project as part of a one day bathroom makeover.
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