Today’s Tub & Shower Options
Replacing an outdated tub or shower is a common project where most people choose to hire a contractor. If you are a super handy person, and won’t worry every time you fill your tub, then this may be a project you would tackle yourself. This blog is for the other 99% that are afraid they may end up like Tom Hanks in The Money Pit with the tub falling through the floor as it fills with water. Here are a few options:
1. Acrylic Tub/Shower
This is what most refer to as “fiberglass” which is not very common today. Acrylic has more of a hard plastic feel. Some would say this is a cheap item but there are many high quality acrylic tubs/showers that will last a lifetime. Installation takes typically 2 days from start to finish with the repairs to the surrounding walls. Most would also replace the shower diverter while they are at it. The pros of this type of product is the ease of cleaning and the quick install. The cons are that it simply doesn’t look as nice as tile. A project like this will typically cost $4500-$5500.
2. Tub or Shower Pan With a Tile Surround
Everyone loves the all tile spa shower, but if you have children you probably need a tub but don’t want the plastic looking tub surround. Then if you ever plan to sell your home, it is always good to have at least one tub in the home. The most common solution is a tub or shower pan with a tile surround. Acrylic and Cast iron tubs are the most common. There are also tubs made to look and feel like cast iron without needing a team of people to get it in the house since it is a fraction of the weight. One type is Americast. For a shower pan it is typically Acrylic. There are many options with tiles as far as color, design and style go. Then if you add corner shelving or wall niches you can really customize the shower to your liking. The pros to this option is that the selections of tile are endless and you can really get creative showcasing your style. A project like this can take about 3 days and will cost around $6,000-$8,000. The only con is that they do require a little more maintenance than an acrylic tub/shower with a surround due to the grout lines. Just a heads up though, you may not want the kids to step foot in this beautiful bathroom when complete.
3. Tub Replacement and Install of an All Tile Shower
Now this is everyone’s dream shower. This can truly give you that “5 star hotel” feel. If you have the space and budget the possibilities are endless. That’s the good news. These are not the easiest to clean but if you keep up with it the shower will look great for years to come. The common problem I see with a shower like this is many times the waterproofing behind the tile is not done properly or contractors use old methods. Products like Schluter and Wedi are state of art and can last forever if done by a qualified contractor. There are options that are completely curbless, rain features, body sprays or even a heated bench for your bottom! They can be made in any shape or size. Some require a shower door and some are just so big that there is no shower door needed. A project like this typically takes 1-2 weeks of work and can cost anywhere from $10,000-$15,000. It can even be more if you really want it all. The sky really is the limit with these showers and if you can dream it, it can be built!