2014513111819715If your bathroom is outdated or your bath tub is looking dingy, it may be time for a remodel. Homeowners have two options when remodeling a bathroom: a full bath replacement or a bath tub liner. Each has its own pros and cons, and the price can vary greatly based on your choice.

Bathtub Liners

For tubs that are looking old or a color that you don't want, consider a bathtub liner. These acrylic liners are custom fitted, so they fit over your existing tub perfectly. Acrylic and fiberglass tubs can't have a custom liner placed over them because of the material that they are made of, and free standing tubs can't be lined either.

Steel tubs and cast-iron tubs can both be lined. Ideally, they should be touching only two walls, the back wall and the wall with the faucet.

Prep Work

Before the tub can be fitted with a custom liner, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Then, the installer will take several photos and measurements to create the liner. The manufacturer creates a model of the tub and creates a liner out of a sheet of acrylic.

Installing the Liner

When the liner is ready for installation, the tub needs to be primed. The liner has butyl tape on the bottom that attaches it to the old bath tub.


If the liner is not installed correctly, water and moisture can get trapped between the tub and the liner. Over time, mold and mildew can grow. It is important to choose an installer with experience so this does not happen.


Bath tub liners can cost between $1,100 and $1,400. Colors, designs and labor costs can all affect the price.


Removing a bath tub is a difficult job, especially if it is on the second floor of your home. However, the price of a new tub might be worth the extra labor. Most hardware stores sell bath tubs for $200 and up, depending on the size.

Plumbing and Floors

When replacing a tub, you'll almost always have to replace the plumbing and update the fixtures. You may need to remove the tub surround or tile around the top and some of the flooring.


The cost of a new bath tub can be as high as $3,000. If the floor and tub surround need replaced or repaired, the price can be even higher.

Both replacements and liners have pros and cons, so you will have to decide which is better for your bath tub. If your tub is good structurally, a liner may be a cheaper option. No matter which one you choose, this will change the look of your bathroom and give it an instant makeover.

Image by Mike Rohrig and licensed through Creative Commons.