Replacing your old bathtub can really brighten up the space and give a fresh feel to your bathroom. The luxury of a new bathtub can be just as relaxing as a visit to the spa, with the added benefit of the privacy in your own home. So how much does it cost to replace a bathtub? The cost of replacement can typically average $6,660, with the biggest expenses being the type of tub you choose, as well as any changes to your bathroom’s layout. 

A dated bathtub can make your entire bathroom feel gloomy and lifeless, so replacing it is normally a top priority during a bathroom remodel. Your actual cost to replace a bathtub depends upon the materials, the scope of the work, and the price of labor, not only for your bathroom remodeling contractor but also for the plumber you’ll hire. Below, learn everything involved in the process of replacing a bathtub and explore ways you can find the best contractor and save money during your renovation.

How Do I Calculate How Much It Costs To Replace A Bathtub? 

While the cost to replace a bathtub can average $6,660, the price could also run as little as $850, to as large as $20,200. The wide fluctuation in pricing mostly results from the type of bathtub chosen, but there are still other factors to consider when estimating the cost to replace a bathtub. 

Removing The Outdated Bathtub

The cost of removing an old bathtub typically averages between $100 to $250. However, if the outdated tub is made from materials such as cast iron, the contractor will need to break it with a sledgehammer, then haul the individual pieces out of your house, resulting in a higher cost for the labor. Sometimes a bathtub was installed before the doorways were framed and trimmed during the remodeling process, so removing the bathtub in one piece may not be an option. 

Demolition And Disposal

The trash removal services in most cities and towns across Massachusetts and New Hampshire only covers household waste, so don’t expect the trashman to haul off your old bathtub and any other demolition materials. Special measures must be taken to dispose of all the debris throughout the bathroom renovation process, and the costs can total anywhere from $375 to $5,225. 

Subfloor Repairs And Preparation

In certain situations, the contractor might be able to put your new tub in the spot that was occupied by your old bathtub without the need to make adjustments. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. For example, repairing your subfloor is a necessity if your old tub leaked and caused water damage. Another reason you might need to make adjustments to your floor is if you’re installing a heavier tub that requires additional reinforcement. Repairs and alterations to your floor could add on anywhere from $350 to $875 to the total price of your bathtub replacement project.

The Style, Size, Features, And Material Of Your New Bathtub

The style of the bathtub you choose plays a significant part in the total cost of your project. Based on the size and materials of your new tub, as well as any features requiring additional plumbing, the cost of a new bathtub can range anywhere from $250 to $15,000, with luxury models offering options such as jetting and temperature control.

Designing Your Tub Surround

The bathtub surround is the tiles or walls that encompass the entire exterior of your bathtub. Not only important for aesthetic purposes, your tub surround also acts as a buffer for any excess water during shower or bath use, protecting the structural integrity between the walls and your bathtub. The materials are non-porous, meaning they won’t trap water inside, that way you don’t have to worry about the possibility of structural damage. Some common tub surround materials include acrylic tiles, fiberglass, and solid surface materials, all offering different levels of durability and pricing. 

New Faucets And Fixtures

Normally, when you decide to install a new bathtub, you’ll probably want to pick out new faucets and fixtures to compliment the look. New faucets can bring a sleek, modern aesthetic to your bathroom, coming in a variety of high-quality materials such as copper or porcelain. Inexpensive chrome faucets can cost around $60, while high-end waterfall models can price over $1,200.

Hiring A Plumber

When remodeling a bathroom, homeowners typically change the configuration and location of the bathroom’s fixtures. If that is the case, you’ll need to move the plumbing lines, adding anywhere from $500 to $2,100 to the total cost of your renovation. Typically, your bathroom remodeling contractor won’t be a licensed plumber. Instead, they’ll most likely hire a subcontractor to do the work, but if you’d rather hire your own plumber please be sure to research your options carefully.

All Other Labor, Materials, And Permits

The running cost of labor varies between your local contractors, but for a full bathtub replacement it can average between $200 to $2,500, depending on the material of the old tub, as well as the scope of the project. For example, a luxury granite tub is carved from a single chunk of stone, resulting in it being very heavy and durable. This results in higher labor costs for the disposal of the tub. If you’re altering the plumbing or wiring in your bathroom your local building department will also require permits before you can proceed with the work. Building permits for plumbing normally cost around $50 to $500, while permits for electrical work come out to around $20 to $500. Ask your bathroom remodeling contractor what permits will be required for your project, and never start the work before you get them. 

Cost To Replace A Bathtub By Style

If you’ve considered installing different types of bathtubs and are wondering how much you’d pay for each, we’ve gathered a few of the most common styles of bathtubs for you to explore.

All-Purpose Bathtubs

standard purpose bathtub

The basic oval or rectangular-shaped bathtub equipped with a single shower head is normally referred to as the all-purpose tub. Typically you’ll pay $300 to $1,000 for this type of bathtub

Jetted Jacuzzi Bathtubs

interior of a jetted tub

Owning a jetted bathtub is like having a beautiful hot tub inside your bathroom, installed with jets along the sides that gently massage your tired body. Designed as either standard or corner-shaped tubs, the cost to install these is typically between $1,800 and $20,000.

Walk-In Bathtubs

a contemporary walk-in bathtub

An exceptional option for those with mobility issues, these specialized tubs have a door that opens and closes to provide you easy access when getting in and out of the tub. Expect to pay between $2,200 and $10,000 when installing a walk-in bathtub.

How To Find A Contractor To Replace A Bathtub?

For most homeowners, bathtub removal and installation isn’t a DIY project. Finding a bathroom remodeling contractor can guarantee all plumbing is installed correctly, which is essential to prevent future water damage from occurring in your bathroom. Also, due to the weight and physical labor, bathtub removal and replacement benefits from hiring a licensed professional. Here are some ways to help you find a contractor to help you remove and replace your bathtub. 

  • Check Online Reviews: Visit websites like Facebook, Google, Angi, and Houzz to learn about the experiences homeowners have had with a specific contractor you’re considering hiring. Pick a home remodeling company who’s been in business for a long time and has a consistent history of customer satisfaction.
  • View Their Bathroom Remodeling Portfolio: Once you’ve compiled a list of potential contractors to hire, ask them if you can see samples of their work. Check the company’s website for pictures of past projects, and read case studies about bathtubs they’ve replaced in the past.
  • Verify Licenses And Insurance: Massachusetts and New Hampshire require all renovation and remodeling contractors to carry a license and be fully insured. Don’t hesitate to ask a contractor to show you his license and insurance policy, because if you run into any problems during your project, you need to know you’re properly covered. 
  • Interview Multiple Contractors: Besides what you’ve learned from this article, a big part of the cost to remove and replace a bathtub will be your contractor’s pricing. Each contractor will estimate the cost of a project differently, so you should definitely interview different contractors before making your final decision.

Other Costs And Considerations When Replacing A Bathtub

There are plenty of other factors that affect the overall cost of replacing a bathtub, whether replacing the existing fixtures or upgrading to a heavier tub material, costs increase depending on the services and items you desire. Keep the following miscellaneous expenses in mind when calculating the budget of your project because they could significantly add to the price tag.

Replacing Your Water Heater

Typically you don’t need to replace your water heater during a bathtub replacement project, but if a bigger tub that holds a greater quantity of water is being installed, a large capacity water heater may be needed to provide enough hot bath water. If this is the case, you can expect to pay $1,000 to $1,800 to replace the water heater.

Updating Your Electrical Panel

When first estimating the cost of replacing a bathtub it may not always be apparent why wiring or an electrical panel needs to be updated until the work has already begun. For example, if a jetted jacuzzi tub is being installed, new electrical circuitry will be required, as a jetted tub must have a ground fault circuit interrupter to prevent electrical shock when using the tub. Upgrading the wiring or electrical panel of your home can add anywhere from $600 to $2,100 to the total cost of your bathtub replacement project.

Replacing And Relocating The Plumbing

Outdated water supply lines and leaky drain pipes should be removed and replaced before the new bathtub is installed. Since the plumbing is accessible after removing the old tub, this is the least expensive time to make the upgrades. Replacing and relocating the plumbing will cost anywhere from $550 to $2,000, depending on the scope of the work. 

Converting Your Shower Into A Bathtub

Tub-to-shower conversions typically cost around $2,200 to $11,700, with the price of the tub being one of the most significant determining factors to the overall price. Usually, the footprint of a shower is smaller than the footprint of a bathtub, so wall removal may be necessary so you can expand the space. If you’re converting your shower into a bathtub, expect it to cost you $10,000 to $20,000, of course depending upon the extent of the changes.

Installing A Bath Fitter

If replacing your old bathtub with a new one is out of your project’s budget, you may decide to cover your existing tub with a flexible but durable acrylic liner that transforms your old bathtub into a brand-new one. Usually called a bath fitter, this particular renovation project normally costs about $1,500 or more, depending mostly on the size of the original tub.

How To Save Money On Bathtub Replacement And Removal?

There are always plenty of ways to save money on a bathroom renovation or remodeling project. There’s zero reason why you can’t upgrade your bathtub under a reasonable budget. Check out the following recommendations before choosing a bathtub or even hiring a contractor.

    • Keep your existing bathroom’s layout: Unless there are significant flaws and constrictions, such as not enough space to open and close a walk-in tub door, leaving the bathroom’s original configuration will eliminate the problem of moving water lines and drain pipes, potentially saving you thousands of dollars on plumbing fees.
    • Consider a prefab surround: Installing tile around the walls of your bathtub is an elegant touch, but a prefab surround, which comes panelized, can price for as little as $600, while the minimum cost of tiling the surround can average $1,200. 
  • Pick A Less Expensive Bathtub: The cost of a tub varies widely based on the material and size, ranging from $250 to $15,000. By deciding on a cheaper alternative, you can save money on your bathtub replacement and still install a beautiful, brand-new bathtub.

Questions To Ask A Contractor About Replacing Your Bathtub

You should always have an idea of the total cost for a remodeling project before you start looking for contractors. Besides asking for references from family and neighbors and getting more than one bid, you’ll also want to ask a few more questions regarding replacing and installing a bathtub.

  • Ask The Contractor To Provide A Bid Instead Of An Estimate. An estimate is a rough figure a contractor gives to tell you what he thinks the project will cost, while a bid is a fixed amount the contractor promises not to exceed.
  • Ask For An Itemized Bid. A line-item bid breaks down all the costs for the removal and replacement of a bathtub. The last thing you want to deal with is completing your renovation project only to find the contractor forgot to include an unforeseen cost. If bids are itemized line by line, you’ll know exactly what you’re paying for. 
  • Ask If You Can Reduce Costs By Doing DIY Work. While you won’t be doing any plumbing or electrical work, you may be able to reduce the total price of replacing your bathtub by removing and disposing of the old tub by yourself.

Bathtub Replacement FAQs

Q. What’s The Average Time It Takes To Replace A Bathtub?

Ranging from 8-32 hours, replacing a bathtub can be a challenging DIY project. Generally, expect removing the old tub and installing the new one takes an average of 20 hours.

Q. Is Replacing A Bathtub Easy DIY?

Removing and replacing a bathtub is not normally considered an easy DIY project because tubs can be heavy, making them difficult to carry out of your home for disposal. Also, you need to hire a plumber to ensure the water supply and drain connections never leak.

Q. What’s The Lifetime Of A New Bathtub?

Cheaper options such as fiberglass bathtubs are usually good for 10-15 years, while more expensive jetted tubs built with higher-quality materials can last between 20-30 years.

Replace Your Bathtub With Perry Brothers Construction

the perry brothers construction team

The difference in cost between a standard alcove replacement tub and a new, luxury oasis can be substantial, so consider what you want from your new bathtub, such as who’ll be using it and how often. That way when you make significant changes to your bathroom’s design, you can easily balance your budget for price against quality. 

If you’re looking to replace your bathtub and aren’t sure where to start, contact Perry Brothers Construction, and we’d be happy to answer any of your questions and concerns regarding bathroom remodeling and renovation.