By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Everyday use of a family bathtub can take its toll on the surrounding walls, which are vulnerable to moisture and water damage. One way to fix this damage is to rip out the walls and build new ones. Another, easier and quicker solution is to cover the walls with a bathtub surround kit sold in three or five pieces. If the walls are damaged, make structural repair before covering them, this includes removing wet wallboard and drying out the entire area. You'll recognize water damage if there's mildew and the walls feel spongy to the touch, not solid.
If the walls are solid and sound expect to pay a carpenter $569 to install a good quality fiberglass unit, unhooking and reconnecting the existing plumbing lines and fixtures. That includes labor and material. If you have plumbing and carpentry skills and tools, you can buy a tub surround kit for $265 and install it yourself, pocketing a nice 53 percent saving. If you plan to replace the plumbing lines or fixture, budget more money.
The kits, which come in modular pieces that fit together, feature cutouts for plumbing and the fixtures. Most feature molded-in shelving that fits together. The units are typically made of fiberglass and acrylic and come in components with a tongue-and-groove interlocking system so they fit together easily.
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Apartment Therapy has advice about cleaning a bathtub surround
A Shiny New Shower Tub - Keeping Them Perfect Forever.
Use the cardboard packaging of the surround to protect the floor of the tub from footmarks and tools while you’re working there.
That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to install a bathtub surround lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020