I started remodeling my bathroom before Thanksgiving. My friend Kaitlin began work on her bathroom around the same time. When the holidays came, her bathroom was finished. One reason I lagged behind is because she expedited her remodeling process by having an acrylic bathtub liner and surround professionally installed. Kaitlin made the decision so her bathroom could be finished quickly. Now, she’s wondering if they made the right choice. Read this informative article and learn about the pros and cons of having an acrylic bathtub liner and surround installed!
Bath Fitter, EmpireToday and Like Companies*
I became familiar with the acrylic bathtub liner and surround remodeling trend when I started seeing TV commercials by Bath Fitter and EmpireToday. Basically, the idea is, instead of replacing your old bathtub, the company makes a custom fit mold (usually made of thick acrylic) that slides down over your existing tub. It’s glued into place. The surround is torn off, and a brand new covering is glued onto the walls.
*Even The Home Depot is offering “custom acrylic bath liners, shower base liners and wall surround systems”, according to their web site.
The Pros and Cons of Having an Acrylic Bathtub Liner and Surround Installed
1. Buying an Acrylic Bathtub Liner and Surround Is Easy
a. No matter where you live, you can find a company that will install an acrylic bathtub liner and surround in your bathroom. Just open your phone book or check the Internet, and you’ll find several businesses to choose from.
b. As most places do that sell high-dollar products/services, the local company Kaitlin hired offered her financing. So, even if you’re strapped for cash, but have credit, you can have an acrylic bathtub liner and surround installed.
2. No Demolition Necessary If You Choose An Acrylic Bathtub Liner and Surround
This is probably the leading pro of having an acrylic bathtub liner and surround installed. Replacing a bathtub and surround is a big mess. It’s also labor intensive. You have to tear out the existing bathtub and surround. Then, replace both, and deal with all of the plumbing. Choosing an acrylic bathtub liner and surround eliminates all this hassle and clean-up.
4. Quick Installation of An Acrylic Bathtub Liner and Surround
Hire a company to put in an acrylic bathtub liner and surround in your bathroom, and the actual installation can be completely done in 6 hours. On the other hand, replacing a bathtub and surround can take days.
1. Steep Prices to Buy An Acrylic Bathtub Liner and Surround
I priced a new bathtub- $700.00; a shower/bath surround- $200.00 (includes shelves and soap dish); a grab bar- $50.00 and a faucet and shower- $225.00, all the items Kaitlin wanted when she ordered an acrylic bathtub liner and surround . The last plumber I hired charged $75 an hour. Add an estimate of $750 (10 hours @$75. an hour) for labor, and the total cost is $1,925.00.
The total price Kaitlin paid for her new acrylic bathtub liner and surround was a bit over $4,000. That was for a basic package. I can’t fathom what a “fancy” package would cost.
2. Accessories Such as Shelves, Soap Dishes and Grab Bars Cost Extra— and They’re Expensive
I don’t know what other companies charge, but every accessory Kaitlin ordered for her acrylic bathtub liner and surround was around $100 for each one.
3. Textured Bathtub Bottom Is Hard on Human Bottoms
Here again, I don’t know what other companies offer, but Kaitlin’s bathtub liner came with a textured bottom. It’s near impossible to slide around in her bathtub. You have to raise your cheeks and “walk them” across the bottom to move.
4.The Acrylic Bathtub and Surround Bathtub May Not Be Easy to Clean
The care instructions for Kaitlin’s acrylic bathtub liner and surround states that it can be cleaned with vinegar and water. Not! There’s also a list of approved cleaners you can use. She’s testing those trying to find one that works well. The surround cleans up nice, but the bathtub is tough to clean, especially since she can’t use anything but a cleaner and a soft cloth. And, the textured bottom adds to the difficulty.
5. An Acrylic Bathtub Is Narrower, and the Sides Are Higher
Kaitlin’s acrylic bathtub liner and surround made her original tub two or three inches narrower, and about that much higher. Being higher, with a thicker outside tub wall, makes it harder to reach into. It’s more difficult to clean the tub, bathe the kids, hand wash clothing, et cetera.
Time will tell if Kaitlin made the right decision when she chose an acrylic bathtub liner and surround. It’s supposed to last for years and years…and years. If it looks as good ten years from now as it does today-AND there are no problems with it (i.e., cracking, leaking, et cetera)- she may decide it was a good investment. However, currently she doesn’t recommend purchasing an acrylic bathtub liner and surround.