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Using BATH FITTER® Can Be a Quick and Painless Solution to an Out of Date Bath

I get a bath and shower renovation question almost every week. Can you give me some idea on bathroom remodeling costs or do you have a clue on what bathroom remodelers charge? Before I get into detail about bath and shower renovation costs I want to talk about what they actually do.

BATH FITTER® is a company that was founded in 1984 that specializes in installing fiberglass and acrylic liners over old bathtubs and surrounding walls. The company has done such a fine job of marketing and franchising that it’s now like Kleenex. There are many companies that do this type of work, some are franchises and others are independent but most consumers use the word BATH FITTER® when describing someone who installs bathtub and wall liners.

Bath Fitter

In the last 10-years or so bath fitting type companies began doing quite a bit more than lining your bathtub and surrounding walls. They expanded their offerings to include remodeling of the entire bathroom. Let’s face it if your bathtub and bathtub surround is nasty there is a good chance the rest of the bathroom is also in disrepair.

So how does the process work and what goes into putting together a bath and shower renovation price? Obviously, it starts with a company representative or the owner/operator coming to your home to assess the work. In the old days (just a few years ago) the rep would get out a tape measure, measure the bathtub or shower base and surrounding walls and price up the project. Now BATH FITTER® sticks a mini “space-aged” laser next to the tub to take measurements. Honestly, the whole laser thing is a bit of a gimmick. The product still needs to be trimmed in the field for a perfect fit. BATH FITTER® costs depend largely on 5 things:

  1. Size of Tub and Surface Area of Walls – This is pretty self-explanatory. The bigger the tub and the larger surface area of walls to be covered the more expensive your project will be.
  2. Color And Finish – Gone are the days of choosing white or bisque or bone. The color selection available from BATH FITTER® and most other bath relining companies is staggering. If you want to match your pink champagne toilet, sink and super shag area rugs chances are you’re in business. However, the standard color palette has grown to include aggregate colors, faux marble, granite as well as matte finishes. When I say aggregate think Corian countertops. So the myriad ways you can change the look of your bathroom are literally endless but different colors and finishes cost more.
  3. State of Existing Structure – How bad is the tub and how deteriorated are the walls? I’ve seen bathrooms we are gutting look like nothing you can imagine. Literally a petri dish, you could teach a science class from one bathroom. Having said that, when you have that much moisture there is bound to be damage. How much damage has to be determined by the professional and it certainly affects the cost.
  4. Amount of Plumbing Work To Be Done – Again quite of few of the showers you see are in such bad shape, there is no way the contractor or the customer is going to want the old trim to be put back on the new shower. Quite often a new valve has to be installed to accommodate the new trim. How involved is the change going to be? Is it galvanized pipe? This all affects the price.
  5. Other cosmetic upgrades – I’m surprised it took so long but some of the bath lining companies have really done a nice job offering other upgrades to the bathroom. BCI and it’s franchises called Bath Planet offer a wide range in bathroom upgrades i.e new fixtures, faucets, grab bars, shower caddys, soap dishes and flooring. They have really become full-service bathroom remodelers.

BCI

In an effort to get you the most up to date info I called an old pal of mine to give me an idea of an average bath and shower renovation cost for different services

Bath Renovation Average Cost

Cost

Average Tub Surround (Minimal prep, no wall repair. Microban spray. The liner itself is anti-microbial, new shower valve with trim in basic colors. The average bath and shower renovation cost with this choice

$5,000.00 to $7,000.00

Average Tub Surround (Minimal prep, no wall repair. Microban spray. Liner with anti-microbial properties, new shower valve with premium color, soap dishes, grab bars, premium shower door

$8,000.00 to $10,000.00

Average Tub Surround (Wall and ceiling repair. Microban spray. Liner with anti-microbial properties, new shower valve with trim in basic colors

$7,000.00 to $9,000.00

Average Tub Surround with Bathroom Rehab (Includes some wall and ceiling repair. Microban spray, liner with anti-microbial properties, new shower valve with premium color, soap dishes, grab bars, premium shower door, new lavatory with a faucet, new premium toilet, half wall covering color-matched to surround

$13,000.00 to $18,000.00

If you’re looking for this type of service there are plenty of national and local businesses that offer them. Most care about the product they sell and some manufacturer supply and support independent franchises installing their product. They continually innovate making things more attractive and longer-lasting. I’ve seen several bathrooms done with a complete remodel and I couldn’t believe the results.

BCI Shower Liner Pictures

However, you choose to remodel your bathroom make sure your bath remodeler is licensed, bonded, insured and has taken out any necessary permits.

Sean Kavanaugh

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