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Question DetailsAsked on 7/6/2014

How much should it cost to install a very basic tub surround, and resurface the enamel on a tub?

The tub is generally in good condition, but the enamel looks worn - I understand that it is possible to re-enamel a tub in a way that will last a good while. The tub has an old surround that is coming loose and needs to be removed and replaced before water damages the walls underneath. I have seen surrounds that look good to me at Lowes and Home Depot for $200- $300. Can I buy one of those and have a plumber or contractor resurface the tub and then install my surround, or will they expect me to buy one of theirs? Would a bathroom specialist have ones of a similar price? Other related questions here have involved full tub replacement, or replacing both tub surround and walls - i don't think that will be necessary - i just want an affordable, professional installation of the surround and a good, long-lasting update to the tub's enamel. Is there any chance of getting that done around $500?

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1 Answer


You can pay someone to install what you buy - but don't expect them to warranty it's performance. The ones they sell are likely to be more like $500-1000 for materials for the surround - most reputable contractors go for higher end materials than the cheapest a box store has to offer.

Your category is not plumber - a few tile setters do plastic/fiberglass surrounds, but mostly the Search the List category of Remodel - Kitchen and Bath contractors or Bathtub Refinishing and Liners contractors, the latter also do the tub refinishing. Total surround jobs can run from $1000 range up into several thousand depending on materials selected, and of course size of surface and what is there now that needs taking down first. For instance, if tile now, should be torn down to the bare studs and rebuilt from there with waterproof sheeting and waterproof cement backer board before trying to apply a surround, though there re those who just slap on a few squiggles of liquid nails or silicone adhesive and slap the surround right over the tile - and it end up looking like they did just that, too.

Tub refinishing from around $350-500 range on up to $1000+ depending on method and how much the contractor thinks he can get. Pricing in that area seems to be wide open - I recently heard of one job where a tub refinish and fiberglass surround was billed at $12,000 - which would have replaced the tub with a custom tub or shower and high-end tile and very high end fixtures and doors. However, I have also seen a sprayed epoxy job that looked about as good as new enamel for $400, so xxxx any home improvment job a LOT depends on the contractor and his skill and price in his workmanship. So be sure price is reasonable compared to a replacement.

For more info on costs and issues with tub refinishing and surrounds check out prior responses in the Home > Bath remodeling (or Remodeling - Bath or some such similar phrasing) in Browse Projects, at lower left.

On the any chance of getting that done for around $500 - if you meant just the tub refinish, then yes with a "paint" type finish - not a higher-end heat cured epoxy or enamel or plasma applied "synthetic porcelain". If you meant the whole job for $500, sure - I could slap up some painted fiberboard or formica and a half gallon of white rustoleum on the tub for that - lifetime guaranteed as long as never exposed to moisture. Course, if you want something that will actually look better than the $10 A Night Motel built in 1950, then not a prayer for $500.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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