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Out of all of the plumbing fixtures within a home, probably the most complicated to replace is a bathtub. Bath tubs are not just big and bulky, but unlike the older style claw-foot tubs that are free standing, modern tubs are built into the wall, and are often combined with showers. This makes them not only hard to move around, but difficult to uninstall, and reinstall as well.
Keeping this in mind, maybe you want to think about having your tub repaired instead? Let’s look at both options…
While replacing your tub or tub/shower combo is usually much more expensive that repairing your existing one, there are some definite upsides to it.
The first upside is that you have much more freedom in choosing the tub that is right for you. You still have some restraints based on the layout of your bathroom (unless you are doing a full remodel), but overall, you have a lot of choices as to style, color, material, function, etc.
Another upside is that you can choose a tub with much better quality than the one that is there now. While the quality of your existing tub may have been pretty good when your house was built, there have been technological advancements that make modern tubs much more resistant to chipping, scratching, and staining.
You also have the ability to go with a sturdier material, and have better reinforcement. Many tubs are made out of fiberglass, which flexes a lot (especially if not installed perfectly). This doesn’t feel very sturdy, but can also put strain on your drain, eventually causing a leak. Even some porcelain coated steel can have some flex to it. A porcelain coated, cast iron tub, on the other hand, is very solid.
If you are going to a fiberglass tub/shower combo, you have control over how well it is “set”. The fact is that a service plumber that you hire (especially a Gogo Rooter Plumber) will do a much better job of setting a tub, than a new construction plumber building a house. The new construction guy just has to pass inspection, your plumber has to make you happy.
There are some downsides to tub replacement, to be sure. The first, and most obvious, is that it is more expensive than repairing it. Since the lip of the tub is usually under the wall covering (sheetrock, and maybe tile), that wall material will need to be removed, and later replaced.
While a tub can be cut in half to be removed from a tight bathroom, the new one has to be brought in in one piece. This is often the most difficult part of tub installation. There have even been instances where a portion of a wall needs to be removed in order to get the tub in, and set.
If you are looking to save some money, and have your tub repaired, there are a couple of things you may want to consider first. The first thing to remember is that, regardless of the type of repair, you are still using your old tub. If you like your old tub, but feel it should look “newer”, that this will not be a problem for you.
Another thing you should know is that the “tub repair kits” you see at your local home improvement stores almost never work properly. The repair is almost always very noticeable, and in some cases winds up looking worse than what you were repairing. If you are going to have a repair done, have it done by a professional.
Even if you have a professional do it, make sure that it will work for your tub, and that it will fix the problem you want fixed. Will it really make your tub “like new”? If so, for how long? Is there a warranty? These are all really good questions.
Whether you want your bathtub repaired or replaced, remember to do your research, and call a professional. Personally, we think you should always call Gogo Rooter first. We can help make the decision a little easier for you, and give you the best possible service for your buck.