The cost to install a bathtub typically ranges from $1,039 to $4,581 for the tub plus supplies and labor. Cost varies according to the bathtub material, quality, color, features, and size; tub surround and any necessary or related plumbing changes.
The standard bathtub is rectangular, measuring 5' long, 2.5' wide, and 1.2' deep, but smaller and larger sizes and different shapes are commonly used in today’s modern bathroom renovations. Most homes have a tub in at least one bathroom. It is essential to ensure that a new tub will fit into the bathroom floor space (as well as through the doorway, prior to installation).
Special features like whirlpool jets or integrated seats will raise the price of the bathtub itself. Non-standard tub colors such as pink or black will cost more than white, cream, or biscuit.
Cost to replace a bathtub will include the removal of the existing tub and replacement of approximately 100 sq. ft. of ceramic tiles surrounding it. The installation cost will generally be higher if the new tub is smaller, larger, or shaped differently than the old one. Check to make sure that the drain placement is the same (right, left, or center of the bath).
Cost to install a bathtub will normally include:
- Materials -- The bathtub may be made of enameled steel, fiberglass, acrylic, or enameled cast iron (in order from lowest to highest quality -- prices increase proportionally). Hardware includes a faucet and possibly a showerhead. In addition, you will need ceramic tiles for the tub surround.
- Labor -- Labor comprises installing and connecting the new bathtub, altering or upgrading the existing plumbing pipes and water heater as needed, and tiling the tub surround. In the case of a replacement bathtub, the labor cost includes demolition of the old tub and surrounding tile. An electrician may be required to hook up electric jets for a whirlpool tub.
- Cleanup -- The cost for the job may also include removal and haulage for the old tub, as well as cleanup of the site.
- The initial estimate, which may include an onsite inspection, is often free.
Get the Most for Your Money
Bathtub installation often is done as part of a complete bathroom remodel, which tends to bring a 62 percent return on investment. Although many homeowners prefer showers to baths, real estate brokers advise that having at least one tub is important for resale value.
Because installing a tub is a labor-intensive project, it is worthwhile to buy a good quality bathtub that will have a long lifespan of 15-20 years or more.
A building permit may be required in your locale for the bathtub installation itself or for associated tasks such as plumbing upgrades. To avoid any problems, check before the work begins.
Your area may also require the use of water-conserving faucets and showerheads. Efficient WaterSense-labeled showerheads can save the average family 2,900 gallons of water annually.