Do It Yourself or Not: Install a solid surface tub surround
The three walls surrounding a bathtub take a lot of abuse, especially if the bathroom serves a house of family members who bathe daily. Those conditions call for a hard-working, durable wall surface with the ability to withstand the moisture and continued use.
Solid Surface is a manufactured material, made of acrylic resin, polyester resin or a combination of the two, that is combined with filler color pigments and acrylic chips. The material is frequently used on countertops, and it’s a good choice to replace less-than-perfect tub walls. A popular choice is a solid surface three-wall panel system designed for a bathtub enclosure, which includes a single seamless back panel, two side panels and two corner molding strips. You’ll also see accessories like a soap dish or shelf available.
A carpenter will charge $1,500 to remove the plumbing fixtures, replace the existing walls with a solid surface wall panel system, and reinstall the plumbing fixtures, which includes labor and material. The cost will be more if structural repair work is needed for the walls or if you want to replace the old fixtures with new ones.
If you have extensive plumbing and carpentry skills and tools, you can do the job for $700, the cost of the wall panel system. However, we think it’s a job best left for a professional who has the expertise and array of tools needed to custom cut the material to fit the openings for the plumbing fixtures.
Pro Cost: $1500 — DIY Cost: $700
Pro time: 8.0 — DIY Time: 15
DIY Savings: $800 — Percent Saved: 53%
To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com and m.diyornot.com on smartphones.
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