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Do It Yourself or Not: Install a bathtub surround

Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

Moisture and water are the culprits that damage a well-used family bathtub and eat away the surrounding walls. You’ll recognize water damage if there’s mildew and the walls feel spongy to the touch, not solid. Ripping out the walls and replacing them with a tub surround kit, sold in three or five pieces, is easier and quicker than building new walls. If the walls and framing are damaged, make structural repair before covering them with the surround; this entails removing wet material and drying out the entire area.

The modular pieces of the surround fit together and feature cutouts for plumbing and the fixtures. Most of the surrounds have molded-in shelving and are typically made of fiberglass and acrylic. The components are part of a tongue-and-groove interlocking system, so they can be installed easily.

If the walls are solid and sound, expect to pay a carpenter $797, which includes labor and material, to remove the old walls and replace them with a good-quality fiberglass unit. The work includes unhooking and reconnecting the existing plumbing lines and fixtures. If you have plumbing and carpentry skills and tools, you can buy a tub surround kit for $365 and install it yourself, pocketing a nice 54% saving.

Budget more money if you plan to replace the plumbing lines and/or fixtures to finish the installation.

Pro Cost: $797 — DIY Cost: $365 — Pro time: 6.3
DIY Time: 9.0 — DIY Savings: $432 — Percent Saved: 54%



To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com and m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

©2024 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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