Ask an Expert

How much does it cost to replace a bathtub?

By Teri Karush Rogers | July 22, 2009 - 5:11PM 

Q.  How much would it cost to replace my prewar bathtub without renovating my whole bathroom?

A.   It's pretty much impossible to replace a several-hundred-pound ceramic or porcelain tub without undertaking at least some renovation too.

“It’s a mess,” explains John Maguire, a BrickTank expert and the general contractor and construction manager of Garadice, Inc., a high-end residential contractor in Manhattan.  “It’s not just disconnecting a drain.  The tubs have to be demolished with a sledgehammer to get them out.  You’ll have wall damage, floor damage, re-roughing of plumbing.”

Then there’s the potential risk to other areas of your apartment: “You need a lot of protection through the hallways and the elevator,” says Maguire. “Imagine big plumbers swinging sledgehammers. They’re not ballerinas.”

With no unforeseen conditions, it will cost about $6,000-$8,000, estimates Maguire.  

“But,” he cautions, “every building is different.  Sometimes you can’t get the new tub into the elevator and you have to hoist it through the window.  Sometimes we have take walls or doors down.”

The replacement process is so cumbersome—and prewar tubs so durable--that most of his clients opt to reglaze them, says Maguire.    

Related threads on BrickUnderground:

Bathroom renovations (tubs)

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