How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Bathtub? We Break It Down

Kenneth Wilson

Let’s say you’re craving a well-deserved relaxing bath at the end of a long day. Add in a few drops of aromatic bath oil, the right playlist, flower petals, and some scented candles– and of course, a neat bathtub.

Bathtubs are considered essential if you want to meditate or take a break from daily stressors. See, an old bathtub with visible wear and tear can alter the look of your bathroom– making it a dreary place to be. (Related: Bathtubs: Refinish, Replace, or Ignore?)

How would you like to freshen up your bathroom space with a brand new bathtub if you find yourself in such a situation? On average bathtub replacement will cost you somewhere between $1,500 to $7,200.

Note: Several factors determine the total costs of a bathtub replacement. We’ll cover the most critical aspects in detail below.

Bathtub Replacement Average Costs


The national average cost for bathtub replacement is $4,250. Total project costs depend on the bathtub type and the required materials and labor, including electrical, tile, and plumbing.

Meanwhile, a simple single bathtub replacement can be as little as $250. If you want a luxurious clawfoot tub, it will cost you a minimum of $10,000.

Bathtub Replacement: Per Budget


To give you an idea of the bathtub replacement scope you can go for depending on your budget, let’s discuss each in detail below.

  • $1,200 - You can choose to upgrade your dated bathtub into an acrylic soaking tub at around $800, but you will need to do a DIY installation to save on labor costs. This can be a pretty tight budget to work with. We advise saving up for a little more on professional labor costs to ensure the installation and plumbing are done correctly.
  • $3,000 - A $3,000 budget gives you a little wiggle room on the materials– including acrylic, cast iron, fiberglass, and steel bathtubs. Most of these tubs will cost you around $500. Most of this budget will fall under labor costs, but you will have a professionally installed bathtub that’s safe to use.
  • $7,000 - With a budget of $7,000, this allows you to choose from several bathtub styles aside from different materials. You may opt for clawfoot tubs or soaking bathtubs and freestanding tubs with a chrome-finished faucet.
  • $15,000+ - A $15,000 budget will give your bathroom a drastic makeover! Think of picture-perfect bathtubs you see on featured home living magazines– that’s precisely the look you can go for. You may also choose high-end whirlpool tubs and upgrade your old showers while at them.

Factors Affecting the Cost to Replace a Bathtub


Aside from the type of bathtub and the labor costs, here are some other essential factors that influence the costs of a bathtub replacement project.

Size and Space


Unless you plan to extend your bathroom’s space, the bathtub size must fit the area accordingly. Expanding the size of your bathroom to accommodate an enormous bathtub will require you to pay more.

Materials


Bathtubs are made of different materials, including cast iron, steel, and vinyl. Most homeowners choose their bathtub material based on their preference or budget.

Labor


Professional bathtub replacement requires a tear out of the previous tub and installation services. This needs different professionals to ensure the project is carried out correctly.

Here are the standard hourly rates of different professionals:

  • Electrician: $50 to $120
  • Plumber: $45 to $210
  • Tile: $40 to $65

Bathtub Replacement Cost by Type


Your chosen bathtub type will determine the total costs of your replacement project. Fortunately, you can find a bathtub that fits your budget as you have a wide selection.

Cast Iron


Turn your bathroom vision into reality by choosing porcelain enamel-coated cast iron bathtubs. This will cost you around $420 to $14,500.

These tubs are known to retain heat quite well. However, these are pretty heavy to work with and need extra reinforcements.

Acrylic


Acrylic tubs prove to be quite popular among families, as they are lightweight and durable. Standard bathtubs will cost you around $750 to $1,200. High-end units may cost up to $14,500.

Cultured Marble


If you want a bathtub that’s picture-perfect, worthy of a lifestyle magazine feature– a marble bathtub is a great choice. This will cost you anywhere between $2,200 to $5,300.

Cultured marble is much unlike acrylic. It’s relatively heavy and prone to cracking over time. You may need to consult your contractor for extra care and reinforcement.

Steel


You may also opt for enameled steel– which is considered a lighter, more cost-effective alternative to cast iron. This will cost you $250 to $1,200.

Note that you may need to deal with an increased risk of chipping if you choose to go with this route.

Fiberglass


Many homeowners prefer fiberglass tubs as they are lightweight and available in different colors. This bathtub type costs around $250 to $800.

Keep in mind that this material is not known to retain heat well.

Bathtub Replacement Cost by Style


Aside from your chosen bathtub material, another determining factor is its style. Different tub styles blend visual appeal and utility to give you the utmost satisfaction.

Here are the most common bathtub styles and their average costs:

Jet/Whirlpool


Jetted bathtubs are considered an excellent upgrade! These tubs can soothe stiff muscles and sore joints and are available in various shapes and sizes.

If you wish to replace your small tub with a whirlpool-style unit, your contractor may need to expand the space and install additional wiring.

This will cost you around $1,500 to $6700. However, some high-end units may cost as much as $17,000.

Clawfoot


Unique clawfoot bathtubs may cost up to $10,000 or more. However, you may still find clawfoot-style options that fit your budget just fine (some start at around $650).

This style gained popularity until the mid-1900s but was eventually overshadowed by newer techniques as it had a heavy cast-iron body.

Today, clawfoot tubs slowly regained the status of being a crowd-favorite tub style due to many significant updates.

It proves to be a great addition to homes with classic, traditional decor. Modern clawfoot-style bathtubs are now lightweight, commonly made of acrylic.

Soaking Tub


Deep basin soaking tubs start from $650 up to $13,000. Their particular material and size determine the cost of most bathtubs with this style.

As these tubs are notably deeper and more prominent than standard ones to give more bathing space, it’s best to pick one that will fit your bathroom perfectly.

Freestanding


True to its name, freestanding tubs are those with space that can move freely on all sides. They are considered an exciting addition to a bathroom, mainly if you’re only used to the built-in tubs.

On average, these units cost around $2,700. High-end ones cost as much as $12,000– depending on the material.

Before purchasing freestanding-style bathtubs, ensure that your bathroom has enough space to accommodate them.

Walk-In


If you want both comfort and safety, walk-in tubs are a great addition to your bathroom. These tubs also provide easy access for people with mobility issues or anyone having trouble getting in and out of regular bathtubs.

This will cost you around $2,000 to $8,000. Its door allows any bather to step on a low curb to hop inside the tub. Not to mention, it also has built-in seats.

Air Bathtub


Air bathtubs offer an excellent massaging sensation, quite similar to a jetted-style tub. However, an air bathtub releases warm air jets (instead of a traditional pump) for water circulation and creates soothing bubbles.

These tubs cost around $1,800 to $12,000, depending on your chosen size and style.

Final Thoughts


If you’re 100% ready to replace your old or broken bathtub, then it might be time to invest in a new one.

Keep in mind that bathtubs are an essential addition to any bathroom. It adds to the bathroom’s aesthetic and functionality for many years to come.

To ensure your tub replacement project goes smoothly, do careful planning and research suitable options. You may benefit from specific bathtub styles or material types more than others– so consult a professional to determine the best one to fit your needs.

Kenneth Wilson
December 21, 2021
Bathroom Remodeling, Cost Guides

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done.

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