Remodeling Options for an Old Bathtub
LESLIE: If you’ve got bathtub woes maybe you’re like Joe in Pennsylvania. What’s going on?
JOE: Hi. I have – I’m remodeling an old farm house and I have a cast iron tub and I was wondering what you guys consider the best option; whether to have it like resurfaced with an epoxy or one of those plastic liners they put in or just take it out and put a new tub in.
TOM: Well, is it like a clawfoot tub?
JOE: No, it’s nothing fancy. This is just an old, cast iron tub.
TOM: Alright, well you could have it resurfaced but the problem is that if you have it re-epoxied it’s not going to last as long as the original one did. It will chip and it will ding and it will dent, so your options are really to do that and understand you’re going to have some ongoing maintenance or replace it. There’s one other option – it’s called Bath Fitter which basically, they come in and they put an insert in the tub and the only problem with that is it takes up a little bit of room so it makes the tub a bit smaller. And I think that you’ll find that the cost of doing that is about the same cost as actually tearing it out and replacing it.
My question to you would be how long do you think you’re going to be in this house. If you’re talking about five, ten 10 years I may think that it’s probably a good idea just to resurface the existing tub. If you want it to last a lot longer than that; you’re going to enjoy it for a lot longer than that you’ll get a better return on investment if you actually tear it out or go with the Bath Fitter route.
JOE: OK. That kind of answers my question. I was kind of leaning towards just tearing it out and starting all over again. Because we will, probably, you know, prefer something long term.
TOM: Well you know, at the same time, Joe, you can also make some improvements to make sure that bathroom is more accessible. There’s a good website for that. It’s AARP.org/HomeDesign. Give you a nice checklist of things that you might want to think about putting in that bathroom so it remains super accessible regardless of your age or physical condition.
JOE: OK, that sounds good. Hey, let me ask you a bonus question while I have you here.
TOM: Alright, two for one. Two-for-one special. What do you got?
JOE: Two-for-one special; that’s it. I think I know the answer to this one. I’m going to change the plumbing also. Copper or PEX?
TOM: PEX. Good stuff.
JOE: PEX. Yeah. Yeah (inaudible).
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Far less destructive, too.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Cross-linked polyethylene; less destructive; easier to run in an older house; more flexible; less chance of leakage. I would definitely go with PEX.
JOE: OK, that answers that question. Thank you very much.
TOM: Joe, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.