In This Guide: Average Cost | Bathtub Surround Costs | Factors Affecting Cost | Professional vs. DIY | Signs That You Need To Replace Your Bathtub | How To Save | Conclusion | FAQs

Whether you’re replacing your old tub with a similar model or upgrading to a luxurious new soaking tub, it’s a good idea to plan your budget before starting. Installing a bathtub can cost anywhere from $1,400–$10,750, with a national average of $5,700. This comprehensive guide breaks down this range by each factor and provides saving tips.

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Typical Cost Range: $1,400 - $10,750

 


 

Average Bathtub Installation Cost

How much your bathtub will cost to install depends on these three main factors.

  • Bathtub materials: Acrylic, fiberglass, and steel tubs cost the least, while copper and natural stone tubs cost the most.
  • Bathtub type: The larger and more specialized the tub, the more it will cost.
  • Tub surrounds: The material surrounding the alcove or wall behind the tub will also increase your total project costs.

Cost by Bathtub Type

Tubs can be divided into various categories, but how the tub is used is most relevant to cost.

Type of TubPrice
All-purpose tub$200–$800
Freestanding/clawfoot tub$750–$12,000
Jet/whirlpool tub$1,500–$14,000
Soaking tub$600–$13,000
Walk-in tub$2,000–$8,000

All-Purpose Standard Bathtubs

Most bathrooms have a general-purpose standard tub, either as a stand-alone or as part of a tub-shower combo. These tubs are the least expensive. They tend to be shallow and made of acrylic or fiberglass.

Freestanding Bathtubs

Tubs that stand away from the wall, including clawfoot bathtubs, are called freestanding tubs. These don’t require decking or surrounds but may require specialty plumbing for faucets and drainage. They can sit directly on the bathroom floor or on an elevated base to create a focal point. These tubs are often made of attractive natural stone or copper materials.

Jet or Whirlpool Tubs

Whirlpool or jetted tubs feature water-circulating jets that can be fixed or adjustable. These are high-end tubs meant to deliver a spa-like bathing experience, and they’re priced accordingly. Because of their weight, these tubs may need to sit on a special concrete slab. They’re also some of the most expensive tubs to install.

Soaking Tubs

Tubs meant for soaking are particularly deep. Many freestanding tubs are also soaking tubs, though some may be designed to drop into existing decking. Most soaking tubs are long enough to stretch out in. Japanese-style soaking tubs are designed for sitting, providing luxury while minimizing floor space.

Walk-In Tubs

Walk-in bathtubs have hinged doors that allow users to enter the tub without stepping over the side. They also have sitting bench seats and typically fill to the user’s shoulders. People who use wheelchairs or have limited mobility can use these tubs with relative safety, though they’ll need to sit in the tub while it fills and until it empties. These tubs typically require specialty installation, making them more expensive in terms of both labor and materials.

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Cost by Bathtub Material

Lighter bathtub materials cost less than heavier ones, though they’re often less durable. Here’s how much some of the most common tub materials cost, excluding labor:

Tub MaterialPrice Range
Acrylic$200–$14,000
Cast iron$500–$10,000
Copper$2,000–$10,000
Enameled steel$200–$2,500
Fiberglass$200–$4,500
Granite$3,000–$20,000
Marble$1,400–$10,000
Solid surface$2,000–$6,000

Acrylic Tubs

Acrylic is one of the most common and inexpensive tub materials due to its light weight and easy installation. You can find acrylic tubs in many styles and colors. They don’t have the most luxurious look or feel, but they’ll withstand a lot of use as long as they’re properly installed. Unfortunately, acrylic tubs can be so expensive because high-tech models such as walk-in and jetted tubs are often made of acrylic.

Cast Iron Tubs

Cast iron infused with porcelain is one of the oldest bathtub materials due to its durability and ability to hold heat. These tubs can be affordable but are heavy and may require floor reinforcement.

Copper Tubs

Copper has a distinctive appearance. It’s also durable and resists bacteria, mold growth, and corrosion. However, these tubs are heavy and expensive, so you may not be able to find them in the exact size and style you want.

Enameled Steel Tubs

Enameled steel holds heat like cast iron but is much lighter, making it less expensive and easier to install. Most steel tubs are coated in white enamel. You can purchase steel-coated tubs, but these are more difficult to keep clean.

Fiberglass Tubs

Fiberglass can be used in addition to or in place of acrylic for an inexpensive, lightweight tub that’s better at holding heat. These tubs can also be refinished, though this is a time-consuming project to take on yourself. Fiberglass bathtubs are not as durable as metal or stone, and their color can fade with time.

Granite Tubs

Granite bathtubs are a luxury option, often chosen as freestanding statement pieces in a large bathroom. They’re expensive because they’re carved from a single chunk of natural stone, which is extremely heavy and durable. Unfortunately, they’re high-maintenance if you want to prevent staining and etching.

Marble Tubs

Marble bathtubs are typically made of poured cultured marble rather than solid chunks of natural marble, as this would make them prohibitively expensive. Cultured marble can be customized in many ways, and the gel coating increases durability and ability to be refinished.

Solid-Surface Tubs

Solid surface is a synthetic composite material containing acrylic, minerals, and resin. It’s waterproof and stain-resistant, making it a popular choice for countertops, bathtubs, and other home features. It’s poured into shape, making it customizable. However, it’s on the high end of the cost spectrum.

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Bathtub Surround Costs

Unless you install a freestanding tub, you’ll probably want to replace the tub surround to match your new bathtub. If you have a tub-shower combination, these surrounds must reach up past the shower head to provide proper waterproofing. Here’s a breakdown of various bathtub surround materials and their costs.

Bathtub Surround MaterialPrice
Acrylic$300–$700
Composite$250–$2,000
Fiberglass$400–$1,200
Natural stone$2,400–$24,000
Quartz$6,000–$12,000
Solid surface$6,000–$12,000
Tile$120–$6,000
  • Acrylic: Very easy to care for and may be prefabricated with features like soap dishes and grab bars
  • Composite: Customizable and can be installed directly into the wall
  • Fiberglass: Customizable to mimic tile or match a fiberglass tub
  • Natural stone: Striking but heavy and difficult to maintain
  • Quartz: Low-maintenance and can mimic the look of other natural stones
  • Solid surface: Seamless and available in custom colors and styles
  • Tile: Made of ceramic, porcelain, or glass and expensive to install

 


 

Factors Affecting Bathtub Installation Cost

The bulk of bathtub installation cost is determined by tub material and type, but here are some other variables that affect the final price.

Faucets

The price of a new faucet depends on how it needs to be mounted. Tubs with decking typically come with the faucet and handles mounted. The faucet may also be mounted into the wall, which can work with alcove or freestanding tubs. If you want your freestanding tub to sit out from the wall, you’ll need to have the plumbing come up through the floor.

Faucet TypePrice
Deck-mounted$100–$500
Floor-mounted$200–$500
Wall-mounted$300–$700

Flooring Modifications

You may require floor reinforcement depending on the weight and capacity of your new tub. This costs $300–$800, or between $100 and $300 per joist.

Old Tub Removal

You’ll need to remove and dispose of your old tub before installing a new one. Standard alcove tubs are typically the least costly to remove, while heavy or customized tubs are the most expensive. You may pay anywhere from $200–$1,200 for demolition and disposal.

Permits and Labor

You may need to hire professional installers for your tub project. Replacing an old alcove tub with one of the same size and shape can cost as little as $100, but you’ll likely pay at least a few hundred dollars up to $2,000. You’ll need to hire a licensed plumber if the existing pipes need to be altered. These professionals charge $50–$200 per hour, depending on their experience level. You’ll also need to pay for permits for any major plumbing work, usually costing $50–$500.

Plumbing Upgrading

You may find that your existing plumbing system won’t work with your new bathtub. You may need to upgrade your water heater if you purchase a large soaking or walk-in tub. A new electrical panel or a separate circuit may be necessary if upgrading to a jetted tub.

Repair vs. Replacement

Refinishing may be the way to go if your existing bathtub is in good repair and your budget is limited. This typically costs $300–$600 and involves repairing chips and scratches, but not large dents or cracks. Alternatively, your current tub can be covered with an acrylic or fiberglass liner that seamlessly covers the tub and its surrounds. This costs about as much as an inexpensive tub replacement, starting at around $1,500.

Shower-to-Tub Conversion

Converting a stand-alone shower into a tub costs around as much as tub replacement, averaging $4,000–$6,000. The final price depends on the tub and the amount of required work, particularly replumbing. Here are the various project costs.

ProjectCost
Demolition and removal of old shower$150–$300
Cleanup and repair$300–$800
Plumbing$400–$1,900
Bathtub$500–$5,500
Tub surround$500–$1,000
Faucet$50–$900

Professional vs. DIY

You may be able to save on labor by completing some or all of the work yourself, though the job will be quicker when performed by a professional. 

Professional Bathtub Installation

A licensed plumber will install a bathtub, particularly if you need to change the configuration of your bathroom’s pipes. Additional work, such as carpentry or drywall, may be necessary to install drop-in or alcove tubs. You may even need an electrician to rewire for a jetted tub or new electrical panel. 

You may want to hire a general contractor if the project is extensive or part of a larger bathroom remodel. This will typically add 10%–20% to the overall cost.

DIY Bathtub Installation

Homeowners with extensive do-it-yourself (DIY) experience or those who want to replace an old tub with a new one of the same size and shape may be able to do so without hiring a professional. Here are the general steps you’ll follow for a simple replacement.

  1. Turn off the water supply to the tub.
  2. Remove the drain and overflow cover.
  3. Disconnect the drain assembly.
  4. Disconnect the flange that attaches the tub to the wall studs.
  5. Remove the old tub and clean the alcove.
  6. Put the new tub in place.
  7. Install a 2-inch-by-4-inch stringer to support the tub.
  8. Install the new overflow drain assembly.
  9. Connect the drain to the plumbing.
  10. Secure the flange, repair the drywall, and replace the hardware.

 


 

Signs That You Need to Replace Your Bathtub

Sometimes it will be obvious that you need a new tub. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Mold or mildew
  • Outdated style
  • Stains that can’t be removed by cleaning
  • Visible cracks or leaks
  • You or your family’s changing accessibility needs

 


 

How To Save on Bathtub Installation

You can save money on a new tub with the following tips.

  • Choose a standard, all-purpose tub in acrylic, fiberglass, or enameled steel. 
  • Pick prefabricated panel tub surrounds instead of hand-laid tile.
  • Keep your current bathroom’s layout intact, especially plumbing and wiring.
  • Get at least three quotes from local tub installers before choosing one.
  • Ask your chosen installer whether there are parts of the process you can do yourself, such as demolition, haul away, or cleanup.

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Our Conclusion

There’s a big price difference between a simple alcove replacement tub and a new, luxury bathtub. Consider what you want from your new bathtub—like who will use it and how often— before making substantial changes to your bathroom’s layout or plumbing, as those changes will be more expensive. Homeowners on a strict budget should think long term and balance price against quality. A bathtub should last at least 10 years before you need to replace it.

Compare Quotes from Local Bathroom Remodeling Pros
Typical Cost Range: $1,400 - $10,750

 


 

FAQs About Bathtub Installation Cost

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