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Tommy2 03-09-2009 01:46 PM

Where do you buy acrylic tub liners? - (over old tubs)
Heres the story..I have one bathroom. I pretty much can't spend more than a day on remodeling the tub.

The old tub is a cast iron borg warner. No problems with it. Solid as a rock. But of course, its ugly as heck. Some almond color. Same with wall tiles. Anyways..

About the only option to deal with it is a new acylic liner that would be installed over it. I could epoxy it, but that takes 3-5 days to dry - and I wouldnt expect it to last more than a couple years.

So, after some research Ive decided a liner to go over the old is probably the best bet for my situation. Trust me, I know its not ideal. I would love nothing more than to completely gut the bathroom. But theres no way I have the time. Everything is sound anyways. No water damage, etc.
I will also take my time installing the liner and do a pro job. (Im a capable DIY'er that takes the time to research each job)

So anyways..Where the heck do you buy these things??? It doesn't look like HD or Lowes sell them? (Unless its a special order thing). Seems to be something contracters have locked down so its difficult for homeowners to find.

The tub is somewhat of an odd shape as well. One end is wider than the other..

Any DIYer install an acylic liner have advice? And please..Dont bother posting "Its a hack job thing..Take out the old tub". I've stated why that is not an option, and am aware it is not ideal.


Bob Mariani 03-09-2009 02:10 PM

Good ones are available at plumbing supply houses. these bolt together at the corners and come in three to five pieces. Excellent units can be found for not much money. Avoid the cheat glue to wall types found a box stores.

wrangler 03-09-2009 07:10 PM

Unfortunately, there are almost 1000 different tub designs that have been installed over the years. ReBath-type businesses have models for over 900, so, it is understandable that you will not find one at a home center. When they sell a liner, the salesman comes out and makes 13 measurements, takes pics, and then sends these off to the factory for a form-fit. To do a DIY job, your best bet would be to replace the existing tub, which will most likely require new walls as well. Of course this will take a bit of time, even in the best of circumstances, but can save you the most money(btw, REPLACE the valve at this time as well!). This is really what companies like ReBath, Bath-fitters etc. depend on. They can come into your home and do the job in 1- 1 1/2 days, but the cost is usually going to run higher than traditional remodeling. Their sell is that it can be done fast and have little maintainance, great warranties, and less hassle for the homeowner( time off work, time w/o bath) especially for those with only one bath. But like ANY national franchise company, if you should decide to go this route, check your local references, BBB, customer referrals etc.
And as you mentioned, you can have the tub reglazed, but from experience, I can tell you that this is best if you plan to sell the house or for a bath that is rarely used as it often does not last longer than 6-12 months as the warranty on this implies.

After re-reading your post, I did have to add this. I WOULD rather see you replace the tub vs liner. Takes the same amount of time (1- 1 1/2 days) but less problems EVER down the line. It just means you will also have to have acryllic walls done as well (the walls have to come down to install a new acryllic tub) & (3-4k in most markets) but a good warranty and less maintainance can be worth much in your situation.

Tommy2 03-09-2009 08:45 PM

Thanks for the input. Right now the walls are just sheetrock with tile. Luckily the tiles and sheetrock are all in good shape. I regrouted them when I first moved in, and they're still fine.

Would I need to remove them in order to install a new tub? I figured those plastic walls could just go right over it. Whether I went with a new tub or liner. (That would be the plan)

It looks like a new tub might be my only option... I'm sure it'll take a good few days for me to do though.. The cast iron tub doesnt even set on a subfloor. Its just ledgered in on 2X10s. And I assume acrylic/fiberglass/steel tubs need to be on a solid surface. This means adding a subfloor. Of course thats not a huge deal..But I know that when you tear into something..Theres always a surprise hidden, or something that complicates issues / take more time, etc..

I dont know..If everything went really well..I probably could gut the old tub and walls and have the new stuff in in around 2 days.. Im just preparing for the worst. I try to work slow and make sure Im doing it right. I know alot of DIYers that just hack stuff. Theyll get a huge job done in a weekend..but a good craftsman knows it sucks.

wrangler 03-09-2009 09:26 PM

Well, like I said, I don't think there is any chance of you getting a liner. (like I said, over 900 tub types, no chance that HD/Lowes or the like will be able to get you one) So let's look at it from a realistic point of view. You need to plan on installing a new tub. That said, yes, a good part of the wall will need to come out in 99% of installs. Only a portion of walls in maybe 98% of installs. Your current tub has a flange that is under the lowest level of tiles. With removing the entire bottom level of tile, to install the new tub will usually require removing the tile from one side (either the plumbing side or opposite end) approximately 40" from the floor. This is to allow room to slip/lower the new tub into place (reason being that the tub skirt gets in the way UNLESS you pay the extra money to purchase a tub with a separate skirt).
Sooo, all this said, you might just be better off planning to start from scratch. Bust up the old cast tub (safely with proper protection), take it down to the studs, and do it right. New tub(cast, steel, acrylic/FG, your choice) and then what ever wall covering you desire.
This is a time when having good friends comes in handy. As in showers while you remodel or for help during the remodel.

Tommy2 03-10-2009 08:24 AM

Yea..We have in-laws shower we can use. They live just around the corner. I just hate the hassle of it.

I'll probably tear all the sheetrock out..Then put up densarmor mold resistant drywall (I have a bunch left over from the basement). Then I'll put the shower walls over that.

I'll probably just keep planning for the time being and plan on doing this sometime in the next few weeks.

majakdragon 03-10-2009 09:16 AM

It is highly unlikely you will find any place that sells tub liners. This is not normally a DIY project. The bath-fitter companies do not all have a great reputation either. Since they are indepenently owned and operated, you can't compare a local company with what you read online. Just depends on the company owners practices. Prices I have seen to have this done start at $500 for a tub, and upwards of $1000 for tub/shower combo install. Then, you need to be careful with what you use to clean the surfaces. Good luck with your project.
Note: From what I have seen, hiring a pro to resurface the old tub could be another option for you.

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