How and Why to Install a New Bathtub Liner

Javi Calderon

How and Why to Install a New Bathtub Liner

For many people, moving into a new house or apartment comes with the anxiety and discomfort of having to deal with other people’s germs. Obviously, the place in the home where this issue becomes most apparent is in the bathroom, where soap scum, mold, and who knows what else has built up on tiles and in the corners and edges of tubs, sinks and toilets. 

A bathroom makeover is an easy way to truly make your new home yours: but not everyone can afford to tear down the bathroom every time they move into a new place. Not to mention the inconvenient disruptions caused by home improvement projects. That’s why over the last decade, contractors have been turning to acrylic bathtub liners with more regularity. These are essentially covers made out of acrylic resins that either go over an old, worn tub, or replace an older tub liner. 

The beauty of an acrylic bathtub liner is that it gives you the look and feel of a brand new bathroom, with only a fraction of the cost and hassle. Replacing a tub liner, unfortunately, is not a job for a novice, but well within the scope of a seasoned and well-equipped handyman. 

The first step in the process is finding a credible and experienced person to do the work. If you live in an apartment complex or a condominium, your landlord or homeowners association may already have a connection with a local company that does this type of work. 

Once you’ve settled on someone to work with, these are the steps they will take: 

1. First, the contractor will take measurements of your tub in order to either cast or bring a pre-made acrylic tub liner of the right size.  

2. Then, he or she will thoroughly clean and prepare your existing tub to get any residue off that might affect the adhesive that holds the liner down to the old tub. 

3. They will then take off the water fixtures, and the drain.

4. The next step is to test the new tub liner to make sure it fits properly. If it does, adhesive will be applied and the new tub will be put in place. 

5. Finally, the edge of the new tub is sealed using caulking, before the water fixtures are replaced to finish the job. 

Different manufacturers of acrylic liners or adhesives will have different instructions on how to use their products, but this is the general process for the job. Usually it takes about 24 hours for the work to dry before the tub can be used. 

By no means are acrylic bathtub liners cheap, with the most affordable options costing around $500. But they provide a great way to spruce-up an older bathroom without having to pay for big renovations, or having to live without use of the bathroom for an extended period of time. 



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