Bathroom Reno - should I keep my old tub?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Sheepish, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Sheepish

    Sheepish New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Ontario
    We are renovating our main bathroom and are debating whether or not to replace our 15-year old tub. It is an Americast and still looks pretty good (although there are very very minor hairline scratches in the
    finish, which is getting a tad more difficult to keep soap scum off).

    My reluctance to replace the tub is not so much about cost, but rather the quality of the new one we would get. I would like another americast, but have heard the finish fails quickly. Cast iron is too heavy and acrylic
    gives me the willies (i dont like the way it feels -- and squeaks).

    On the other hand, I don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a remodel and end up with a tub that
    starts looking old after a few years.

    What would you do -- keep the tub or replace it?
  2. aaronthedrumbeater

    aaronthedrumbeater New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    adelaide, australia
    Maybe keep it?

    Have you though about having the existing tub resurfaced? There are some pretty good products out there (applied by appropriately skilled peolpe) that would rejuvenate your existing tub without the expense/hassle of replacing it. They use a spray on ceramic type coating that can potentially last for years and you can choose a colour that will match your new decor. I myself haven't had this done, but have seen others who have. It won't last as long as a new tub ( maybe 5-10yrs) but the results are pretty good within this time frame. Just don't have your whole bathroom resprayed with this gear, the guys out there doing it tend to go over the existing grout and all, which looks a little ordinary!
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I can't really agree with our southern friend. I would not put all the effort and expense into a major renovation and then settle for a resurfaced tub which realistically has a life span of 3 to 5 years. The americast would give you 5 to 10 more years....but that is not enough. You want a bathroom remodel to be a 20+ year proposition. Why not use another americast?? Or go to the extra effort..( get some helpers!) to lug in the cast iron.

    Acrylic tubs can be a premium product, but are dependent on proper care for longevity. You can't clean it once a year and avoid scum buildup which is near non-removable. They should be wiped clean and dry daily.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Americast is a difficult material to patch, OR refinish. I would NEVER tear a room apart and then reuse the old tub. Cast iron is ONLY heavy until it is installed.
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,837
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I like the idea of starting fresh with a new tub as well. To do a total bath remodel and leave the tub is silly I think.

    Remove the old one and donate it to Habit or such. Maybe even sell it.

    Keep it all shiny and new...

    JW
  6. Sheepish

    Sheepish New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Ontario
    Thanks for everyone's input -- a new tub it is!
    I suspect cast iron may be too heavy for my upstairs bath, but I will get a plumber's opinion.

    Does anyone here have experience with americast? I love mine but have read lots of complaints about them on the boards (though I realize such complaints should be taken with a grain of salt).
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,832
    Location:
    New England
    By far, the biggest load is the water IN a tub, not the tub itself. Any modern home built should support any type of tub. If it can't, then someone hacked up the joists running the plumbing, and you should fix that during the remodel if that's the case. The biggest hassle is getting it set in place.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,818
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I vote for pulling the tub and replacing it.
    Use takes it's toll.
    When you have the walls out it's a good time to replace the faucet and the tub.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Remove the old one and donate it to Habit or such. Maybe even sell it.

    then THEY willl have a new bathroom with a old, damaged, tub in it. How would that be an "improvement" for them?
  10. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    donated things to Habitat are mostly sold at their Restore warehouses and people who come in to buy that stuff see first hand the condition of the items. Habitat/Restore then takes those funds and uses them to build low cost homes for low income people. The donated items are not typically used in construction, except maybe for lumber, doors, windows, etc. I don't hink Habitat would build a brand new home and used an old beat up bathtub in it.
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