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INSTALL A BATHTUB SURROUND

 
Published May 8, 2010

Everyday use of a family bathtub can take its toll on the surrounding walls, which are vulnerable to moisture and water damage. One way to fix this damage is to rip out the walls and build anew. An easier and quicker solution is to cover the walls with a bathtub surround kit sold in three or five pieces. If the walls are damaged, make structural repairs before covering them; this includes removing wet wallboard and drying out the entire area. You'll recognize water damage if there's mildew and the walls feel spongy. - If the walls are fine, expect to pay a carpenter $451 to install a good-quality fiberglass unit, unhooking and reconnecting the existing plumbing lines and fixtures. If you have plumbing and carpentry skills and tools, you can buy a kit for $260 and pocket a nice 42 percent saving. If you plan to replace the plumbing lines or fixture, budget more money. - The kits, which come in modular pieces, feature cutouts for plumbing and the fixtures. Most feature shelving and are typically made of fiberglass and acrylic. They come with a tongue-and-groove interlocking system so they fit together easily. Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Media Services

Pro cost DIY cost Pro hours DIY hours DIY savings Percent saved $451 $260 3.9 9.0 $191 42% Source: Tribune Media Services

Pro cost DIY cost Pro hours DIY hours DIY savings Percent saved $451 $260 3.9 9.0 $191 42% Source: Tribune Media Services

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