How much does it cost to install or replace a bathtub?
Get free estimates from plumbers near you
Bathtub Installation Cost Guide
Updated: September 16, 2022
Bathtubs are a must-have feature for many homeowners. They are great for relaxing tired muscles at the end of a long day, for bathing young children, and are available in various sizes and styles to suit just about any decor. Some new models offer special features like chromatherapy, inline heaters, whirlpools, and air jets for an enhanced bathing experience. It is also recommended by most interior designers and realtors that, for resale value, you have at least one bathtub somewhere in your home. With the wide range of different types of bathtubs on the market and the many ways they can be installed, there is also a wide range of associated costs.
The national average price for installing a bathtub is $1,500 to $10,000. The average homeowner spends around $3,000 on an installed 6-foot freestanding soaking tub with a tub filler. The lowest cost for a bathtub installation is around $800 for a 5-foot acrylic alcove tub. The highest cost would be around $22,000 for a 6-foot stone Japanese soaking tub with decking and a drop-in installation.
Bathtub Installation Costs
|Bathtub Installation Prices|
|National average cost||$3,000|
Bathtub Cost by Type
You can expect to spend between $200 and $20,000 on a bathtub based on its type. Bathtubs come in a wide range of shapes and installation styles. They can be installed freestanding, with a deck, or as part of a shower. Each of these different configurations affects both how much the tub costs and how it is installed. Nearly all tub combinations come in various sizes, styles, and materials, so no matter which configuration best fits your needs, you can also easily find one that meets your decor. The table and subsections below show the most common types, their related costs, and other factors.
|Type||Tub Cost (Unit Only)|
|Alcove||$200 - $1,000|
|Bathtub / Shower Combo||$300 - $2,000|
|Drop-In||$400 - $4,000|
|Undermount||$500 - $5,000|
|Freestanding||$600 - $20,000|
|Corner||$1,000 - $5,000|
|Japanese-Style||$2,000 - $20,000|
Alcove tubs cost between $200 and $1,000, depending on the size, style, and material. Most people are familiar with the alcove bathtub installation. This is the most common type of tub and is installed along with a shower. The tub is finished across its front, with an apron, while the back and sides fit flush against the wall. These tubs are usually 5-feet long and range from 30 to 36-inches wide. When needed primarily for showering, they are usually about 14-inches deep, but you can find alcove tubs of different sizes made for soaking, with whirlpool or air bath options.
Shower Tub Combo
Expect to pay around $300 to $2,000 if you choose a shower/tub combo design. Any alcove tub can be made into a tub/shower combo by giving it a waterproof surrounding. You can also purchase readymade tub/shower combinations. These units are usually made of acrylic or fiberglass and come in 1 to 3 pieces. They have few seams and are easy to care for. The tub portion is almost always 60-inches long, 30-inches wide, and 14-inches deep, but there can be variations between brands.
A drop-in tub costs between $400 and $4,000, depending on the style and features. If you want a larger tub built into a deck, you have two options. The most common and least expensive way to install a tub inside a deck is with a drop-in tub. Drop-in tubs hang from their rims onto the deck. The deck is usually made of plywood and then tiled. The tubs come in many sizes and shapes, including rectangles, ovals, and corner configurations. They may be made for soaking or have jets, and materials include acrylic, fiberglass, and iron.
Undermount tubs range from $500 to $5,000. The second method of installing a tub into a deck is to undermount it. In this scenario, you have a plywood box for your deck with the sides and top tiled or covered in slab materials. Then the tub is installed on the underside of the deck top, exactly like an undermount sink in a standard kitchen counter. This gives you a cleaner, more contemporary appearance. However, it is also a slightly more complex and expensive installation.
Freestanding bathtubs cost between $600 and $20,000, depending on the size, features, and material of the tub. A freestanding bathtub is meant to be approachable from all sides. It does not need a deck or surround of any kind and can stand on the floor, a plinth, or a set of “feet.” Clawfoot tubs are an example of a freestanding tub and so are Roman, Greek, and Japanese tubs. Garden tubs are also a kind of freestanding tub, typically designed for soaking. Freestanding tubs come in many shapes, sizes, and materials, as well as styles. They can be made for soaking, come with jets, or be designed for air baths.
Corner tubs cost between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the size, material, and style. If you need to conserve space but still want a dedicated bathtub for soaking or with jets, a corner tub helps you save room. Corner tubs extend along two walls, with usually 1 long connecting side in the front. They can be designed for a single user, or for two, with one bathing space extending along each wall. Installation is a choice between alcove-style with an apron front or undermounting into a deck.
Expect to pay between $2,000 to $20,000 for a Japanese-style bathtub. Japanese-style tubs are an extension of an entire bathing culture and are entirely dedicated to relaxation and stress-relief. They are a very deep soaking tub, usually in a circle or square. In this tub, the bather does not stretch out, but sits upright with the water coming up nearly neck-high. Because of the extra depth, there is usually a seat with room for the legs to be comfortably bent. These tubs are created for soaking, but some can be fitted with jets or made as an air bath. They use many different materials and can be freestanding or designed for deck mounting using either a drop-in or undermount style. A few companies also make these with a front apron, so you could install it in an alcove.
Bathtub Prices by Material
You will spend between $200 and $20,000 on your bathtub based on the material that you choose. Bathtubs are made from many different materials, depending on if the tub needs to be lightweight or hold heat well. Other materials are chosen based on aesthetics or to match a particular decor. Each different material has its own costs and attributes to consider, impacting the total cost for each tub.
For example, the average steel tub price is minimal because these are affordable, durable tubs that last for many years without much maintenance. Built-in tub/shower combo units and standalone bathtubs are usually made of fiberglass, acrylic, or cast iron. However, some people choose rustic freestanding tubs with copper construction or enhancements. Materials like marble, ceramic tile, and granite are usually found in shower stalls, premium hot tubs, or walk-in showers. Some units may be made of a solid surface material and have granite, marble, or other design enhancements. In the table below, you will see the most common materials and their costs.
|Material||Tub Cost (Unit Only)|
|Steel||$200 - $2,500|
|Acrylic||$200 - $13,750|
|Fiberglass||$300 - $4,500|
|Cast Iron||$375 - $2,500|
|Cultured Marble||$1,400 - $5,000|
|Solid Surface||$2,000 - $6,000|
|Copper||$2,000 - $6,000|
|Ceramic Tile||$5,000 - $10,000|
|Granite||$10,000 - $20,000|
New Tub Cost by Purpose
The cost for a tub ranges from $200 to $17,000, depending on its purpose. Depending on how they are used, bathtubs are generally sorted into several categories, such as general-purpose, soaking, walk-in, and whirlpool. Each of these tubs has its own characteristics as well as price range. There can also be overlap between them, such as a whirlpool tub with air jets or a walk-in tub also designed for soaking. In addition, installation styles impact the final project costs. In the table below, you will see a breakdown of each tub type and the costs for the unit only.
|Purpose||Tub Cost (Unit Only)|
|General-Purpose||$200 - $800|
|Soaking||$1,000 - $12,000|
|Whirlpool||$1,500 - $10,000|
|Air Bath||$1,500 - $10,000|
|Walk-In||$1,500 - $15,000|
|Hot Tub||$1,800 - $17,000|
General-purpose bathtubs are the standard bathtubs that everyone recognizes. They cost between $200 and $800. They are generally shallow, about 14 inches on average, so they are not the best tubs for adults who want to bathe regularly. They may be made of almost any material and are usually installed with a shower.
Expect to pay around $1,000 to $12,000 for a soaking tub, depending on the material and size. Soaking tubs are deeper than general-purpose tubs and allow you to immerse yourself entirely. Freestanding clawfoot and slipper tubs are in this category. Japanese soaking tubs are as well, allowing you to sit and have water up to your shoulders. Most soaking tubs are big enough to stretch out in, and many have reclining backs for extra comfort.
The average whirlpool tub cost ranges from $1,500 to $10,000, depending on the size, style, and brand. Whirlpool tubs are designed to give you a spa-like therapeutic experience. These are jetted tubs that circulate the water and air to provide a massaging burst at every jet. Whirlpool tubs have arrays of jets that are either positionable or fixed. They come in many shapes and sizes, and some offer specialty features like lights or lumbar support.
Air Bath Tub
Expect to pay between $1,500 and $10,000 for an air bath tub, depending on the size and style. An air bath is a soaking tub with a ring of small holes either around the perimeter or around the base. Pressurized air is sent through these holes, which gives a more gentle massage. Standard jetted tubs are not recommended for people with diabetes or other health conditions because their moving water carries a lot of force. Air baths, however, can be used in their place because their gentleness helps stimulate circulation without the danger of bruising.
Walk-in tubs usually cost between $1,500 and $15,000. A walk-in tub is designed for people who have mobility restrictions and cannot climb into a standard tub. Walk-in tubs have a door that allows people to walk into the tub instead of stepping over the rim. A tight seal on this door keeps the water inside once closed. The tub is designed to start filling when the occupant is seated inside and must completely drain before the door can be opened. They may have whirlpool or air bath options, depending on the brand.
Hot tub prices range between $1,800 and $17,000. Hot tubs are not technically bathtubs, but they fall into a similar category. They are used for hot water relaxation, rather than for bathing. They are also believed to offer other health benefits, like pain relief, muscle relaxation, or sleep improvement, among other things. They come in many different styles and materials, with some designed to hold many people. Hot tubs are usually installed outside the house, but some can be installed inside, assuming proper flooring and support.
Labor Cost to Install a Bathtub
Of the $1,500 to $10,000 to have a new bathtub installed, about $500 to $2,000 makes up the cost of labor. The rest accounts for the cost of the tub and other necessary installation materials. The cost to install a new bathtub is directly tied to the type of bathtub being installed. Freestanding tub installations are generally the simplest, while a whirlpool undermount installation may be the most difficult. Before any installation, the bathroom subfloor needs to be leveled, if it isn’t already, so there are no leaks or unnecessary strains on the plumbing.
All tubs should be installed by a licensed plumber, with rates ranging from $45 to $200 per hour. A new tub installation takes around 6 to 9 hours, depending on the exact details. To remove an existing tub, add at least 3 to 4 hours to the total time. In some instances, plumbers might charge a fixed rate for a bathtub installation, which includes all necessary materials and labor tasks. Any additional work might be charged at an hourly rate.
When installing a whirlpool tub or air bath, you may also need to hire an electrician ($40 to $100 per hour) to install new wiring, which takes 2 to 6 hours. You should be careful to choose a licensed, experienced electrician that has done bathtub installation work like this before. You can usually ask your plumber or bathroom contractor for an electrician reference if you do not have one.
The exact rate charged for installation labor is dictated by the tub type and its installation because some are simpler than others. For example, a freestanding tub or simple alcove design installs in just a few hours and has lower labor costs. On the other hand, a drop-in or undermount tub requires more preparation and installation, so the costs go up. And, of course, air baths and whirlpool tubs are usually the most expensive in terms of labor costs, as you will see in the table below.
|Tub Type||Cost to Install (Labor Only)|
|Tub / Shower Combo||$300 - $1,000|
|Freestanding||$500 - $1,100|
|Alcove||$750 - $1,450|
|Drop-In||$950 - $1,700|
|Undermount||$1,000 - $1,800|
|Corner||$1,000 - $2,000|
|Japanese-Style||$2,000 - $4,500|
Bathtubs come in a full range of sizes, from small “birthday” baths that are just 3-feet long to oversized jetted tubs meant for two that are 6½-feet long. In addition to the length, tubs also come in all different widths and depths. These vary by the type of tub installation, as well as the tub function. Below is a basic size chart to help determine which tub best fits your needs.
|Alcove||40” to 72”||30” to 36”||14” to 24”|
|Freestanding||36” to 80”||30” to 46”||14” to 36”|
|Jetted / Air Bath||60” to 80”||30” to 40”||24” to 36”|
|Undermount||60” to 72”||36” to 40”||18” to 24”|
|Drop-In||60” to 72”||36” to 40”||18” to 24”|
|Walk-In||52” to 60”||30” to 32”||24” to 36”|
|Corner||60” to 72”||60” to 72”||18” to 24”|
Tub Surround Cost by Material
You will spend between $120 and $24,000 on the tub surround, depending on the type of material chosen. There are many ways to install a bathtub. If you are designing a tub/shower combination, your tub needs a surround. The surround creates a waterproof covering on the walls above the tub. They are frequently tile or the same material as the tub when you purchase both as a set.
Tile is easy to clean and customize, although it takes more labor to install in most cases. Composite, acrylic, and fiberglass surrounds are usually the easiest to install. Some even include details to make them look like tile without the grout that is difficult to clean. For a premium look, you could choose a natural stone surround, but that will be a bit pricier. Also, on the high end, consider a solid surface or quartz surround for low-maintenance options. Here is a cost comparison of some of the most common materials used for tub surrounds, assuming a size of 60 inches x 30 inches x 72 inches.
|Material||Surround Cost (Materials Only)|
|Tile||$120 - $6,000|
|Composite||$250 - $2,000|
|Acrylic||$300 - $700|
|Fiberglass||$400 - $1,200|
|Natural Stone||$2,400 - $24,000|
|Solid Surface||$6,000 - $12,000|
|Quartz||$6,000 - $12,000|
Tub Surround Installation Cost
The cost to install a tub surround depends largely on the type of tub surround. A ready-made surround of acrylic, fiberglass, composite, or some other premade material costs $200 to $300. The cost to install a tile tub surround is around $3,120 to $9,000, including the framing of the walls, backer board installation, and tile surround, which needs to be caulked and finished. This is in addition to the cost of the materials, which vary depending on the type of surround and the installation process involved. Tile tub surrounds are among the most common but require more labor.
Bathtub Faucet Price by Type
The type of faucet you choose impacts the cost, with various styles ranging from $100 to $700 for the materials alone. No matter which type of bathtub you have, you need to have a way to fill it. A tub filler is a faucet that fills your bathtub. It usually has a higher number of gallons per minute than a standard faucet. Tub fillers can be deck-mounted or mounted on the side of the tub, floor-mounted, coming up from the floor and extending over the rim of the tub, or they can be wall-mounted, either as part of a shower valve setup or as a stand-alone filler. Tub fillers have a range of styles and finishes in each category, which produces a range of costs for each. In the table below, you will see each common type of faucet/filler and its average costs.
|Type||Faucet Cost (Unit Only)|
|Deck-Mounted||$100 - $500|
|Wall-Mounted||$200 - $500|
|Floor-Mounted||$300 - $700|
Bathtub Replacement Cost
Simply replacing a bathtub with one of the same average size and type has similar costs to a new installation, plus the costs of removing and disposing of the old tub. It is important to find a new tub of the same dimensions to make this project easier. The cost of removing the old tub is between $200 and $1,200, depending on the tub type, what it is made of, and how hard it is to remove. The total labor to replace a tub is between $700 and $3,000, along with the cost of the new tub, for a total cost of $900 to $23,000, depending on the tub type and material.
Replace a Bathtub With a Shower Stall
Replacing a tub with a shower stall is an option for people who prefer a walk-in shower and costs between $1,000 and $9,000. Shower stalls can be the same size as the old tub, or they may be larger or smaller. They can be made of many different materials and be prefabricated or custom made, which will also impact the cost that you pay. The features in the shower stall will affect the costs, as well, such as if you add a bench seat or multiple showerheads.
Replace a Bathtub and Tiles on a Wall
When replacing an alcove bathtub, your average cost range to replace just the tub and plumbing is around $900 to $1,200. The cost of replacing the tiles on the walls is an additional $720 to $7,000. This makes the total cost of replacement of the tub and shower between $1,620 and $8,200. This assumes that, once the current tile walls are removed, the shower walls do not need significant repair due to water damage.
Replace a Shower Tub Combo
When replacing a prefab tub/shower combination unit, your costs to remove the unit will be around $200 to $300, added to the average labor costs and new tub costs, making the total project cost $1,000 to $3,100. If you are replacing a shower/tub combo made of a separate tub and a tile shower surround, your costs will be between $1,520 and $8,200, depending on the type of tile and tub.
Shower-To-Tub Conversion Cost
The total cost to convert a current shower to a tub is between $4,300 and $11,800. The costs of converting a walk-in shower to a tub are similar to the costs of a new tub installation, along with the removal and disposal of the current shower and framing of the walls. Expect the labor for this job to be around $4,000 total for the removal, framing, and installation of the new tub and tub surround. This is in addition to the cost of the tub and the plumbing.
Bathtub Removal Cost
While most tubs can be removed for $200 to $300, specialty situations increase costs to as high as $1,200. The cost to remove a bathtub is largely dependent on the tub type and material. The labor will be cheaper for a freestanding or alcove tub. Costs can be higher, however, if this tub is in a deck installation, made of a heavy material that must be removed from an upper floor of the house, or oversized and unwieldy. If the tub cannot be taken out through the house, it may need to be removed through a window using a crane, which further increases costs. Suppose you are completely renovating a bathroom, relocating the tub, or changing the style of the tub completely (such as from an alcove to a freestanding tub). In that case, you may need to pay separately for bathtub removal and installation costs.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Water Heater for Bathtub
A new water heater costs around $800 to $2,500. When installing a large whirlpool bathtub, make sure your water heater is big enough to handle the load. Your water tank should be about ⅔ the size of your bathtub. For example, a 40-gallon water heater would be adequate for a small 60-gallon tub. However, if you have a large 110-gallon whirlpool tub, you need at least a 75-gallon water tank to fill it with enough hot water to operate the jets.
Electric Panel Upgrade
An electrical panel upgrade costs $1,500 to $4,000 in addition to the installation of a new tub. If your whirlpool or air jet tub requires a separate electric circuit, you may need to upgrade your complete electric panel. The electrical work should always be done by a licensed electrician familiar with bathroom electricity and panel upgrades.
Bath Fitter Installation
Costs start at around $1,400 to $3,000 for the average bathtub installation with Bath Fitter. If you have a current bathtub and shower surround that are in good condition but not in a color or style that is up to date, you can cover them. A Bath Fitter is a method of covering up old tubs. This is a multi-piece cover that fits over your existing bathtub and the walls around it. It is seamless and can cover up stained tile and grout or old tubs.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Refinishing. Instead of replacing your old bathtub, which involves demolishing the old bathtub, updating all the fixtures, plumbing, adjacent flooring and surround, and installing a new one, you can refinish the old one ($350 to $650) or have it relined for the same cost. Cast iron, steel, and fiberglass bathtubs are good candidates for refinishing. Cast iron and steel bathtubs can also be relined, unlike fiberglass and acrylic.
- Floor reinforcements. You may need to reinforce the bathroom floor if your bathtub is made of a heavy material like cast iron or if you live in an older home ($100 to $300 per joist). Do not forget to take into account the body and water weight when making this decision.
- Try before you buy. When you go to the store, sit down or lie down in the bathtub to understand if the tub style and slope suit your body. Also, consider the position of the fixtures.
- Building codes. Building codes and standards for bathrooms, especially whirlpools and air-jet tubs, vary from area to area. Your local library may be a good resource for finding out more about your local codes.
- Permits. Most regions require a plumbing permit before undertaking any major plumbing work, such as converting a shower to a bathtub. Check with the local planning department to find out if you need a permit for your bathtub project.
- DIY. Since bathtub installation is a complex project requiring plumbing, soldering, and carpentry skills, it is not recommended for a DIY project. Even minor mistakes in leveling or connecting the drainage pipes can cause huge disasters later. A professional plumber or handyman who can make sure the installation is compliant with the building codes is the right choice for this project.
- Licensing. Always work with a licensed plumber. Some manufacturers may not honor the product warranty if the tub was not installed by a licensed professional.
- How long does it take to replace a bathtub?
This project can take about 6 to 8 hours on average. If you encounter issues with water damage or the plumbing needs to run beneath the floor, it can take as long as 9 to 12 hours.
- How long does a bathtub last?
This depends on the tub. It is not unheard of for some cast iron tubs to last nearly 100 years. On the other hand, some acrylic tubs may only last 20 years. How they are installed and taken care of impact how long they last.
- Do plumbers install bathtubs?
They do. In fact, it is usually recommended that you have a plumber install your bathtub. This is because the tub also includes a drain and tub filler, and your plumber can handle all these things at once.
- How hard is it to install a bathtub?
The difficulty of installation depends on the type of tub being installed and the surround chosen. For example, an all-in-one, single-piece tub insert that is designed to fit over an old tub could install quickly, while a custom whirlpool tub with a tile surround could take a lot of complex work by licensed professionals.
- Better Homes and Gardens. “Upgrade Your Bathroom with These Tips on Removing and Replacing an Old Bathtub."
- Craftsman Book Company. National Home Improvement Estimator, Ed. by Ray F. Hicks (Carlsbad, CA, 2021).
- Craftsman Book Company. National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator, Ed. by James A. Thomson (Carlsbad, CA, 2021).
- Family Handyman. “12 Things to Consider When Buying a New Bathtub."
- FIXR Cost Guides and Cost Database.
- Fixr.com. “Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling Trends 2021."
- Healthline. “7 Benefits of Soaking in a Hot Tub."
- HomeQuestionsAnswered. “What are the Pros and Cons of Using a Copper Bathtub?"
- Inman. “Building a better bathtub: the pros and cons of 9 bathtub materials.”
- Lowe’s. “Bathtubs.”
- NKBA. “Design Trends 2021: The New En Suite Bathroom: Smart And Spa-Like.”
- Signature Hardware. “Remodeling With Japanese Soaking Tubs."
- The Home Depot. “Bathtubs.”
- The Home Depot. “Types of Bathtubs."
- The Spruce. “The 10 Best Bathtubs of 2021."
- This Old House. “Bathtub Tile Surround: Installation in 7 Steps."
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
Related Cost GuidesHalf-Bathroom Installation Bathroom Painting Bathroom Remodeling Hot Tub Installation Bathroom Remodel Plumbing Shower Installation Sink Installation Toilet Installation Unclog a Toilet Main Water Line Installation Plumbing Plumbing for a Kitchen Remodel Toilet Installation Unclog Kitchen Sink Unclog a Toilet Water Heater Installation or Replacement