Should I Gut My Bathroom During A Remodel?

Why Is It Important To Gut The
Bathroom To The Studs?

Save Money And Time By Fixing ALL Issues

There are several different ways to replace a bathtub or shower. Learn how to choose the best option for your Central Virginia home and why it is important to remove the old parts of your bathroom down to the studs.

Adding Bathtub Overlays

Also called bathtub liners, bathtub overlays are plastic or acrylic covers molded to cover your existing bathtub. These are a popular option because of their price.

Often the reason for buying a bathtub overlay is because the existing tub is leaking. Do you know what happens when water leaks under a bathtub?

  • It can cause mold under the bathtub
  • It can rot the wood joists under the bathtub
  • The water can follow the floorboards into other areas of the house

By installing an overlay over the existing bathtub without making sure there is no damage under the bathtub, the bathtub could fall through the floor with someone in it, due to rotted floor joists.

With an overlay, there is an opportunity for mold and bacteria to continue to grow between the old bathtub and the liner. This is often discovered AFTER causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Crew adding bathroom overlays during a bathroom remodeling project

Resurfacing A Bathtub

Also referred to as reglazing a bathtub, resurfacing is the process of refinishing a bathtub’s surface with an epoxy. Reglazing is a popular option because of the cost.

As with a bathtub overlay, the main reason for wanting to reglaze a bathtub is because the existing bathtub has scratches, cracks or has begun to leak.

Once the original surface of the bathtub starts to deteriorate, there can be cracks and micro fissures invisible to the naked eye.

These cracks can harbor bacteria and water long after the reglazing has taken place. The water and mold will continue to damage the original bathtub and the flooring below the bathtub. This damage can go unnoticed for many years, creating a toxic environment in the bathroom. Think of all the heat and moisture in a bathroom every time it’s used. Dark, wet, and warm environments are mold’s best friends.

Eventually the reglazing will wear down and expose the cracks in the original bathtub. This means all that mold and bacteria that has been growing, possibly for many years, is now leaching into the bath water.

When it comes time to replace the bathtub, a simple bathtub replacement will now cost thousands of dollars more because of the necessary repairs.

Now let’s talk about the toxic chemicals used to resurface a bathtub.

A major drawback to reglazing is that everyone who lives in the home must vacate for AT LEAST 24-48 hours after the reglazing is finished.

One of the main chemicals used is Methylene Chloride. According to the CDC, Methylene chloride–based paint stripping agents used in bathtub refinishing have caused at least 13 deaths in the United States since 2000 among professional bathtub refinishers. Because of inadequate ventilation, safe use of a methylene chloride stripping agent in a small bathroom is unlikely.

Replacing The Entire Bathtub Area

Before and after photo of bathtub replacement

When the entire bathtub area is gutted to the studs, any damage will become visible and can be fixed. Often the plumbing in older homes will need replacing.

If there is water damage, it can be investigated and taken care of.

Many licensed, bonded, and insured bathroom remodeling companies remove bathtubs to the studs so they can warranty the new bathtub, because they know what is under it.

Plus, the most expensive bathtub you will ever get installed is the one you have to pay for TWICE. Meaning, if the original bathtub gets reglazed, it causes thousands of dollars in water damage, and then gets replaced again. The total cost is often twice the cost of a simple bathtub replacement.

Three photos of before and after a bahttub renovation

What About JDS Bath?

One of our core values as a company is commitment to service in EVERYTHING we do. As an experienced bathroom remodeler, JDS Baths understands the value in listening to customer concerns.

Our process is built around aligning the work we do to your vision of what your bathroom could look like. This means that we work FOR you on the job and work WITH you to find an affordable bathroom redo option.

We do everything in bathroom remodeling, including tub to shower installation and complete bathroom renovation. Our team services the Central Virginia area including Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, Colonial Heights, Petersburg, and Short Pump.

To provide the best quality of workmanship, our Installation Crew Members have several different qualifications, including a Master Plumbing License and a Master Electrician License.

Call us today at (804) 451-9673 for a FREE bathroom remodeling quote.

A remodeling crew from JDS Bathoutside their work vans
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