Robert Lamoureux | Is it time to pull the plug on a cracked tub?

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

Question: Hi Robert. It’s incredible to me how many different subjects you are knowledgeable about. How many years have you been in this industry? Thank you for the help you offer to our valley. We have saved a lot of money by learning from reading the articles that you write, then moving forward with making our own repairs and improvements.  

Today, we have an issue that needs your input before we move forward with either doing the work ourselves or hiring a professional. We have a bathtub, a second in our home, which has a crack in it. The tub is likely the same age as the home, 17 years, and we are wondering if we should attempt to get this repaired (proper repair is a bit costly).  

The research we’ve done thus far has shown that the repairs can look great, but we would then still be left with a bit dated look in this bathroom so we are also considering replacing it.  

With that, we have learned that replacing a tub can be a bit of an adventure due to the tight space tubs are in. With your experience, should we squash the replacement idea and move forward with a remodel of the space, making it a shower enclosure instead?  

We won’t be in this home forever and know that having a tub is important for resale. We do have a tub in the master so that issue would be covered. Do you think that this would be a wise move on our part?  

— Cindy and Richard C. 

Answer: Cindy and Richard, absolutely move forward with the total remodel, if your budget allows. Kitchens and bathrooms are some of the biggest selling points for a home, and most people either don’t have the funds or skills to improve them. Anything that is a main use area in a home that is updated and somewhat neutral, though nice, will help sell a home.  

I agree on removing the tub and remodeling this bathroom to a shower area, given that there is, in fact, another tub in the home.  

There are many ways that you can create a wonderful shower space without breaking the bank, though it will be a costly endeavor no matter what. The big-box stores do have nice options for tile — just be sure to choose some of their better-quality vs. the lowest. The least expensive can sometimes be less than desirable for durability and installation.  

Check with the tile contractor, who you confirm is licensed and insured, on what to avoid when shopping for your tile choices. You’ll pay a bit more for materials but they’ll be better quality with both a nicer installation outcome and durability over time. Best of luck with your project. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].              

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