Not a Bathliner!
Refinishing vs. Bathtub Liners
There are several things to consider when thinking of installing a bathtub liner. The liners are designed to fit over your existing bathtub and walls. They are made out of vinyl, acrylic or plastic and take about 2 weeks to order and are installed in about a day. The cost however versus refinishing for the tub is about $1000 and $1800-2500 if you include the surround. Compare this to the average bathtub refinishing at $400-600 if you include the walls and you can see savings refinishing offers over liners.
Bathtub liners can be beautiful and fit your lifestyle, but if you are considering this type of solution for your bathroom remodel, you may also want to consider the following: The bathtub liners are glued over your existing tub and surround. They are not available for fiberglass, only steel and porcelain. The liners only have a few colors and looks to choose from. The claim that the liners cannot be chipped or gouged, are not true. In fact, bathtub liners are easily scratched and chipped. They can also be damaged from abrasive cleaners. You must follow the company instructions for care.
An improperly installed bathtub liner or one that is cheap can end up being a headache for you down the road. Bathtub liners can leak at the joints or drains and when this happens you can accumulate water between the liner and the old tub. This will cause your bathtub liner to develop mold, mildew, a bad odor and a mushy feeling when you stand on the bathtub floor. If this happens the only way to remove the mold is to remove the liner and disinfect the tub. If this happens, expect to pay a large sum to do it. This is not the case with refinishing. When it is time to refinish your bathtub again, the remedy is much less expensive and there is less time involved.
Unlike bathtub refinishing, your choices during installation of a bathtub liner are limited. Only a very small number of colors are available. Trying to match the bathtub liner to your custom colored vanity top, tile or sink is not going to happen either. With refinishing you can choose any color you like and you can keep the look of your old tub and tile.