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  • Writer's pictureBath Pro KC

Complete Bathtub and Shower Replacement vs. Over-The-Top Liners: A Guide to Making the Right Renovation Choice

When deciding to refresh your bathroom, particularly your bathtub or shower, choosing between a complete replacement or installing a liner over your current setup is pivotal. This decision significantly impacts both your immediate budget and the lasting quality you derive from your bathroom renovation. Although installing a liner might appear cost-effective at first glance, saving you roughly $2000-$3000 upfront, Bath Pro KC asserts that the long-term advantages and thoroughness of opting for a complete replacement far surpass the initial outlay. When choosing an over-the-top liner instead of a bath replacement, your current bathtub or shower stays, and an insert or covering is placed over the top and sealed around the drain and bathtub or shower trim. Over time, the seal will eventually fail, and water will find its way between the layers. There is typically no way for this water to escape, so you will almost always hear a squishing noise when you stand in your bathtub or shower. This trapped water will eventually become black and moldy, which means it's time to start again, but this time, in a more effective way. Let's explore in-depth why a comprehensive overhaul with Bath Pro KC is the superior decision for your home.

Completed shower replacement by Bath Pro KC

Why Choose Complete Replacement Over a Liner?

1. Comprehensive Damage Assessment and Repair

Bath Pro KC's approach to a complete replacement involves meticulously dismantling the existing setup down to the subfloor and studs. This exposes any underlying issues, such as water damage, mold, or mildew, which can then be addressed and fully remediated. Most of the time, damage is minor but can be significant if not addressed in a timely manner. Older homes, in particular, may fall victim to deteriorated sheetrock and structural issues due to inadequate moisture-resistant materials behind shower tiles. A complete overhaul guarantees the installation of contemporary, moisture-resistant options like greenboard (a moisture-friendly drywall) or concrete board and a new tile or solid surface surround put in its place, ensuring the longevity and safety of your bathroom.

2. Upgraded Plumbing

Another advantage of a complete bathtub or shower replacement is that this process revitalizes your bathroom's look and encompasses upgrading outdated plumbing. Traditional materials such as copper can eventually develop leaks over time, but we use modern, durable materials for your new supply lines. Bath Pro KC uses PEX for your new supply lines and copper at the valve. PEX, also known as cross-linked polyethylene, supply lines are the industry standard for their durability and ability to withstand temperature changes by expanding and contracting with temperature changes, unlike your old copper supply lines. This upgrade significantly mitigates the risk of future leaks and safeguards your investment in your home's wellbeing.

3. Valve and Fixture Upgrades:

A complete renovation or replacement allows for modernizing fixtures and incorporating updated valves. Most bathtubs and showers do not have an access point to the rough-in valve, also known as the mixing valve. The rough-in valve is the part inside the wall that the supply lines connect to that controls the water temperature and can also control pressure. We at Bath Pro KC use Moen® products. Moen has a limited lifetime warranty on their residential shower products. Shower fixtures like Moen, Kohler®, and Delta® Faucet Company are all plumber-friendly. These newer valves and trims are a one-handle system that is accessible from the front trim and can easily be fixed by changing out a cartridge. The older two-handle shower faucets are only accessible by going into the wall in front of or behind the valve to repair or replace. This results in tile replacement and potentially sheetrock work and painting to be done. All these upgrades enhance functionality and safety with features like new rough-in valves that now have anti-scald and anti-freeze protections. Rest assured, you will never freeze or burn in your shower again! 

4. Ensuring Proper Drainage

The majority of the time, leaks are discovered at the drain. You may notice water spots on the ceiling below your bathtub or shower area. A plumber may be able to fix the problem without having to completely replace your bathtub or shower. They will need access to the drain. Typically, this involves cutting a hole in the ceiling below your bathtub or shower space. If you have a tile shower base and your drain fails, most often, it will need to be replaced entirely. It is possible that the grout and waterproofing material have failed and are in need of replacement. The average life span of a tile shower base is 10-15 years. Tile shower bases need to be sealed every six months to 1 year. Failure to do this will significantly decrease the life of your tile base. During a complete shower replacement, we will change out your drain and the trap below it. If your space below is finished, don't worry; we can access everything from above! Bath Pro KC not only prevents potential water damage but also significantly extends the lifespan of your bathtub or shower, accommodating modern water usage and drainage needs more effectively than a simple liner could.

A Long-Term Investment in Quality and Satisfaction

Though the initial investment in a complete bath overhaul from Bath Pro KC may be more significant than the cost of a liner, the holistic benefits —from uncovering hidden damages to updating your plumbing and fixtures— provide a level of assurance and potential savings on future repairs that a liner cannot match. Additionally, a brand-new bathtub or shower can dramatically enhance both the aesthetic and the value of your home.

Bath Pro KC stands behind the choice of a complete replacement as a means to deliver unmatched value and satisfaction from your bathroom renovation. Our commitment to using high-quality products, backed by robust warranties and expert craftsmanship, ensures you receive a renovation that is built to last. Contact Bath Pro KC for a complimentary consultation and estimate on your bathtub or shower replacement or a complete bathroom remodel, and let us demonstrate the difference that dedication to excellence and customer service can make. We can show you samples of our products, show pictures of our work, and even give you a same-day quote!

Opting between a complete renovation and a liner is not just about today's aesthetics or immediate costs but about ensuring lasting value and enjoyment from your bathroom. Bath Pro KC is here to guide you through making an informed choice that aligns with both your present needs and future aspirations, solidifying the foundation for a refreshed, resilient home.


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