Bathtubs are essential fixtures in modern houses and add beauty, quality, and worthiness to your house.
However, at some point, bathtubs produce a creaking sound when you get in or out of it, mainly acrylic bathtubs. If you have experienced this common problem, you may be thinking of how to tackle the issue.
(In this regard) Do You Need To Replace Your Creaking Bathtub?
While replacing your creaking bathtub is a good idea, you don’t necessarily need to replace it immediately you hear the squeaks and creaks. It is recommended that you inspect your bathtub and fix the underlying issue before thinking of replacing the accessory. If your bathtub continues to squeak after trying all repair methods, replacing it would be the best option.
If you must replace your tub, it is worth noting that replacing a creaking bathtub is quite expensive. That’s why you should consider repairing it before thinking of a replacement.
Keep reading to understand more about the replacement and fixing procedures and processes of a bathtub.
What Causes A Bathtub To Creak?
It may sound obvious that the noise is caused by two moving points that rub against each other beneath the tub, but determining the exact points and fixing them may be highly stressful.
1. Floor Issue
In most cases, the bathtub will produce a creaking sound because of an underlying floor or subfloor problem.
The floor and subfloor structures meet at some point with the tub.
If not correctly fixed, the tub may swing a little bit against the floor when stepped in, and the friction then produces a creaking sound.
In most cases, this is caused by poor installation or water leakages that make the joints expand.
2. Acrylic Issue
In addition, bathtubs coated with an acrylic finish will produce creak sound more frequently.
Acrylic is a glassy transparent substance produced from a polycarbonate material that gives it the stone toughness and glassy looks.
Glassy materials produce annoying noise whenever pressed against a surface.
When an acrylic bathtub rubs on the subfloor, it produces creaks, and that’s how it became known that acrylic bathtubs are noisy.
3. It’s Cracked
Another major reason why your bathtub may be producing noise is because it has cracked.
After surveying your washroom and realizing that everything is intact, but you still hear creaking sounds, then it means that the tub is cracked somewhere.
These problems can be easy or hard to fix depending on the location where the squeaks originate.
Sometimes you may be forced to replace the bathtub or completely remodel the bathroom regardless of the extent of repair efforts.
Any qualified plumber can handle all the problems. However, you may try fixing the problem individually, but remember that bathtub plumbing is critical, and a simple mistake may cause a considerable loss. To avoid the try and error technique, you can simply pay a qualified person to handle the tub noise once and for all.
How Do You Fix A Creaking Bathtub?
A squeaky noise may at times indicate cracking or improper installation on the motor bed.
Plumbers may drill through the bottom of the tub, carefully insert urethane foam to recoat the tub. If you want to perform the job alone, then here are some steps to consider.
1. Access The Area Underneath The Tub
You can access the area under the tub through an existing panel by cutting another one through the drywall of an immediate bedroom closet wall, hallway, or staircase.
2. Check Under The Tub
Check the exact situation under the tub with a work light to confirm if the mortar bed and any plastic foam molded under the tub are in good condition.
If the molded foam is loose, you have to reattach it adhesively and shim up the form firmly against the tub for the recommended time to dry up and be used again.
3. Find A Better Mortar Bed
Try hard to look for a mortar bed that looks like a concrete pad instead of plywood to use underneath the tub.
In case you don’t find one, but you are privileged to see plywood, then you can prepare to retrofit it by playing with expanding foam around its drain hole to prevent the mortar from dripping under the floor.
4. Mix The Materials
Take five gallons of quick-setting concrete and mix it well.
You can also take a joint compound to act as a mortar.
Trowel the materials on the plywood below the tub.
5. Allow The Mortar To Level
Give the mortar time to self-level to a depth of at least half an inch.
Set up a 2-by- 4 at the opening you are using to work through to contain the mortar bed. If you get clear access to the floor under the tub, attach a building paper to the subfloor before adding a mortar.
Remember to check your original tub instruction to determine the depth of the mortar bed.
6. Leave The Mortar To Cure
Give the motor some sufficient time, typically not less than 24 hours up to 48 hours. You can now remove the 2- by- 4 and close up the access to the panel.
In rare cases, your bathtub may continue creaking even after you have done all this repair. If the creaking noise is unpleasant to you, you can now opt for a replacement.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Squeaking Tub?
Like any other asset installed in your house, installation and replacement costs are higher than repair.
To replace means you have to buy most of the tools, material, and the bathtub itself.
On average, the cost of replacing a bathtub ranges from $1463 up to $7344 but can be approximated to $4402.
This is quite a lot of money, and it varies depending on the type of tube and the modifications needed.
Consider the following factors to help you determine the exact amount of money you will need to replace the bathtub that will fit your precise personal needs.
- Old tub removal
- Surface preparation
- The new style, size, and material of the new bathtub
- How to dispose of the old tub
- The new tub surround
- Plumbing cost
- New faucets
- Materials and permits needed
In addition, you may also need to fix a few bathroom fixtures.
Consider also calculating the cost because you are probably not just replacing a creaking bathtub, but you also want to change the entire view and feel of your bathroom.
The additional fixtures may include;
- Electric panel upgrade
- Water heater replacement
- Shower to tub conversion
- Reinforcing bath filters
- Reinforcing the floor
Generally, to replace a bathtub may cost as much or less than you ever expected.
All you need is to determine what you need your plumber to do and the extent of change you need in your bathroom.
After figuring out this, you will know the exact cost of changing a bathtub.
Always remember that repairing the bathtub to reduce or stop squeaking may be much cheaper than replacing the entire tub.
Whether to replace or fix a creaking bathtub remains under your choice as a homeowner.
As long as you will enjoy using your bathtub without any distractions or fear of cracks,
then you can opt for the best solution that suits your individual needs.