Cultured Marble Facts
Before looking at the overall costs associated with replacing your tub surround with cultured marble, it is wise to understand this manufactured product. Unlike true marble, which is a hard natural stone, cultured marble is a man-made building material. Made of crushed up pieces of limestone and a fiberglass resin, cultured marble falls under the materials category called cast polymers. Items in this category are made by combining resins with fillers such as calcium carbonate. Manufacturers typically pour the mixture into a mold to give the cultured marble a specific desired shape, adding colors for a distinct finish.
There are a number of factors you need to consider regarding the exact cost of cultured marble. The cost of replacing your tub surround compared to your neighbor's will most likely be very different. Although the price of the actual material may be fairly stable, the size and intricacies of installation may drive up or down the average cost. For example, a large sized surround area will obviously cost more than a smaller space. Additionally, some cultured marble surrounds may cost more or less depending on the specific coloring and the manufacturer's costs.
When reviewing the costs for replacing your bathtub surround, you will most likely first note the actual marble costs. Whether you are using a home contractor or doing the job yourself, the price per area of cultured marble is a major factor in the overall price. This varies depending on the manufacturer that you choose, the quality of the product, and the number of square feet that you need for your tub. A very basic cultured marble tub surround will typically cost between $735 and $825, while a higher quality product may range from $800 to $1,000.
Another factor that contributes to the average cost of a cultured marble tub surround replacement is the price of installation. These costs vary greatly depending on your contractor. The most inexpensive way to go is a do-it-yourself job. Although the actual costs related to this installation are free, it is not advisable to do your own bathtub surround replacement unless you are an expert. The cost of hiring a professional contractor typically includes either an overall job price based on the size and difficulty of the work or a standard hourly rate set by the specific company. An hourly rate could range from as little as $50 to as much as $100 or more. Others costs that installers often add in include extra materials, such as sealants or glues, tear-down prices for existing surrounds, garbage removal fees, and gas or driving fees for coming to your home.