What Are Bathtub Liners, And How Can They Affect The Quality Of Your Shower Remodel?

Considering a shower replacement or bath replacement? The decision between a bathtub liner and a high-quality acrylic replacement is an important one. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of bathtub liners, and why replacing your bath or shower with high-quality acrylic might be the better option.

Understanding Bathtub Liners

A bathtub liner is a sheet of PVC plastic or acrylic material molded to fit the shape of a bathtub. This liner is placed over the existing tub and adhered to it, providing a fresh, new surface. Bathtub liners are often promoted as a more affordable and less invasive alternative to a complete bath replacement or shower replacement. However, there are several potential drawbacks to consider before choosing a bathtub liner.

Pros and Cons of Bathtub Liners


  • Quick installation: Bathtub liners can be installed in a day once the liner has arrived, making them an attractive option for homeowners who want a fast bathroom update.
  • Less mess: Installing a bathtub liner typically involves less demolition and mess than a full shower replacement or bath replacement.
  • Lower upfront cost: Bathtub liners can be less expensive than a complete bath replacement, depending on the materials and labor involved.


  • Limited color options: Bathtub liners are available in a limited range of colors, which may not align with your desired bathroom design.
  • Potential installation issues: Improper installation of a bathtub liner can lead to leaks, mold, and other problems.
  • Not a long-term solution: Bathtub liners can wear out and may need to be replaced, which can be a hassle and add to the overall cost.

The Bathtub Liner Installation Process

The process of installing a bathtub liner typically involves several steps:

  1. A sales representative visits your home to discuss the project and provide a contract.
  2. An installer measures your tub to ensure the correct liner is fabricated.
  3. The factory fabricates the liner based on the measurements provided.
  4. The liner is shipped to the installer.
  5. An appointment is scheduled for the installation.
  6. The liner is installed, including plumbing connections and any finishing touches.

While this process may seem straightforward, it can take several weeks from start to finish, and any delays can prolong the project.

Potential Issues with Bathtub Liners

There are several potential problems that can arise with bathtub liners, including:

  • Leaks: Water can leak between the liner and the original bathtub, leading to mold, mildew, and an unpleasant “squishy” sensation when stepping into the tub.
  • Plumbing issues: The added thickness of a bathtub liner may require adjustments to the drain and overflow system, which can lead to plumbing problems.
  • Cracks: If the liner doesn’t match the contours of the original tub, the liner may flex and crack over time.
  • Difficult replacement: When a liner wears out, it can be challenging to remove and replace, as it is typically glued to the original tub.

High-Quality Acrylic Shower Replacement

An alternative to bathtub liners is a shower replacement or bath replacement using high-quality acrylic materials. Acrylic is a durable, non-porous material that resists mold and mildew growth, making it an excellent choice for bathroom remodels. Unlike bathtub liners, acrylic shower replacements involve removing the existing tub or shower and installing a new one, ensuring a proper fit and long-lasting results.

Advantages of High-Quality Acrylic Over Bathtub Liners

There are several benefits to choosing a high-quality acrylic shower replacement over a bathtub liner:

  • Durable and long-lasting: Acrylic showers are designed to last for many years, providing a more permanent solution than bathtub liners.
  • Customizable: Acrylic showers are available in various colors and styles, allowing you to create a bathroom that matches your design preferences.
  • Easier to clean: The non-porous surface of an acrylic shower is easy to clean and maintain, without the risk of water getting trapped between a liner and the original tub.
  • Better fit: Acrylic showers are made to fit your specific bathroom dimensions, ensuring a proper fit and reducing the risk of leaks, cracks, and other issues.

The Shower Replacement Process

The process of replacing a shower or bath with a high-quality acrylic system generally involves the following steps:

  1. An initial consultation with a bathroom remodeling professional to discuss your project and provide a quote and contract.
  2. Existing tub and shower space is measured to ensure a perfect fit.
  3. Removal of the existing tub or shower, along with any necessary demolition.
  4. Installation of the new acrylic shower or bath, including plumbing connections and any necessary adjustments.
  5. Finishing touches, such as installing fixtures, sealing seams, and cleaning up the work area.

The end result is a durable, attractive, and long-lasting shower replacement or bath replacement.

Comparing Costs: Bathtub Liners vs. Acrylic Shower Replacements

The costs associated with bathtub liners and acrylic shower replacements can vary widely, depending on factors such as material quality, labor rates, and regional differences. In general, bathtub liners can be less expensive upfront. However, when you factor in potential issues such as leaks, mold, and the need for eventual replacement, the long-term costs can be higher. Acrylic shower replacements may have a higher initial cost, but the investment can be worth it in terms of durability, ease of maintenance, and overall value. To determine the best option for your budget, it’s essential to compare quotes from reputable bathroom remodeling professionals.

Making the Right Choice for Your Bathroom Remodel

When considering whether to choose a bathtub liner or a high-quality acrylic shower replacement, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option. While bathtub liners may seem more affordable and less invasive upfront, they may not provide the long-term value and durability of a complete shower replacement. By investing in a high-quality acrylic shower or bath replacement, you can create a beautiful, functional, and long-lasting bathroom that meets your needs and design preferences. West Shore Home® specializes in acrylic bath and shower remodeling in as little as one day. With our expert, company-employed installation team, flexible financing options with approved credit, and convenient scheduling, you can enjoy a new bath or shower for years to come. Contact us today to learn more and get your free quote!