Can Bath Fitter Go Over a Fiberglass Tub?

No, Bath Fitters does not do fittings over molded fiberglass tubs. The company only installs their products over existing bathtubs made of porcelain, steel, acrylic, or cast iron. Fiberglass tubs would need to be fully replaced.

Reasons Why I Don’t Do Bathtub Refinishing Over Molded Fiberglass:

Incompatible Materials:

The acrylic liners and wall surrounds I installed are not designed to adhere properly to fiberglass. The materials expand and contract at different rates, leading to cracks and leaks over time.

Limited Access:

Fiberglass tubs are molded as one solid piece with the walls. This leaves very little surface area to secure my refinishing products. I need flat edges around the entire tub perimeter to properly install the new walls and liner.

Prone to Damage:

Applying an acrylic liner over fiberglass risks damaging or cracking the existing tub during installation. The materials have different flexibility and density. Fiberglass is also prone to scratching and dulling from the prep work needed.

Better to Replace:

Given the incompatibility of materials and installation challenges, I recommend fully replacing a fiberglass tub rather than attempting to apply refinishing products over the existing tub. This avoids potential damage and ensures the best long-term results.

Potential Problems I’ve Seen Customers Encounter With Bath Fitter Products:

Installation Issues

The installers often fail to properly seal around the edges of the liner, leading to leaks down the road. I’ve also seen cases where the liner wasn’t fitted into the tub correctly, causing wrinkles or bubbles to form. The wall surrounds are supposed to be secured tightly to prevent detachment, but they are sometimes installed loosely.

Low Quality Materials

The acrylic liners they use seem quite thin and prone to punctures and tearing over time. The wall surrounds are made from a cheap acrylic that tends to crack easily. Both liner and surround materials quickly lose their luster and discolor.

Limited Customization

Bath Fitter only offers a few basic tub sizes and styles. Their standard surround sizes don’t always properly fit older, uniquely shaped tubs. Customers are limited to very few color options for liners and walls.

Questionable Customer Service

I’ve heard complaints about their pushy sales tactics and inconsistent pricing. Customers also report long waits for installation work and service calls. Bath Fitter seems unresponsive to complaints after the sale is complete.

Problems Down the Road

Leaky seals around the liner can cause extensive water damage if not addressed quickly. Surrounds that weren’t firmly attached can start detaching from the walls. If you later want to replace the tub, removal of Bath Fitter products can be costly.

Are Bath Fitter tubs acrylic or fiberglass?

Bath Fitter tubs are made from acrylic sheets that are custom-fitted to your existing tub during installation. The entire bathing surface is covered with a thin acrylic liner that fits over the old tub. The wall surrounds are also constructed from acrylic panels. So no part of a Bath Fitter tub is composed of fiberglass material. Acrylic provides a smooth, durable, and glossy finish.

Can you install a bathtub over a bathtub?

You cannot properly install a new bathtub directly over your old one. The old tub must be completely removed first, which usually requires breaking it apart and hauling it out. This allows the new tub to be securely fastened to the studs or framing behind the walls. Installing right over an old tub will lead to a lack of support, improper drainage, and most likely failure of the new tub over time.

Can a fiberglass bathtub be resurfaced?

Resurfacing fiberglass bathtubs by applying new acrylic over the old surface rarely achieves long-lasting results. The porous texture of fiberglass prevents a proper adhesive bond. Additionally, fiberglass quickly causes abrasions in the new acrylic. This leads to cracks and peeling. Fiberglass tubs are nearly impossible to successfully resurface.

Can you put a Bath Fitter over tile?

The existing tile around your tub does not need to be removed in order to install Bath Fitter products. The acrylic liner fits right over the old tub surface, tile included. The wall surround panels mount over the tile as well. You will still see grout lines and some texture variations under the acrylic, but this does not affect installation.

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