Re: Before the remodel begins! Tile vs Bath insert
Tile should be the more expensive way to go because it is more labor intensive.
My preference is a enameled steel or cast iron tub with a tile surround and shower enclosure (doors ). What this will cost is dependent upon local labor market and material prices.
An insert can go several ways:
1 - Tear out the old and install a new preformed tub/wall unit. This will be the more expensive option, because of the demolition and installation. You'll get a good life out of a system like this
2 - An actual insert that overlays what you have. This isn't a cheap way to go by any means, but it is less expensive than a total gut and replacement. The problem with this is that it doesn't fix any damage that already exists, it covers it up. Overlays only last about 5 years before you're tearing them out and replacing the whole thing properly.
Another alternative would be to have the existing tub/shower pan resurfaced and then retile the walls, though if you're going to go to the effort of replacing the walls, you may as well do the whole works.
No matter what you do you'll want to replace the shower valve while the wall is open.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!