The true cost of replacing
When looking at tubs and showers in local home improvement stores, the only price you will find is the retail cost of the actual unit. However, there are a lot of expenses that go into a "simple" change out of a tub or shower, none of which are reflected in the retail price of the unit.
First, the old unit must be removed, which is quite a process in itself. For example, although there are many different types of tub, the standard in most homes is a garden tub in the master along with a standalone shower, and a one piece tub with surround for guest baths. Both the garden tub and one piece tub/shower combo present a very challenging issue: most don't fit through standard doors. They were put in the house in the very early stages of the building process. They normally have to be cut up in the bathroom to be removed. In the case of large marble garden tubs, they are normally demolished with a sledge hammer in place to be removed. This is not only messy, but also can add to the cost of the replacement. Another overlooked part of removing the unit is all units have a nailing flange designed to have sheetrock put over to give them a finished look. This flange is essential to the stability of the unit. But ultimately, what you are looking at is sheetrock having to be removed all around the unit just to be able to pull it out of its place.
Once the old unit has been removed, getting a new unit in presents the same challenge as removing them: most don't fit through standard doors. However, manufacturers understand this and have designed units that either fit, or are multiple pieces that can be disassembled then reassembled once in the bathroom. These units normally have the tub unit separate from the surround, which then is multiple pieces, normally 3 separate walls. This is definitely as option, but these units normally come at a premium.
Then finally, once the unit is back in its place, the walls can be fixed.
Once you look at all the different aspects of changing out a tub, you can really start to understand why that retail price of a few hundred bucks doesn't even come close to the true cost of replacing the unit. This process can also range in time to be completed from a day to several, depending on several factors, some of which are completely beyond anyones control (drain pipe breaks during removal of the old unit, faucet valve breaks during removal, etc.), all of which can add time and money to the process.
A typical repair is a fraction of the cost and time needed to replace!
Repairing or resurfacing your unit brings it back to that like new appearance and functionality without all the headaches of replacement! It truly is a fraction of the cost and time to repair your tub, shower, or vanity!