The Re-Bath Story
A trailblazing bathroom remodeling franchise for nearly 40 years
In 1979, before the modern bathroom remodeling industry existed, a group of college kids saw a need in the hotel industry that wasn’t being met: a quick and affordable way to remodel hotel bathrooms without compromising in quality. The innovative birth of Re-Bath bears more similarities to iconic companies that emerged from Silicon Valley than it does with the bathroom remodeling industry, and Re-Bath has been blazing new ground for nearly 40 years. Our commitment to innovation has helped us remodel millions of bathrooms since our founding.
Re-Bath is a classic American example of how the marketplace rewards entrepreneurship and creativity. Our endless dedication to enhancing our product offering, as well as our continual investment in bettering the tools and support we extend to our franchisees, have fueled our rapid growth to nearly 200 locations open or in development nationwide. They have made us the premier bathroom remodeling franchise, serving an ever-growing customer base — even though the product that made us a household name, our bathtub liners, now accounts for less than 4 percent of our total business.
“Essentially, Re-Bath started as a group of college kids who developed bathtub liners and wall systems to sell to the hospitality market,” says Brad Hillier, CEO of Re-Bath. “They quickly realized that our products would translate well into residential markets. That has proven to be true, and Re-Bath is now America’s largest bathroom remodeling franchise.”
The best bathroom remodeling franchise: how Re-Bath evolved
After finding the solution to meet the hotel industry’s need to swiftly, beautifully, and affordably remodel bathrooms, Re-Bath had success right out the gate. Just a few years after our founding, we won high-profile contracts with Best Western, Quality Inn, and Holiday Inn. Our decision to enter the residential marketplace rapidly increased our momentum, and in 1991, Re-Bath became the premier franchise system. Our commitment to developing products that are universally appealing only intensified.
We have developed myriad products that are now commonly used across the United States: our famously beautiful and affordable acrylic bathtubs and wall systems, our replacement bathtubs and shower bases, our DuraBath® SSP material — which won’t crack and resists mold and mildew — our DuraBath® SSP walk-in tubs, which are popular with people who wish to safely age in place.
“In addition to expanding our product offering, we’ve spent the past several years investing significantly in our franchisees,” Brad says. “Because we’re basically competing with ‘Chuck in a truck,’ we needed to ensure that our franchisees had the tools, systems, technology, and methodology that would help them provide the best possible service to their customers. If the industry standard is taking three to five weeks to finish a remodeling job, we’re going to do a better job in only three to five days. The commitment to the innovation of our product offering and our investment in our franchisees is evident in our profitability: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average general contractor brings in about $93,000 a year. The average Re-Bath franchisee brings in about $1.2 million.”
Why the future of Re-Bath is brighter than ever before
In an industry as recession-proof as bathroom remodeling, you might assume that Re-Bath faces substantial competition. While there is competition, other brands in the bathroom remodeling industry — such as Bath Fitter and DreamMaker — serve niche demographics of lower-income and higher-income groups, respectively. Re-Bath primarily squares off against small-time general contractors, who don’t have the corporate support, the buying power, the product offering, and the name recognition that Re-Bath provides its franchisees.
With the introduction of our natural stone product, Re-Bath is moving into the middle of the market, which is currently void of a nationally dominant brand. Our move to dominate this market has two benefits: 1) it provides our bathroom remodeling franchise owners the opportunity to dramatically increase the size of their average tickets, 2) our franchisees do not face significant or legitimate competition.
“We are uniquely positioned to tackle the middle marketplace, which is extremely large and extremely profitable,” says Bill Taysom, Director of Marketing with Re-Bath. “Our natural stone product allows us to win customers that we didn’t have access to before. If you own a $400,000 home, you’re not going to allow an acrylic tub within an inch of your property. The natural stone, however, is only a few thousand dollars more — and it has the look and feel of a luxury product. The middle-class and upper-middle-class demographics that Re-Bath is trying to win required a better product and better systems in place for our franchisees. We’ve done both, and the sky’s the limit as to how big we can get.
“Another differentiator for Re-Bath is the fact that we offer full bathroom remodeling and customization options for our customers,” Bill continues. “We partner with respected vendors so our franchisees can affordably purchase the material that we don’t provide ourselves. We also offer financing options, which ‘Chuck in the truck’ may not be able to provide to his customers. Now that we’re entering the middle market, we will become the dominant brand in this segment because no one does ‘remove and replace’ better than we do.”
The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, using data from the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, reports that an unprecedented number of American homes are in or entering the apex of their remodeling years. The same report highlights the lack of labor necessary to meet the demand for remodeling. Those two factors make now the time to invest in a Re-Bath bathroom remodeling franchise.