February 21

Is It Better To Reglaze Or Replace A Bathtub?


You’re standing there, staring at your old, worn-out bathtub, wondering about the best course of action. The article “Is It Better To Reglaze Or Replace A Bathtub?” is bound to clear up any doubts you have regarding this common dilemma. It breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of both tub reglazing and replacement, providing valuable insights coming straight from a professional bathtub resurfacing company. With this knowledge, you’ll be well equipped to make a decision that suits your individual needs and budget perfectly. This isn’t just an article – it’s your guide to a newer, fresher-looking bathtub.

Table of Contents

Understanding Bathtub Reglazing

What is bathtub reglazing?

Bathtub reglazing, often referred to as bathtub refinishing or resurfacing, is a process that can give your bathtub a new lease of life. Essentially, it is an option that allows you to revamp your old, worn out bathtub without entirely replacing it. It is akin to a facelift for your tub, resurfacing and polishing the existing structure to give it a fresh, clean and modern look.

The process of bathtub reglazing

The reglazing process typically begins with a thorough cleaning of the bathtub to remove any traces of soap scum, body oils and mineral deposits. This is followed by repairing any visible damages such as chips, cracks or rust. Next, the entire tub is sanded down to create a smooth and even surface for the new coating. An acid-etching solution is then applied to ensure the reglazing material adheres properly to the bathtub surface. This is followed by a few layers of a primer, several layers of a synthetic porcelain finish, and finally, a top coat to seal in everything. The end result is a bathtub that looks as good as new.

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Pros and Cons of bathtub reglazing

Reglazing your bathtub has its distinct advantages. It is generally a less expensive and quicker alternative to a full replacement. Moreover, it allows you to retain the original look and feel of your bathroom, especially if you are attached to a certain vintage style or unique bathtub design. However, bathtub reglazing is not without its downsides. The new coating is typically less durable than the original porcelain and can wear off over time. Also, not all damages can be fixed with a reglaze, and if the integrity of your tub is severely compromised, you may be better off with a replacement.

Understanding Bathtub Replacement

What is bathtub replacement?

Bathtub replacement involves removing your old bathtub entirely and installing a new one in its place. It is a more comprehensive and permanent fix compared to reglazing, although it also entails more work, time and expense.

The process of bathtub replacement

The process of bathtub replacement starts with the removal of the existing tub, which may involve dismantling surrounding structures, like tiles or a shower enclosure. Once the old tub is out, the area is prepped for the new tub by adjusting the plumbing, ensuring proper drainage and checking the level. After placing the new tub, it’s then secured to the wall studs, the drain and overflow are connected, and any finishing touches such as installing surrounding tiles or a shower enclosure are completed.

Pros and Cons of bathtub replacement

Bathtub replacement comes with its own set of pros and cons. On the pros side, a new tub can dramatically elevate the aesthetic of your bathroom and even increase your property value. New bathtubs are also more durable and come with a warranty. In addition, replacing your tub gives you the chance to change its style or layout. On the cons side, bathtub replacement can be a complex, time-consuming and expensive process. The installation process might also cause damage to your walls, tiles, or flooring, and any unforeseen problems can send the costs spiralling out of your budget.

Evaluating the Need

Determining the condition of your bathtub

Determining the condition of your bathtub is the first step to making a decision between reglazing and replacing your tub. Inspect your tub for any chips, cracks or rust and consider its overall appearance. If the damage is superficial, reglazing could suffice. If the tub is decrepit or structurally damaged, it may be time for a replacement.

Identifying the need for a change

Sometimes, it’s not about the condition of the tub, but rather the need for a change. You might want to modernize your bathroom, change the tub to a different style or material, or perhaps even alter the layout of your bathroom. In such cases, you’ll need to opt for replacement rather than reglazing.

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Assessing the functionality of your current bathtub

If your bathtub isn’t functioning as it should, it may be more of an issue than just aesthetics. Water not draining properly, difficulties in cleaning and maintaining, or simply not enjoying using your current tub could all be strong reasons to consider a replacement.

Cost Comparison: Bathtub Reglazing vs Replacement

Cost of bathtub reglazing

The cost of bathtub reglazing varies, but it generally ranges from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars, depending on various factors such as your location, the extent of damage, and specialist rates. This cost includes materials and labor, and is significantly cheaper than replacement.

Cost of bathtub replacement

The cost of bathtub replacement is usually higher, often ranging from a thousand dollars and up, with costs going well higher depending on the type of tub and any additional work required. This includes not only the cost of your new bathtub, but also removal and installation charges, and any associated plumbing or structural changes.

Assessing which is more cost-effective

If cost is your primary concern, bathtub reglazing can be a more cost-effective solution. However, it is important to factor in the long-term value. While replacement is initially more costly, a new tub will likely last longer and may save you the repeated costs of refinishing in the future.

Time Comparison: Bathtub Reglazing vs Replacement

Time needed for bathtub reglazing

Reglazing a bathtub typically takes less time than a full replacement. A professional can often complete the job in a single day, plus an additional day or two to allow the new finish to dry and cure before it’s ready to use.

Time needed for bathtub replacement

Replacing a bathtub, on the other hand, could take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the extent of the work required. This includes removing the old tub, making any necessary changes to piping or surrounding tile, and installing the new tub.

Determining which method is faster

Clearly, if time is of the essence, reglazing your bathtub would be the faster solution. However, if you are planning a bathroom remodel or if your bathtub needs significant work, the time for a full replacement may already be part of your renovation timeline.

Impact on Bathroom Aesthetics

How bathtub reglazing affects bathroom aesthetics

Bathtub reglazing can give an old, weathered bathtub a fresh new look, greatly improving the overall aesthetics of your bathroom. You can even change the color of your tub during the reglazing process.

How bathtub replacement affects bathroom aesthetics

Replacing a bathtub offers an opportunity to completely transform your bathroom. It opens up the possibility of choosing a new design, style, or material for your tub, leading to a drastic change in your bathroom’s look and feel.

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Comparing impact on bathroom design

While both reglazing and replacing can improve the appearance of your bathroom, replacement might provide a greater change, especially if you are looking for a dramatic transformation.

Durability: Bathtub Reglazing vs Replacement

Longevity of a reglazed bathtub

While a professionally reglazed bathtub can look as good as new, it may not have the same longevity as a new tub. While the lifespan of a reglazed bathtub varies depending on usage and care, it typically lasts around 5 to 10 years.

Longevity of a replaced bathtub

A new bathtub, on the other hand, can last for several decades if properly maintained. So while replacing may be more costly and time-consuming initially, it could also be a more permanent solution.

Determining which method offers better durability

In terms of durability, a new bathtub generally comes out on top. Though a reglazed tub can offer a solid number of years of service, nothing quite matches the lifespan and durability of a new tub.

Environmental Considerations

Environmental impact of bathtub reglazing

Reglazing your bathtub is a more eco-friendly option as it extends the life of your current tub, reducing waste. It helps cut down on the number of old bathtubs that end up in the landfill. However, it’s worth noting that some of the chemicals used in the reglazing process can be harmful if not handled correctly.

Environmental impact of bathtub replacement

Replacing a bathtub produces more waste as the old tub often ends up in a landfill. Additionally, the process of manufacturing a new tub and the resources involved in its installation also have a higher carbon footprint than reglazing.

Understanding the greener alternative

In terms of environmental impact, reglazing generally has a lower carbon footprint when compared to replacing the bathtub. However, it’s essential to ensure your refinisher follows best practices for chemical use to minimize environmental harm.

Professional Bathtub Reglazing Services

Why choose professional reglazing services

While DIY bathtub reglazing kits are available, choosing a professional service ensures a quality finish and durability. Professionals have the right experience, skills, and equipment to deliver optimal results. Plus, they know how to handle the toxic chemicals safely.

Benefits of engaging professional reglazing experts

Engaging professional reglazing experts ensures a smooth, streak-free finish – something that’s hard to achieve with a DIY kit. They’ll also be able to address any underlying issues with your bathtub that you might miss. Using professionals minimizes the inconvenience and risk of errors, and can ensure you enjoy your revitalized bathtub for many years to come.

Conclusion: Which Is Better, Reglazing or Replacing?

Assessing your needs and preferences

The decision between reglazing or replacing your bathtub depends on a number of factors. Assess your needs and analyze the condition of your bathtub, your budget, the time you can afford to have your bathroom out of action, and the look you hope to achieve.

Making an informed choice based on cost, time and aesthetics

If cost and time are high priorities, and your existing tub is in good structural shape, reglazing is the best option for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a significant change in your bathroom, have a bigger budget and more time, and your existing tub is showing signs of severe wear and tear, then replacement would be a better choice.

Importance of consulting with a professional before deciding

It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional before making the decision. They can inspect your current bathtub, provide you with a professional opinion and a quote for both options, enabling you to make an informed decision.

It’s important to realize that both reglazing and replacing come with their own unique set of advantages and drawbacks. The right choice depends on your specific situation and personal preferences. Whichever option you choose, if done correctly, both reglazing and replacing can provide you with a beautiful bathtub that enhances your experience of using your bathroom.


Bathroom Upgrades, Bathtub, Home Renovation, Reglazing, Replacement

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