January 18

Is It Cheaper To Resurface Or Replace A Bathtub?


When faced with a worn-out bathtub, you may find yourself at a crossroads, weighing whether to resurface or replace it altogether. This generally raises a critical question: which option is more cost-effective? This article aims to answer that very question. It will provide you with a detailed examination of the comparative costs, likely providing you with some surprising insights. Particularly for those considering professional bathtub resurfacing services, this could be the essential guide you’ve been seeking. So, get ready to gain a deeper understanding of your options, your potential savings, and the value that professional bathtub resurfacing can add to your home.

Understanding the Basics of Bathtub Resurfacing

What exactly is bathtub resurfacing?

Bathtub resurfacing, also known as bathtub refinishing or reglazing, is a process that gives your old and worn-out bathtub a brand-new look. It is a cost-effective and time-saving way to enhance the aesthetic of your bathroom without having to completely replace your tub. Essentially, this procedure involves repairing any cracks or scratches on the bathtub, filling and sanding down the surface, then applying several layers of primer and paint, followed by a final sealing coat.

How is bathtub resurfacing done?

The bathtub resurfacing process begins with a thorough cleaning of the tub to remove soap scum, grease, and any other contaminants that might affect the adhesion of the new coating. Any existing cracks or chips are then repaired, and the surface is roughened with etching acid, which helps the coating to bond with the tub. After that, the tub is rinsed and dried, and a primer is applied. The last steps involve spraying several layers of a specialized coating followed by buffing to give an enduring and shiny finish.

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Common materials used in resurfacing a bathtub

The common materials used in bathtub resurfacing include an etching agent, a bonding agent, primers, top coat paint, and a sealant. The bonding agent ensures the new surface firmly attaches to the original bathtub while the primer provides an ideal base for the top coat of paint. The top paint, which is usually a high-gloss, provides the colour and achieves the final finish and the sealant offers protection, ensuring the longevity of the new surface.

Understanding the Basics of Bathtub Replacement

What does bathtub replacement mean?

Bathtub replacement involves completely removing your old bathtub and installing a new one in its place. This method is typically used when the bathtub is severely damaged or outdated, requiring a lot more than a surface-level renewal. Though more time-consuming and often more expensive, bathtub replacement allows you to fully customize your new tub, from the design, material to the colour.

Standard steps involved in Bathtub replacement

The bathtub replacement process starts with the removal of the existing bathtub, which might involve removing surrounding tiles and plumbing fixtures. Once the old tub is out, the area is cleaned and prepped for the installation of the new tub. Then, the new bathtub is fitted into the space, ensuring proper alignment with the existing plumbing. After the tub is securely fitted, any necessary plumbing connections are made, and the surrounding area is repaired or retiled as needed.

Materials available for a new bathtub

There are several different materials to choose from when selecting a new bathtub. The most common include acrylic, enameled steel, fibreglass, cast iron, and cultured marble. Each material has its pros and cons in terms of durability, maintenance, cost, and appearance, so your choice should align with your needs, aesthetic preference, and budget.

Is It Cheaper To Resurface Or Replace A Bathtub?

Cost Components of Bathtub Resurfacing

Materials cost for resurfacing

The cost for materials used in bathtub resurfacing depends on the condition of your tub and the products used, though you can typically anticipate this to be a smaller portion of the total cost. Your expenses here could cover the cleaning solutions, repair materials for any chips or cracks, primers, paints, and a topcoat sealant.

Labour cost of resurfacing

The labour cost of resurfacing a bathtub is usually the bulk of the total refinishing cost. It hinges on various factors such as the nature of the work and the professional rates of the contractor you hire. The labour involves everything from the prep work, repairs, application of the new surface, to the final buffing and polishing.

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Time investment in resurfacing

Though resurfacing is generally quicker than replacement, the time frame can still vary depending on the complexity of the job. Certain steps, such as curing the new surface, need time and can stretch the project over several days, even though the actual working hours might be relatively few.

Cost Components of Bathtub Replacement

Cost of the new bathtub

The cost of a new bathtub can vary greatly depending on the material and design you choose. From a basic acrylic tub to a high-end freestanding tub, your choice can significantly influence the total replacement cost.

Labour cost of replacement

Just like with refinishing, the labour cost of a bathtub replacement takes up a significant part of the total expenses. This is due to the complexity and time consumption of the task. It involves removing the old bathtub, making necessary repairs, installing the new tub, and perhaps even adjusting plumbing.

Cost of removal & disposal of old bathtub

Remember to factor in the cost of removing and disposing of your old bathtub. This often overlooked step can add to your overall replacement cost.

Additional potential costs like plumbing and tiling

There might be more costs attached to bathtub replacement if your plumbing needs changing or bathroom tiling requires fixing. If the replacement tub doesn’t fit the old spot perfectly, you might have to readjust the plumbing or do some work on the bathroom floor or walls.

Is It Cheaper To Resurface Or Replace A Bathtub?

Benefits of Bathtub Resurfacing

Cost savings

One of the most significant benefits of bathtub resurfacing is that it saves you money. It is usually far cheaper than a complete replacement, not to mention the saved costs on plumbing or tiling.

Time savings

Resurfacing your bathtub takes much less time than replacing it entirely. If you want to rejuvenate your bathroom look without committing to a lengthy renovation, resurfacing is a great option.

Less disruption during the process

Bathtub resurfacing causes less interruption to your daily life. The project is more contained and doesn’t require comprehensive plumbing work or demolition.

Customizable finishes

While you can’t change the basic shape and size of your bathtub with resurfacing, you can get creative with the finish. You can choose a finish that matches your bathroom décor or even goes for a bold, standout look.

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Drawbacks of Bathtub Resurfacing

Quality and durability issues

One downside to bathtub resurfacing is that the finish might not last as long as a new bathtub. Over time, cracks can appear, or the coating may begin to peel, requiring additional touch-ups or another round of resurfacing.

Limited options

With bathtub resurfacing, you’re limited to the existing size and design of your tub. If you’re dreaming of a larger tub or a different style, resurfacing won’t make that possible.

Potential health risks from resurfacing materials

Some people have raised concerns about the potential health risks from the fumes during the resurfacing process. Proper ventilation and hiring professionals knowledgeable about health and safety precautions can help mitigate this risk.

Is It Cheaper To Resurface Or Replace A Bathtub?

Benefits of Bathtub Replacement

The chance to upgrade your bathtub

Replacing your bathtub gives you the chance to install a completely new tub with your preferred design, material, and size. It’s a full upgrade that can significantly enhance your bathroom space.

Long term durability

When you opt to replace your bathtub, you get a brand-new product, and with it comes long-term durability. With proper care, your new tub can last for decades.

Full renovation possibilities

If you’re already planning a full bathroom renovation, including a bathtub replacement, it gives you more design flexibility and the chance to completely overhaul your space.

Drawbacks of Bathtub Replacement

Higher costs

A major downside of bathtub replacement is the cost. Between purchasing a new tub, labour, and any necessary additional plumbing or tiling work, the price can quickly go up.

More time consuming

Replacing a bathtub takes more time than resurfacing. Depending on the scope of work, it can leave your bathroom under construction for quite a while.

Involves significant renovations

In some cases, replacing a bathtub could lead to a lot more renovation work than initially planned. This is particularly true if the new tub doesn’t fit perfectly into the old spot and results in tiling, plumbing, or other bathroom upgrades.

Comparing Costs: Resurface Vs Replace

Average cost of Bathtub Resurfacing

The cost to resurface a bathtub can vary significantly based on the condition of the tub and local labour rates. However, it’s generally a much cheaper option than replacement, making it an attractive choice when finances are a primary concern.

Average cost of Bathtub Replacement

The average cost of bathtub replacement is usually considerably more than resurfacing. The final cost depends on the new bathtub’s price and the labour involved in removing the old tub and installing the new one.

Understanding Value for Money in both scenarios

While replacement might be more costly up-front, it could offer added value in the long run with a new, durable and modern tub. On the other hand, if your current bathtub is in relatively good condition, resurfacing might give you the most value by providing a like-new appearance for less cost.

Why Choose Our Professional Resurfacing Services

Experience and expertise

Our professional team has the hands-on experience and technical know-how needed to carry out a successful bathtub resurfacing project. We know the common issues that can arise and how to handle them, ensuring a high-quality finish.

Quality of materials and service

We focus on delivering excellent customer service and achieving superior results. To do that, we use only high-quality, industry-approved resurfacing materials designed to last.

Cost effective pricing

Our bathtub resurfacing services are competitively priced, providing a cost-effective solution for your bathtub renovation needs. We believe in offering value for money without compromising on quality.

Excellent customer reviews and testimonies

We’ve earned ourselves a good reputation based on the positive feedback and reviews from our past clients. We’re proud of these testimonies as they demonstrate the care, professionalism, and quality we put into our bathtub resurfacing projects. On choosing us, you’re not just getting a service; you’re becoming part of our extended community of satisfied customers.


Bathroom Renovation, Bathtub, Cost, Replace, Resurface

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