February 12

Is It Worth Refinishing A Tub?


There’s a common dilemma that most homeowners encounter- asking themselves, “Is it worth refinishing a tub?” This may sound like a simple query, yet it involves careful consideration of factors that include cost, effort, and the overall aesthetics of your bathroom. With this article, you’ll discover the essential factors to ponder about tub refinishing and gain valuable insights from a seasoned professional company that understands your bathtub resurfacing needs like no other. Intrigue and knowledge await you as you embark on this journey of finding out whether restoring your tub is a worthy venture or not.

Understanding Tub Refinishing Process

Tub refinishing, also known as tub reglazing or resurfacing, is a process that gives your old, worn-out bathtub a new lease of life.

Definition of tub refinishing

Tub refinishing is a method that involves repairing and repainting a bathtub, allowing it to look brand new without the need for a full replacement. It is a popular option for homeowners looking to upgrade their bathroom without the substantial costs associated with a full tub replacement.

Step by step process

The tub refinishing process is detail-oriented and demands precision. It usually starts with thorough cleaning of your tub to remove any grime, rust, and old finish. Any chips, holes, or cracks are then repaired. The tub is then roughened with sandpaper to allow the new finish to adhere properly. After that, primer is applied and then comes multiple layers of coating. A sealer is finally applied to ensure the finish stands up to water and wear over time.

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Materials used for refinishing

Various materials are put to use in the process of tub refinishing. Usually, this would include a cleaning solution, repair filler, sander, primer, topcoat, and sealer. It’s crucial that high-quality products are used in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Expected Timeframe

The timeframe for tub refinishing can vary depending on the condition of the tub and the schedule of the professional, but usually, you can expect the process to be complete in 2-3 days.

Pros of Bathtub Refinishing

There are several reasons why refinishing your bathtub might be a good idea.

Cost-effectiveness compared to replacement

One main advantage is the cost. Replacing a bathtub can be costly, taking into account the cost of the new tub and the labor for installation and removal of the old tub. Refinishing a tub, on the other hand, can be done at a fraction of the cost.

Preservation of vintage tubs

Refinishing is also a fantastic option to preserve antique or ornate tubs. Some older tubs have beautiful designs that simply can’t be found on newer models and refinishing allows you to enjoy these tubs for many more years.

Variety of color and style options

You also have the benefit of customizing the finish. You can choose a color and finish that complements your bathroom decor.

Shorter downtime

Another advantage is the downtime. Unlike a full replacement, which can take several days or more, refinishing is quicker, meaning you’ll have your bathroom back to use in much less time.

Is It Worth Refinishing A Tub?

Cons of Bathtub Refinishing

While refinishing can be a fantastic option, it does come with a few potential drawbacks that you should consider.

Possible health risks if not properly handled

The chemicals used in the refinishing process could be harmful if inhaled or come in contact with your skin, necessitating the need for proper care or professional intervention.

Not a permanent solution

Refinished tubs may not last as long as a new tub, especially if not properly maintained. They may need to be refinished again in the future depends on the usage.

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Aesthetic limitations

While you can customize the finish, there might be some limitations in what you can achieve in terms of aesthetics. Especially if your tub has already been refinished a few times before, some types of damage might not be completely hidden through another refinishing.

Factors Determining if Tub Refinishing is Worth It

A few factors can help you decide if tub refinishing is a worth option.

Current condition of the tub

The present state of your tub plays a role. If your tub has minor damage like surface scratches and stains, it could be a good candidate for refinishing. However, if it’s terribly damaged, you might want to consider replacement.

Your budget

Your budget is another crucial aspect when determining if tub refinishing is worth it. If budget is a concern, then refinishing is a more affordable option than replacement.

The age of the tub

If you have an older, vintage tub that you wish to preserve then refinishing is an excellent option. On the contrary, for a more contemporary look, replacement might be more suitable.

Resale value of the home

Finally, you should consider the potential impact on the resale value of your home. A beautifully refinished tub can increase your home’s value, as it shows that you’ve maintained the home well.

Is It Worth Refinishing A Tub?

Cost Comparison: Refinishing vs. Replacement

When deciding to refinish or to replace, cost is a key factor.

Costs of refinishing

A professional tub refinishing can range from $200-$900, depending on various factors like tub size, the state of the tub, the area you live in, and the professional you hire.

Total expenses for tub replacement

The cost of a new bathtub can range from $300 for a basic tub, to over $3000 for high-end models. When you add this to the cost of hiring a plumber and potentially making modifications to your bathroom to accommodate the new tub, then the cost can quickly rise.

Cost-effectiveness and return on investment

Refinishing your tub can save you substantial expenses in both the short and long-term as compared to replacing it. Plus, the return of investment is almost immediate, considering the boost that it provides to the look and feel of your bathroom.

Pros of Engaging Professionals in Tub Refinishing

If you do decide to go ahead with refinishing your tub, hiring a professional could be a good idea.

Guaranteed quality of work

Professionals guarantee their work, meaning you can be assured of a quality finish that looks great and lasts a reasonable amount of time.

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Reduced health risks

Professionals also have the right safety training and equipment to handle the chemicals used during the process, reducing any health risks.


Hiring a professional is also time-saving. They know exactly what they’re doing and can get the job done quickly.

Warranty for services rendered

Lastly, professional services always come with a warranty. If anything goes wrong, they will likely cover any necessary fixes at no additional cost.

Is It Worth Refinishing A Tub?

Cons of DIY Tub Refinishing

There are, however, some potential downsides to DIY refinishing.

Increased health risks

As mentioned above, the chemicals used can be hazardous if not properly handled.

Poor quality of work

You may also achieve poorer results than you would using a professional, particularly if you’re inexperienced.

No warranty

Without a professional at the helm, there’s also no insurance meaning if something goes wrong or the finish doesn’t last as anticipated, you’re on your own.

Unpredictable project timeline

Finally, the timeline could be extended if you’re not familiar with the process, meaning your tub is out of action for longer.

Safety Measures During Tub Refinishing

Here are some safety precautions to take during the refinishing process.

Professional equipment and gear requirement

Use professional-grade equipment, including respirators, safety goggles, and gloves to mitigate any risks.

Chemical handling

Ensure proper handling of chemicals. This means storing them properly in between use, avoiding skin contact, and always working in a well-ventilated area.

Ventilation measures

Ventilation is key. Always make sure the bathroom is well ventilated, via a window or ventilation fan, to prevent any harmful fumes from hanging around.

Proper disposal of waste materials

Disposing of any waste properly is important. This includes any old finish removed and any surplus new coating.

Life Span of Refinished Tubs and Maintenance Tips

A refinished tub can generally last 10 to 15 years with proper care and maintenance.

Average lifespan of a refinished tub

With heavy use, the actual lifespan may be at the lower end of the scale, but if you’re particularly careful you may get up to 20 years of usage out of the tub.

Preventing peeling and chipping

To maintain the new finish, avoid using abrasive cleaners that can cause the finish to wear prematurely. Instead, stick to mild soaps for routine cleaning of your refinished tub.

Cleaning and maintenance tips

Cleaning once a week or so will prevent staining and mineral deposits. Apart from cleaning, take simple steps like using a soft rug to prevent scratching or placing a non-slip mat rather than stick-on strips.

Situations When Tub Replacement is More Beneficial

While tub refinishing is often a great option, there are a few scenarios where tub replacement might be a good idea.

Unrepairable structural damages

If the tub is severely damaged, refinishing might not be worthwhile as it will only cover up the damage rather than really correct it. A new tub could be the better option here.

Remodeling or re-designing the entire bathroom

If you intend to remodel your whole bathroom, it can often be a golden opportunity to replace your old tub.

Installing modern tub models

Lastly, if you yearn for a modern tub with specific features like a whirlpool or air bath, a replacement is your only option.

All in all, refurbishing a bathtub can be a great way to revitalize your bathroom and bring some spark into a tired space. However, it’s essential to weigh up the pros and cons, alongside with your specific circumstances, to make the right decision for your needs.


Bathroom Renovation, DIY, Home Maintenance, Tub Refinishing

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