How Much Does It Cost To Refinish A Bathtub?
Most homeowners spend between $371 to $455 nationally.
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After a hard day, it's nice to soak away your worries in a hot bath, but a tired old tub with cracked and pitted glaze makes it difficult to unwind. Refinishing the tub has the potential to revive it, improving your bathroom without the expense of replacing the tub completely. ImproveNet's online search function makes it easy to find a bathroom pro to complete the work, but before shopping for quotes, spend some time learning about the costs involved.
National Refinish a Bathtub Costs
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|National Average Cost||$436|
|Average Range||$371 to $455|
How do we get this data? This info is based on 1452 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.
Table of Contents
- Bathtub Refinishing Costs
- Bathtub Refinishing Cost Factors
- Bathtub Refinishing Vs. Replacement
- Tub Refinishing Advantages
- Tub Refinishing Disadvantages
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Refinishing Materials
- How To Refinish A Bathtub
- Find A Bathroom Pro
Bathtub Refinishing Costs
Refinishing a bathtub is a cost-effective alternative to replacing it. The usual costs range from $327 to $603, with an average price of $460, which includes all materials and the cost of employing a professional to complete the work. Minor projects cost as little $200, while major projects cost up to $900 or more.
If you are a DIY enthusiast, you may want to refinish the tub yourself. This significantly reduces your overall expenses, but the work is potentially dangerous and the result may be inferior to the finish a professional achieves. A refinishing kit with all of the chemicals and tools costs from $60 to $100. You also need to purchase protective clothing, including coveralls, masks, gloves and eyewear.
Bathtub Refinishing Cost Factors
Several factors affect the cost of refinishing a bathtub, including:
- Size of the Tub: Bigger tubs require more finishing materials and the process takes longer.
- Additional Damage: Cracks in the tub may require additional preparation and treatment before refinishing.
- Hiring A Pro: Doing the work yourself is less expensive, but hiring a pro helps to ensure a quality finish. Skilled specialists are in high demand and usually charge more for their expertise than general home service contractors.
- Additional Work: Undertaking other related home improvement tasks at the same time, such as refinishing bathroom cabinets, may impact your total project cost.
Bathtub Refinishing Vs. Replacement
Although a new bathtub is relatively inexpensive, there are additional costs associated with removing the old bathtub and installing the new one that drive up the price and make refinishing the existing tub a cheaper option. Average costs for replacement include:
- Buying a new tub: $300
- Removing and disposing of the old tub: $70 to $150
- Installing a new tub: $2,767
- Hiring a plumber: $299
The project may also incur additional charges for permits, haulage and the safe removal of hazardous products such as asbestos. In contrast, refinishing costs are usually no more than $900, a saving in excess of $2,500. Savings are even better if you complete the work yourself.
Bathtub Refinishing Advantages
Refinishing a bathtub is a cost-effective way to reinvent your bathroom, reviving a tired, old tub to match new paintwork. It's also far less disruptive than demolishing the existing tub space and installing a new one. Refinishing is also an effective way to remodel your bathroom without replacing a rare tub or freshen up a bathroom in an old house where period details like an antique tub are part of the appeal.
Bathtub Refinishing Disadvantages
Refinishing a tub isn't the best option if there is significant damage, such as cracks and rust. The refinishing process prolongs the life of the tub but is only a temporary solution. You may need to frequently refinish the tub to keep it serviceable, or else pay for a replacement anyway.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Refinishing a bathtub has the potential to significantly reduce your projects costs, but there are safety concerns. Refinishing kits include harsh chemicals that pose a risk of injury through contact or inhalation, making protective clothing and masks essential. Additionally, applying the refinishing product incorrectly may result in defects. If you don't prepare the surface properly, the finish may feel rough, making the tub uncomfortable to use. If you don't allow layers of the glaze to dry completely, the surface may bubble, and mixing the glaze incorrectly or in the wrong quantities may cause fading or leave the bathtub feeling sticky where the product doesn't cure properly.
Many homeowners prefer the convenience and peace of mind that comes from hiring a professional. An expert has the necessary skills and materials to do the job quickly, minimizing disruption and ensuring a quality finish.
A good bathtub finishing kit comprises most of the products you need to complete the project. However, to ensure a safe and effective project, make sure you gather all materials below:
- A Strong Cleaner
- Wet Sandpaper
- Refinishing Paint Or Glaze
- Brushes & Rollers
- Paper Towels
- Utility Knife
- Masking Tape
- Masking Paper
- Eye Protection
- HEPA Mask Air Filters
How To Refinish A Bathtub
Several companies produce bathtub refinishing kits that give DIY enthusiasts an opportunity to repair their own tubs. The process for reglazing a tub is relatively straightforward, but it's important to read the kit instructions carefully, follow all of the health and safety guidelines, and wear protective clothing. If you are in any doubt, it's better to leave the work to a professional. Below are the typical steps to follow that can give you a clearer idea of the general process.
- Remove everything from the tub and surrounding area, and make sure the room is well ventilated by opening the windows or using fans.
- Apply liquid caulk remover if desired; let it sit for several hours before scraping it away. Remove existing caulk using a razor or a specially designed caulk-removal tool, which has a V-shaped notch for scraping caulk from corners.
- Clean the tub with an industrial cleaning product and remove any rust or rough patches with wet and dry sandpaper.
- If directed by your finishing kit, rinse the tub with hydrofluoric acid.
- Rinse the tub thoroughly and leave it to dry.
- Fill any cracks in the tub with a waterproof body filler.
- Cover the edges of the tub and any fittings with masking tape, and cover the surrounding walls with paper. If you don't do this, you may cause more damage, resulting in the need to replace or reglaze tiles.
- Mix the reglazing product, following the guidelines included with the kit. Make sure to mix the product correctly; failure to do so may prevent it from curing properly.
- Apply the product, moving only in one direction across the tub. You may need to apply several thin coats, waiting between each coat.
- Allow the reglazing material to dry for two to three days before removing the masking tape and wall coverings.
- Finish the tub with new caulk.
To see how the pros refinish a bathtub, please watch the video below:
Find A Bathroom Pro
Refinishing a bathtub has the potential to reinvigorate your bathroom decor and make it a more pleasant place to unwind, especially if you’re undertaking other home improvement tasks, such as refinishing bathroom cabinets or retiling the walls. ImproveNet's online search function makes it easy to find bathroom contractors in your area with all of the skills and materials to quickly revive your tired tub.
When searching for a contractor, try to get at least three written price estimates, and read online reviews where available. Bear in mind that a bathtub specialist may charge more than a general home service contractor who provides a wide range of services.
Get free estimates from local bathtub contractors
Last updated on Mar 20, 2017