How Much Does it Cost to Reglaze Bathroom Tiles?
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Reglazing tile brings back that glow and aroma your bathroom had the day you moved in. Rather than spending up to $5,000 on a new tub or bathroom tile, homeowners around the country are regalzing their bathroom tile to make it shine like it should. See its low costs and benefits below.
If you need assistance restoring that old, word-down bathroom of yours, let us help you get in contact with a few local bathroom remodeling professionals.
Table of Contents
- Reglazing Tile Costs
- Tile Reglazing Cost Factors
- Reglazing Tile Uses
- Tile Reglazing Advantages
- Tile Reglazing Disadvantages
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Reglazing Tile Materials
- How To Reglaze Tile
- Find A Bathroom Pro
Reglazing Tile Costs
Unlike many bathroom remodeling projects, tile reglazing costs are minimal:
- Average Minimum Cost of Bathroom Tile Reglazing: $16.95/sf
- Average Maximum Cost of Bathroom Tile Reglazing: $142.36/sf
In terms overall costs, expect to pay approximately $1,000 to professionally reglaze your bathroom tile. It may seem steep, but when compared to a new bathtub (at least $2,500), you can see that reglazing is an affordable alternative.
Tile Reglazing Cost Factors
While the prices above accurately reflect the average tile reglazing cost across the country, there are of course a few ways to lower you refinishing cost. Keep all in mind before you embark on your next bathroom reglazing project.
State of Tile
Believe it or not, some bathrooms receive little TLC for years. As you might expect, that bathroom tile has a lot more wear and tear than tile that has been cleaned and attended to often. Well, that lack of attention costs you when it come to reglazing.
For tiles that are severely chipped or broken, they should be replaced prior to a reglaze. Homeowners should keep in mind that it may be more challenging to get a precise color match when replacing old tiles with new and then finishing the look with a reglaze.
Whether it’s scratches, large brown spots or replacement, it’s going to cost more to reglaze old, grungy, bathroom tile.
DIY or Hire A Pro
The next most important cost factor is whether or not you hire a pro. There are DIY refinishing and reglazing kits available, however, some materials, like hydrofluoric acid, are dangerous. Professionals wear gloves, a mask and usually an entire bodysuit. That should indicate how careful any DIYer must be.
Nonetheless, if you do tackle this project on your own, your reglazing tile cost could drop to $500.
There are a few different methods of reglazing. Some are more involved than others, thus demanding more work and more cash. However, the biggest difference between the two primary reglazing methods is the hydrofluoric acid. Some pros or projects call for it, but other, less severe projects do not. As you might expect, including this step adds time and materials, thus, driving up your tile reglazing cost.
Size of Project
Like most home renovation ventures, the cost largely depends on the size of the project. Some homeowners reglaze a small tile countertop area, while others reglaze an entire bathtub and shower surround. Needless to say, the bigger the project, the more expensive your reglazing tile cost will be.
Luckily, that $1,000 average address larger reglazing projects.
As you’ll see in the video below, reglazing professionals use a lot of tools to get the job done right. Therefore, they need space to work and get around. This largely comes into play when working with smaller bathrooms. If there is a toilet in the way, few outlets or other obstructions, your bathroom pro may charge more. Therefore, when pros come to your house for an accurate bid, clear out as much clutter as possible. The easier it is to work, the less expensive your reglazing project will be.
Unlike a broken pipe or HVAC system, timing is not usually of the essence in terms of tile reglazing. However, some homeowners want the work done as soon as possible. While the actual project should not take longer than three or four hours (plus three days to sink in), pros will charge more if you want it done right away.
Like anything in life, faster service requires more money.
Reglazing Tile Uses
Over time, bathroom tiles can really show their age, resulting in an appearance that's something less than desired. Replacing this tile in or around a shower or a bathroom sink can be a major undertaking. Ripping apart tiles can also damage the surrounding walls and even the tub if not done properly.
Reglazing basically restores luster to the tiles and breathes new life into their appearance and function. Some common tile areas in the bathroom that can be reglazed include:
Reglazing is recommended for certain surface tiles including ceramic tile, cultured marble, fiberglass, porcelain tiles and some laminate tiles. For DIY projects, you need to make sure the glazing compound is compatible with what it’s being used on.
Tile Reglazing Advantages
There are a lot of cost advantages to reglazing bathroom tiles as opposed to replacing them. The biggest one is restoration. For outdated or rare tiles that you really want to keep, it can be impossible or expensive to find the same tiles that are in good to excellent condition. Restoring will bring the life back into the tile and make them look almost new. The high gloss glaze finish will make the tile look almost brand new and add a sheen that will breathe new life into the bathroom space.
Over time, tiles can become stained and discolored. This is common and caused from excessive wear, cleaning and use of harsh chemicals over the course of several years. Because new tiles can be expensive, recoating them is a better alternative. In some cases, the color and style can be completely changed through reglazing. Some reglazing kits contain color tints that will alter the look of the tiles. This allows for an entirely different color scheme, which can add a variety of flair to the décor of your bathroom.
Another advantage is that most reglazing compounds are permanent. They’re often under warranty to provide a luster for several years if applied correctly. This holds the same value factor as new tile replacement because it’s not just a temporary fix. Once dry, glazed surfaces can be treated the same way as traditional tile surfaces. This means you can use the same care and cleaning materials as with traditional tile cleaners and polishers.
Tile Reglazing Disadvantages
While the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of reglazing bathroom tile, there are a few drawbacks. The biggest one is the chemical process involved when glazing the tiles. Extreme caution should be used when handling the product. While each product varies with its chemical compound base, most contain methylene chloride. This is an extremely dangerous and toxic chemical that can alter brain function. It’s very important that the person applying the glazing treatment wear proper safety gear and a respirator or mask. It’s also important that the bathroom area have adequate ventilation and fans to draw the chemicals out of the air. Using care when handling the reglazing compound will prevent overexposure and the harmful fumes from reaching one's mucous membranes.
Drying can be tricky when using a glazing product. To ensure that the glaze is applied effectively, it must dry completely. This means the bathroom temperature should be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and moisture should be kept away from the tiles for at least 72 hours or more. Failure to do so will result in the finishing process being disrupted and having to be repeated.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
While it’s certainly not common for homeowners to reglaze their bathroom tiles on their own, it certainly can be done. The most important aspect to remember is safety. You’re dealing with dangerous chemicals. To ensure no one gets hurt, you need gloves, a mask and more often than not, a full bodysuit.
If you DIY, do not go lightly on the preparation. If you don’t thoroughly clean the surface, completely remove the old finish or let the new layer dry for three days, your bathroom tile won’t improve.
To ensure a proper reglazing job and perhaps save money in the long run (glaze will last longer), most homeowners hire the pros.
Reglazing Tile Materials
As we said earlier, reglazing professionals use a lot of tools and materials to make sure your bathroom regains the luster it once had. If you’re undertaking this as a DIY project, you too should have all, if not most, of the materials below:
- Bathtub Refinishing Kit
- Hand Towels
- Paper Towels
- Paint Roller
- Utility Knife
- Paint Stripper
- Abrasive Cleaner
- Masking Tape
- Masking Paper
- Rubber Gloves
- Plastic covering
- Abrasive Pad
How To Reglaze Tile
The reglazing method involves going over all of the tiles to make sure there are no cracks or chips. If there are small cracks present, you repair it with Bondo or a type of polyester putty. This will assure that the surface is smooth and waterproof. After the tiles are cleaned and filled, you need to prep the surface with an acid etching, followed by a surface primer. Once dry, the tile surface is ready for its first coat. The reglazing compound will consist of a chemical-base of urethanes, polymers and epoxies. Spray, roll or brush the glaze or coating on the tile. Once the glazing is complete, consider adding an extra seal coat for a long-lasting finish.
For a detailed step-by-step list, please see How To Refinish (Reglaze) A Bathtub or watch the video below.
Find A Bathroom Pro
As you can see, a cost-effective alternative to remodeling your entire bathroom is tile reglazing. While tile reglazing can be done by the experienced DIYer, it’s a project better left to the pros.
Get free estimates from local bathroom contractors
Last updated on Mar 1, 2017