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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Kitchen & Bath > Refinishing a Bathtub

Refinishing a Bathtub Cost


How Much Does Refinishing a Bathtub Cost?

 
low costLow: DIY Kits Can Run $20-$200 + Equipmentaverage costMedium: Averages $450-$550
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An unsightly bathtub can make any bathroom look dull and dated. In the reglazing process (also called refinishing) the tub is carefully scraped and spotlessly cleaned and dried, then sprayed with multiple coats of a special finish. Although some folks say a properly done and carefully maintained reglazing can last 10 years or more, many people consider it a temporary alternative. Other options include installing a new bathtub liner ($500-$4,000) or completely replacing the bathtub ($1,500-$5,000).

Typical costs:

  • Reglazing a bathtub can range from $300-$600, but averages around $450-$550, depending on local rates. Some companies advertise refinishing for as low as $150-$250, but (unless you live in a relatively low-cost area of the country) before using a low bidder check to be sure they will include all the necessary steps and are using quality materials, because a poorly-done reglazing job may quickly start to peel and wear.
  • Do-it-yourself bathtub refinishing kits are available for anywhere from $20-$200 in hardware or home improvement stores and typically contain a cleaner and surface prep substance, waterproof sandpaper and two or more paint components. Refinishing can be done with a brush and roller, but you'll get the best finish with a paint sprayer (about $100-$200 for a good basic model). Some people are not happy[1] with the long-term results of do-it-yourself bathtub refinishing.
What should be included:
  • Reglazing or refinishing a bathtub is usually an option if the surrounding surfaces still look good, and the tub is still in relatively good condition. Reglazing a bathtub is usually done in one day, typically in about 5-6 hours. If the process is done more quickly, it's more likely to fail and soon start to peel. The solvents used have a strong odor, so most professional refinishers use special ventilation fans to vent the fumes outdoors. Preparation is the most-time consuming and crucial phase -- any caulking, previous coatings or soap scum left in the tub will cause the reglazing to fail. The area around the tub should be masked off to protect it from the spraying, and multiple coats should be applied. The tub should not be used for 24-48 hours after the reglazing is completed. ThisOldHouse.com provides a video[2] of the steps involved in refinishing a cast-iron tub.
  • Although some people do it, refinishing a bathtub is generally considered a difficult do-it-yourself project, as it requires an incredible amount of patience and elbow grease. It's extremely important to thoroughly and completely clean the bathtub in the preparation phase, or the finish coat will not adhere properly, and will quickly peel and chip. Even with a properly done reglazing, it's important to protect the finish by never leaving the faucet dripping, not using abrasive cleaners and not laying sponges, bottles or other objects on the finish.
Shopping for refinishing a bathtub:
  • Check with family or friends, or ask at the local hardware store for recommendations; if you hire a contractor, plumber or electrician to do other portions of your remodeling, ask them for the best bathtub refinisher in your area.
  • Get several estimates. Ask what steps will be used to reglaze your bathtub, how many coats will be applied and which products will be used. Experience is important; ask how long they've been in business, request (and check) references, and see whether there are any complaints on file with the Better Business Bureau[3] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Bathtub refinishing
Amount: $450.00 total
Posted by: Bernie Kaufman in Austin, TX.Posted: August 29th, 2010 07:08PM
Contractor: Advanced Bathtub Refinishing
Advanced Bathtub Refinishing in Austin Tx. did a beautiful refinishing job on my bathtub three years ago and It is holding up just like a brand new tub.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.doityourself.com/forum/designing-kitchens-bathrooms/252033-anyone-tried-bathtub-ref...
  2.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,1631531,00.html
  3.  search.bbb.org/
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