Bathtubs typically undergo a lot of wear and tear. Even though they’re designed with durability and longevity in mind, they can deteriorate over time. Stains and chips may even make taking a bath an unpleasant experience. Unsightly tubs can also be embarrassing when family or friends visit. They can also be more slippery if the anti-slippery coatings are worn out. If you have the grandparents over for the holidays, you definitely do not want your loved ones to be at risk. So in these situations, it’s obvious you require some help. The question is should you invest in a tub replacement or reglaze your bathtub?

Did you know that although a bathtub may reveal its age in rust spots and stains, it may still have a lot of life left? Many issues with aging bathtubs are merely cosmetic. Young or inexperienced homeowners or new home buyers may not be aware, but reglazing a bathtub can be the perfect solution. For this reason, many homeowners opt to reglaze their bathtub rather than replace it with a new one. Here, we’ll explore why it’s important to address bathtub problems and whether you should reglaze your tub or replace it.

How Do You Know You Might Need a New Bathtub?

Damaged Tub

A bathtub that leaks or is beginning to rack up repair costs may need to be replaced, especially if repairs are getting close to the cost of a new tub and its installation. It’s not surprising that many homeowners would want to put off a replacement. Removing an old tub and installing a new one can be a big and expensive project. 

Once the old tub is removed, surrounding tiles on the wall and floor may need to be replaced if they were damaged at any point. A leaky tub may have caused mold to grow, requiring some remediation before installing the new bathtub. 

Additionally, it may require replacement if your old tub becomes unsafe because of peeling paint, dents, deep chips, or humidity in the surroundings.  A slippery tub is a liability and, frankly, dangerous to use. On the other hand, if the chips and dents are shallow, reglazing is an excellent option as it will allow you to get more value out of your tub while enhancing its appearance. Reglazing can eliminate unsightly stains and save you substantially compared to the cost of a tub replacement. 

What Does Buying and Installing a New Bathtub Entail?

Pull out tub

New bathtubs range in price considerably. On the inexpensive side, a tub can run about $150. However, the entire job to remove the old tub and install the new one could increase that price to about $1,500. Conversely, reglazing the tub will run anywhere between $499 and $999, which is a significant cost saving–not to mention an altogether easier process. 

Keep in mind that $1,500 is on the low spectrum of tub replacement costs. Additionally, pulling out the old tub may uncover damage to the wall or flooring that needs to be addressed. There may be cracked tiles or deteriorating flooring. In many bathrooms, the watertight seal used to install the tub will pull away during the removal and damage whatever surfaces it’s adhered to. Be sure to account for these costs during your replacement project. 

Tub Removal

Removing the old tub will require some consideration. How much does it weigh? While a plastic tub might weigh about 50 pounds, a cast iron tub might weigh hundreds of pounds, even over 800 pounds. It’s not a light job to remove and dispose of an older tub, which is why labor costs can inflate the price of a tub replacement substantially. 

Sometimes a tub’s excess weight or size will make it impossible to move it as is. It’s not uncommon for tubs to be removed in pieces. This will require some demolition. You will also have to consider how to dispose of the tub. Even if your municipality offers a pickup service for this type of waste, there will likely be some charge. Some people opt to donate older bathtubs provided they can be removed in one piece. You’ll need to consider how you will dispose of your old tub if you choose to install a new one.

Finally, you may also have to replace some of your plumbing fixtures when installing a new tub. The old ones may not fit your new tub, and that will add to your expense. 

New Bathtub Installation

When installing the new tub, you’ll probably want to hire professional contractors experienced at tub replacement. You definitely don’t want to risk a leaky tub. That can lead to damage to your walls and flooring and cause an outbreak of mold and mildew. Be sure to measure carefully when purchasing a new bathtub to ensure that it fits in your bathtub’s space. For instance, you may not have enough room to replace your built-in tub with a stand-alone tub. Deciding on installing a new bathtub is definitely a full hands-on project, and you should be aware of that!

The Case for Reglazing

Reglaze prep

Yes, replacing a tub can be a major headache, but sometimes you’re left with no option. On the other hand, if your old tub suffers from cosmetic flaws, reglazing is a far more convenient and substantially less expensive option. As mentioned, you might get a great deal on a reglazing process and wind up paying as little as $440-$999. The price ranges can vary depending on the city and zip codes you live in and the size of the job and finish options. 

Even though reglazing is the less expensive option and doesn’t require all the hassle of removing your tub or repairing tiles and flooring, it will still need time. There are various steps to take to reglaze your tub, which usually requires a period of three days. This is inconvenient but much less messy than a tub removal and replacement. 

Avoid Other Costs

When you reglaze your tub rather than replace it, you won’t need to replace plumbing fixtures unless you prefer to. If you decide to replace them, so they match your wonderful reglazed tub, you can take your time and are not rushed like in a situation where you need to replace them. Everything will fit just as before. The cost you’ll save on labor is considerable. In fact, many people opt for reglazing simply to avoid the tremendous replacement costs, which can exceed $3,000 in some cases. 

After Reglazing Your Bathtub

Nice restored restroom

A reglazed bathtub is apt to look just like a brand-new one. Reglazing breathes new life into a tub. With the money you’ll save, you may even want to revamp your bathroom with new decor. Once your reglazing is complete, you can enjoy your bathtub once again or discover new ways to enjoy it.

Inexpensive Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Once your bathtub reglazing process is complete, you might find that it looks incongruous with the rest of the room–almost “too new’’ to match the rest of your decor. Fortunately, there are many inexpensive ways to restyle your bathroom and ensure that it enhances your reglazed bathtub. Consider these inexpensive remodeling/improvement ideas:

Paint Your Vanity

Now that your bathtub has been refreshed, other surfaces of your bathroom may appear dowdy or dingy. You can easily and inexpensively enhance these surfaces with some paint. For instance, you can paint a dated vanity to give it an entire brand-new look. Choose monochromatic colors for surfaces to give your bathroom a sleek modern look. You can also choose a color to match your tile or some other element of the space.

Change Hardware

Changing bathroom hardware is another way to transform the room’s look. You can change lighting fixtures, draw pulls, knobs, grab bars, shower caddy, and towel racks for a whole new look. If you’re tired of silver, opt for oil-rubbed bronze or antique gold. 

New Faucets

New and fresh

As I mentioned earlier, if your tub and sink faucets appear dated, you can purchase new ones for a relatively inexpensive cost. On the other hand, there are designer options you might consider too. With all the money you saved by reglazing your bathtub instead of replacing it, you may have plenty to spare for new faucets for your bathtub.

Change the Style

You don’t have to spend a fortune to change the look of your bathroom even while keeping major elements just as they are. For instance, you can change your mirror and choose one that embodies your preferred aesthetic. The bathroom mirror tends to be a focal point, so changing it will make a big difference to the room’s look. 

Minor changes will also impact the room’s style. For instance, you can change your bathroom rug, curtains, buy storage cabinets, and shower curtains. These changes may be inexpensive, but they can lead to dramatic change. Even swapping towels for new towels with a color change will help you transform the space. 

Remember, too, that wall art can help you infuse a decorative look into the room. Create a Zen-inspired spa with some calming botanical wall art and a few houseplants that will love the bathroom’s moisture-rich environment. Or, create a kid-friendly space with artwork that will inspire the youngest members of your household. 

Blue style

What Should You Decide To Do?

Unless your bathtub is thoroughly damaged and dangerous to the point that reglazing won’t remedy the situation, you should consider replacing it. We do want you to be safe and avoid mildew or mold. But on the other hand, if the problems are mainly cosmetic, reglazing your tub is a cost-effective option that is the best solution. It is a less cumbersome option, as we explained above, and less burdensome economically. Reglazing can give your old tub new life; if you have desired a mini makeover, that’s a perfect time to do it with the money you saved since you did not go for the new tub. In the end, it’s your choice, and it’s always smart and wise to do your homework. That’s why we are happy to provide you with some important details to help you decide. As you know, Porch makes improving your home simple.