As much as you like relaxing in your tub after a long day, you probably don't like the way it looks anymore. Since your tub is the focal point of your bathroom, it's the first thing that you and others see as soon as you step into the room. While you can get rid of mildew and tackle stains, no amount of cleaning will work on cracks and other types of damage. 

Before looking at the average bathtub remodel cost, think about whether you can save your tub and what is your best option.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." – Arthur Ashe

Refinishing Your Tub

Bathtub refinishing can also be referred to as reglazing. Though you can do the job yourself, many rely on help from an expert professional. 

The contractor uses fine-grit sandpaper or a sander to remove the top layer from the tub. They will focus on gouges and other marks on the tub's surface. Your contractor then paints the tub to bring the repaired areas flush with the surface and may use a primer before painting.

This is the best choice for those who want a cheap and temporary fix. You may have gouges and other marks left behind by your pets along with other minor damage that catches your eye when you're in the tub. 

Bathtub reglazing is not a permanent fix though. As you keep using the tub, you'll notice that the paint and primer wear away to expose the original tub. Many people choose this option because they have cast iron tubs that are in rough shape.

You can often have the work done for around $700 or less and in as little as one day. The downside is that you cannot be home when the contractor works. You also cannot return until the tub dries because the materials are toxic. If your home is humid, it can take two days or longer for the tub to dry. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that bathtub reglazing isn't a process that you can do multiple times. As it removes some of the original surface of your tub, once the materials wear off, you won't have enough surface area left to reglaze the tub.

Using a Liner

A bathtub liner is an added surface designed to match the original shape and design of your tub. Made from acrylic materials, these liners can last for years. The company will find a liner that fits in your home and prepare the surface with acrylic adhesive and tape. With a liner, you don't need to worry about finding another place to stay or what will happen when you use the tub.

Contractors can often finish the job in less than a day, but it depends on the size you choose. If you pick a liner that covers both your tub and the walls around your shower, you may find yourself without a bathroom for two days or longer.

In addition to choosing the right size, you can pick a liner in a new color and give the room a fresh look. The liner hides all of the damage that your old tub showed and lasts for years. It can cost as much as $4,000 to install a tub liner, but the job can also cost as little as $1,500 and help you save on your cost to redo bathtub expenses.

Replacing Your Tub

If you have the money in your budget, consider replacing your tub. While contractors can complete bathtub resurfacing jobs in two days or less, you may find that you just want to get rid of your old tub and replace it with a new design. 

Do you have a small tub that is great for bathing kids and washing pets but isn't large enough for you to recline? You can pick a new tub with all of the space you need and hire a contractor to install it. There are many different tub designs now available that will work in your bathroom.

If you decide to replace your tub, you can choose from porcelain and other materials based on your budget and even pick the color and design that you want. The new tub will last for a decade or longer. 

Keep in mind that you need a plumbing contractor to install the tub and that you cannot use the room until they finish the job as they need to turn off the water. While you can buy a new tub for as little as $300 to $500, contractors may charge twice that amount or more to install it. Make sure that you consider all of your tub options before remodeling your bathroom.

Contact a local pro and request a free estimate for bathtub refinishing!


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