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Tub Replacement vs Tub Reglazing: Which is the Better Choice?

Tub Replacement | Bathtub Refinishing | Jersey City Tub Reglazing

Taking a pleasant dip in a bathtub is one of the best ways to relax and ease pent-up stress. However, the sight of a chipped, stained bathtub with grimes that no amount of cleaning products could get rid of will surely add up to the stress instead of alleviating it. And because a grimy tub makes one seem unhygienic, it can easily be the bane of any homeowner’s existence. This begs the question: in such cases, would it be better to reglaze the nasty tub or do a tub replacement altogether? To answer such a question, you need to take into consideration how much money, time, and effort you are willing to put in to restore the bathtub to its former glory.  

Should You Do Tub Replacement?

If scrubbing down the tub with every possible cleaning product does not seem to do the trick, should you just give up and replace the nasty old tub with a sparkly new one? Before deciding, you should first know that there are many hidden costs that come with bathtub replacement such as follows:

The bathtub itself. First, there’s the upfront cost of the bathtub. Depending on the type of tub and its features and modifications the average cost ranges from $200 to $8,500 or more. 

Manpower. Another expense to take into consideration is the manpower needed to remove the old tub and install the new one. Remember, bathtub replacement is a time-consuming and labor-intensive project. So, unless you are a skilled carpenter and plumber, it is probably in your best interest to hire a professional to do the job. Typically, plumbers charge $100 to $2,000 for bathtub installation, not including the price of the unit. 

Also, ask yourself whether you can physically remove the old bathtub yourself. If not, you would need to hire a crew to remove it for you. Plastic tubs usually weigh as little as 50 pounds, but the dimensions of the tub–especially if it is a big one–can make it harder to remove. Not to mention, cast iron tubs could weigh as much as 1,000 pounds. In addition, you would also likely have to hire someone to break apart the tub for it to fit in the doorframe. 

New Plumbing. You also need to consider how to deal with the plumbing issues that may arise if your new tub’s plumbing does not match that of your old one. Tubs are usually suspended in two places by the existing plumbing. So upon removing an old tub and replacing it with a new one, make sure that the plumbing fixtures are similar. Otherwise, you may need to replace or adjust the existing plumbing to fit the new tub model. Usually, a new piping costs $400 to $1,900 and fixing leaks takes anywhere around $150 to $350.

Repairing damaged flooring. Most tubs are positioned in a corner or an alcove. As such, they typically overlap with the flooring and wall finishes so as to create a watertight seal. That said, removing the old tub requires destroying some of the existing flooring, which would then need to be repaired or replaced with floor pieces once the new tub is installed.

Tiling a Tub Surround. The cost of tiling a tub surround ranges anywhere from $750 to $1,500, depending on the material. Usually, it costs $0.50 to $15 per square foot, but you will have to pay more for natural stone and less for ceramic.

So, how much does it cost to remove and install a bathtub?

All in all, the total cost ranges anywhere from $750 to $20,000. The price mostly depends on the model of the tub. Here is a price breakdown of tub replacement per task:

TaskAverage Cost Range
Removing the old tub$50 – $100
Disposing old materials$100 – 4200
Fixing and preparing the surface$300 – $800
New bathtub $200 – $14,000
Tiling a Tub Surround$500 – $2,000
New faucets$50 – $900
Installing plumbing$400 – $1,900
Total$750 – $20,000

As it turns out, the price of replacing a grimy tub with a sparkly new one is quite hefty. Fortunately, tub replacement is not the only way to enjoy soaking in a clean bathtub. If you are a cost-conscious homeowner looking for better solutions to revamp a worn-out bathtub, there are more economical options to consider such as tub reglazing.

Tub Reglazing vs Tub Replacement

Also check our article about 5 Stylish Bathroom Remodel Ideas You Should Check Out

What is Bathtub Reglazing?

Bathtub reglazing, bathtub refinishing, and bathtub restoration all refer to the process of revamping an old, stained, chipped or impossible to clean bathtubs so that it would look and feel brand new. A reglazed bathtub can last for about 10 to 15 years if you care for it properly, which can be longer than the lifespan of a brand-new bathtub. The best part about it is that it comes at only a fraction of the cost of a full tub replacement. The cost to refinish a bathtub ranges from $330 to $650 only. This includes $30 to $150 in materials and $200 to $500 in labor.

This process starts with a thorough cleaning of the tub surface using especially formulated two-step cleaners. These special abrasive materials remove soap scum, mineral deposits, and body oils embedded in the tub to ensure a thoroughly clean and smooth surface. The next step includes repairing and filling all the cracks and chips of the tub. Once done, the next step is to get the new finish to stick to the old surface. A bonding agent is used to ensure that there will be a solid bond between the old surface and the new finish. Without it, there is no assurance that the new finish will stick. After that, an acrylic top coating in the color of your choice is applied with a fine finish spray compressor. This creates a durable and smooth surface. These finishes can be either in gloss or matte finish. Then, the last step is to  re-caulk and polish the surface to give a refinished tub a glossy and smooth feel. After the acrylic top coating dries, the refinished tub is ready for use within 12 to 24 hours. After such processes, the end result of bathtub reglazing is a surface that looks wet, has high light refraction and a deep gloss which leaves the surface as smooth as an original porcelain. 

So, Which is the Better Choice?

All things considered, tub reglazing is a great choice if you want to refresh your bathroom without the hassle and large upfront cost of a full tub replacement. If the time spent on these projects is a concern, know that both tub reglazing and replacement will actually take about the same amount of time, which is usually no more than three days. However, if there are plumbing or installation issues during a full tub replacement, it could take longer.

As for labor and manpower, it is better to hire professionals to do the job–be it tub replacement or reglazing. This is because both tasks require spending countless grueling hours. You might also need to rent the necessary tools to demolish your old tub, and address issues in plumbing, sealing and flooring–whereas if you hire a professional, the process will be a lot simpler and it guarantees a much more refined quality of work. 

Ready to revamp your bathtub? LF Jersey City Tub Reglazing & Refinishing in Jersey City, NJ is here to help you with that! We specialize in bathtub reglazing and refinishing so you don’t have to worry about the hassle anymore. Our team will come out, assess your tub for damage, and then give it a fresh new look that will last for years!

Call us today at (848) 233-3008.

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