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Is It Cheaper to Refinish or Replace the Bathtub?

Should You Refinish Or Replace Your Bathtub?

When it comes time to replace or refinish your bathtub, the decision can be a difficult one. Both options have their own set of pros and cons, and it can be hard to decide which is the best route for your home.

We’re going to go over the differences between refinishing your bathtub and replacing it so that you can make the best decision about what is best for you! We will also share some tips for both options so that no matter which way you go, you will be confident about it.

The first question for many is, is it cheaper to refinish or replace the bathtub? The answer to this question depends on the condition of your bathtub and how much work needs to be done.

If your bathtub is in relatively good condition, but you are just looking for a change of color or style, refinishing may be a more affordable option. However, if your tub is damaged or leaking, it will need to be replaced.

It is important to know that the type of bathtub you have plays a role in how easy it will be to refinish or replace it. Also, the amount of work and time you can put into the project will impact the affordability of either option.

In most cases though, it is cheaper to refinish a tub. However, to completely understand, let’s dive into both options so you know which is best for you!

Refinish or Replace the BathtubCosts Related To Refinishing A Bathtub

Refinishing a bathtub is not a cheap project, but it is typically less expensive than replacing the tub. The average cost of refinishing a bathtub ranges from $300 to $500. This price includes all labor and materials needed to complete the job.

Some costs are not included in this estimate, however. If your bathtub has any major damage, it will need to be fixed before it can be refinished. This additional work can cost anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the extent of the damage.

If your tub is badly stained or discolored, you may also need to have it professionally cleaned before refinishing, which can add another $70 to the cost of this project.

The cost of refinishing your bathtub varies from company to company and depends on several factors. The condition of the bathtub, size, and material are among these factors that influence the price.

Costs Related To Replacing A Bathtub

Replacing a bathtub is usually more expensive than refinishing it. The average cost to replace a tub ranges from $750 to $2000, depending on the material and size of the tub.

If you are replacing an old cast iron tub with a new acrylic one, for example, your costs will be on the higher end of this range. If you want to replace your tub with another cast iron one, the cost will be on the lower end.

The average cost for replacing a whirlpool tub is higher than those costs because of all the extra parts that go into making it work properly.

You can bring these costs down if you can do the work yourself, but it is not a simple process. You will need to remove all of the old tub hardware and install new plumbing as well.

Replacing a bathtub can be done in one day if you already have everything on hand and know what you’re doing. Otherwise, it may take two or three days if you have to learn as you go.

You can also save money if you’re able to bring your own tub home and get rid of the old one yourself (avoiding shipping and handling costs.)

Again, costs will vary from company to company so it’s best to ask around for quotes. You will also want to see their past work and check for positive reviews.

Refinish or Replace the BathtubRefinishing A Bathtub: The Pros And Cons

Now that we’ve gone over some of the cost differences, let’s talk about the pros and cons.

Pros of Refinishing:

  • The project can usually be completed in one day.
  • You have a lot of control over the finished product.
  • It is a more affordable option than replacing the tub.

Cons of Refinishing:

  • If your bathtub has any major damage, it will need to be fixed before it can be refinished. This adds to the cost of the project and takes more time.
  • You will not be able to choose a new style or material, so you will still have an old tub that is wearing out.
  • The finish can only last for a few years before needing another refinishing job done on it again (which means more cost).

Replacing A Bathtub: The Pros And Cons

And as far as replacing, there are plenty of pros and cons for that as well. Here are a few.

Pros of Replacing:

  • You will have a brand new tub that never has to be refinished or repaired again or at least for many years. This can add value to your home.
  • You get to choose the style, color, and material of your tub. This can give your bathroom a whole new look.
  • Your old tub is hauled away for you so there’s no extra work or cleanup on your part.

Cons of Replacing:

  • Replacing a bathtub is more expensive than refinishing it.
  • You will not be able to use the tub for a couple of days, so you’ll have to make other arrangements during that time.
  • It’s more difficult than refinishing since there are extra steps with removing and installing new plumbing as well-not just painting over an existing surface (which anyone can do if they have the right tools).

Alternatives To Refinishing Or Replacing A Bathtub

If you’re not sold on either of these choices, there are other options as well. These include:

  1. A more affordable option than refinishing is painting over it with a special tub paint that doesn’t need to cure for 24 hours as regular paint does. This can be done yourself in just an afternoon (or less) with minimal prep work required beforehand. You’ll need a few basic tools, some sandpaper, and primer plus the tub paint itself-but nothing major!
  2. You may also consider getting new bathtub liners that fit over your existing one and give it a new look without all the hassle. This option is less expensive than replacing the tub and can be done in as little as one day. Plus, there are many different styles and colors to choose from so you’re sure to find something that fits your personality and needs.
  3. Lastly, if the tub isn’t damaged but just very dirty and dingy; consider getting it cleaned. You can hire a professional cleaner to come and deep clean it and it may just give it that update you were looking for at a fraction of the time and cost!

Refinish or Replace the BathtubDoes Replacing A Bathtub Damage Your Bathroom?

Another common concern when it comes to replacing a bathtub is surrounding damage. You might be wondering if this route will force you into a complete remodel of your bathroom because one thing always leads to another right? Well yes and no.

When you replace a bathtub, it’s common that you’ll need some touch-up work done on things like tile grout or caulking around the edges but there is no guarantee as every scenario is different.

You will also likely need to install new flooring if the old one is damaged and beyond repair. If you are worried about this project getting out of hand then it’s always best to hire a professional to do the work.

What Type Of Bathtub Is The Best?

Whether you are refinishing or replacing your tub, you want to know what materials and types are the best investment. Here is a general overview of the types of bathtubs you will find on the market:

  • Acrylic: This is one of the most popular materials for tubs because it’s durable, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean. It is also the least expensive option.
  • Cast Iron: This type is known for its weight (it can be quite heavy) and its ability to retain heat, making it a popular choice for those who want a spa-like experience at home.
  • Fiberglass: A lightweight material that can be molded into any shape, it’s also very durable and easy to clean. It does scratch easily but this can usually be buffed out with some sandpaper or a steel wool scrubber.
  • Porcelain: This type is known for its glossy finish and durability, which makes it resistant to scratches and dents. It can be a bit more difficult to clean than some of the other materials.
  • Stone: This is a luxurious option that can come in many different colors and styles. It’s also quite heavy so keep that in mind if you’re considering it for your home.

In Conclusion

Overall, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not you should replace or refinish your bathtub. The cost of replacement versus refinishing is a common question and there are no right answers.

It depends on what the problem is with your tub, how much money you have available to spend at this time and whether or not other things need attention in your bathroom as well (such as tile work).

If you’re unsure what to do at this point, talk with a friend or a professional who can give their opinion based on your specific situation. They may offer solutions or ideas you hadn’t considered yet! Either way, good luck with your upcoming project!

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.