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Bathtub Makeover: Cost of Replacement vs. Refinishing (2023)

By George Piccot, Published 09/26/2023

When it comes to giving your bathroom a fresh look, the bathtub often becomes the focal point of consideration. A worn-out or outdated bathtub can detract from the overall aesthetic of the bathroom. Homeowners are then faced with a decision: should they replace the bathtub entirely or opt for refinishing? The primary factor influencing this decision is usually cost. Let's delve into the financial implications of both options to help you make an informed choice.

The Cost of Bathtub Replacement

Replacing a bathtub is a comprehensive process that involves several steps and associated costs. Here's a breakdown:

  • Bathtub Cost: A basic model starts at around $200, but high-end models can soar to over $3,000.
  • Installation Charges: Labor costs for installation can range from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the intricacy of the job.
  • Additional Expenses: These include the removal and disposal of the old tub, potential adjustments to plumbing, repairs to tiles or walls, and other unforeseen costs. This can add another $500 to $2,000 to your bill.

Combining these factors, the total cost for replacing a bathtub can range from $1,700 to a staggering $8,000 or more.

The Cost of Bathtub Refinishing

Refinishing, on the other hand, is a process where the existing bathtub is repaired and recoated to give it a brand-new appearance. Here's what you might expect to pay:

  • Refinishing Cost: This typically falls between $300 to $1,000. The price varies based on the tub's condition, your location, and the professional handling the job.
  • Minor Repairs: Before refinishing, any chips or cracks need to be addressed. This might add an extra $50 to $200.

In total, refinishing a bathtub will generally set you back between $350 and $1,200.

The Financial Verdict

When we compare the average costs of both options, the savings become evident. Taking the mid-range figures, replacing a bathtub averages around $4,850, while refinishing averages at about $775. This means that refinishing can offer a whopping savings of approximately 84% compared to full replacement.

But it's not just about the immediate savings. Consider the time and inconvenience factor. Refinishing is a quicker process, often completed in a day or less. Replacement, however, can disrupt your household for several days or even weeks, especially if extensive modifications are needed.

Other Considerations

  • Environmental Impact: Refinishing is a greener choice. It reduces the demand for new materials and prevents old bathtubs from ending up in landfills.
  • Lifespan: A refinished bathtub can last 10-15 years with proper care. A new bathtub, while lasting 20 years or more, comes with a significantly higher initial cost.

While the allure of a brand-new bathtub can be tempting, the financial analysis leans heavily in favor of refinishing. Not only does it save homeowners a significant amount of money, but it also offers a quicker, more environmentally friendly solution. Before making a decision, assess the condition of your current bathtub, research local service providers, and consider both immediate and long-term costs. In many cases, refinishing will emerge as the clear winner, both for your wallet and your peace of mind.

For more articles like this visit our Blog. If you are a professional refinisher and want to join other like-minded professional refinishers to discuss process, visit the elite Facebook group RCN - Resurfacing Contractors Network.

Learn More About Professional Bathtub Refinishing

TopKote has everything you need for your refinishing project including materials and training. If you are looking for a professional, contact us and we will direct you to a Topkote Pro nearest you.

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