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How Much Does Bathtub Refinishing Cost? (2024 Guide)

Typical cost range: $335–$630

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Refinishing a bathtub is cheaper than replacing one, with an average cost of $480. Our guide will help you determine what your project might cost.

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by: Mark Howey Updated 05/16/2024

Refinishing a bathtub costs between $335 and $630, with an average of about $480. Materials may run you $30–$150, while labor can be an additional $200–$500. Installing a new bathtub can cost $1,400–$10,500, whereas refinishing a tub can cost less than $500—pennies on the dollar in comparison.* Refinishing your tub is a smart investment that can reap big dividends if you want to sell your home. This guide breaks down the price of a refinishing project and provides saving tips for remodeling your bathroom

*Cost figures in this article are based on cost data from Angi, HomeGuide, and Fixr.

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Bathtub Refinishing Cost

Bathtub refinishing can cost anywhere between $335 and $630.

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How do you know it’s time to refinish your bathtub? If the sealant around your bath is cracking or peeling off, the surface may need reglazing. Look for these other signs:
Chipping or scratches
Dull finish
Discoloration
Rust stains
Water marks

Bathtub Refinishing Cost

The price varies based on your tub’s material, size, and condition, as well as your selected refinishing method. We’ll go into more detail about these factors below.

  • Tub material: Most bathtubs are made of porcelain, acrylic, fiberglass, or cast iron. Resurfacing materials for a porcelain or cast iron tub usually cost $350–$600, while fiberglass can cost $300–$1,000. Adding enamel can tack on another $350–$600.
  • Tub type: The bigger the tub, the higher the cost to refinish it. A standard tub takes up 13 square feet of space. Anything larger will be on the high end of the cost spectrum.
  • Tub condition: A technician may need to spend more time sandblasting a corroded or peeling tub, increasing labor costs.
  • Refinishing method: The standard refinishing method involves stripping, sanding, caulking, and resealing your tub. This comes at an average cost. The modern Miracle Method can cost $500–$650 for a tub or $1,000–$1,200 for a tub and shower.

What Factors Affect Bathtub Refinishing Cost?

Cost by Material

Refinishing costs depend in part on what your bathtub is made from. For example, you’ll need to sandblast or grind off the rust from a cast iron tub before refinishing it. This requires more time and effort than simply removing and replacing old enamel.

MaterialMaterial CostLabor CostTotal Bathtub Refinishing Cost
Fiberglass$75–$100$17–$500$250–$600
Porcelain$100–$140$200–$400$350–$600
Cast iron$100$200–$550$300–$650
Enamel$150$200–$550$350–$600

Fiberglass Tub Refinishing Cost

Fiberglass tubs are lightweight and budget-friendly, but they tend to warp and crack about 10–15 years after installation. They’re often easier to refinish than other types of bathtubs because of how they’re made, saving you money on labor and materials. They’re also easy and inexpensive to repair.

Fiberglass Tub Pros and Cons
Affordable
Easy to install
Easy to repair
More durable than plastic
Thinner than other materials
Uneven finish
Colors tend to fade
Can crack or dent over time

Porcelain Tub Reglazing Cost

Porcelain looks beautiful, but its glazing and finish can easily scratch. Reglazing can fix these issues and requires less work than replacing the entire tub. Refinished porcelain tubs come out looking shiny and new.

Porcelain Tub Pros and Cons
Smooth, easy-to-clean surface
Heavy and durable
Antique appearance
Customizable
Easily damaged
Slippery surface
Susceptible to rust and corrosion

Cast Iron Tub Refinishing Cost

Cast iron, clawfoot tubs add a touch of old-fashioned elegance to any bathroom. Refinishing a cast iron tub will cost $300–$650. However, you’ll want to hire a professional because cast iron is too dense and heavy for most do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) to handle.

Cast Iron Tub Pros and Cons
Very durable
Chip-resistant enamel coating
High heat retention
Timeless
Heavy
Can rust if the enamel chips (unlikely)
Expensive

Enamel Bathtub Reglazing Cost

Enamel isn’t a type of tub but a finish. It’s made from porcelain or a hard glass coating. Cast iron and steel tubs are both typically enameled. The enamel protects the metal from corrosion and gives the tub its silky exterior. However, an enamel tub can chip or crack over time.

Enamel Tub Pros and Cons
Affordable
Durable
Easy to clean
Surface may chip easily
Rust can form in a single chip
Can be noisy

Cost by Type of Tub

A simple tub requires less work and fewer materials to refinish than a bath-shower combo, which may call for wall tile grout cleaning or repair as part of the project. The more complex the tub, the more expensive it will be to refinish.

The most common bathtub types are clawfoot tubs and bath-shower combinations.

Tub TypeCost to Refinish
Clawfoot tub$300–$650
Bathtub-shower combination$500–$1,000

Clawfoot Tub Refinishing Cost

Clawfoot tubs are classic but trendy, inciting images of luxury baths surrounded by candles and champagne. These tubs are also surprisingly durable and budget-friendly to maintain, costing just $300–$650 to refinish. A cheap enamel can chip easily, but most modern enamel coatings will protect these tubs for a long time.

Clawfoot Tub Pros and Cons
Appealing, like-new look
Durable and long-lasting
Sleek feel on skin
Fits neatly in dainty bathrooms
Hard to attach a shower
Difficult to maneuver to a second-floor room
Must clean around the feet

Bath-Shower Combination Refinishing Cost

Bath-shower combos are versatile and highly functional, making them especially suited to one-bathroom or big-family homes. They’re often constructed from fiberglass, which can scratch easily. This can be fixed with refinishing, but it’s more expensive at $500–$1,000.

Bath-Shower Combination Pros and Cons
Lightweight
Affordable
Easy to install
Repairable finish
Colors fade
Easily chipped
Can shift, causing caulk to crack
Thin and easy to break

Cost by Tub Condition

Does your tub just need a patch, or are you looking at a full refinishing project? Your answer will help determine your total cost.

A tub in good condition may show some flaking, peeling, or bubbling. This can start to show within 5–7 years after installation, especially if the manufacturers didn’t properly seal the tub. A tub in fair condition will shed more than a few flakes. You’ll see nicks, dings, and scratches. An old tub in poor condition may be stained, rusty, and possibly even dented.

ConditionEstimated Cost
Good$275
Fair$450
Poor$900

Cost by Refinishing Method

How you refinish your bathtub also influences price. A bathtub inlay, or a piece of laminate that covers the bottom of your tub, is easy and inexpensive but will need to be redone sooner than other options. Replacing the entire tub and shower liner costs more upfront but could save you time and trouble in the future.

Refinishing MethodEstimated Cost
Bathtub inlay$100–$200
Bathtub reglazing$200–$650
Bathtub liner$1,700–$2,500

Bathtub Inlay Cost

Bathtub inlays are the least expensive and quickest solution. They involve simply covering the bottom of the tub to fix any flaws or cracks. However, inlays don’t fix cosmetic issues or cracks around the rest of the tub. 

Bathtub Inlay Pros and Cons
Repairs cracks and holes in less than an hour
Inexpensive to buy the kit
Easy to do it yourself
Does not cover cracks or stains on the sides of the tub
Reduce the inner size of the bathtub
May not work on non-traditional tub styles

Bathtub Liner Cost

A bathtub liner is a solid, custom replacement that covers the entire tub. It addresses any leaks or cracks and looks like the tub itself. Liners require professional installation but last almost as long as a new tub.

Liners are more expensive than inlays and can take a month or two to create since they require a custom mold. They can cost $1,700–$2,500.

Bathtub Liner Pros and Cons
Quick installation
No demolition work
Fixes most major problems
Expensive
Makes tub space smaller
Water can get trapped under the liner

Bathtub Reglazing Cost

Reglazing is a great, affordable option for bathtubs in good or fair condition, costing about $200–$650. You can save money by purchasing a DIY kit from your local home improvement store or Amazon, but the chemicals can be dangerous and the process isn’t easy. Because of this, we recommend hiring a technician for the best results.

Reglazing conforms exactly to the contours of your existing tub, leaving you with a refined and finished product. However, it may not cover major cracks, rust spots, or deep scratches.

Bathtub Reglazing Pros and Cons
Beautiful finished appearance
Easy to DIY
Cost-effective
Coating can peel or chip
Doesn’t fix severe problems
May have to wait for coating to dry

Should You Refinish or Replace Your Bathtub?

The decision to refinish or replace depends on a few factors. If your bathtub is still in good shape and you just want to freshen it up, refinishing may be the way to go. If your bathtub is damaged from years of use and needs serious repairs, replacement may be more cost-effective.


What’s the Difference Between Refinishing and Reglazing a Bathtub?

When revitalizing an aging bathtub, you might face a dilemma: refinish or reglaze it. Refinishing involves applying a specialized coating onto the existing surface, while reglazing requires stripping the surface layer and applying a new, durable glaze. Refinishing is generally more cost-effective and lasts 10–15 years. Reglazing offers a longer life span of 15–20 years, but it will most likely cost you more money. The choice ultimately depends on the condition of the tub, desired longevity, and budget. We also recommend you consult professional help for either project.


How Does Bathtub Refinishing Work?

The bathtub refinishing process requires three steps:

  1. A technician removes the caulking and plumbing plates, leaving a smooth surface by sanding away the old finish.
  2. The technician seals any holes, chips, or cracks with epoxy and waits for it to dry. A tub with many cracks may need a new liner or require rust treatment.
  3. The technician applies several layers of coating and finishes with a top coat of sealant.
  4. The tub is then recaulked to the wall materials.

Homeowners need to wait 24 after the job is completed before using the tub. Refinishing can extend the tub’s life span by 10–15 years.


Professional vs. DIY

Refinishing a bathtub can be costly, messy, and time-consuming, so it’s important to consider whether you want to hire a professional or do it yourself. 

Professional Bathtub Refinishing

Refinishing a bathtub isn’t a difficult home improvement project, but it’s not exactly simple. The end result almost always looks smoother when a professional technician sprays the tub with top-grade materials. In addition, what could take you two to three days will probably take a pro two to three hours. 

DIY Bathtub Refinishing

If you know what you’re doing, you can save big by refinishing your own tub. Labor costs account for about 80% of a tub refinishing project, and a refinishing kit can cost less than $100. Ensure you have the right equipment if you want a smooth, glossy finish. Below is a list of some of the tools you may need:

Review the instructions on your refinishing kit to find the exact equipment needed for your project.


Bathtub refinishing is relatively affordable, but here are a few additional ways to save.
Ask for standard colors and finishes.
Get quotes from more than one refinishing company to get the best deal.
Test out liners before you invest in them.

Is Refinishing Your Bathtub Worth It?

You can save a significant amount of money on your bathroom remodeling project by opting to refinish your old bathtub instead of replacing it. Although the cost of bathtub refinishing may vary depending on the type and condition of the tub, it’s almost always cheaper than buying and installing a new bathtub, often by thousands of dollars.

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FAQ About Bathtub Refinishing

What’s the difference between refinishing, reglazing, and resurfacing a bathtub?

Bathtub refinishing refers to the entire restoration project. Bathtub reglazing refers only to the commercial coating applied at the end of the process. Resurfacing is usually synonymous with refinishing. However, it’s common for all of these terms to be used interchangeably. 

Is it worth it to refinish a bathtub?

You should consider refinishing a tub if it’s still in relatively good condition. Refinishing can remove surface imperfections such as scratches, shallow cracks, and stains, giving you a like-new look without shelling out thousands of dollars. Refinishing an old, leaking, or moldy tub isn’t worth it, since you’ll have to replace it soon anyway.

How long does a bathtub reglazing last?

Bathtub reglazing lasts 10–15 years. A professional reglazing shouldn’t wear off in less than a decade. Refinishing protects your bathtub’s integrity and prolongs its glaze and surface.

What is the difference between resurfacing and replacing a bathtub?

Tub refinishing and relining are cosmetic fixes. Tub replacement is more like major surgery, which increases costs and complexity.

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