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Bathtub Reglazing

Dull, worn, stained, or chipped bathtubs are frequently discarded as part of a bathroom remodeling job. However, if the damage to your tub is superficial, you may want to consider reglazing the tub, a process that is faster and less expensive than replacing or recovering with a bathtub insert. The tub can be left in place, the work done in a day, and the luster and shine or the original color restored or a new color created.

The term reglazing is a bit of a misnomer. The bathtub refinishing project involves using strong chemicals and a bit of muscle to strip the tub and create a rough surface to which a new top coat can adhere. Then, rather than firing the tub as was originally done (an impracticality if you are doing the work in place), a synthetic glaze -- generally an epoxy mixture -- is applied. Although not as durable as the original surface, the new surface should last 5-10 years if quality materials are used and you use proper care when cleaning (e.g., avoid abrasive cleaners).

Do-it-yourself kits abound, but the would be do-it-yourselfer should be strongly cautioned. The work can be tedious (dust and dirt left on the surface or settling later can ruin the job), the chemicals toxic and explosive, and the work may require special equipment (such as a low pressure sprayer) to get a professional quality result.

If you decide to turn to a professional, here are some tips to help you choose:

  • As with any contractor, check references. Look for affiliations such as the BBB and indications that the company will be in business in coming years (in order to remedy under warranty any problems that may later surface).
  • Have the price quote include the list of materials to ensure you are getting quality materials. Determine in advance if the price includes:
    • any extra preparation, such as scraping, that must be done
    • caulking or grouting around the edge of the tub
    • non-slip surfaces, if you so desire.
  • Product and work warranties.

Where to Shop (click to visit)
Bathtub Doctor (NY, NJ, & CT only)

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