Is It Worth It to Reglaze an Old Bathtub?


If your bathroom has been looking a little worse for the wear and you’ve finally decided to give it an overhaul, you may be considering what to do with your bathtub. Sure, you could just have a new one installed, but you’ve also heard about reglazing old bathtubs. Might this be a viable alternative to having a whole new unit installed? Would it cost less? Would it make for a quicker, less-involved project?

Is It Worth It to Reglaze an Old Bathtub

While some DIY blogs would have you believe that bathtub reglazing is as simple as slapping on a fresh coat of paint, it’s actually a little more complex than that. In order to reglaze an old bathtub, you first have to clean it rather extensively, sand it, and patch any cracks, chips, or holes. Reglazing your tub might make the surface look shiny and new, but if there are cracks and craters underneath that were not properly filled in, they will continue to deteriorate underneath that shiny new finish, and could potentially lead to water damage.

What’s more, reglazing requires some pretty heavy-duty chemicals, including a methylene chloride-based stripping agent. This chemical has a sweet, pleasant smell during exposure, but if you inhale too much it may be lethal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than a dozen people have died from overexposure to these stripping agents.

Since these chemicals aren’t anything that you or your family should be breathing in, if you do opt to reglaze an old bathtub, you’ll more than likely need to vacate your home for at least 24 to 48 hours in order for the harmful vapors to dissipate sufficiently. In more humid environments, such as the southeastern U.S., it may take up to a week for the new glaze to completely set. If you’re considering reglazing as a more cost-effective option, you’ll want to be mindful of the money it may cost you to stay at a hotel for a few nights. This money could instead be put toward having a new bathtub installed.

Expert Advice, There When You Need It

If you’re planning to remodel your bathroom, you’ve probably got lots of questions. Fortunately, the home improvement experts at Frey Construction are just a phone call away. Since 1995, we’ve helped homeowners throughout the Madison, Wisconsin, area make their homes more beautiful, comfortable, and functional. As a full-service home contractor, we are qualified to assist you with just about any home improvement project you can dream up—from bathroom remodeling and basement finishing to roofing and replacement windows. And, when it comes to home improvement, we’re all about making things Quick and Painless.

Contact Frey Construction today to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.