If you want to spruce up a tired bathroom without breaking the bank, consider reglazing. Also known as refinishing or resurfacing, the process costs much less than replacing the tub. You can change the color to update the bath. Once the tub is reglazed, it should look like new, retaining its glossy appearance for about 10 years. Tub technicians fill in any cracks and chips. You can relax in your reglazed bathtub the following night.
While the actual cost of a new tub might be only a few hundred dollars, all those hidden costs can put remodeling into the $2,500 and up range. You get soaked with labor costs for removing the old tub, along with the installation and plumbing for the new tub. If you decide to reglaze, costs can start as low as $300 for just the tub, with reglazing a tub and its surrounding wall beginning at $600, as of 2012.
Not only is the cost of reglazing considerably cheaper than replacing the tub, it is far more convenient. The entire process takes only a few hours, and you can generally use your tub within 24 hours. You may not need to take the entire day off work to let the technician in and wait until the project is completed. Contrast that to the one to two weeks it takes to have a bathtub replaced, along with arrangements for workers to enter and leave your house. While a tub replacement may mean several workers trudging through the house, and a lot of debris to clean up, reglazing involves one technician and minimal mess.
Before the reglazer arrives, attend to any plumbing problems in the tub. Reglazing can't be done if the tub's faucets leak. Clear shelves and counters and remove unnecessary items from the bathroom. The process involves the application of a urethane polymer, which gives the tub a fresh new look once it dries. If your tub has been painted, it must be stripped before reglazing. You can do this yourself as part of the preparation or the technician will do the job for an extra charge.
Keeping It Clean
After reglazing, clean the tub using only non-abrasive cleansers. Stay away from cleaners containing bleach or lemon, as these materials can damage the color or glaze. The new surface should be easier to clean than the old one, as well as more resistant to mold and mildew.
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