Bathtub remodeling; to refinish or replace. What’s right for you?

So, you're thinking of doing a bathroom makeover and your No. 1 concern is bathtub remodeling. There…
Bathtub remodeling; to refinish or replace. What’s right for you?
Foto: Photo by Erica Nicol via CCL

So, you’re thinking of doing a bathroom makeover and your No. 1 concern is bathtub remodeling. There are a lot of ways you can go with this, from simply having it refinished or reglazed, to ripping it out and starting from scratch. Most of this obviously depends on your budget and how long you’re prepared to be without your bathroom. If you have more than one bathroom in your home this isn’t going to be as much of a problem. If you don’t, you’re going to want to get this makeover project completed as soon as possible. Here are a list of options available to you for completing the task.

Most people these days are interested in replacing their tubs with an oversize spa tub with jets when undertaking a bathtub remodeling project. A lot of what you choose to do is dependent on space. If you’ve got it and can afford it, go for it. They currently come in a variety of shapes and sizes with beautiful fittings. This is a great way to reflect your style and make a statement within a small space. Remember, a spa tub will cause your electric bill to increase slightly, depending on your usage of this feature, and it can be one more thing to go wrong over the years that could require costly repairs.

Replacing your existing tub with an old clawfoot tub is an option available to you when considering bathtub remodeling. The old adage that they just don’t make them like they used to comes to mind here. Going this route offers beauty, style, and quality that’s just not available in a modern tub at an affordable price. The only downside to this is space which you may not have enough of to accommodate this choice. If you do have room then architectural salvage yards are the place to go to for finding older tubs and retro fittings for a throwback bathtub remodeling job. There are currently several manufacturers of reproductions of this style of tub if you want something brand new, but with an old feel or flavor to it.

If you’re on a strict budget, or you’re happy with the bathtub you’ve got but it needs a bit of a face lift or freshening up, consider refinishing or reglazing for your bathtub remodeling efforts. This is something you’ll definitely want to hire a licensed professional with a solid reputation to do. In most cases it can easily be done in a day, and can make a world of difference in the overall appearance of your tub, leaving it looking like new. For an added boost, replacing the existing finish on the surrounding walls can also make a huge difference. Tile is the way to go if you can afford it. If not, or if this is for a rental unit, then products like Marlite are an affordable alternative.

Dealing with old plumbing is not always a simple task. It can be very hard to find a stopping point once you start disassembling old plumbing. Ask yourself how far you’re willing to go, and what you can afford, before getting too deep into this phase of your bathtub remodeling project. Also, make sure to check the flooring beneath your tub for rot, mold, and mildew before you go ahead and install your new tub. You’ll need to repair this first before you can proceed.