How Much Does Bathtub Refinishing and Reglazing Cost?

Common Range: $325 – $1,120

National Average: $570

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Get Bathtub Refinishing Cost Quotes
Updated: December 19, 2022, by: Steve Hansen

Bathtub Refinishing or Reglazing Cost Range

The cost of refinishing a bathtub can range from $325 to $1,120 depending on a number of factors, such as the size of the tub, the condition of the tub, and the type of finish being applied.

Average Cost

The average cost of refinishing a tub is $570 when the tub is stripped, prepared and reglazed. When the tub is covered with an acrylic lining, cost averages around $1,275 for a company like Bathfitters to come in, measure and fit apply the acrylic lining.

Average Do It Yourself Cost
$90 (Cost of Reglazing Kit)
Average Contractor Installed Cost
$570
Typical Cost Range
$325 – $1,120

restored cast iron bathtub

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Overview of Bathtub Restoration and Refinishing

The porcelain glazing on cast iron tubs becomes chipped, scratched and stained over time. The iron eventually shows through. Without refinishing the tub, the metal will begin to rust and be much harder to restore.

Reglazing is the right choice when you want to maintain the classic appearance of a cast iron tub.  This process is also called recasting or casting the tub. If refinishing is not an option, check our bathtub replacement costs for installing a precast unit, or shower tile costs to see what it costs when replacing with ceramic tile.

When an update of the tub’s appearance is preferred, consider installing an acrylic liner over it and optionally over tile shower walls too. After many precise measurements, the acrylic liner is molded to precisely fit your tub and walls. It is installed in sections – one for the tub and one for the walls.

Though an acrylic tub liner costs more than refinishing the tub, it has these advantages:

  • Modernizing the appearance of the tub, and changing colors, if desired
  • Restoring a tub in a condition that is too poor for reglazing
  • Pricing about 50% less than tub replacement, which ranges from $2,800 to more than $4,500, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association
  • Updating the shower walls too, not just the tub, and saving the hassle and cost of replacing ceramic tile

This Costimate explores both options, cost factors and prices. We’ve compiled tub refinishing costs from estimating sites to allow you to compare prices from sources with a track record for accuracy.

There are costs from homeowners who have completed this project too. And you’re invited back to share your tub refinishing price for the benefit of other readers.

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Bathtub Refinishing Cost Cost

Here are factors affecting prices for the two tub refinishing approaches.

  • Which Tub Restoration Solution You Choose – Glazing is the more affordable option. An acrylic liner involves more labor cost and material cost. It comes down to two issues: 1. Do you want a traditional look with glazing or a contemporary appearance with acrylic? 2. When tile walls need replacing too, covering the entire tub and tile with an acrylic liner can be a cost-effective choice, though pricing will still be above $2,000.
  • Bathtub (and Tile Surround) Size and Shape – With either approach, the more area there is to restore, the higher the cost. Also, a free-standing tub has much more exterior surface area than a built-in unit, so tub resurfacing cost is higher.
  • Condition of the Tub – When reglazing, the more prep work there is such as sanding and filling, the higher the cost. If the tub is in very poor condition, covering it with the costlier acrylic liner approach might be your only option short of replacing it.
  • Thickness of the Layers – If the tub has been recoated in the past, a common practice, without being fully sanded and refinished, the sanding process will take longer and cost more.
  • Features of a Liner – If you choose a liner for the tile surround, adding features like a soap dish, shampoo shelf, towel rack or grab bars will increase cost.
  • Quality of a Liner – They vary significantly from cheap to premium, usually reflected in cost, so do your homework in comparing liners before selecting a fabricator/installer. Lining that fits snugly and has good durability is quite expensive.
  • Faucet and Plumbing Changes – While not included in the cost estimates here, keep in mind that old tubs mean old faucets, drains and possibly corroded iron or lead pipes. Changes to those features could add several hundred dollars for just a faucet to more than $1,500 if plumbing must be replaced too.
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Refinishing Supplies Cost

Products and kits are available for DIY reglazing. The process involves:

  • Removing all caulk
  • Sanding the porcelain and thoroughly removing all sanding dust, and/or using an etching cream to remove the glossy surface
  • Using filler in chips and deep scratches
  • Taping off or covering everything that isn’t the tub
  • Applying an epoxy glaze

There’s more on DIY tub casting below.

  • $8 – $15 | 100 & 200 grit sandpaper and a sanding block
  • $25 – $40 per quart | Etching cream, which requires less work than sanding the tub
  • $7 – $20 each | Chip and scratch filler
  • $25 – $140 | 2-part epoxy glaze

Cheap glaze like Rustoleum Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit lasts 2-4 years if properly applied. Better products like Ekopel are an 8-15 year fix. You get what you pay for.

Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs

You don’t need a permit to refinish a bathtub. However, if you alter the plumbing, a permit and inspection are required.

  • $50 – $100 | Plumbing permit for minor plumbing changes, if needed

Professional Refinisher Cost

As we’ve discussed, you have two options for professional bathtub refinishing.

  • $285 – $950 | Reglazing a tub to restore its original appearance.
  • $750 – $1,400 | Installing an acrylic liner over the tub. When a tile surround is included, cost will rise to $2,000 to $4,000 based on size and features.

Bathtub Refinishing Time

Here are time-frames for both methods of refinishing your tub.

Reglazing:

  • 1 – 2 Days | Traditional reglazing. Most of the labor involves sanding and prepping the tub. Once glaze is applied, it will take 24-48 hours to cure depending on humidity conditions.

Installing a Liner:

  • 1-2 Hours | Measuring for the liner
  • 2-4 Weeks | Wait time to have the liner manufactured
  • 1 Day | Installation of an acrylic tub and/or shower liner.
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Are You a Pro Bath Refinishing Company?

If so, head over to our Costimates Pro’s page, and help us make this page better and more accurate for both our visitors and your future customers.

DIY or Hire a Pro

Refinishing a tub using traditional methods can be hard work, dusty and tedious. But homeowners and property managers successfully do it with results that last for years. A friend of ours reglazed their porcelain tub a decade ago using high-end epoxy glaze, and the tub still looks new. Some use cheaper brands for a quick sprucing of the tub before putting the house up for sale.

We recommend these tips:

  • Like our friend did, choose the best glaze you can find
  • Remove all caulk – a razor blade is useful – and thoroughly clean the tub
  • Watch online tutorials like those on the Ekopel brand YouTube channel
  • Follow all instructions carefully

Acrylic liners are obviously not a DIY job since they must be fabricated in a shop. Retailers we’re aware of sell the liner and installation as a package.

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Reviewed and Edited by Steve Hansen of Costimates

steve hansen of costimates-sm Steve Hansen is the Lead Editor of Costimates. (Learn more) An avid home improvement professional with more than 35 years experience in both DIY projects and working as a construction foreman in residential new home building, upfits, repairs and remodeling.

"Like most homeowners, I became frustrated with the lack of quality information available on specific home improvement repairs and renovations. In 2015, Costimates was formed to help homeowners learn as much as possible about various projects and their costs so they could make better financial decisions."