Reglazing a bathtub restores the finish of a chipped, discolored or dinged bathtub, but reglazing is often more expensive than replacing the entire bathtub. While reglazing restores the look of the old bathtub coating, plastic reglazing coatings are much less durable than original enamel or porcelain finishes. The reglazing process is also only suited to certain types of bathtubs, while reglazing other types is difficult or impossible.
Cost is one of the primary areas of concern when reglazing a bathtub. Depending on the size and type of bathtub being reglazed, costs can range from a few hundred dollars up to a thousand. While this is often cheaper than replacing a high-quality cast iron enamel-coated bathtub, purchasing an economical fiberglass or acrylic replacement tub is often a cheaper solution. However, factoring in the cost of a professional installation, reglazing an expensive tub carries roughly the same cost as installing a new, more affordable one.
Only those tubs with an enamel or porcelain coating make good candidates for reglazing. One of the steps in the reglazing process involves the technician etching the entire existing surface with an acid. The etching process gives a rough, porous surface onto which the reglazing coating adheres. Tubs made of acrylic or fiberglass are non-porous, and cannot form a suitable surface even with acid-etching.