How long should your bathtub last after reglazing? | Badeloft USA How long should your bathtub last after reglazing? | Badeloft USA
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How long should your bathtub last after reglazing?

by Badeloft | July 27, 2019

For those looking to pump some life into an old bathtub, reglazing provides the perfect opportunity to restore some vitality into your bathroom instead of replacing your existing bathtub. Below is everything you need to know about reglazing your bathtub, down to cost, what the process is, and whether or not you should DIY or hire professionals. 

How long does a refinish last?

The short answer is that a professional reglaze will last 10-15 years. The long answer is that there are other factors in prolonging the glaze and finish of your bathtub.  Refinishing helps protect the integrity of your bathtub. However, constant care in terms of weekly cleaning and maintenance is required to keep moisture and unwanted agents such as mold from deteriorating your finish and potentially damaging your bathtub. When given proper care, your reglaze will last 10-15 years. Otherwise, you are looking at a 3-4 year lifespan for your reglaze.

DIY vs. Professional Reglazing

When reglazing your bathtub, you have two choices in terms of how you want to approach this project: DIY or Professional Reglazing. Each comes with their positives and negatives, so it is up to you to decide which is most appropriate for your bathroom.

DIY Reglazing Steps

DIY reglazing is a straight forward project as there are multiple DIY kits available at local hardware stores or under $100 online.

The summary of DIY Reglazing is as follows:

  1. Remove or tape drain and fixtures
  2. Scrape tub with a razor then sand surface to make even
  3. Clean the area with a cloth, then tape caulking and apply primer
  4. Apply refinishing coating with a roller, then finish with a brush.
  5. Let dry for at least 24 hours and remove the tape.

Pros of DIY Reglazing

Much cheaper than professional work with kits being around $100

No workers required in your home

Can dictate when you wish to finish the project on your terms

Cons of DIY Reglazing:

Limited Colors compared to Professional Glazers

Uneven surface/colors, DIY projects tend to be visually worse compared to more professional glazers as most homeowners typically do not have the tools and experience compared to professional glazers to make their bathrooms more presentable.

Shorter Longevity, as stated above, since DIY projects tend to be less detail-oriented, a DIY reglaze typically last 2-3 years compared to the 10-15 years of professional projects.

Longer to complete, if someone is relatively inexperienced, DIY reglazing projects take a great deal of time to complete, which leaves that area of the house exposed to dangerous fumes.

Professionally Reglazing- pros and cons

For those that have little to no experience, professional reglazing is a very viable option. In general, professional refinishing is highly recommended compared to DIY, as the benefits and positives far outweigh its drawbacks. Though the final cost is three times the price for a DIY kit, your bathtub will last a great deal longer.

Pros of professional reglazing:

Faster, more efficient. Hiring professional help means your bathroom is finished quickly without any additional time wasted. Leaving your house exposed to noxious fumes for a shorter amount of time.

Wide Color variety. Compared to DIY kits, professional glazing companies have just about any color scheme that you request, and they will always match the color you ask for

Even surfaces. Unlike most DIY jobs, professionals will clean and even out all surfaces of the space, allowing the layers of paint to bond easier. Which means your bathtub will last significantly longer than if you were to DIY the job.

Cons of professional reglazing:

Cost – Hiring professionals can quickly ramp to 4-5x the cost of a DIY kit

Project is outside of your control, with professionals working on your bathtub, it is up to them to finish the job and not you

What’s the Reglazing Process?

For those unfamiliar, the reglazing process is simply cleaning your bathtub of foreign materials, then reapplying a stronger coat of finishing paint. While it sounds simple, improper cleaning of the bathtub is common, resulting in uneven areas of your bathtub. The paint does not adhere to the bathtub properly, resulting in a shorter lifespan for the paint and your bathtub.

The process to reglaze your bathtub is as follows:

  1. Clean bathtub and remove previous caulking
  2. Properly ventilate your area
  3. Remove or tape drain and fixtures
  4. Scrape tub with a razor then sand surface to make even
  5. Fill area to smooth out
  6. Clean the area with a cloth, then tape caulking and apply primer
  7. Spray paint three coats of primer, then allow to dry.
  8. Apply refinishing coating with a roller, then finish with a brush.
  9. Let dry for at least 24 hours and remove the tape, before final buffing

How to continuously take care of your bathtub after reglazing 

To properly care for a bathtub after the reglazing process, it is best to avoid abrasive cleaners. Abrasive cleaners such as steel wool, bleach or strong detergents will strip much of the protective qualities of the finishing paint, exposing your bathtub to the elements. Doing this will damage your bathtub over a long period as it does not have a protective layer. Instead, use non-abrasive cleaners such as mild detergents, soap, and baking soda to clean your bathtub. Eventually, any chemical compound will erode the finish of your bathtub. However, abrasive cleaners will erode your finish after 2-3 years whereas non-abrasive cleaners will help your bathtub remain protected for at least ten years. 

Reglazing your bathtub is a simple process that helps preserve the life of your bathtub. The process is simple but might be a bit overwhelming for first-time homeowners, but when completed correctly, your bathtub can easily last another 10-15 years. It’s crucial to consider this option the next time you are looking to replace an existing tub.

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