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Bathroom Medicine Cabinet and Bathtub: Refinish or Replace?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Russ in Rhode Island listens to The Money Pit on WPRO. What can we do for you?

    RUSS: I’ve got a medicine cabinet that I’d like to change. And the house was built in ’64. The medicine cabinet is recessed in the wall. It’s about 40 inches by 36 inches high. And there’s tile all the way around. What’s my best bet to do with this?

    TOM: A chainsaw. (laughing)

    RUSS: Sounds great.

    TOM: Well, you want to get this medicine cabinet out? That’s the whole idea?

    RUSS: I’d like to change it, yeah. It’s getting …

    TOM: Like to change it?

    RUSS: It’s chrome plated …

    TOM: Yeah.

    RUSS: … and the chrome plating is rusted a little bit.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: I know what you mean. You know, it may not be that hard to take it out. Usually, they’re set inside the stud cavities.

    RUSS: Right. Yes.

    TOM: And if you take all the shelves out, you usually see maybe two or four screws going through the metal …

    LESLIE: On the side.

    TOM: Yeah, on the metal body. Once you pull those out, you could probably wiggle it back and forth and pull it right out.

    LESLIE: You could probably have the whole thing replated; have it dipped. The only thing is, they would have to remove the glass. And if it’s in good condition, they would absolutely be able to do it. And I’m not sure how much the cost of dipping … of course, it depends on what type of finish it is you’re looking for. But there are a lot of people who do it all over the United States and do a wonderful job with it.

    RUSS: Okay. Alright. Now the next question is tub cast iron.

    LESLIE: Okay.

    RUSS: And it’s got a porcelain finish. It’s yellow. I’d like to have it recoated.

    LESLIE: Okay.

    RUSS: What’s the best bet? I mean the thing is, there are specialists that do this?

    LESLIE: Oh, absolutely there are specialists that do it. It’s actually average cost between around $350 and $600, which is just about half … you know, more than half of what a new cast iron tub would cost; anywhere between $1,200 and $5,000 for a new tub. So it makes a lot of sense. Do some research. You’ll probably find somebody who’s able to refinish your tub and actually, you might even be able to find the same person who does plating as well. Because it seems to be a related industry.

    RUSS: Alright, thank you very much. You’ve answered my questions.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
     

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