Options for Refinishing a Bathtub
LESLIE: Debra in Pennsylvania listens to The Money Pit on Discovery Radio Network. And we’re going to get into the bath with her right now. What’s going on at your bathtub?
DEBRA: Well, I am in the process of remodeling my bathroom. And I moved into a house about a year ago and the bathtub is just not looking real good. And I’m going to put new ceramic tile around the bath – inside the bathroom – and I was trying to decide if I needed to replace the tub or just have it like covered.
LESLIE: Is the tub in good condition? Do you like the shape? Do you like the size? Or do you just hate everything about it and want something completely different?
DEBRA: I can’t get it clean. It won’t come clean anymore.
LESLIE: And it’s cast iron?
DEBRA: I believe so, yes.
LESLIE: Because you can have cast iron tubs reglazed, reenameled, refinished. That’s something that a pro does. It makes it look good as new, if not better than new. Plus, the benefit of that is if you like the shape of the tub or if there’s something special about it, you’re able to keep the same. And the cost might be, unfortunately, around the same price, you know, or a little bit less of replacing it.
TOM: Yeah, the other option, Debra, is to use a tub insert. But what I don’t like about tub inserts is they take an awful lot of room and they’re going to make that a lot …
LESLIE: You lose a lot of space.
TOM: Yeah, it’s going to make that a lot smaller.
DEBRA: Yeah, that was my concern. That’s why I wasn’t sure if I should just go ahead and try and replace it or what I should do with it.
TOM: Well, if you’re going to do so much remodeling that the tub is exposed and could easily be removed, you may be better off actually removing the tub.
TOM: But if you’re trying to leave everything else in place and you’re just kind of doing some cosmetic upgrades, then you might want to think about refinishing it in place. But if you took the whole wall apart and everything was torn open, then you’re probably better off just going ahead and replacing the tub at the same time.
DEBRA: What if I find that it is not cast iron?
TOM: How old is your house?
DEBRA: The house was built in the 50s.
TOM: Yeah, it’s cast iron.
LESLIE: It definitely is.
TOM: Yeah. (chuckling)
DEBRA: That’s what I thought. (chuckling)
DEBRA: So I should look into having it just kind of …
TOM: Refinished in place. Yep, professionally refinished. Reglazed.
LESLIE: And it’s going to look beautiful.
TOM: Debra, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.