How Much Will It Cost to Refinish a Bathtub?

D.P. Taylor
Written by D.P. Taylor
Updated February 14, 2022
Parent drying off child after a bath
Photo: monkeybusinessimages / iStock / Getty Images

It typically costs between $330 and $630 to refinish a bathtub, with an average cost of $478

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Refinishing, resurfacing, or reglazing a tub will give it a fresh, clean new look that is sure to add a "wow" factor to your bathroom. It's a relatively inexpensive job that you may be able to do yourself, depending on how handy you are.

But how much will it cost you? This guide will help you understand the typical cost of a bathtub refinishing job, what goes into it, and what you can do to cut down on costs.

Refinishing vs. Resurfacing vs. Reglazing a Tub: What’s the Difference?

Should you refinish, resurface, or reglaze your tub? The answer is all of the above, because they're all the same thing. They all involve stripping off the lining of the tub by sanding it down, filling in cracks, and putting on new primer and paint.

What Is Involved in Tub Resurfacing?

When you refinish or reglaze a tub, what you do first is strip the original finish off by sanding it down. Then, you paint or spray a new finish on.

It seems like a simple job, but be wary of trying to do it yourself. You'll need a refinishing kit, and you need to have the technique and speed to do the job before adhesives dry. As a result, hiring a professional might be a better idea.

Average Costs for Tub Reglazing

You can expect to pay $480 on average for a bathtub refinishing project, but how much you'll actually pay will typically fall within the range of $330 and $630. Between $200 to $500 of that will be for labor, and the remaining $30 to $150 will be for materials, so it's mostly labor you'll be paying for with a project like this.

Fortunately, even on the high end this project only costs a few hundred dollars, so this is a great alternative to replacing your tub if you're refurbishing your bathroom and want to save on overall costs.

Fiberglass vs. Porcelain: Which Fits My Budget?

The type of tub matters when you're talking about budgeting for a refinishing job. Generally, there are two main types of tubs: fiberglass and porcelain.

Porcelain and fiberglass tub refinishing costs compared, with fiberglass averaging $300 to $1,000

Fiberglass

A fiberglass tub is typically the most expensive to refinish, with a range of $300 to $1,000. Fiberglass is a bit more finicky than other materials and may require extra care. It may also take longer to do this job.

Porcelain

The range for a porcelain tub reglazing is $350 to $600. Usually, it's just a thin layer of porcelain over cast iron or steel. If it's a very old tub that is entirely porcelain, you'll need to hire a professional to give it special care.

What Type of Tub Reglazing Can I Get on My Budget?

You probably know what you need done, but is it within your budget? This quick guide can give you an idea of how far your money will go when it comes to giving your tub a makeover.

$100

This is at the very low end of your budget and it’s likely only possible to do it for this much if it’s a simple refinish job and you’re doing it yourself rather than hiring a pro.

$300

For a smaller-sized tub, you could hire someone to do a refinishing job for you at this price if you get a good deal.

$480

This is the average price of a tub reglazing, so you should be prepared to pay this amount if you hire a pro to get the job done.

$650

If you have a large porcelain tub, this is the high end of what you can expect to pay.

$1,000

For a fiberglass tub, your costs could reach this price tag if you hire someone to do it.

What Will It Cost Me to Refinish My Own Bathtub?

If you want to tackle this project yourself, you'll have to pay $30 to $150 for a refinishing kit. Be sure to wear protective clothing and safety equipment, and keep the bathroom ventilated. Once you sand the tub down, you use the epoxy or resin in the kit to prepare the surface of the tub for a new glaze. As a result, even on the high end you could save several hundred dollars compared to hiring a pro to do it.

However, you could make some costly mistakes that could damage the tub or at the very least force you to hire a pro to take care of repairs. Depending on your comfort level and experience with this project, it might be better to let a pro handle this one. 

How Much More Would It Cost to Buy a New Bathtub?

Wondering whether to refinish or just replace your bathtub? The truth is, you can save a lot of money by choosing to refinish. Replacing a bathtub costs an average of $3,400, and could cost as much as $13,000. That means refinishing a tub could save you roughly $3,000 since the average price is $480.

Modern spa bathroom with a black freestanding bathtub
Mario13 / iStock/Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

FAQs About Bathtub Refinishing

Should I refinish a tub myself?

You can certainly do this job yourself and it may save you a decent chunk of money versus hiring someone. But novices should avoid trying to do a job like this on their own because if you don't resurface the tub shortly after applying adhesives, it may dry and force you to start over. It can be a frustrating and potentially expensive experience if you need to fix mistakes.

Also, refinishing a bathtub can be hazardous to your health due to the chemicals you have to use—methylene chloride or dichloromethane, which strips the tub and removes the previous glaze or finish—so take that into consideration. 

How long does it take to reglaze a tub?

It generally takes about 2 to 4 hours to refinish a bathtub, but you should let the surface set for another 24 to 48 hours. Once it's set, it should hopefully last for 10 years or more.

What other projects should I do at the same time?

Refinishing your tub is a great opportunity to overhaul your entire bathroom. Put down some new tiling, install a new backsplash, refurbish your vanities, install new features in your shower, and give your bathroom a whole new look. Look for a bathtub refinishing expert near you and get a consultation on the work, and then ask what other work they can do on your bathroom. You might get a lower price compared to bringing in other contractors at different times.

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