Since its introduction in 1883, the enameled bathtub has been a fixture in American homes. While not as popular as it once was, the enameled bathtub is still commonly found in homes today.  However, enameled bathtubs experience wear and surface damage over time that affect their appearance.  The difficulty and cost of removing the tub for repair or replacement can be daunting.  It is necessary to remember that bathtub aesthetics are just as important as utility and function within the space.  This is where bathtub refinishing can make a difference.

Bathtub refinishing services not only improve the aesthetics of your bathtub, but also increase the value of your home.  Kitchens and bathrooms are major selling points of a home, and the condition of each space contributes greatly to the home’s value.  Refinishing your bathtub improves the appearance and feel of your bathroom which increases the resale value of your home and makes it more attractive to potential buyers.

How to Increase Home Value with a Bathtub

It is no secret that the bathrooms within a home play a major role in the home’s value.  If you want to get the most value from your bathroom, these tips will help you maximize the value you get just from your bathtub.

Make the Bathtub the Focal Point

The bathtub shouldn’t just be a feature in your bathroom, it should be the feature.  Designing your bathroom to make the bathtub the main feature makes it more inviting and adds a sense of luxury to the space.  The fixtures you choose for your tub should also contribute to the aesthetic of the tub.


If you are planning a bathroom remodel, work with the interior designers to create a layout in which the bathtub anchors the space.

Choose Neutral Bathtub Colors

There have been several bathtub color trends that have come and gone, including avocado green and pail pink as well as red, aqua blue, harvest gold, and black.  Bathtubs in these colors appear outdated, which can have an impact on the value of your home.

The one bathtub color that has not gone out of style is white.  White is a timeless color for bathroom fixtures which is why it is chosen over every other color.  It is best to choose white as the color for your bathtub as this color will always be in style while other bathtub color trends come and go.

Refinish the Bathtub

A worn-out bathtub diminishes the appearance of your bathroom, as well as the value of your home.  To get the most value from your bathroom, your bathtub should be free of noticeable wear, stains, and surface damage.

If your bathtub has become damaged or worn out, you do not have to replace it.  Full bathtub replacement is an invasive and expensive process.  Bathtub refinishing can make your worn-out bathtub look like new and bring a much better return on investment in terms of the increase in your home’s value compared to the cost.  This can also be done in a fraction of the time it takes to replace a bathtub.  After your bathtub is refinished, no one will be able to tell the difference between it and a new tub, they will only see a well maintained and inviting bathroom.

NAPCO Bathroom refinishing Before And After

Why Refinish an Older Bathtub?

While a newer fiberglass or plastic tub might prove less expensive in initial costs compared to replacing it with an enameled tub, repairing or refinishing the tub is a comparable alternative.  Considering that thermal performance of both plastic and fiberglass tubs are less than that of enameled tubs, the choice can also be a comfort issue.

Instead of replacing your worn-out enameled tub with a cheaper alternative, you can revitalize its appearance and bring more value to your home by having it refinished.  The following are the main reasons to have your bathtub reglazed to increase the value of your home:

Restores Bathtub to Like-New Condition

If your bathtub is stained, rusted, worn out, or chipped and cracked, it can make your entire bathroom look worn out and old.  Bathtub reglazing and refinishing revitalizes your bathtub to make it look like new again.  Professionals who provide this service will repair surface damage to the tub and apply a new coat of paint to restore its original color and appearance.  This process not only improves the look of the bathtub, but also the entire bathroom.

This is a minimally invasive process that can typically be done in one day for a fraction of the cost of bathtub replacement.

Inexpensive Project

bath shower refinishing - after

Bathtub reglazing and refinishing is a relatively inexpensive home improvement project, especially compared to the cost of bathtub replacement.  However, it is important to consider that the cost of these services may reflect the quality.  Do not fall for lower price points and instead find a professional that can deliver high-quality bathtub reglazing for the price.

Attract Potential Buyers

If you are planning on selling your home, refinishing your bathtub should be on your to-do list.  These services will leave your bathtub looking brand new, which will make the tub and your bathroom look more comfortable and appeal to potential buyers.  This also helps drive up the value of your home.


How to Refinish a Bathtub

Refinishing a bathtub is a project that can be done as a DIY project with the right equipment.  If you feel comfortable trying this project yourself, follow these basic steps:

  • Buy a DIY bathtub refinishing kit: Make sure you buy a bathtub refinishing kit that includes refinishing products. You will need to buy tools and equipment such as rollers, sandpaper, gloves, and goggles separately.
  • Remove hardware and old caulk: First, shut off the water supply to the tub and then remove all fixtures and hardware. Once the hardware is removed, use an abrasive scrubbing pad to help you remove all existing caulk.
  • Deep clean the tub: Use an abrasive cleaner or bleach to thoroughly deep clean the bathtub before starting the refinishing process. After cleaning, rinse the bathtub and dry with a towel.
  • Prep the area: Prepare the area for the refinishing process by taping off the surrounding areas and putting down drop cloths to prevent drips on the floor. You should also put on protective gear such as pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, a mask, rubber gloves, and safety goggles. Open windows and use the bathroom exhaust fans and additional fans to help get the fumes out of the bathroom.
  • Rough up the tub: The next step is to rough up the surface of the tub either using etching powder or 400-grit sandpaper. Then rinse the tub and dry with towels.
  • Prime the tub: Use the primer in the DIY kit to prime the tub. If your kit came with a self-priming refinisher, you can skip this step.
  • Apply reglazer: Your DIY kit should include an epoxy resin and a hardener that need to be mixed. Mix these products according to the instructions and take note of the “working time” which is how much time you have to apply the mixture before it hardens.  Apply the first coating over the entire tub and follow instructions for the second coat.  Leave the tub to dry and cure as directed.
  • Caulk and reinstall fixtures: Once the tub is cured, apply new caulk to seal the tub joints where it meets the wall, floor, or tile, and reinstall the fixtures.

How Much Does It Cost to Reglaze a Tub?

Having a professional reglaze your bathtub can cost between $500 and $900 on average.  If you do it yourself, it will cost you the price of materials and your time.  DIY bathtub refinishing kits are available for between $50 and $200 and you may have to purchase additional materials such as rollers, protective gear, and sandpaper.

Chart showing that bathtub refinishing is thousands of dollars cheaper than installing liners

How Long Does Bathtub Reglazing Last?

Quality bathtub reglazing done by a professional can last between 10 and 15 years.  DIY bathtub reglazing does not last as long, typically between 3 and 4 years.

Is Bathtub Refinishing Worth It?

Bathtub refinishing is worth the price for bathtubs that are in good structural condition but are affected by stains, surface damage like scratches, or discoloration.  The average cost to refinish a bathtub is between $500 and $900 while the average cost of bathtub replacement falls between $1900 and $9000 depending on the type of bathtub and materials used.  Bathtub refinishing also increases home value for a better return on investment than bathtub replacement.

DIY or Professional Bathtub Refinishing?

Like many home remodel projects, you have two basic options for refinishing a bathtub, either do it yourself or hire a professional.  The most cost-effective method is to purchase a DIY bathtub refinishing kit and do it yourself, but these kits may fail to perform to a high standard.  You also have to consider the extent of the repair and other aspects such as working conditions, time constraints, and the cost.

Kitchen and Bath Refinishing class

Hiring a professional for bathtub refinishing may have a higher initial cost than a DIY kit, but you can expect higher quality results that will last up to 10 years longer than DIY refinishing.  It is also much less expensive than replacing the entire bathtub.  Often it is more efficient to consult with a professional as they have the experience and knowledge necessary to get the job done right.

Click here to find a professional refinisher near you.

Refinish Your Bathtub to Increase Home Value

Bathtubs function as a visual centerpiece to any bathroom and their aesthetics are important for the look and feel of the space.  Having an inviting and excellent looking enameled bathtub promotes a positive atmosphere in an otherwise mundane, functional room.  By refinishing your enameled bathtub, you not only improve the visual appeal of the bath space, but also the overall value of your home.

See what it takes to professionally refinish a bathtub.