We never used to think about refinishing an old bathtub, regardless of how scratched and stained its surface had become, mostly because the products that were available just didn’t last long enough or look good enough to be worth the cost.

Fortunately for those of us with ugly old porcelain fixtures, surface restoration of bathtubs, tile, countertops — and even antique bath fixtures — has come of age as a cost-effective makeover option.

Bathtub refinishing - before and afterNowadays, refinishing is an ideal solution for people who don’t want to deal with the total chaos of ripping out and replacing their countertops or bathtubs, or for those who can’t quite see paying the cost of new ones but simply cannot live any longer with Harvest Gold fixtures.

Having only one bathtub in this old house, and being verging-on-cheap frugal, I actually fall into both of those categories!

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, it costs an average of $3000 for removal and replacement of a bathtub — and that’s in US dollars! Plus, of course, you could be hanging about without a tub for up to a week (or more) while you wait for a contractor to come do the work… and anyone who’s done any renovation lately, with today’s booming construction market, knows that this could be an optimistic estimate!

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By comparison, refinishing seems like a small domestic miracle! New hope for dingy old bathroom and kitchen surfaces… they can be restored to look and feel like new, or you can have them refinished simply to change colors — good-bye to that Harvest gold bidet from a ’70s nightmare, or dull pink tub that doesn’t go with anything!

“As successful as we have been for 27-years, we find eight out of ten people still don’t know about the benefits of professional refinishing,” says Chuck Pistor, President of Miracle Method, the USA’s largest refinishing network. “We can restore the finishes on porcelain, fiberglass and cultured marble bathtubs and even renew laminate and Corian® kitchen countertops.”

Pistor says that, at Miracle Method, the process typically involves cleaning, bonding and refinishing on the first day, then buffing, polishing and caulking the second day. The cost for refinishing a bathtub ranges between $400 and $500, and $750 to $900 for a bathtub and tile surround, depending on its condition. And that’s a whole lot better than paying $3000 to have a tub replaced!

He does offers this advice to anyone looking for a quality refinisher: “Refinishing is a great process if it is done with the right materials and techniques, but all refinishing is not the same, so be sure to ask lots of questions.

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Are they licensed, insured and do they use corrosive acids in your home?
  • Do they ventilate the room and do they offer a guarantee?

Before making a decision definitely ask for references. You definitely get what you pay for with refinishing.”

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