Taking a bath has been scientifically proven to improve both your physical and mental health.

But your soak might be anything but relaxing if you’re sitting in a stained, chipped, or ugly tub. However, this doesn’t mean you should head to the store and buy a new one.

We’ve put together this guide to help you learn when you should invest in bathtub refinishing or replace your bathtub instead.

So let’s dive in!

What Is Bathtub Refinishing?

Bathtub refinishing, also known as recoating or sometimes mistakenly as bathtub reglazing, is a way to save time and money by repairing your tub and making the surface look shiny and new again. Refinishing should take care of any surface rust, cracks, holes or other imperfections your tub may have.

Here’s how it works.

A professional bathtub repair expert will start by sanding down the surface of the tub. This removes any light scratches or stains. After that, they’ll fill in any remaining cracks holes or chips. Then most will  cover the tub in a coat of primer and paint. Refresh uses a super durable set of ultimate coating products that outperform a lot of the products on the market.  If applied properly, the coating will look like a brand new tub and will last for several years, with regular cleaning.

Once the coating is done, they’ll do one last buffing.

Reglazing can transform a worn down bathtub, but some bathtubs need more help than a simple reglazing treatment. Keep reading to learn when you should save and replace your tub.

When to Refinish Your Tub

If your bathtub is in relatively good working condition, it’s probably worth saving. Refinishing can turn ugly imperfections into a beautiful, smooth surface again.

Almost all tubs are salvageable. Here’s how to tell refinishing is the right option for your tub.


Over time, your bathtub will start to stain. Even if you clean it regularly, you’ll still have to deal with weird, yellowish discoloring at some point.

This is normal, but it can also look gross.

Whether the stains are light or dark, reglazing can turn your tub white again. The sanding and reciting process will either remove the stains or cover them up so you can’t see them anymore.

Shallow Scratches

When you refinish your tub, you’ll fill in crack, scratches and holes.

But if your tub has one or more major cracks, the structural integrity of your tub might be damaged or could cause leaks. That’s why Refresh will create a foam base around the structure of the bottom of your tub, (and we are one of the few companies that do this) so that your tubs structural integrity will remain intact.

If the base is not properly stabilized your bathtub could turn into a flood zone without much warning.

Tight Budget

Refinishing is almost always cheaper than replacing when it comes to buying a new tub.

Not only do you have to invest money in the purchase, but you also have to get the old bathtub out of your house. This often means paying a professional to remove it and dispose of it for you. This can make the cost go up significantly!

If you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in your budget, reglazing your tub can extend its life for less money. This can give you a “new” tub without draining your bank account.

When to Replace Your Tub

Refinishing can upgrade your tub and give it a new lease on life, but some tubs are too far gone for reglazing. Here are a few signs you should give up on your bathtub and buy something new.

If your tub looks like Jaws took a bite out of it

If half of your bathtub is missing, it might be time to get rid of it, or use it to house the Mother Mary. But most bathtubs can be salvaged even with big holes, because Refresh can patch the holes with fiberglass and make tub look like new again!

Mold and Mildew

If your tub is full of mold or mildew, you should get rid of it right away. While reglazing can cover up the mold, it won’t get rid of it. Continuing to use a bathtub full of mold can lead to serious health concerns.

Some of the symptoms you might experience from mold include:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Headaches
  • Allergic reactions
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Etc.

Living with mold can even cause more serious issues, such as anxiety and depression. That’s why it’s always a good idea to replace a bathtub as soon as you find mold.

Understanding When Bathtub Refinishing Is Worth It

Bathtub refinishing is worth the money if your tub is in good working condition. The refinishing process can remove surface imperfections, like scratches, shallow cracks, and stains.

But if your tub is missing a half, or full of mold, you might want to replace it, and reglazing is just a waste of money.

Has your bathtub seen better days?

Click here to get a quote for our bathtub repair services and learn how we can help you!