What are the pros and cons of resurfacing our 50-year-old built-in bathtub?

Question

What are the pros and cons of resurfacing our 50-year-old built-in bathtub?

Asked by Rosemary Addison

We have a 50-year-old built-in tub -- seafoam green. We would like to change it to white. What are pros and cons of resurfacing as opposed to having a liner installed?

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Answers

Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS's picture

Dear Rosemary,

When working with historic properties, re-enameling a tub is a good option for keeping the period-specific look.

  • However, despite the variety of tub resurfacing products on the retailer's shelf, I would discourage you from taking on this task yourself.
  • It is a noxious process that is prone to failure (chipping, peeling, etc.) when performed by a novice.
  • Look for resurfacing companies in your area, then check with the Better Business Bureau to find a local reputable firm.

Bathtub liners

Regarding liners, they are typically made of a low-durability fiberglass (not a terribly eco-friendly material) and are prone to offgassing when first installed.

Additionally, a liner will not deliver the architectural look that resurfacing can.

Consider dressing up the surround

Lastly, if the finish on the existing tub is in good condition, you might want to consider "dressing up" the tub surround with some of today's fabulous recycled glass tiles, allowing you to make the most of the seafoam green color.

As with most home renovation projects, your ultimate decision should be based on the materials' ease of maintenance, the cost, and the aesthetic appeal.

For more information:

Good luck!