In this bathtub refinishing Cambridge MA exhaustive journal, we will discuss how bathtub resurfacing works and how various fixtures can be refinished. To complete this educational guide, we will give tips to find the best professional refinishing company, budget your project, and compare your refinishing project versus replacing bathroom fixtures.

Tub Refinishing

Your bathtub is a place to relax and release stress. However, it is hard to achieve this if your tub is gross, rusty, and full of stains. Your tub needs to be clean and hygienic for an optimal feeling of relaxation. A great way to restore your place of peace to its former glory is tub refinishing. For a complete refinish there are several steps/techniques to go through for an optimal result. Let’s go through the whole process to understand how refinishing works and if it is something for you. 

Tub Repair

When there are chips or cracks in your bathtub the first thing you have to do is tub repair. It is important to repair chips and cracks as soon as possible because the damaged area will become rusty and gross. In the worst-case scenario mould, mildew, and even wood rot under the bathtub can occur. Moreover, it reduces the aesthetics of your bathtub considerably. Cracks and chips can be repaired for most types of tubs like porcelain, fibreglass, and acrylic. Polyester putty is used to repair chips and cracks. This material has high elasticity, like clay, and is excellent to fill and seal the damaged areas. Before putting the polyester putty it needs to be cleaned very well by removing all the dirt and grime. Put the polyester in place and make it fit exactly with the tub. Use sandpaper to smoothen the polyester putty. After several hours it is dry and it can be painted into the exact same colour as your bathtub. 

Tub Refinishing, Tub Resurfacing, and Tub Reglazing 

Tub refinishing is the complete process to apply a new coating on your tub. When the whole project is done professionally your bathtub will look like new and can also last for another 10 to 15 years, which is almost as long as a completely new bathtub. If possible, remove the drain first to improve the result of tub refinishing. Tub resurfacing is important to prepare your bathtub, by sanding down the worn layer. Materials used for bathtubs are non-porous, like porcelain or fibreglass. This makes it almost impossible for adhesion of the coating. The two most common techniques to improve the adhesion of your bathtub are acid etching and applying an adhesion promoting substance like silane. Acid etching will make the surface of the bathtub porous to make the coating stick. Both techniques can be used in conjunction to achieve the best adhesion properties of the surface. Acid etching can be a dangerous process and should be done by professionals. A professional will wear a protective suit and mask to protect himself. Placing an exhaust will help the refinisher to remove the chemicals faster and see well during the process to reduce over-spraying.


Lastly, the surface is ready for tub reglazing, coating will be applied on the prepared surface during this step. The coating usually consists of polymer, epoxy, polyester, or hybrids. First, a primer has to be applied about 3 times. When the primer is in place the top-coating can be applied which will consist of another 3 to 4 layers. The whole process can be harmful for your health if not done properly because of the use of toxic chemicals. Although do it yourself kits exist, we highly recommend people to hire a professional company to do the job. They have top-quality material, tools, and experience to safely do the job for you and provide better results as well. An extra tip, always ask the technician to apply an anti-slip layer after all the coating layers are applied. With the new coating, your bathtub will be super slippery. An anti-slip layer is a much better and durable option than putting an anti-slip mat in place. 

Tile Reglazing 

Are your tiles losing their shine, colour and appeal? Cleaning them is not helping anymore? Tile reglazing is the best and most affordable method to restore your tiles as if they are new again. A professional can do this for you in just 24 hours. First, deep cleaning is needed to remove all the grime, dirt, oil, and mould from the pores of your tiles and grout. It is important to deep clean first otherwise the coating will not adhere well to your tiles. Then, 3 to 4 layers of coating will be sprayed over your tiles and grout to restore the colour, shine, and appeal. The best coat for tiles to use is enamel. 

Shower Refinishing


If your shower is worn, there are several areas damaged, or you simply want a fresh new shower with a new colour, try shower refinishing. It is more affordable compared to replacing your shower and the result is like having a new shower. First, the shower has to be thoroughly cleaned to remove all the soap, grime, and dirt. All the cracks and chips have to be filled and smoothed. Then the surface has to be treated lightly with sandpaper to create texture to apply the primer on. Choose from a wide array of colours for the top-coating to create a new look for your shower. A professional can do shower refinishing in just one day. The new coating only has to dry 24 hours, which means you can start using your new shower the next evening. If properly maintained, you can enjoy your refinished shower for the next 10 to 15 years. 

Refinish Sink

Just like other parts of your bathroom you can refinish sink. It is a great way to repair and restore your sink, without the invasive and expensive project of replacing the complete sink. The great thing is that you can also choose for a new colour that fits your current bathroom. With professional treatment and sink reglazing your “new” sink can last for another 10 to 15 years as if it is new. Within a few hours, the technician treats your sink, and you will practically have a new sink. It can be done with sinks of all types of materials to make the decision even easier. 

Bathroom Refinishing 

Just like with all the separate fixtures of your bathroom, you can also opt for a complete bathroom refinishing service. The process is the same as mentioned for the individual fixtures but comes with a few added benefits. You can redesign your complete bathroom in the same style making your bathroom look completely new, without any fixtures looking out of place. Furthermore, you can agree on a good price for the whole bathroom that will be lower compared to refinishing all the fixtures one by one. Moreover, you only have to go through the refinishing process once, which will safe time and inconvenience. Finally, all the fixtures have roughly the same lifespan. So it just makes sense to refinish the whole bathroom at the same time to add another 10 to 15 years. Update, restore, and upgrade your whole bathroom at once to treat yourself with the luxury you deserve. 

How to pick the best professional refinishing company?

Now that we know the benefits of refinishing your tub and/or bathroom, you want to find a professional and reliable contractor to do the job. But how do you pick the best refinishing company, offering you the best, long-lasting results? Not every company uses the highest quality coatings to save on their expenses or try to quickly finish the project. The last thing you want is investing in a professional without the professional result you should expect in return. Here are some useful tips to find the best contractor.

  • How long are they already in business? Companies who are in the market for many years have delivered sound results. They are able to keep attracting new customers or even have recurring customers. It is possible to attract new customers temporarily with mediocre services, but it will weigh down on a company in the long run through complaints and bad word of mouth. Enduring mediocre service will end in terminating the business, in the end, most of the time. 
  • Check reviews of the company. Although the reliability of reviews is questionable, in general, companies with many positive reviews will deliver better results than companies with mixed or outright negative reviews. Try out a forum or general reviewing websites on top of their own website, because the company can easily manipulate reviews on their own site.
  • Probably one of the best methods is to ask around in your local social network. Who had positive experiences with a refinishing company before? This is still simply one of the most reliable ways to discover professional and reliable contractors. 
  • Be wary of exceptionally low prices. These companies usually have hidden fees or use low-quality material. Or even worse, both! 
  • Check out the best brands and coats available on the internet. Ask which materials the contractor uses and how their process will be and compare. 
  • Ask for a written warranty from the refinishing company. Two years is not enough, but a lifetime warranty is too good to believe. With this type of job, a warranty of around 5 years is reliable and believable. 
  • Contact a few different refinishing companies, so you can compare them. It is fine to tell them, “Thank you for the information, if I decide to hire your service I will get back to you.”


Budgeting Refinishing Projects

What can you expect as a homeowner to refinish your bathroom, regarding the budget? We will take a look at the typical price range for the different fixtures of your bathroom. 

  • On average you can expect around $450 for tub refinishing. The typical range lies between $330 and $600. 
  • Refinishing a sink costs about $340 on average. The typical range lies between $200 and $475. 
  • On average homeowners pay around $1075 for tile reglazing services. Of course, the range is wide depending on the size of your bathroom. For mini bathrooms, it can go as low as $150, while large bathrooms can go as high as $2000. 
  • For shower refinishing services expect a range of $500 to $900. 
  • For the average bathroom expect to pay around $2000 for complete refinishing services. It can go up to around $3500-$4000 for large, luxurious bathrooms. 


As you can see it is advisable to shop around and ask for a few quotes before you decide to hire the services of a refinishing company. There is a wide price range for refinishing services but keep in mind that the cheapest company is not necessarily the best deal. The company that will provide professional results and listens to your wishes for an affordable price will be the best deal. 

 Refinishing vs Replacement

Instead of replacing fixtures or completely remodel your bathroom, refinishing services are an excellent alternative for a fresh seemingly new fixture or bathroom. Time to compare both options to upgrade your bathroom. 

  • The price tag is clearly a benefit of refinishing services. For roughly 20-40% of the cost of replacing your fixtures or remodelling your bathroom, you can hire professional refinishers to create a practically new bathroom or fixture for you. 
  • The turnaround of refinishing is much faster. A fixture can be done in a day and the complete bathroom typically costs 2 to 3 days. The honest truth about a complete renovation of your bathroom is approximately 6 weeks. Although a bathtub or shower can be removed and replaced within 2 days the complete process will take much longer. From the order until the actual replacement expect several weeks. 
  • Another advantage of refinishing is that your home will not become a building site. Refinishing is not messy at all compared to replacements and remodels. 
  • Finally, if you contract an excellent refinishing company, they can upgrade your fixtures and tiles to provide more luxury for less money compared to replacements. Top-quality refinishing services are much more than just restoring the old tub or bathroom. It is an upgrade to enjoy more luxury for a very affordable price. 


Bathtub refinishing allows homeowners to enhance and upgrade your home for an affordable price.