Read more about bath recoating:
- Why re-enamel?
- Bath recoat options
- Going the DIY Route
Even the simplest of bathrooms puts focus on a bath and it has
to be stunning, perfect and gleaming in order to achieve your
objective. Reclamation projects abound as more and more people
are recognising the value in what was once considered “old” or
outdated. But unfortunately many of these proud old baths are
in such disrepair that they get overlooked for something shiny
and new. If you are lucky enough to find an original cast iron
bath at a great price, don’t let it slip through your fingers.
Grab it and then have it re-enamelled, re-glazed or re-coated,
any colour you want too.
Of course the easier option is to buy new, but the prices of
enamel baths today often makes these beauties out of reach of
the average person and this is why re-surfacing a tired old
“standard” is a fantastic option for any homeowner.
Bath recoat options
A bathtub is much more than a place in which you clean yourself,
it is a place where you kick back, hide away and ebb away stress
and sore muscles. If your bathtub is scratched, cracked or even
stained you’ll probably head straight for the shower!
There are various ways to get a bright gleaming, stain free and
perfectly smooth bathtub, the first is to replace it. Just rip
it out and replace. But remember you could be in for quite a
shock, not only from a cost point of view but consider the days
or weeks you will have to put up with contractors in and out of
your home. You’ll probably have to rip out some of the flooring
too as well as wall tiles, and we wont even mention the plumbing
Or, you could simply re-glaze your bath. It costs the least,
imposes no potential damages to your existing structure and
won’t take more a few days to complete. When it’s done you wont
even know there ever was a nasty looking tub there before. The
process of re-enamelling first takes care of whatever cracks or
chips are already there and then the complete surface is
re-coated, leaving you with a strong and shiny finish that looks
brand new. Plus your tub, flooring, tiles and taps stay in place
during the process. How good is that?
Re-enamelling a bath has great benefits in terms of cost, time
and durability, but (and there is a but) if it isn’t done right
you may be left with cracks that can lead to holes which can
lead to leaks and mould. So do yourself a favour, use a
professional, unless you know are confident that you know what
you are doing.
Going the DIY Route
Naturally, not everyone is a complete ignoramus when it
comes to re-glazing a bathtub and many homeowners can pull
this type of DIY project off and they have at their disposal
many great DIY kits.
Re-coating a bathtub involves chemicals so make sure that
you and your family are safe during the process. Make sure
the area is well ventilated and that you are well protected
with a ventilator, goggles and gloves.
Clean the tub first and remove any loose caulking and/or
gaskets. Many kits offer a chemical cleaning solution which
you must use in order to remove any soapy or oily residue
off the surface.
The second cleaning solution is applied next with specially
designed pads that score and roughen up the surface a
little, ready to hold the primer. Rinse the tub afterwards
and allow it to dry thoroughly.
The next step in the process would be to use the solvent
supplied to further remove any residue. Once applied, you
can then attend to any damage on the surface. Using putty,
fill in cracks or holes and sandpaper smooth with a fine
grit. Once dry you can get busy masking the areas around the
tub that will be re-coated, making sure that you have a good
Now it’s time to apply the cast coat. Follow the
manufacturer’s directions for mixing and apply with a spray
gun for the best result. Allow to dry and then apply the top
coat in even strokes, again using a spray gun. This topcoat
will take about two to three days to cure, but if done
correctly your re-enamelling project will cost you
Choosing the right company
The DIY route being said and done, most of us cannot see our
way to completing such a complex project on our own, and
this gives rise to the question “who do you choose to do
your re-glazing?”. You want to find someone who wants to do
your job because they like what they are doing, not because
they have to. Find someone who is interested in your
bathroom plans, who ask you questions about it. Someone
offhand on the telephone is possibly not your best option.
They should be able to immediately answer any questions you
have in a way that makes sense to you.
Ask them about techniques, about guarantees, about time and
expense. Check out whether they have different options in
re-enamel and do they offer various colours.
Having never had your bath re-coated before there will be
many questions you simply aren’t primed to ask, don’t worry,
a good contractor will be able to talk you through the
process, costs and time without faltering. They should be
able to explain their materials in a way that makes sense to
you and should never be pushy or come across as being
impatient. In a nutshell, they should know their business!
Bath recoating costs
There is no set price. Usually a contactor won’t come out to
see your bath as they generally don’t need to. Baths are
basically similar to each other and the re-glazing follows
basically the same steps. The actual costs however can vary
and this is due to a few factors. After gleaning information
from you such as what type of bath you have, what finish do
you want and colours etc., they should be able to give you a
pretty accurate quote.
Factors such as whether a bath has been re-enamelled before
will push the costs up as it then needs to be completely
stripped back to its original form first. Where you live
will also dictate price and whether or not your bath has
rusted due to constant water drips as this requires extra
materials and longer man hours to eradicate.
However, all in all having your bathtub re-enamelled is
definitely the most cost effective option. It will cost less
than a new bathtub plus you will be saving on tiling, damage
to structures, plumbing work and new fixtures.