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the value in what was once considered “old” or outdated.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
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 bill!
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 seal.
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 dramatically less.
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.