(WKOW) -- If your bathtub is older than you are, chances are it’s showing its age in ways that make you pull the shower curtain to hide it from guests. In our Angie’s List report, we have a solution that will have you showing off your tub rather than hiding it.
“The best room to start when remodeling is your bathroom. If done right, you can get up to 80 percent return on your investment,” says Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie's List.
“Done right” is an important distinction whether you’re selling or staying. A good place to start is giving a stained or chipped tub a shiny new look.
“If you’re not happy with the condition of your tub, you can replace a bathtub for about three-hundred dollars, but that doesn’t include getting the old bathtub out and any re-plumbing that might need to be done. So sometimes refinishing an existing bathtub is the cheaper route,” says Hicks.
Tom Lakstins has been re-glazing bathtubs for 20 years, some in homes 100-years-old or older. Unless the tub has a leak or structural problem, he says he can likely give it another decade of good life.
“Main reason that most people want to re-glaze their bathtub is that it’s hard to clean. They can’t get the grime, and it just sticks in the tub, and the average chemicals that you use, they’re not removing that and it’s not shiny. It’s dull,” says Lakstins.
Refinishing or re-glazing involves a 3-day process of hand-scraping off the old top layers, fixing any chips and grooves, and applying a new epoxy layer. Do-it-yourself kits are available at hardware stores, and Lakstins says they bring him a lot of business.
“I make a lot of money removing metal surface and redoing that work for customers that already tried to do it themselves,” Lakstins.
Stripping old finish off a tub, repairing and patching holes or cracks will create some potentially dangerous fumes, so if you want to try it, Angie recommends you do your research first and properly ventilate as you work.