UGLY BATHTUB: Bath Fitter, Miracle Method, or replace tub?

23 Replies

There are old discussion threads on this, but wanted a fresh perspective with a new thread.

There is a dusty rose colored tub from the '60s that was painted white with a DIY kit; the paint is peeling away. I have distilled what I should do down to three choices. What would you do? 

1) Bath Fitter. I've seen the results of this and confirm it looks good and is a quality job. You'd never know the original tub is under it all. My buddy had it done in his residence. Total cost ~$3000! That seems way high and might a well just replace the tub in this case. 

2) Miracle Method. Seems to be a way to paint / reglaze tubs in a professional way. They claim it will last 20 years, but is this hype? Total cost is probably going to be somewhere between $500 - 1800 depending on if the surround is "miracled" too. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAE0QlQA0DA

3) Replace old tub, put in new one. Not sure about costs though. But that dusty rose tub will be history. But overkill and just unnecessary with a rental??

If there are other courses of action, let me know.

@Paul Winka I have only done #2 and 3 on your list.  I would never do item #1, as it just seems like cheating.  I also had no idea about the costs, but $3k is crazy high, and likely less than it would cost to replace.

On of my units needed the tub resurfaced (tub only, wall tile was fine).  This cost me $325 and took two days.  Looks great, and so far its holding up fine (about two years).  Even if it only lasts 5-7years, I am happy.

If you decide to replace the tub, your likely talking about a major gut on the bathtub.  You will have to remove the surround (most surrounds are built on top of the tub, and the flooring will likely not matchup.  If you have very outdated bath, and want to redo it, this may be an options.  My guess is that this would cost you $3-5k to do. Just the new fixtures (tub, shower valve, toilet, sink, vanity) will run you close to $1k in materials.

Unless the new bath will increase rents, go with #2.

I had the pink bathtub (and matching toilet, sink, and wall tile ALL AROUND THE BATHROOM) in the first house I bought years ago. I bought a glaze at a big box store and had a handyman do it. Terrible fumes, but it looked fantastic and worked just fine. I don't know if it will hold up for 20 years, surely some of that will depend on the level of use, but it doesn't cost too much and if it's only a few years, it will be well worth the money spent. Replacing the tub entirely is usually a costly proposition and I would do it only if the tub was not functional.

I've had a handyman do the DIY kit and it peeled off a year later. My suggestion is to have a professional strip the old DIY stuff and then reglaze it. They know how to do it right and it will last and look great.

I had the tub in my home professionally done 10 years ago it was sprayed ,cost $ 300 . It has survived 2 boys who are now 8 and 11 .A few minor scratches from the toy cars .

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

I had the tub in my home professionally done 10 years ago it was sprayed ,cost $ 300 . It has survived 2 boys who are now 8 and 11 .A few minor scratches from the toy cars .

 Was that Miracle Method? 

Originally posted by @Michaela G. :

I've had a handyman do the DIY kit and it peeled off a year later. My suggestion is to have a professional strip the old DIY stuff and then reglaze it. They know how to do it right and it will last and look great.

 Spraying and reglazing are the same thing? 

3) Replace old tub

Not even worth the hassle 

Originally posted by @Patsy Waldron :

I had the pink bathtub (and matching toilet, sink, and wall tile ALL AROUND THE BATHROOM) in the first house I bought years ago. I bought a glaze at a big box store and had a handyman do it. Terrible fumes, but it looked fantastic and worked just fine. I don't know if it will hold up for 20 years, surely some of that will depend on the level of use, but it doesn't cost too much and if it's only a few years, it will be well worth the money spent. Replacing the tub entirely is usually a costly proposition and I would do it only if the tub was not functional.

I am happy you had decent results, but I wasn't impressed with the DIY kit and made several attempts using different application techniques before giving up. It peeled/bubbled after < 10 days. In my case, I don't remember seeing the word glaze on the product. Perhaps I got the wrong stuff. 

Is glazing the same as "spraying" the tub? 

Originally posted by @Rosston Smith :

3) Replace old tub

Not even worth the hassle 

 So what would you do then? 

I have only one data point - a bathfitter that I inherited.   A couple of weeks after closing the tenant informed me the tub was collecting water under the surface.  The bathfitter overlay was pulling up from the old tub and somehow water collects under there.  Bathfitter charged me $150 to "pull and re-stick" (their warranty does not transfer with new ownership). This was done six months before as well, so I expect it to be an ongoing maintenance thing.   I am not happy about this and cannot resolve the issue until I can replace the tub.   Obviously not something I can easily do while the unit is occupied. I would never recommend bathfitter in any case, I would do it right the first time and remove the old tub as soon as it is convenient.

It wasn't a spray. It was an actual glaze, a thick product that you had to apply with a paintbrush (hence why I got the handyman- I didn't think I would be able to do a smooth enough finish to make the tub look good). As I mentioned, it gave off terrible fumes and we had a powerful floor fan in there for 48 hours while it cured. Afterwards, though, you couldn't tell it wasn't an original finish. I also replaced the toilet and sink, and had it not been for the still-pink wall tile, you would never have guessed this was originally an ugly 60s bathroom.

bathroom upgrade are one of the major places where you can get a premium return on a new tub, sink, and some tile.

i've had some resurfaced and some replaced. the cost ends up around the same, but a new bigger tub can increase rent prices or resale value.

be it a $50 tub you get at a restore or a $2500 tub, the installation costs are about the same, might as  well get the better one.

We were faced with the  same decision in our newly acquired rental, and went with option two. We had the tub and all the tile reglazed. I can't tell you how it holds up because we just did it, but it looks fabulous! And the best part about doing the tile is that it sealed and you don't have to worry about grout anymore. Having said that, the fumes are pretty awful. and lasted about 5-7 days. 

Originally posted by @William E. :

bathroom upgrade are one of the major places where you can get a premium return on a new tub, sink, and some tile.

i've had some resurfaced and some replaced. the cost ends up around the same, but a new bigger tub can increase rent prices or resale value.

be it a $50 tub you get at a restore or a $2500 tub, the installation costs are about the same, might as  well get the better one.

Wiliam, both of the bathrooms (master and hallway measure 80" x 60", so there isn't much room for bigger stuff. Is it still possible to add much value with a bigger tub or better fixtures with such limited space?

Originally posted by @Sarah D. :

We were faced with the  same decision in our newly acquired rental, and went with option two. We had the tub and all the tile reglazed. I can't tell you how it holds up because we just did it, but it looks fabulous! And the best part about doing the tile is that it sealed and you don't have to worry about grout anymore. Having said that, the fumes are pretty awful. and lasted about 5-7 days. 

Hi Sarah, did you just get a generic glazing or did you do Miracle Method? I am trying to distinguish between glazing and MM. 

Originally posted by @Patsy Waldron :

It wasn't a spray. It was an actual glaze, a thick product that you had to apply with a paintbrush (hence why I got the handyman- I didn't think I would be able to do a smooth enough finish to make the tub look good). As I mentioned, it gave off terrible fumes and we had a powerful floor fan in there for 48 hours while it cured. Afterwards, though, you couldn't tell it wasn't an original finish. I also replaced the toilet and sink, and had it not been for the still-pink wall tile, you would never have guessed this was originally an ugly 60s bathroom.

Miracle Method does more than just the tub. They do the adjoining tiles too. Any reason you didn't do the tiles? What was your total cost with labor for all that? 

Yes, I could have used it for the wall tile too, but chose to do just the tub because of labor. All in all, I paid $200. Would have been closer to $450 if I had done the wall tile (it went all around the bathroom).

Originally posted by @Paul Winka :

There are old discussion threads on this, but wanted a fresh perspective with a new thread.

There is a dusty rose colored tub from the '60s that was painted white with a DIY kit; the paint is peeling away. I have distilled what I should do down to three choices. What would you do? 

1) Bath Fitter. I've seen the results of this and confirm it looks good and is a quality job. You'd never know the original tub is under it all. My buddy had it done in his residence. Total cost ~$3000! That seems way high and might a well just replace the tub in this case. 

2) Miracle Method. Seems to be a way to paint / reglaze tubs in a professional way. They claim it will last 20 years, but is this hype? Total cost is probably going to be somewhere between $500 - 1800 depending on if the surround is "miracled" too. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAE0QlQA0DA

3) Replace old tub, put in new one. Not sure about costs though. But that dusty rose tub will be history. But overkill and just unnecessary with a rental??

If there are other courses of action, let me know.

Find a reputable, high-quality bathtub refinisher.  They can make it look like new at significantly lower cost than a replacement. ~ $500-$700.

@Paul Winka We didn't do miracle method (haven't heard of it actually).  We just called the three highest rated refinishers in our area and went with the one that had a mix of competitive price and customer service.  

@Paul Winka i do believe there is always places to find value adds.

some of this depends on the price point you're trying to match, the area, and how you accentuate and market it. 

you would do something different in a million dollar house -vs- a 40k house.

typically flippers asking the questions fall closer to the lower range, therefore my answer would relate to those. your target demographic is probably a new home owner, and with that, you want to show them a few 'sparkly' things. 

don't go crazy, but a little pizzazz will make your property stand out. and you want that in the kitchens and bathrooms. add and extra $500 here and if done correctly, get a 'potential' $5000 in the back end.

  • you may be able to add a deeper tub, or get one with jets. 
  • matching nickel plated fixtures. 
  • if you don't have room for a separate shower, then add something as simple as a curved shower rod.  
  • or new light fixtures 

I'll tell you one simple thing i did, which convinced someone to pay a lot for the last house i sold. *Note, i lived in this house for a while before i flipped it.

The buyer kept saying how cool it was that i put a mosaic back splash behind the tub. 

it was a simple green lizard design, wading in a pool.  My reason for doing it was i had some broken tile and a broken mirror and i had laying around. I wanted a mirror in the bathtub/shower so i could see when i shaved. It took me an afternoon to cut some tile, and make a basic shape that would fit. a little mortar, a day later, i added some grout and voila' a happy buyer.

i don't suggest this for everyone, but the area of town i lived in was full of people that would appreciate artistic touches here and there. 


It helps to know who your buyers will be.

We got our bathtub reglazed and it looks brand new.  Had a contractor come in that specialized in it.  He reglazed our tub/shower and all of wall tiles for $700 bucks.  Makes everything looks brand new and I got a 10 year warranty on all of his work. 

Originally posted by @William E. :

I'll tell you one simple thing i did, which convinced someone to pay a lot for the last house i sold. *Note, i lived in this house for a while before i flipped it.

The buyer kept saying how cool it was that i put a mosaic back splash behind the tub. 

it was a simple green lizard design, wading in a pool.  My reason for doing it was i had some broken tile and a broken mirror and i had laying around. I wanted a mirror in the bathtub/shower so i could see when i shaved. It took me an afternoon to cut some tile, and make a basic shape that would fit. a little mortar, a day later, i added some grout and voila' a happy buyer.

i don't suggest this for everyone, but the area of town i lived in was full of people that would appreciate artistic touches here and there. 


It helps to know who your buyers will be.

Hahaha, I am glad it worked out for you. Around here that probably wouldn't work and would attract a weird tenant. You should share a picture. 

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