When you’re “blessed” with a colorfully tiled bathroom right out of the 1950s (peach? teal? faded yellow?), only two paths forward readily present themselves: Deal with it, or renovate. But a third option—reglazing tile, tubs, and sinks—has crept onto our radar, a fix that requires neither the time nor cost of a gut renovation yet can be nearly as transformative. Maybe you’ve heard of it by another name: Reglazing is also called resurfacing, refinishing, or even painting (though the last isn’t accurate), depending on whom you’re talking to. But the process is the same: A professional will come to your home and, after a deep cleaning of the bathroom in question, spray a very thin, opaque, gleaming coat of enamel across the tile, sink, tub, or all of the above—wholly transforming the room in a matter of hours.
According to Home Advisor, $15,000 is “a good starting point for a basic bathroom renovation in NYC,” which really puts the savings in perspective. Reglazing is definitely a cost-saving route to take, whether you’re using it as a stopgap or the final step. And a pretty simple process, too: If the tiles you’re reglazing are still glossy, the pros will first etch them to remove the shine and then clean the surface to remove every last bit of oil and grease, all in the name of making sure the enamel sticks. Then, they’ll spray three or four coats of glossy enamel over the surfaces. Post-reglazing, the tile looks brand-new. You might have paused at the fact that the new liquid enamel coating is sprayed on, but that is the best way to get that perfectly smooth finish. So yes, they’re actually enameling over the grout as well as the tile (only a few millimeters thick, so the grooves won’t be filled in), meaning both grout and tile will end up one uniform color—if you want contrasting grout, you’re out of luck. It takes about 6 hours have a reglazing job done if the entire bathroom wall tile is reglazed, and then you need to let it cure for 48 hours.