Landlord question...New tub or refinish?

Alexina PropertiesMarch 11, 2010

I am going to gut the main hall bath, it is a typical 1940 bath with weird tile. Previous owner had started already tearing out tile. The question is the tub, it is a really nicely shaped iron soaking tub, but I'm thinking since I'm gutting out all the tile I should just replace the tub versus refinishing this old one.

Should I put in a new cast iron white tub or would a fiberglass one be better?

Any tub opinions on what is best for the long run?

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sylviatexas1

Re-do the original tub;
you'll never get a better quality one, & the antique factor will be in your favor.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:35PM
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Carol_from_ny

Have you checked to see what refinishing the old one would cost? I'd go from there.
I honestly do not like the fiberglass tubs. They have a tendency over time to split down the center. Iron with some care will last FOREVER. BTW if you haven't looked at the price difference between fiberglass and iron be ready for sticker shock.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:39PM
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lesterd

I agree with sylvia. I also think it's a shame that the tile is gone. That would have been another 'keeper' as well.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:47PM
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brickeyee

Even with careful care the re-coated tub finishes do not last that long.

In a rental I would expect maybe year before it is scratched through, looks bad, and needs another re-coat.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 7:26PM
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cmarlin20

I would buy a new one, the recoated ones do not last as long as a new factory finished one will.
In fact, I just did that also in an old rental. Yes, the old one may have character, but in a rental, practical is important. You can not expect that your tenant will baby the new recoat.
Do not buy fiberglass, you can get a new Kohler CI at HD for about$300.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 8:55PM
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lyfia

Is there something really wrong with the tub? If the finish isn't gone I'd just clean it real good and let it be and not do either of your options.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 10:38PM
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revamp

refinishing would qualify as a tax deductible repair expense, whereas replacement of the tub would be a property improvement and is not tax deductible. As a landlord, the clear answer is to refinish.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 1:36PM
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brickeyee

"refinishing would qualify as a tax deductible repair expense, whereas replacement of the tub would be a property improvement and is not tax deductible."

Questionable.

Even a replacement would be a repair if the old tub is no longer serviceable.

Repairs and capital improvements are both deductible, though one is immediate and the other is not.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 4:53PM
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PRO
Alexina Properties

Thanks all. I was looking at the Kohler cast iron at HomeDepot for $300 or so, it looks nice. The old tub, is actually in very good shape, it has no chips, but it does have some iron stains on the side. My thinking is that if I leave it, and have new tile around it, that I will be refinishing it every few years. If I buy the new iron tub, well hopefully I will get maybe 7 or 10 years out of it. I can have the old one professionally refinished for $350 but if I end up having to do that every few years, I'm not sure I want that hassle.
I am having a hard time seperating my wants from what is a logical business decision. I'm learning with all your help.
thanks.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 7:56PM
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lyfia

Have you tried using something to clean the rust stains off? I had rust stains on a tub at my old house and just cleaned it - can't remember the name right now, but it is something I often see commercials for. They actually came out. Try that first.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 9:55PM
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chrisk327

I don't beleive refinishing a tub ever really works. Its a band aid for those who don't want to rip out whats already there.

if you're retiling and the old one isn't in great shape, I'd replace. The Kohler Villagers are cheap, buy one a put it in. I probably wouldn't put it in my own house as they are very shallow to actuall bathe in as an adult, but the do work and are durable.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 12:07PM
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frances00

I would replace the tub.
When we were faced with the same decision, we decided to resurface. The resurfacing lasted, maybe 2 years. It now looks terrible, peeling, flaking, etc. We are currently faced with having to try to rip out the lower section of the tile and put in a new tub. We can only hope this will work.
Do the job correctly and you will not regret it. We definitely wish we knew that the resurfacing would not hold up. Good luck

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 12:42PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I agree w/ lyfia--get some rust remover and tackle the stains. And then consider leaving it.

But I wouldn't go w/ resurfacing--if a tenant uses a tub w/ suction cups, that repair will last 1 year.

I have a tub that was refinished so well, we didn't realize it, and were startled when the floor started to get rough (suction cups on the tub mat). If we could get that same quality of job, it would be great--but I wouldn't do it on a rental.

I'd get new, and probably the most durable I could get, even if it was an extra $200.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 1:05PM
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