Is Bathtub Paint Peeling Dangerous? Key Points & Solutions

Updated: | Author: Brad Javernick | Affiliate links may be present.

If you’re a homeowner or a tenant in an apartment and you notice that the liner or paint in your bathtub is starting to peel away, it can be cause for concern. You might wonder what solutions are available and if it constitutes an emergency.

Paint or liner peeling in a bathtub is not necessarily dangerous, but it is a fairly urgent problem that should be taken care of as soon as possible. Aside from slip hazards that may arise from peeling paints and liners, it is an unsightly issue as well.

Why is My Liner Peeling?

A tub or shower insert installed straight from the factory is not likely to peel. Therefore, if you notice this issue, it most likely means that the tub has been refinished at some point in the past and that job was not done correctly.

Normal wear and tear is to be expected in a bathtub, so many liners and glazes should be able to hold up to this constant use. If during the previous refinish there were copious amounts of bubbles or the wrong materials were used, peeling will happen quickly.

If your bathtub is exceptionally old (older than 15 years) then the peeling may be caused by age. Most liners, when done properly, should last a minimum of 10-15 years before they need to be replaced or refinished.

What Are My Options?

If it’s been noted that the bathtub liner is peeling, the two best options are to refinish the tub or replace it entirely. Which one you decide on could depend on a number of factors.

If You Are a Tenant in an Apartment or Rental House

Be sure to double-check the terms of your lease agreement before asking your landlord to reglaze or refinish your tub. While it’s standard practice for landlords to be responsible for upkeep and maintenance on the property, there are a few instances where they may refuse.

If the damage was caused by you or someone in your household, the landlord may still repair the tub damage but may ask you to foot the bill. Instances such as using harsh chemicals to clean or causing chips in the liner by dropping heavy objects on it may warrant them refusing to pay for repairs.

Aside from the extreme cases, most landlords and property managers will reglaze a bathtub for their tenants.

If You Are The Homeowner

It should go without saying, but if there’s no landlord to outsource the project to, then you will either need to replace the liner yourself or hire an outside contractor to get the job done.

Way to Repair a Peeling Bathtub

If you’ve decided to take the project on yourself, there are a few options you have when deciding how to fix a peeling bathtub.

Buy a Refinishing Kit

This is the most cost-effective DIY option. Refinishing kits usually include an epoxy resin that you paint on and they harden to a crisp, clear, new finish. Some kits have more extensive directions than others, so be sure you are up to the task before you take it on.

Buy a New Liner

If the DIY kit doesn’t seem like a good option, replacing your entire shower liner is another option. Liner shells are usually sold at local hardware stores. Just be warned, this option can be quite pricey.

Replace the Entire Tub

If there is extensive damage that a repair kit or new liner won’t fix, such as deep cracks and dents, you may need to replace your entire bathtub. This is the most expensive option, but can still be manageable with the right contracting company.

It usually involves demolition and haul-away of the entire shell of the tub, but the positive is that you will get a brand new bathtub with zero defects.

Final Thoughts

It can be a headache to realize that your bathtub paint is peeling. If you have the option of getting the property owner to replace it, be sure to bring it to their attention right away to avoid further damage.

If you need to replace it yourself, shop around with contractors and materials to determine what option best suits your needs.

Avatar photo

About Brad Javernick

Brad is a licensed home inspector and the editor of Home Oomph. He's a massive DIYer, and loves to take on new home renovation projects!

Leave a Comment