Refinishing vs Replacing
If you’ve been considering replacing that old bathtub, you might have priced one from the local big-box stores and thought to yourself “you know, that’s not too bad a price”. Usually a homeowner can find a new bathtub somewhere in the $400-$600 range. However, it’s important to know that replacing the bathtub will cost you much more than that – because the bathroom and house is built around it! There are $1000s of hidden costs should you choose to replace the existing bathtub.
Consider the costs of removal and then disposal alone. Even a do-it-yourself job can prove to be costly. Assuming that you’ve removed the tub by yourself, you now have to figure out a way to dispose of the old tub – and it can’t go in the trash that gets picked up every week! On the low end, you’ll likely spend $50 to the landfill to get rid of the old tub, plus the time you’ll spend going back and forth to the dump or landfill.
The next hidden cost is likely to be the surrounding walls, tile, and possibly flooring. Removing the tub will probably cause damage to the materials surrounding the old tub. Homeowners will need to budget for these additional costs as well, which can easily add up to $100s of dollars. The other issue with removing an old tub is that it might be difficult to match the old tile, paint or trim that was damaged. If it’s necessary to replace a wall of tile or floorboards, that seemingly cheap tub replacement has now become very expensive.
Refinishing: A Better Approach
Our process eliminates the need to have the existing bathtub removed. Because the tub is left in place, the surrounding tile, walls, and floor remain intact and undamaged. Since there is no demo work, getting a bathtub refinished can usually be completed in one day.
If your bathtub has been in service for a few decades, it’s likely seen its share of soap scum, cleaners, abrasives and maybe a few dog washes in it. Or maybe you’ve had a faucet with a slow drip, that over time, has deposited rust onto that once all-white porcelain tub.
If you have a fiberglass bathtub, you might have noticed that over the years it’s become scratched up from constant use, holding your potted plants when you went on vacation, or maybe someone worked a little too hard with an abrasive cleaner. Whatever the case may be, you’ve decided it’s time to get the bathtub replaced. However, there’s a better option – getting the bathtub resurfaced, instead of replaced.
In the past, homeowners just had to live with the fact that their tub eventually had chips, cracks, spots and stains. The only option that used to exist is replacement. Advances in re-glazing surfaces have been made in the last decade, allowing the homeowner to resurface the tub. In addition to being able to resurface the tub, it’s possible to pick from many different colors and finishes, so it’s possible to upgrade that old bright green or pint tub into something modern, fresh and new-looking.
Save Time, Save Money and No Hassle
If you’ve considered replacing the bathtub but stopped when you realized just how much tearing it out replacing it would really cost you once the job is done. As discussed in previous articles, there are many hidden costs that need to be considered before you start ripping out the existing bathtub – which is why many homeowners are looking at alternatives. Getting the tub refinished, rather than replaced offers the homeowner many options – including color – that may not be available with a full replacement.
These days, virtually all problems can be fixed, be they holes, bumps, blisters, discoloration, cracks or other cosmetic items. Sometimes a homeowner has misused cleaning materials such as acid, and instead of pouring it down the drain, they’ve put it into the tub and filled it with water. That will cause the bottom of the tub to become irregular looking – but even this type of damage can be repaired by http://surfacemakers.com
Repairing A Damaged Tub
If there is serious damage to the fiberglass or porcelain bathtub, it’s possible that the bottom of the tub might need to be rebuilt – that is, sand out any imperfections, apply filler where needed then perform the tub restoration. In some instances, where shoddy work was done during the time the house was built, it might be necessary to apply additional support underneath the tub. The way this is done is by drilling holes into the bathtub, and then inject foam. The foam will expand into the area beneath the tub, harden, and provide additional support. A typical bathtub that is filled all the way up can weigh up to several hundred pounds!
While your bathtub is being refinished or re-glazed, you might discover that you need some parts of the tub replaced, such as the spout or drain cover. When the bathtub is being updated, those items can be replaced at the same time. Another common repair that needs to be made is having areas where caulk needs to be reapplied to ensure a water-tight seal.
What to Expect
There’s more to the job than just making repairs – there’s how the tub will look once it’s finished, which is why many homeowners get their bathtubs refinished. In older homes especially, you might have a bright pink, green or yellow tub. And while that might have been fashionable at the time, it’s not a color scheme that’s seen too often these days. Most bathtubs get coated in either white or cream, opening up options when it comes to decorating the bathroom. These days, the homeowner who is looking to get their bathtub or countertop refinished has the option to choose from many different colors, textures and finishes. And while we have a full gallery of finished projects to review, many people have asked us about the process itself, and how the job is actually done.While there are various colors, formulas and products that can applied to bathtubs, countertops and other surfaces, the work done to prepare the surface is typically the same no matter who is doing the work.
When having a bathtub refinished, the existing caulk around the tub is removed. Next, the technician will mask the surrounding tile, walls, floor and drain. The masking is done so that in the event of an over-spray, everything except the tub will be protected against damage. If the tub is made of porcelain or enamel, an acid is used to etch the surface so that the new glaze will have a surface to bond with. This step is essential, because otherwise the new surface could peel off. Depending on what the glaze is made from, anywhere from two to five coats will be applied. The price to re-glaze an existing porcelain tub will vary, so be sure to have one of our technicians provide you with a free estimate. It’s possible to have color added to the new surface being applied – ask about options. Depending on a number of factors including temperature, humidity, number of coats to be applied and other variables, your new tub should be ready within 48-36 hours. Once your bathtub has been refinished, it’s important to note that you’ll need to keep it clean using liquids only – do not use harsh abrasives, as these may work themselves through the new surface and ruin the finish or re-glaze that has just been applied.
How Long Will It Last?
Homeowners often ask how long this work will last – we’re confident in saying that with having a tub re-glazed, and properly maintained, the new finish should last about 10 years. The key to having this work last a long time is that care is taken to properly maintain the surface – again, no harsh abrasives, cleaners or acids should be used once the bathtub has been refinished.
Have other projects around the house that we could help with ? We can repaint your kitchen cabinets or restore your sinks as well. Let us know how we can help !
"Gabe. WOW. I never thought my kitchen could look this good. I debated going to Home Depot and Lowes, but I just felt overwhelmed. Gabe worked with me on color choices and delivered a home run. Could not be happier with the results"Julia Christenson
"Having lived through a remodel before, I was dreading the next few months when my wife decided that she wanted to update our kitchen. We decided to repaint the cabinets as the first option. I'm really glad we went this route. It was fast and no mess at all. When they were done, it gave the kitchen a whole new look almost overnight. When my wife walked in and said "WOW" I knew I made the right choice".Dan Atkinson