Q) – What is “Reglazing” or “Refinishing” a bathtub and how do you do it?
A) – Both “Reglazing” or “Refinishing” a bathtub is spraying a coating on your bathtub (very similar to painting a car) to make it look new.
Q) – I don’t like the color of my tub and want to make it white. Can you do that?
A) – It doesn’t matter what the color of the tub is or what color you desire, I can make your tub any color you desire. We purchase our coatings “Pure White” and is the color we spray the majority of our jobs.
Q) – Once my tub has been reglazed, how long should it last?
A) – If your bathtub has been professionally cleaned, acid washed (etched), base coated with a good quality epoxy primer and top coated with a quality Urethane, it will never peel off. NOT DOING ANY OF THESE STEPS WILL INSURE YOUR TUBS COATING WILL PEEL OFF and not last long at all.
The key is to maintain the coating – as you would the coating on your car. Most Reglazing companies will provide you with instruction on how to clean and maintain your bathtub. I’ve gone back to jobs I’ve done 10 years ago where the tub looks fantastic.
Q) – Will the acid you wash the tub with hurt the pipes in my house?
A) – No. Although “Hydrofloric” acid is about as radical an acid as you can get, it’s the only chemical that will “etch” glass. It’s manufactured and sold to me in a 7% solution. Just strong enough to take the gloss off your porcelain (or porcelain enamel) bathtub but not strong enough to affect your drains.
Q) – If my tub has been reglazed before, can it be reglazed again?
A) – Yes.
Q) – Do you spray porcelain or re-porcelainize my bathtub?
A) – No. Porcelain is poured in a mold and baked at a very high temperature, not something a tradesman could do in your home. Reglazing companies all use paint products that are very similar to the paint on your car – they are more commonly known as “Coatings”. The companies we purchase our coatings from formulate them so they can be used in our industry.
Q) – What kind of paint do you use, epoxy, polyurethane, acrylic urethane?
A) – I use a 2 part “Epoxy” (resin and catalyst) as a base coat (primer). Noting bonds better than a good epoxy. But Epoxy’s do not make good top coats. Some companies use them because they are inexpensive, very low odor and advertise a primer and top coat in one. The serious bathtub reglazers use some sort of 3 part “Urathane” (resin, catalyst and reducer). It’s very similar to what’s on your car. Chemists at coating manufactures re-formulate the recipe so we can use them in your home. The differences between these different top coats are minimal. From time to time I do try different products to compare to what I am currently using.
Q) – Do I have to leave the house and will it smell after you are done?
A) – No, leaving the house is not necessary. Depending on how thorough the company’s technician is and how he ventilates the overspray out of the house while he is spraying his product will determine how bad it will smell when he is done. You’ll smell something going on but it should not be overwhelming. Most bathtub reglazers have powerful “Fume Extractors” that vent the overspray out of your home and should extensively mask off the areas in the bathroom and keep the overspray contained in 1 room. But to say you won’t smell anything after I leave would not be true. These are industrial coatings made to spray in a factory in a controlled environment. Properly ventilated, you will notice a smell similar to the odor after a gal has her nails done. It takes about 24 hours for this smell to completely dissipate. Only those who are “hypersensitive” to paint products should make arrangements to be elsewhere during this process.
Q) – Can you reglaze Fiberglass, Tile, Formica and Metal?
A) – Yes. You can spray these products on sinks, counter-tops, tile surrounds, tile showers, tile walls, tile countertops, acrylic countertops, appliances and more as well as your bathtub. Different surfaces will require different preparation but as long as your surface is clean, dry, etched (or wet sanded) and repaired, reglazing will work well on various surfaces.
Q) – My worker dropped a tool and chipped my tub. If I reglaze the bathtub, how do you fix that?
A) – Chips and scratches are repaired with body fillers, more commonly known as “Bondo”. It’s the exact same product used to make repairs on your car when the paint is being restored. Applied correctly and sanded smoothly, you’ll forget that workers accident ever happened.
Q) – I’m remodeling my bathroom, should I have the tub reglazed before the tile goes in or after?
A) – After. Tile setters, plumbers, painters, cabinet and counter installers will be standing in and around the bathtub while the remodeling is going on and will damage the newly reglazed tub. Reglazing the bathtub is the “last” tradesman to perform his task in your remodeled bathroom.
Q) – I want to replace the ugly drain in my bathtub with a new one. Does it go in before or after you reglaze the bathtub?
A) – Before. Most bathtub drains are not easy to remove and have to be cut out with a reciprocating saw (saws-all). When the new drain is installed it has to be screwed in very tight. It will damage the coating as you give it the last couple of turns with the wrench and will make the tub peel around the drain. The “plumbers putty” used underneath the new drain is also greasy and needs to be cleaned off the bathtub or the coating will not bond to the porcelain around the drain and will eventually peel.
Most bathtub reglazing companies will have nothing to do with a tub drain (or any of your plumbing fixtures) at all due to the liability. Since I am licensed in plumbing, I can replace any of your plumbing fixtures.
Q) – How long will it be before I can use my tub again?
A) – Your tub is down for 48 hours. It takes the better part of a working day to prepare, make repairs, mask, primer and top coat your tub. A good bathtub reglazer will remove his masking completely before he leaves (to free up the toilet and sink). You’ll want to be very careful around the tub that evening.
Since most companies use coating that take 24 hours to fully “cure”, we usually return the following afternoon replace anything we removed (overflow cap, drain strainer, towel rod, etc) and re-caulk the joint between the bathtub and tile. At this point the coating is pretty dry but you’ll need to let the caulking cure overnight.
Q) – Is the reglazed bathtub slippery? Can I use a shower mat?
A) – Some of my customers say the tub is slippery. I’ll usually instruct my customers to use it a few times as you are used to the rough bottom of your old tub. If the bottom is still to slick for them, I tell them to use a shower mat. But it is very important to remove the shower mat after you shower “every time”. Shower mats left in reglazed bathtubs will destroy the coating and will not be covered under his warranty.
A competent bathtub reglazing technician will walk you through the “do’s and don’t” and should provide you with instructions on how to maintain the coating on your newly reglazed bathtub