The most misunderstood aspect of bathtub refinishing or reglazing are the materials used. If you’ve looked around at all you’ve probably discovered that everyone tells you something different about what they’re using and what’s the best. There are actually a number of materials used for refinishing bathtubs, tile and ceramic with varying degrees of durability, from poor to excellent. The worst of these are merely paints or epoxys similar to what a homeowner can buy in a home improvement store. Applied directly to the ceramic surface they quickly fail through lack of proper adhesion, low impact and abrasion resistance and dulling. The best materials are industrial reglazing sytems designed specifically for bathtub refinishing. These systems consist of various catylized (chemically hardened) materials. The top coats being proprietary Acrylic, Urethane or Polyurethane products. Most older systems are Urethane based, requiring UV light curing (although all materials can be UV cured). These materials are designed specifically for semi-continuous water submergence, impact resistance and gloss retention. Original Refinishing uses a high-performance, aliphatic acrylic polyurethane material that is the cutting edge of currently available technology. This is the material Original Refinishing uses and stands behind.
What can you refinish other than bathtubs?
We can refinish almost any type of ceramic surface, tile and grout showers, countertops, sinks and most types of fiberglass showers and tubs. We can also refinish cultured marble and laminates.
Are you using actual porcelain to refinish with?
No. Porcelain/Ceramic refinishing is what we do. All true reglazing systems are sprayed high performance coatings. True porcelain, porcelain enamel or ceramic would require about 1500 degrees and a big kiln.
Do you need to etch it ?
All surfaces need to prepared in some way, either an acidic etch or a chemical bond prep are used. The parts of your tub that still have shiny glaze will have to be prepared for proper bonding. If your refinishing technician does not prepare the surface the coating will fail. Original Refinishing uses both methods, one a unique industrial acidic cleaner that eliminates problems as with harsh acidic etches, the second a chemical bond prep that chemically adheres the material to the surface.
Do you remove the existing plumbing fixtures?
On bathtubs we remove the drains and overflows (age and condition permitting). On shower tile or sinks with individual valves we remove the handles and escutcheons. Sinks with one piece faucets are always removed and replaced.
How do you protect the room? Every step is taken to ensure that all adjacent surfaces are protected. Floors, counters and walls are covered or masked, an efficient ventilating system removes odors and dust from the area while the work is in process, after 24 hours we’ll return and unmask the work area to leave your bathroom as clean as we found it.
Do you remove shower doors?
Yes. In almost all cases we recommend that the shower doors be removed and replaced. This allows the bathtub to be thoroughly prepared and refinished. The shower door hardware can then be remounted on a clean hard surface and fresh caulking applied.
Do you remove the old caulking?
Yes. We cut away all the old existing caulking. We feel this is the only way to properly refinish a tub or sink. We then carefully re-caulk when the tub is unmasked. Many companies will simply refinish over the existing caulk or leave it to the homeowner to re-caulk.
What colors do you have?
Our standard colors are brilliant white, medium white and Kholer Biscuit. The brilliant white very closely matches common white fixtures. Or choose from a wide array of custom colors from any plumbing manufacturer for that brand-new bathtub look.
Your newly refinished bathtub or tile will keep it’s new look for years to come! Decades of developing, testing and technological advances go into every new finish! Corrosion, chipping, fading and scratching are simply not a problem with a Original Refinishing finish. Because of the exceptional durability of our materials we warranty all of our refinishing with a 5 year warranty!
In order to keep your tub shiny for years to come you want to keep soap scum and minerals removed. You do this by using a non-abrasive cleaner that is slightly acidic. There are many non-abrasive cleansers. That and a soft nylon scrubbing pad is all you should ever need. DO NOT use any abrasive cleaners on or near the refinished surface. In general, any cleaner approved for use on acrylic surfaces is okay to use.
A few things to remember about caring for your refinished tub are:
Please observe the following:
Clean the finish regularly with soap and a soft nylon scubbing pad. Soap scum and hard water can combine and build up quickly in bathtubs and if left too long can require mechanical means to clean leading to possible damage.
Faucets must be properly maintained by the owner and user, to protect the new surface. Leaky faucets will erode the finish, causing it to crack and wear out prematurely, therefore voiding your warranty. Destruction of the finish may occur through improper use of acid bearing compounds, such as drain openers or tile grout cleaners. All chemicals must be kept away from the finish. These chemicals include, but are not limited to, cosmetics, hair dyes, and perfumes, which may stain or otherwise mar the finish. You can extend the life of your new finish with the application of a polymer polish every six months. Any good auto or fiberglass polish is fine. If you use a suction-cup bathmat remove it after use to let the surface dry.
A suction-cup free bathmat is recommended . Ask your refinishing professional for bathmat recommendations.
If you treat your new surface with respect, clean it regularly, and follow the above guidelines, your fixture will stay shiny and bright, and give you many years of trouble free use.