386 Alles St, Des Plaines, IL 60016
So you’ve finally decided it’s time to upgrade your bathroom, but you’re unsure what to do with your unsightly bathtub. Replacing the tub will cost thousands, but leaving it as is will ruin the look of your “upgraded” bathroom. A great option when you want to get a like-new tub without paying the new tub price tag is restoration. With bathtub restoration, you keep your old tub but refinish it, so it looks (and feels!) brand new. Below are six things you should consider when restoring your bathtub.
1. Doing it yourself vs. hiring a professional
The old, “Should we do it ourselves and save money or hire a professional?” dilemma. Although going to your local hardware store and buying a refinishing kit may save you money on the front end, it may not be as cost-effective long term. For example, a professionally restored bathtub can give your bathtub 10-15 more years of use. On the other hand, doing it yourself may result in early chipping and damage, putting you right back where you started. Additionally, paying extra for a professional will save you tons of time. A professional has done this a thousand times and can get the job done in 3-4 hours, whereas doing it yourself may take a whole day (if not longer).
2. Pouring vs. spraying
Restoration companies have two methods to choose between when restoring bathtubs, spraying or pouring. In general, spraying is easier as the material is evenly distributed via a professional-grade spraying machine. The cons of using the spray method are that the enamel is not as durable as a pour, and the process releases toxic chemicals into the air that travel beyond the bathroom. Pouring, on the other hand, is a more labor-intensive method that requires more skill for a flawless end product. Pouring results in a thicker, more durable coat that lasts longer than spraying (10-15 years!). Another advantage of pouring is that the application process does not emit toxic chemicals through the home or commercial property.
3. Restoration preparation
If you are getting your bathtub restored, there’s a good chance that your bathtub has damage, such as cracks, holes, chips, and rust. When choosing a company for bathtub restoration, make sure you find a company that repairs and prepares the tub for the new enamel. To achieve a smooth, consistent finish, all damage must be addressed, sealed, and sanded; otherwise, you will have an end product that is more prone to chipping and damage. In addition to preparing the tub, find a company that explicitly states they will protect all other parts of the property during their application process. If a company doesn’t take the necessary precautions before application, your property (such as bathroom tiles, flooring, faucets, etc.) is at risk of damage.
4. Non-toxic materials
As mentioned before, one of the many advantages of pouring vs. spraying is that the pouring method doesn’t emit toxic chemicals into the household during application. However, with that said, you still want to find a company that also uses non-toxic enamel that is safe for everyone in your family. Using non-toxic materials is especially important for family members with allergen sensitivities and vulnerable populations in commercial properties (such as nursing homes).
Successful bathtub restoration should extend your tub’s life for another 10-15 years. However, if the new enamel is damaged shortly after the completion of the job, the damage is likely to spread and reduce the lifespan of your tub. When choosing a restoration company, make sure to find one that offers some type of warranty on their work. This indicates that the company truly believes in the product they are using and their workmanship, so much so that they are willing to come back after the job is complete if there are any issues. Choosing a company with a warranty will give you peace of mind that your money is going into tub restoration designed to last.
Finally, spend some time reading company reviews and checking out before and after pictures of projects. If you find a company with many negative reviews, steer clear, as it is unlikely that your project will be an exception. This may mean going with a company that charges more for their services. If a company thoroughly prepares the tub and bathroom area, uses the pouring method and a non-toxic solution, offers a warranty for their work, and has many great reviews - they are likely worth the price tag. Remember, you only want to do this once, so do your research to find a company that will deliver the results you want.