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Bathtub Refinishing Frequently Asked Questions

Will Bathtub Refinishing / Reglazing make my Bathtub and Tile look new?4 Tub Tile After Refinishing_opt

Proper preparations, quality materials, and skilled application will make the fixture look brand new. Most people will not be able to tell between new and refinished. We deliver a smooth surface, high shine, and extremely hard and durable finish only a trained eye will be able to tell. The cost and time you save are huge compared to replacing your bathtub, tile, or improperly installed tub liners, it will make your home more marketable, easier to clean and care for, more hygienic, and give you pride in your bath room again!

Does ProTech Repair and Restoration use acid for etching the tub?

Absolutely, a mild HF acid solution (glass etch) is used to maximize the bonding process. It allows a mechanical bond as well as a chemical bond. This gives you the very best adhesion as possible in a bathtub refinishing project.

Does ProTech use an “all in 1” Primer / Coating Material?

There is NO SUCH THING as a Primer “built into” the topcoat. All that equals is a shortcut and a coating that will absolutely NOT hold up. Even if you decide not to use ProTech and go with bathtub refinishing companies or  bathtub refinishing contractors, do not be misled, there is no such “all in 1” primer that will work.

How long will Bathtub Refinishing take and when can I use my bathroom again?

A typical bathtub refinishing job will take about 3 to 4 hours to complete. If it’s been refinished before and needs the old finish stripped off you can typically add 1 to 2 hours (additional charge). If you’re also having your tile done as well as the bathtub it will be a full day for a standard size bathroom. Your fixture should be allowed to cure for 24-72 hours. It’s a great convenience over bathtub replacement or new tile.

Is re-caulking around my bathtub included in the price?

Re-caulking (standard white or standard biscuit colors only) is included in the price. Some tubs are grouted in and do not need re-caulking and fiberglass fixtures with built in surrounds often don’t need re-caulking. We use a premium acrylic latex mold resistance high gloss Polyseamseal caulk. Be aware caulking a gap larger than 5/8 inch should probably be re-grouted; caulking a gap that large can show shrinkage after a month or so.

What color choices do I have?

We use Aliphatic Acrylic polyurethane so you can have any color you wish, but remember several important facts… As nice as color is, it’s better to leave the tub and walls neutral and accent with color on the curtains, wall paint, etc., mainly for resale value later. Not everyone will enjoy that purple tub! White, Bone, and Biscuit (in that order) are most in demand and are STANDARD colors. To order a special color you need to provide a color source for us to match and there is an extra fee.

What should I do to prepare for your arrival?

If you have a bath vanity cabinet next to your bathtub closer than 5 inches you may consider having it removed prior to bathtub refinishing. Any closer makes it difficult to give you a properly sprayed tub in that area. Will you will be getting your tile walls done around the whole bathroom? It’s best to remove all cabinets and toilet tank so we can spray behind them (leave toilet base attached unless replacing). This is especially true for cabinet and sink that might be replaced by a pedestal sink.

Fix any water leaks from your tub’s faucet.

Remove personal items.

Remove shower curtains from the bathroom.

A window within 40 feet that opens and the screen removed for exhausting.

A clean bathroom is always appreciated; we will leave just as clean.

A clear work space near the bathroom in the hallway.

Please no other dusty, hammering, banging construction going on that day, while refinishing. This could leave to “trash” floating and landing on your newly refinished fixtures. Be sure that all other work that you are planning in the bathroom is completed first (i.e. tile and plumbing work). It’s the perfect time to replace your drain and overflow before refinishing.

Painting, wallpaper, carpet, and shower doors should be done after refinishing is done. Damage may occur while working around them. Be sure there is electric and water available, which will be needed for our preparations. That the walls are up and bathtub plumbing is in place.

Do the shower doors need to be removed?

Generally the shower doors should be removed prior to our arrival or for a small fee we can remove them. We also provide new shower door enclosures and installations including frameless and semi-frameless systems. If you’re planning on keeping the door and frame, and you have a lower track glued to the bathtub rail, you may not want to remove it. It often is totally damaged by removal. In that case we would want to tape it off.

What are the advantages to professional bathtub refinishing vs. replacing?

We can refinish your fixture for a fracture of the cost of replacement. The convenience of it being done in one day is also important, replacement can take several weeks and a huge mess and cost. Recycle your tub and tile. We often see that the original fixture is of a better quality than the ones being sold today. While a brand new bathtub costs $200.00 to 4800.00 there are always costs like plumbing, tile removal, replacement, permits, and disposal fees. Depending on the choices in tub and tile it can add up. Between $3000.00 and $5000.00 and take a couple of weeks or more.

Plus a new tub has a non-slip surface etched into the tub bottom which holds dirt and body oils and discolors quickly once you start using it.

It just makes more sense to refinish. Being the green option with less materials in our land fills and less manufacturing waste!

I’ve seen DIY kits and I’m pretty handy! Why not do it myself?

There are many problems with DIY kits but let’s concentrate on the most important ones. The complaints are centered around poor appearance and peeling, sometimes within a couple of weeks. The two biggest problems are with the bonding process and application process. Solid bonding requires proper preparations for the surface, having the chips filled, surface etched, and a QUALITY primer used.

The materials used for etching preparation of the bathtub are not available to the general public and are not included in these kits.

Next, any chips or gouges need to be filled with marine grade fillers and require some skill to make them disappear.

The next issue is the application; to be smooth as glass the tub must be sprayed. These kits usually instruct you to brush material on like house paint. Unless you have mastered a spray gun to Professional standards, it will not look too good. In addition, the equipment and safety gear, you will need: respirators, chemical gloves, professional turbine air compressor, exhaust ventilator, spray gun and assortment of tools and other equipment.

Don’t expect a refund when your DIY kit fails– and it will. The manufacturer will tell you that you did not properly follow their directions. Now the tub will need to have that finish stripped off at a cost of $150.00 or more. So now that you have wasted around $200.00 and your afternoon, you will find that it was no bargain. There is Cost to Refinish bathtub, but done wrong is much more expensive.

What is the coating material you use for bathtub refinishing?

After preparations are completed, a base coat (primer) is applied to provide a uniform color base and adhesion, using an epoxy with silane additive, provides a chemical bond along with the mechanical bond from prepping. Then we apply Aliphatic Acrylic Urethane with a 4 hour tack time and it is cured the next day. Preferably a 24-72 hour dry time for use. This reduces dust sticking to the finish and puts the fixture back in use sooner. When applied skillfully it resembles the original shine and luster of porcelain. Only a trained eye will be able to tell!

My fiberglass tub or surround has a crack. What can be done for me?

When fiberglass bath tubs crack, it is usually due to the tub being installed without proper support underneath it, allowing the tub bottom to flex over time, creating a crack. We add a support to your tub bottom with expanding polyurethane foam that hardens in place under your tub curing in 5 minutes creating a firm base, so your tub bottom no longer flexes. Then we repair the crack with fiberglass and Reglaze the fixture to hide the repair.

I have a rust hole in my tub. Can you repair it?

Oh yes, I can help! The solution for steel enamel tubs which have rusted through, is to remove the rusted material and then fiberglass a new brass plated metal ring onto the tub, recreating the same contours of the drain or overflow area where the rust usually occurs. This provides a very strong and permanent repair to your tub and will not show any hint of its previous condition.

Do pets / family need to leave during bathtub refinishing?Pets and Bathtub Refinishing

Generally no, you and your pets will be fine. We use Evacuators and Hi Volume Low Pressure spray equipment to minimize the overspray and odors. We also are able to scent our material with a light fragrance. There will be a slight residual odor for a few hours. We recommend airing out the home for a bit to clear the air after we leave. Should you or a family member suffer from sensitivities to solvent smells, like finger nail polish remover, then yes– you may need to leave the house for a bit until in completely clears. Parrots and certain other birds are very sensitive and should be removed from the immediate area.

What else can be refinished besides bathtubs and tile?

Countertops, vanities, cultured marble, Formica, Corian, fiberglass fixtures, acrylic
fixtures, sinks and even ceramic tile flooring and Terrazzo. See our Multistone, Countertops, and Other Services pages.

For sinks and toilets it is usually more practical to replace these, unless you’re trying to keep the original period pieces or do not want to replace them. Due to the use bathroom and kitchen sinks receive, we only offer a 1 year guarantee on them.

Something to keep in mind: On cast iron bath sinks with an overflow- the problem is the cavity behind the overflow tends to bleed rust down the surface and that people tend to sit soaps and hard objects on the surface causing problems. We can fill the overflow cavity at an additional cost. On kitchen sinks our material can be damaged by pots, pans, and utensils scratching the surface.

Bathtub Liner System verses Refinishing?

We do both. Here’s the bottom line- Bathtub Refinishing is about half the cost of a bathtub liner. Liner installation requires more trips to your home to measure, fit, and install. The feel of a bathtub liner will be that of plastic and refinishing will feel more like the original surface that you had refinished. Please do your homework on bath liner systems. Many companies do not properly fit their systems to your existing tub causing: caulk cracks and separation, water getting trapped between the tub and liner system. The liner can then rust out your tub and stagnate causing awful smell and is unsanitary. ProTech will provide a custom fit to your existing tub with our liner system and our price is about half of our competitors!

Estimates verses Aggressive Sales Tactics. Be wary.

Be wary of sales representatives convincing you to sign sales agreements in what should only be an estimate evaluation as you shop around. We will gladly provide you with estimated costs, multiple suggestions, and the true pros and cons with your options. We are THE ONLY COMPANY that offers all types of solutions from cleaning and maintenance to refinishing to liner systems to demo / replacement.

Why should I choose ProTech Repair and Restoration?

We offer proper preparation, quality materials, and superior training. We believe you will find ProTech Repair and Restoration to be your best source for information, experience, and service to perform your updates / repairs.

We are the most experienced refinishing company in the Triangle area. Performing a refinishing operation in your home with professional results requires years of experience, specialized equipment, and quality materials.

We have been performing bathtub refinishing for 20 years and offer the longest warranty in the business. We take pride in offering a unique and specialized service to our community. Listed with an A rating from Angie’s list and featured twice in the News and Observer, we believe in offering solutions and great service for a fair and valued price.

Please feel free to call if you have any additional questions. Our office number is (919) 834-7466. Thank you for considering us to perform this job for you. Let us show you how we can help YOU!