A bathroom renovation can be an exciting project, but often homeowners are stumped when it comes to their tubs. Perhaps you’ve picked the paint colour, the decor, you’ve chosen your beautiful new vanity and replaced the toilet...but your tub is sitting in its place looking daunting and now sticks out like a sore thumb. Replacing it (unless you’re just that handy) probably means hiring a whole host of contractors; from the plumber to disconnect and reconnect it all to the contractor who will have to widen the doorway to get the old tub out and the new one in and then refinish the room again. You can also count on having an electrician in if your tub has to fit through a wall that may involve wires. So what’s a homeowner to do?
Well, you could just live with it, but who wants to do that? If you’ve taken time, money and energy to make your bathroom look just right, you’ll want the whole thing done. Luckily, there is another, far less expensive option than a full replacement, and it can be the difference between a complete bathroom renovation with less money spent and one that breaks the bank entirely.
First of all, although there is any number of DIY kits for refinishing your tub, hiring a professional to do it right is probably your best bet. In this way, you’ll still spend far less money than replacing your tub, but you’ll end up with something that actually looks brand new, instead of something that looks more like a porcelain collage. The other benefit to hiring someone is time. If you’re doing something like this yourself, unless you’ve made a habit of refinishing tubs over the years, it’s probably the one and only time you’ll do it. A professional does this every day and can get the whole thing done in half the time, meaning you’ll be back to your normal routine within a few days.
Your professional will have his or her own specific steps, but the general process involves the following steps;
The tub will be cleaned thoroughly (this is something that you’ll want to do first, but your contractor will probably scrub it again anyway)
An acid is applied so that the surface becomes rough, making it far easier for the glaze to adhere properly and prevent chipping over time
A glaze is applied
The tub is sanded and polished
Voila! Your tub looks and feels brand new and the whole thing is completed in a few days without having to take down walls or haul anything to the dump. Often a tub is so cumbersome to remove from the home that it needs to be broken down into pieces before it can be hauled away.
Refinishing your tub, as opposed to replacing it, can save time, money and hassle, and you’re still left with a fixture that compliments the room and adds to your decor.