Can plastic, acrylic or fiberglass bathtubs or shower stalls be reglazed/ refinished?

fiberglass bathtub refinishing project by America Refinishing Pros

As a matter of fact, yes. Most acrylic or fiberglass bathtubs or shower stalls can indeed be reglazed (refinished) with a great level of success and fantastic outcome if done by a reputable and experienced bathtub refinishing company.

A huge percentage of the bathtubs and shower stalls that are manufactured nowadays are made out of plastic, consisting of a variety of polymer materials among which we can mention something called ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene), acrylic resins, or glass-fiber reinforced polyester.

Many people tend to believe that those tubs or shower stalls cannot be refinished, however, although there are a couple of main differences in the procedure compared to the steel tubs or to the cast iron tubs, these plastic tubs or plastic shower stalls can indeed be resurfaced with great outcome as well, as long as the products used are the right ones and all the steps of the process are followed.

As a matter of fact, plastic (fiberglass and acrylic) tubs account for almost half of all the tubs that are refinished in the United States, as per stats we have gathered throughout a large number of years we have been providing this service. In the following graph, we show in detail what percentages each material account for:

 

graph showing what percentage, out of all the tubs refinished in the United States, are made of fiberglass or acrylic

 

This procedure has several names. When it comes to bathtubs is called fiberglass tub refinishing, fiberglass bathtub refinishing, fiberglass bathtub resurfacing or fiberglass bathtub reglazing. For the shower stall, on the other hand, it would be fiberglass shower refinishing, fiberglass shower resurfacing, or fiberglass shower reglazing.

Sometimes these fiberglass whole units come with a bathtub at the bottom instead of a shower floor, in those cases, the fixture is called tub shower combo and thus the procedure is commonly known as a fiberglass tub shower combo refinishing, fiberglass tub shower combo resurfacing, or fiberglass tub shower combo reglazing.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO REFINISH A FIBERGLASS TUB OR A FIBERGLASS SHOWER STALL?

The costs for a procedure like this, with a professional service provider of good reputation, varies depending on the state and on other factors like condition, whether it has been painted or not,  whether there are repairs to be made, etc but for a standard size bathtub ranges between $200 and $350 and for a shower stall of average size between $400 and $700. If a fiberglass tub repair or fiberglass shower repair were necessary, it could add from $100 to $350 to the project, depending on the nature, seriousness, and extension of the damage.

If your property is located in South Florida and you have questions about your shower or bathtub,  America Refinishing Pros is a local fiberglass bathtub refinishing company with many years of experience. Click on the button below for a free no-obligation consultation about your options. We can provide you with a free estimate based on your specific needs.

CAN YOU CHANGE THE COLOR OF A FIBERGLASS TUB OR A FIBERGLASS SHOWER?

Yes. The color of a fiberglass tub or fiberglass shower can definitely be changed. As a matter of fact, in practical terms, the color options are unlimited. However, nowadays 89% of the people choose white,  around 8% go with beige and the other 3% prefer gray. Colors like green, pink, yellow, etc are considered outdated at the present time.

 

THE PREPARATION STAGE OF FIBERGLASS BATHTUB REFINISHING OR FIBERGLASS SHOWER REFINISHING

The preparation of the surface of any tub during the bathtub refinishing process, or shower refinishing process depending on the case, is as important as the quality of the products used, and in the specific case of plastic tubs or shower stalls, this stage is very similar to that of cast iron or steel tubs with only one main difference: there is no acid wash. The process starts with a deep clean-up.

 For that purpose, strong degreasers and other potent cleaners are used to remove mold, mildew, water scale, grease, soap build-up, and other substances that adhere to the surface over time.

Once the surface is totally clean the tub or shower stall is sanded down very thoroughly and any irregularities found are patched and evened out with fine sanding paper. The idea is to make the surface as smooth and even as possible for spraying. All the old caulking is also removed. The surface is then vacuumed and wiped down to leave it completely out of dust and any dirt particles. Now the tub is ready to be sprayed.

 

THE SPRAYING STAGE OF FIBERGLASS BATHTUB REFINISHING OR FIBERGLASS SHOWER REFINISHING

The spraying stage consists of two phases: the application of the bonding agent and the application of the topcoat. Both phases are crucial. The bonding agent varies from company to company. Many reputable refinishers like America Refinishing Pros use two types: a primer with epoxy properties and a special type of glue.

As its name states, the main purpose of the bonding agents is to increase the level of adhesion of the topcoat. The primer not only also absorbs any small irregularities on the surface but it creates a solid background color. The technician based on his expertise will assess which one must be used depending on the specific situation of the tub or shower stall.

After the bonding agent dries completely the tub or shower stall is ready to be sprayed. At this point, several layers of the topcoat will be applied until the surface looks thick and all the product shows perfectly smooth and shiny.

Among the topcoats that are used by reputable professional refinishers for these acrylic tub-reglazing services or shower stall reglazing services, we can mention three main groups: polyurethane, epoxy, and acrylic polymers. Some manufacturers even use a combination of the three in the pursuit of better qualities.

Most of these topcoats are two-part substances that, when mixed, create a chemical reaction that will harden and crystallize for a higher level of resistance to persistent humidity, exposure to shampoos, soaps, and other chemicals, among other adverse conditions in the bathrooms.

The bathtub or shower stall should not be touched or put in contact with water for around 24 hours after the procedure is completed.

 

OUTCOME OF FIBERGLASS BATHTUB REFINISHING OR FIBERGLASS SHOWER REFINISHING

 

before and after of a fiberglass shower refinishing service by America Refinishing Pros

These plastic, acrylic, or fiberglass tubs are normally not too shiny when they are brand new, so since the professional-grade topcoats are very glossy and have a lot of body, after the bathtub refinishing or shower refinishing is done they usually look way more beautiful when compared to their original appearance.

The whole bathtub reglazing process takes an average of around 2 to 3 hours and for shower reglazing around 3 to 4. A high percentage of the customers that we have even say that they did not expect such a huge transformation and quality of the final product.

There is a widely spread myth around bathtub refinishing and shower refinishing: many people believe that nobody can stay in the house the night after the procedure is done. That is not true. All the professional bathtub reglazers use a powerful exhaust system during the process to vent out all the fumes, which means that even though there will be some smell, especially for the first few hours, by just keeping the bathroom door close the odor is in most part contained.

To know more about the advantages of bathtub refinishing and shower refinishing over the option of conventional remodeling either click on the bottom at the bottom to speak with one of our experts or visit the two following links:

1- Why is bathtub refinishing a wiser choice

2- Bathtub refinishing and tile refinishing advantages

30 Comments
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  22. Richard 5 months ago

    Great content and very useful!

    Bathtub refinishing as the best green remodeling alternative benefits homeowners, hotels, motels by saving them money over replacement. For example, a new bathtub may cost as little as $300, but when you add the cost of tearing down that old bathtub, removing it, getting rid of the bathtub and all the fixtures, and then dumping all the mess including that heavy bathtub at the landfill. Bathtub refinishing benefits the environment.

  23. Author
    admin 4 months ago

    I totally agree: bathtub refinishing is the most inexpensive choice and the results are excellent.

  24. Author
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    Thank you

  25. Author
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    Thank you for your kind words.

  27. Author
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  28. Author
    Vipkrin 4 months ago

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  29. Author
    admin 4 months ago

    This procedure lasts for several years if the care and maintenance instructions are followed.

  30. admin 4 months ago

    This procedure lasts for several years, typically 7 to 10, if the care and maintenance instructions are followed.

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