Is porcelain tub refinishing a good idea?

porcelain tub refinishing with change of color from blue to white

Yes, it is. A porcelain tub refinishing procedure, also known as porcelain bathtub reglazing or porcelain bathtub resurfacing is a clean and durable procedure that would rejuvenate an old, worn out, or damaged porcelain tub to a like-new condition in just a few hours for a fraction of the cost of replacement.

 

WHAT IS A PORCELAIN BATHTUB?

A porcelain tub is a tub whose body is manufactured of either steel or cast iron and then is carefully coated with a thick layer of porcelain enamel. This coating is baked at very high temperatures to make it stronger and more resistant to impacts, scratches, or other mechanical agents.

Porcelain bathtubs account for roughly 40 to 50% or more of all the tubs that are manufactured in the United States and they mainly consist of three main types: standard-size tubs, clawfoot tubs, and square soaking tubs. The first one is the most common while the other two are normally found in master bathrooms or bigger and/ or more sophisticated bathrooms.

 

WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS CAN BE RESOLVED WITH A PORCELAIN TUB REFINISHING PROCEDURE?

A porcelain tub refinishing procedure can resolve a wide variety of issues with great success. One of the most common problems is chip damage. Chips normally occur when the tub is hit with something hard and relatively heavy or pointy and detach a piece of the porcelain coating. Another usual problem is discoloration and/or dull surface. Both situations normally occur after some years of use.

porcelain tub refinishing service on chipped and dull tub by America Refinishing Pros

porcelain tub refinishing service on chipped and dull tub by America Refinishing Pros

A change of color is another reason why many people pursue a porcelain bathtub refinishing service nowadays. There is a significant number of bathtubs out there that were made years ago in colors considered outdated like avocado, yellow, blue, green, etc. and at present most homeowners prefer white and in a small percentage beige.

Besides the problems mentioned above, there are other common issues with porcelain bathtubs. Steel tubs, for example, are manufactured of a fairly thin body and because of that very often present a depression at the bottom close to the drain where the person stands to take a shower. When that appears it makes water sit there leading very soon to the development of corrosion that will deteriorate the tub.

Steel tubs very often also show corrosion around the drain or overflow, usually caused by leaks either on the spout or on the faucet which, if not addressed promptly, eventually expand and get to affect bigger areas, causing holes or even more serious damages to the body of the bathtub.

In the following picture, you will be able to see a steel tub with 2 problems: a depression at the bottom and an area with serious rust damage around the overflow that opened a hole of around 3 inches on the structure of the tub. As you can observe on the “after” image (top part), our team, at America Refinishing Pros, managed to repair it with such great results that none of the issues were noticeable at completion.

porcelain tub refinshing service by America Refinishing Pros with repairs of corrosion around overflow and depression area

porcelain tub refinishing service by America Refinishing Pros with repairs of corrosion around overflow and depression area

Another common issue on porcelain tubs, in general, is paint peeling because the bathtub was previously painted, and either the job was not done properly (low-quality products or poor preparation) or the bathtub was not well taken care of by the homeowner or resident.

 

WHAT RESULTS CAN BE EXPECTED FROM A PORCELAIN TUB REFINISHING PROCEDURE?

As a general rule, you can expect a smooth and shiny spotless factory finish on a porcelain tub refinishing procedure if it’s done professionally with a reputable and experienced company that uses the right products as well as the proper equipment and procedures.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO  REFINISH A PORCELAIN BATHTUB?

The cost to refinish a porcelain tub varies depending on the following factors:

1- the region of the country where the property is located

2- the size and or type of the bathtub

3- whether the bathtub has been refinished (or painted) before

4- whether the bathtub has damages (cracks, holes, corrosion, chips, etc)

The average price on the refinishing of a standard-size porcelain tub ranges between $240 and $450. Porcelain-square tubs, on the other hand, range around $600, as well as clawfoot-porcelain tubs, if they are to be refinished outside and inside.

At the same time, previously painted porcelain tubs usually have an upcharge that ranges between $50 and $200 on top of the base price, while damaged porcelain tubs could have larger increments depending on the extension and seriousness of the affected area.

If your property is located in South Florida and you have questions about your bathtub America Refinishing Pros is a local porcelain 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.

HOW LONG DOES A PROFESSIONAL PORCELAIN TUB REFINISHING LAST?

A professional porcelain bathtub refinishing procedure should last no less than 7 to 10 years. However, the durability mainly depends on three elements:

 

-the thoroughness, correctness, and efficacy of the preparation stage of the bathtub,

-the quality of the products used to refinish the tub,

-proper care and maintenance,

 

What is the correct preparation during a porcelain bathtub refinishing process?

Preparation accounts for at least 50% of the success of a porcelain bathtub reglazing procedure if you are looking for a job of the highest quality.

This important stage requires a lot of meticulosity and detail orientation. The technician must not cut corners here because the slightest mistake could result in a failed outcome.

Among the things that must not be overlooked, we must mention a deep clean-up of the surfaces with the right chemicals to remove all the grease, soap scum, and water scale. The other important step is an acid wash which would open pores to the porcelain to guarantee a strong adhesion of the topcoat. All the old caulking should be withdrawn as well and a bonding agent must be applied.

On our page “The refinishing process” you can find much more information about this stage.

 

What kind of quality of products should be used for a porcelain bathtub refinishing procedure?

There are a plethora of topcoat products on the market to paint or refinish bathtubs, some are sold to the public, some are not. Some people even use regular paints or other improvised products due to lack of knowledge and in some cases to reduce costs or save money at the expense of quality.

The reality is that none of the products that are sold to the public either at Home Depot, Lowe’s, hardware stores, or over the internet meet the minimum quality standards required for a durable job and/or a factory finish.

The right products require a formula created with specific properties for the conditions in the bathroom, usually polymer-based substances. Some of the most used ones are acrylic urethane, polyurethane, or epoxy, among a few others.

 

What is the proper care and maintenance of a refinished porcelain bathtub?

Once your porcelain bathtub has been professionally refinished, there are some critical rules that you should follow to properly clean it and maintain it in order to avoid premature wear and tear as well as unnecessary damages.

Among the most important ones, we must mention: not to put mats down, not to use abrasive materials or cleaners (solid cleaners like Comet or Ajax are highly abrasive), not to use ammonia and not to use pure bleach.

There are some other important guidelines to keep in mind if you want to get the most out of your refinished porcelain bathtub. For a more complete and detailed list of instructions, we advise you to read a very complete article we have in our blog titled: “Refinished bathtub maintenance tips“.

CONCLUSION

Refinishing a porcelain bathtub is always a great decision because not only will you save time and money versus all the other options available like replacement or liners but will you be able to resolve most of the most common problems tubs face during their life (chips, cracks, wear and tear, discoloration, rust, etc) and with a great outcome and considerably durable results.

We encourage you to navigate our blog where you will be able to find other interesting and highly informative articles about topics like fiberglass tub repair and fiberglass tub refinishing, among others.

So, if your property is located in South Florida and you’d like the help of an expert either fill out any of our contact forms throughout our website or simply click on the button below.

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