Video: Bathtub Refinishing Tips

Refinishing your bathtub instead of replacing it can freshen up the look of your bathroom and also keep your wallet from taking too much of a hit. Listen as bathtub refinishers from Bowie, Md. and Plymouth, Minn explain the process and give tips on maintaining a tub’s finish.

Written and produced by Twinkle VanWinkle

 

Interview with Andy Etzel, owner, Porcelite Bathtub Refinishing, Plymouth, Minn.

Jan. 5, 2010

Twinkle VanWinkle: Can you state your name, business and location for the record?
Andy Etzel: I’m Andy Etzel. I’m the owner-operator of Porcelite Bathtub and Refinishing Company. What we do is go in and take your old dingy tub and spray new glaze on it to make it smooth and bring the color back and it’s easier to keep clean. It gives it a fresh look, helps with resale purposes or if you’re just looking to spruce up the bathroom.

TVW: What are your specialties?
AE: [Our specialty is] reglazing. We also install acrylic liners. We also resurface countertops, tile floors, as well as resurfacing tile, too.

TVW: How did you get into the tub business?
AE: When I was done with school looking for something to do, we actually ended up buying this company from the original owner who started this company in 1976. We bought it 10 years ago. It was my father-in-law and myself. We’re in business together.

TVW: Have you seen resurgence in recycling older tubs? Or historic restoration?
AE: Business is really good. For the 10 years I have been doing it myself, business has been really busy. It’s been really steady. As far as this year’s concerned, there’s been a little bit of an increase because I think a lot of people are fixing versus replacing, where a lot of times people will tear out and put new stuff in. This year with economy the way it is a lot of people are just resurfacing. It’s much cheaper. It looks the same a brand new bathtub when it’s done and it lasts 15 to 20 years. It’s a lot more economical to do it that way.

TVW: What is an average charge for reglazing?
AE: I charge $425 to reglaze a standard-sized bathtub that has never been done before and doesn’t have too much damage as far as chips or deep scratches are concerned. A typical bathtub that needs reglazing is deglossed, it’s tough to clean, it may have little bit of a rough surface to it, might have stains in it. That is all done for $425. If there is multiple chips to fix or a real big damaged area either from erosion or [whatnot], I have to charge anywhere from about $10 to maybe $35 at the most to fill that will a special epoxy that I mix up and put in there and sand smooth.

TVW: You said you also do liners? What’s the difference?
AE: We’ve been installing liners for about five years now. We bought a franchise from a guy down in Atlanta. Liners do serve their purpose, they have a great durability as far as something dropping on them. They are acrylic so they give. The problem I have with liners is that they are terribly expensive for what they are. We charge $1,100 to reline a bathtub. For reglazing at that $425, you can get a reglazing two times for the price of that liner. I put a lot of liners in apartment buildings where they have no control of how the bathroom is cared for. As far as a residential customer goes, I usually try to steer them into reglazing. You keep your original looking tub. It will last a good 15 to 20 years. With a typical liner you should get all that, maybe a little more. But you’re not going to get a ton more life out of it, so it’s usually not cost effective that way.

TVW: Which one do you recommend more? Liners or reglazing.
AE: Again it depends on the situation or what the tub is going to be used for. Mostly I try to reglaze as much as I can only because it’s more cost effective to my customers. Like I said apartment buildings I usually put liners in because they have no control of how it’s going to be used or cared for. Tenants tend to not clean it very often and drop things in there quite a bit. So the owner doesn’t have to worry. I really only install liners mostly for apartments and reglaze mostly for residential use.

TVW: How would you recommend a customer clean their newly reglazed or lined tub?
AE: Basically I give them a list of cleaners when I’m done. On my sheet I recommend if it has been refinished, use household cleaners made for porcelain, but also you don’t want to use a cleaner you have to wear rubber gloves for. The reason is that it usually has chlorine or bleach or ammonia or vinegar or some other form of an acid that is caustic to porcelain, which is a glass and you can etch it over time. Most people don’t realize that kind of an acid will etch the porcelain that isn’t rinsed off well enough afterwards and that’s what causes it to dull out over time and get harder and harder to clean. You’re kind of opening the pores of the porcelain and you are deglossing the finish. It tends to trap dirt more. A lot of that stuff is OK to use on ceramic tile where porcelain is not because porcelain etches a lot easier than ceramic tile would. So anything labeled safe for porcelain. A general rule is as long as you don’t have to wear rubber gloves with it. I recommend Lysol tub and tile, Mr. Clean, Fantastic, Scrubbing Bubbles. Those are all good. I tend to stay away from Soft Scrub, Comet, Ajax, for obvious reasons. And that spray stuff that you spray on the bathtub walls and walk away from is terrible. It has usually a lot of chlorine in it and ends up putting streaks in the bathtub. I’ve had companies ask me to refinish those because they have ruined a brand new bathtub.

TVW: Is there a point when you just have to say, “Hey, it’s time to get a new tub?”
AE: I’ve actually never found a tub I can’t refinish or line. It can be done an infinite number of times. There is an additional fee to strip an old finish off a tub. I charge $150 to strip a tub to get down to the original finish. Although for some apartment buildings that want me to refinish instead of just lining the tub, I’ll actually just come in about every five or six years and redo them again. I don’t have to restrip them again. I can just sand them and go over the old finish. Yes, there is no limited amount of times.

TVW: What would you say is some of the most damaging things a homeowner can do to their tub to ruin the porcelain?
AE: Leaving shampoo bottles in the corners. That really tends to hold moisture in the corners and stain the corners over time. Really it’s the cleaners that are used on them. Most people don’t realize it’s the cleaner that has that caustic material in them. Ninety-nine percent of the time that’s why I am there redoing because the tub has lost it’s shine or it’s been ruined that way, or there is a stain in the corner they can’t get out. Those couple of things are probably the biggest culprits for the need to redo a tub.

TVW: What are some questions you would advise a homeowner to ask when hiring someone to reglaze or reline his or her tub?
AE: I hear these horror stories out there from these companies that don’t do it properly. I would ask how long they have been in business in their area, not just in general. There is just so many franchises out there that just start up and they come and go. Make sure they’ve been doing it for quite awhile. Ask what kind of materials they are using. Generally with this kind of process you get what you pay for. The cheaper companies tend to use the cheaper materials just because the cost to us has gone up significantly. We’ve been raising our costs as well to keep up with it. But there are companies that will come in there for almost half of what I charge and I would really tend to not use those kind of places only because you can almost expect it to not get nearly the life out of it as you would if it’s done properly with the proper material.

TVW: Have you seen a rise in historical restorations in bathtubs?
AE: Almost all of my work is in the downtown area where it’s older homes — homes that are at least 50 to 100 years old. That’s obviously the majority of my work, although I have done bathtubs that haven’t even been used yet. If you used the wrong chemical or drain cleaner that can ruin them right away. Definitely the majority is older tubs, people that want to keep that nice, deep tub where most of them that you buy nowadays are a lot shallower or they are fiberglass or acrylic versus cast iron or porcelain. So they want to keep that old look to the house or they don’t want to take a wall out or whatever to put a new bathtub in.

TVW: So can you tell me how much it costs to replace a bathtub?
AE: Obviously I am not in that line of work but I have been told from some people that the low is about $2,000. It really depends on the quality of materials you put in and who you hire to do the work. I actually did a bathroom for a couple in Minneapolis here that they put $100,000 into the bathroom and I actually ended up reglazing the claw-foot tub that was in there. That didn’t even include the bathtub. So it just really depends on the materials the people use and the workmanship.



Twinkle VanWinkle, online content producer
Interview with Paul Burns, President, Porcelain Tub Restorations, Bowie, Md.
Jan. 6, 2010

Twinkle VanWinkle: Can you state your name, company and location for the record?
Paul Burns: My name is Paul Burns. We are in Bowie Md. We service the Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and northern Virginia metro area.
The company is Porcelain Tub Restorations and we do bathtub and surround refinishing. I am the president.




TVW: What is your specialty?

PB: Budget bathroom renovations done in a day.



TVW: How did you get into the business of restoring older bathrooms, refitting or reglazing?
PB: I always knew I wanted to be in business, but lacked the capital as a younger man. My background has been mechanics, auto painting and a sideline doing home improvement. During a management change at my day job in 1988 as head painter at a local auto dealership, the entire crew was let go as they brought in their own people. I took what I thought to be a temporary job at refinishing bathtubs for a local company. With my skill set I was immediately put in the residential department. After a short bit I realized that I could afford the capital and equipment to start my own refinishing company and I did just that. Within a few years my company grew so much I started hiring and training techs to my standards. Twenty years later we now have a dozen trucks on the road serving most of Maryland, D.C., and northern Virginia.

TVW: Have you seen a decrease or increase in retrofitting or remodeling with older bathtubs?
PB: Definitely an increase, we have grown 10 percent every year since we started. It’s a great way to recycle your bathroom fixtures, making them look new again at a fraction of the cost of replacement or tub liners and also can be done in one day. Also the older bathtubs are often of better quality. There is one problem with new tubs. In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act forced many changes — one being all new bathtubs must have a non-slip surface. When you buy a new tub today, it already has a bottom that can stain due to the manufacturers non-slip surface that is an open, porous area on the bottom. Within a week of using it, the tub’s bottom will be soiled from the oils in your feet and soap residue and it will be difficult to keep clean. Refinishing avoids this by adding a texture to our coating during the process.

TVW: What is an average cost for replacement?
PB: The real costs are tearing out the walls and floor tile due to the new tub being a different shape. There is also the disconnecting the plumbing, removal and disposal of the existing tub, re-installing the tub, new vapor barrier, concrete backer board, new plumbing and control valves and retiling. So depending on quality of materials used and bathroom size, an average bathtub replacement will run two to five thousand and take at least a week to do.

TVW: 
For reglazing?
PB:
For a standard size tub that has normal wear and tear or color change and depending on what part of the country you are in, also the quality of the refinisher, pricing will range from $300 to $500. In the lower price range, you should realize that the company is using low cost materials, skimping on the preparation and cheap labor to offer the lower price. Also they will not cover their warranty by sighting the problem on the customers care as a way to avoid any cost to them. Our charges are very competitive for bathtub reglazing. At $425, we include re-caulking and we add a texture to the bottom to aid in slip prevention at no extra charge. We also stand behind our warranty 100 percent. Tile or surrounds are priced at $9 per square foot and would be approximately $450 for your standard 50 square foot surround. Both can be done in one day.

If the tub or surround has been previously reglazed before it is always recommended to remove the failed finish before applying a new one so stripping charges may apply and would add an addition hundred to a bathtub reglazing job or about $250 to a tub and surround job. There is one additional item I highly recommend and that none of my competitors will mention: the drain and overflow removal. It’s the perfect time to replace your bathtub drain at the time of refinishing. It simply makes for the best job. I can assure you that when I did my own bathtub the drain was pulled and then a new one was re-installed once the job had cured. Why? Two reasons: No. 1, aesthetics and No. 2, the mechanics of coatings. Aesthetically, an old, faded drain will really look out of place against a newly refinished bathtub. It’s the perfect time to replace it. Should your old drain overflow be in great shape it can be re-installed saving you replacement cost.

When a coating is applied, its weakest point is its edges. An edge is a point that can be pushed against. In this case when you refinish your bathtub and you do not pull the drain, there will be a coating edge around the drain versus having the material under your drain with no edge. The force of water flowing over that edge, plus the contraction and expansion of the drain itself, going through hot and cold cycles, are two forces pushing against the edge and can cause premature failure of the coating. Once a coating starts to lift from these forces it can continue to lift and we call this peeling. A coating that could have gone 15 years can fail way short of this life span. When there is rust, soap, bathing oils or moisture trapped under the drain, no amount of preparations is going to remove it unless the drain is pulled. This can prevent any coating from sealing properly around the drain. I have seen coatings go a long time without removing the drains, but it’s a gamble. If rust is under the drain, it will eventually come back if not completely removed and treated before reglazing, causing the material around the drain to blister and peel. We offer removal and re-installation of the drain overflow for $150 and it requires a return trip. The customers may be able to do this themselves if they are handy, but a plumber will be twice that. With the drain removed, we offer a five-year “No Quibble” guarantee, meaning if you have a problem we will simply take care of it. A typical standard tub and surround reglazing with the drain removed can be completed for right around $1,000. Additional services are rust hole repair, failed liner removal, soggy wall repair, re-grouting, cracked fiberglass tub repair, chip repair and erosion damage.

TVW: What about liners?
PB: Bathtub liners come in several grades of material and thickness. One material is PVC. It is softer and scratches more readily, and it tends to yellow over time. The other is acrylic — much tougher but costly. The cheaper liners will also be thinner. The other factor with liners is the tendency to flex and pull away from the wall breaking the seal, allowing water to get underneath, which is why I see most liner companies insisting on adding a surround as well, driving the price sky high. A PVC bathtub liner installed will run about $1,000. With a wall surround liner and depending on the options ordered, add another $1,500 minimum. Should you decided on acrylic tub and surround liner you can expect to double that price to $4,000 or $5,000.

TVW: What do you do when you are reglazing?
PB: Well, the process is, generally, when we get to the tub it has an erosion layer, the shine is gone. It usually has some scratch and chips form just wear and tear, or they have some 1960s colors they are trying to get rid of. So basically, when we go into a job, we’ll take the caulk out. We also like to remove the drain and overflow. You get a much better job when the drain has been pulled. The tub is etched with a mild acid that we dilute on the job. It’s a glass etch. What it does is remove any foreign material and it gets the tub etched for adhesion. Then the chips or scratches are worked out with diamond abrasives or fillers, depending on the damage. Once the tub has been etched, all the damage is repaired. We protect the room with masking. We set up ventilation equipment to capture the overspray and odors. The materials are mixed up. It’s a two-part process. You want to put a primer down. The primer gives you your adhesion as well as mechanical adhesion from the etching. So you get chemical and mechanical adhesion. Once the primer is set, we add the non-skid surface texture to it, and then the two coats of aliphatic acrylic polyurethane is added to the tub. The best material for coating tubs is aliphatic acrylic polyurethane.

TVW: There are kits for DIY, so why couldn’t I just do this myself?
PB: Well, the chemicals aren’t going to be available to you, the acids aren’t going to be available to you. The materials are, again, not going to be sold locally. You’re going to have to purchase it by the gallon. You’re only going to use approximately a little less than a quart on a job so you lose money on that. Plus the skill set of the spraying application are equal to a car painter, which takes several years to acquire the skill to apply the finish without any dirt, texture or runs. As well as all the safety equipment as well as respirators, heavy gloves and chemicals. So by the time you get all the gear, it’s not really a practical do-it-yourself job.

TVW: What is the difference between reglazing and lining?
PB: Refinishing is a coating applied to your fixtures, the best being aliphatic acrylic polyurethane. With the proper primers and preparation, the coating is mechanically attached to your original surface. You keep the look and feel of your tub and tile. Bathtub liners are made from sheets of plastic PVC or acrylic and a vacuum mold. The plastic sheet is heated to the correct temperature, placed over the mold and vacuum is applied drawing the sheet into and around the bathtub mold. Once cooled it is popped off. There are hundreds of bathtub shapes, so all tubs are not a candidate for liners. They build the molds to accommodate as many styles as they can, so they do not always fit the tub as well as they should. The liner should be professionally installed as they must be trimmed to fit the application.

TVW: What is your recommendation? And why?

PB: Bathtub refinishing gives you the best bang for your buck, but you must be careful in selecting a professional refinisher or you will be throwing away your money when the job fails and the company is no longer in business or changed its phone number and name or they simply refuse to honor their guarantee. Also the quality of the job depends on the skill level of the technician applying the coating. It is the same skills that a professional auto painter will have. Your coating should be smooth, free of texture, dirt, and runs. You’re saving a bundle with refinishing. It is not the time to pick the cheapest price. Those companies are not paying for professional sprayers or quality materials and will skimp on the preparations. For bathtub liners, I could easily be an installer for the many liner companies out there. My problem with them is I have seen so many liners fail from water getting underneath them and splitting on the bottom when you don’t get the surround with the liner. Also liners have a plastic feel to them and you lose a couple of inches of floor space. With the cost being two to five times as much as refinishing, I believe refinishing to be the best bet. Which ever you choose, just be sure to check out the companies well. There are shady folks doing both. Google any company and add complaint or scam to the name. Check their record with the BBB and, of course, Angie’s List. Another factor is do they have a home improvement license? It is not required for what we do, but it gives the homeowner recourse from a fund we pay into for protection of shoddy work.

TVW: What do you recommend to homeowners on the best way to care for a reglazed tub?
PB: First of all my suggestions are for all bathtubs reglazed or not. Clean weekly with a mild non abrasive cleaners, dish soap, scrubbing bubbles, even diluted vinegar, etc., works well and use a sponge or wash rag is all that is needed. Don’t do anything that you would not do to your car’s finish. Never use abrasive cleaners as they will scratch the surface causing dullness. If you use a bathmat remove it after each use and place it upside down over the rail so it may dry, the constant moisture along with the suction of the cups will slowly penetrate the coating and cause early failure. Repair leaking faucets as soon as possible, running water made the Grand Canyon, and a leaky faucet will drill a hole through your tub and your reglazing will not stop it. Drain clearing chemicals are misused all the time. They should not be added to a tub with water in them. Drain the water manually and add the chemicals into the drain without getting in on the surface. These chemicals have extreme pH levels and can literally eat the tub’s surface — reglazed or not. Better yet, use a drain snake or add baking soda down the drain and then vinegar. If you have hard water from a well causing staining, you can use automotive type rubbing compounds to polish out the discolorations as you would an old oxidized car. Don’t make it a habit to leave soap, shampoo bottles, etc., on the tubs rails. Use a hanging basket or corner shelf to keep these items in. The alkaline nature of soaps can mar the finish over time. Use your bathtub as a bathtub, not to store your beer keg or rebuild your carburetor in, also if you have a large dog it’s a good idea to put a mat or towel down so they do not dig in with their nails. If you are doing any other work in the bathroom cover your bathtub with some padding to protect it from something dropping.

TVW: Is there a limit to how many times you can reglaze or reline a tub? At one point do you tell a customer, “Dude, buy a new tub.”

PB: Actually you could reglaze or reline indefinitely. We have fixed holes the size of dinner plates, about the only time I turned down a job is when a customer has applied drain acid to a tub with water in it and the next morning it looks like the rocky mountains, we could repair it but the amount of rebuild work is just too much, that’s about the only time I refer them to check into liners or replacement.

TVW; Can you tell me what the price of a standard tub is if there was a need to replace it?
PB: The tubs themselves are not the costly factor — $200 to $800 for a quality standard tub. The real cost comes in when you start having to do the demolition — removing the tile, you have to dissect the plumbing, removal and disposal fees, reinstalling the tub. You have got concrete backer boards. You’ve got new plumbing, new tiling. So depending upon the tiling and the quality of the replacement it could cost $2,000 to $5,000 and take at least a week to do.

TVW: What’s the No. 1 most damaging thing people can do to their tub?
PB: No. 1 is misuse of abrasive cleaners, it’s a viscous circle once you scratch up the surface and it starts holding dirt and oils out comes the bleach and Comet and the problem is compounded. If bleach and comet are the only thing getting it clean, it’s time for a reglazing job or if you want to spend a bunch more, a liner.

TVW: AnythinTwinkle VanWinkle, online content producer
Interview with Andy Etzel, owner, Porcelite Bathtub Refinishing, Plymouth, Minn.
Jan. 5, 2010

Twinkle VanWinkle: Can you state your name, business and location for the record?
Andy Etzel: I’m Andy Etzel. I’m the owner-operator of Porcelite Bathtub and Refinishing Company. What we do is go in and take your old dingy tub and spray new glaze on it to make it smooth and bring the color back and it’s easier to keep clean. It gives it a fresh look, helps with resale purposes or if you’re just looking to spruce up the bathroom.

TVW: What are your specialties?
AE: [Our specialty is] reglazing. We also install acrylic liners. We also resurface countertops, tile floors, as well as resurfacing tile, too.

TVW: How did you get into the tub business?
AE: When I was done with school looking for something to do, we actually ended up buying this company from the original owner who started this company in 1976. We bought it 10 years ago. It was my father-in-law and myself. We’re in business together.

TVW: Have you seen resurgence in recycling older tubs? Or historic restoration?
AE: Business is really good. For the 10 years I have been doing it myself, business has been really busy. It’s been really steady. As far as this year’s concerned, there’s been a little bit of an increase because I think a lot of people are fixing versus replacing, where a lot of times people will tear out and put new stuff in. This year with economy the way it is a lot of people are just resurfacing. It’s much cheaper. It looks the same a brand new bathtub when it’s done and it lasts 15 to 20 years. It’s a lot more economical to do it that way.

TVW: What is an average charge for reglazing?
AE: I charge $425 to reglaze a standard-sized bathtub that has never been done before and doesn’t have too much damage as far as chips or deep scratches are concerned. A typical bathtub that needs reglazing is deglossed, it’s tough to clean, it may have little bit of a rough surface to it, might have stains in it. That is all done for $425. If there is multiple chips to fix or a real big damaged area either from erosion or [whatnot], I have to charge anywhere from about $10 to maybe $35 at the most to fill that will a special epoxy that I mix up and put in there and sand smooth.

TVW: You said you also do liners? What’s the difference?
AE: We’ve been installing liners for about five years now. We bought a franchise from a guy down in Atlanta. Liners do serve their purpose, they have a great durability as far as something dropping on them. They are acrylic so they give. The problem I have with liners is that they are terribly expensive for what they are. We charge $1,100 to reline a bathtub. For reglazing at that $425, you can get a reglazing two times for the price of that liner. I put a lot of liners in apartment buildings where they have no control of how the bathroom is cared for. As far as a residential customer goes, I usually try to steer them into reglazing. You keep your original looking tub. It will last a good 15 to 20 years. With a typical liner you should get all that, maybe a little more. But you’re not going to get a ton more life out of it, so it’s usually not cost effective that way.

TVW: Which one do you recommend more? Liners or reglazing.
AE: Again it depends on the situation or what the tub is going to be used for. Mostly I try to reglaze as much as I can only because it’s more cost effective to my customers. Like I said apartment buildings I usually put liners in because they have no control of how it’s going to be used or cared for. Tenants tend to not clean it very often and drop things in there quite a bit. So the owner doesn’t have to worry. I really only install liners mostly for apartments and reglaze mostly for residential use.

TVW: How would you recommend a customer clean their newly reglazed or lined tub?
AE: Basically I give them a list of cleaners when I’m done. On my sheet I recommend if it has been refinished, use household cleaners made for porcelain, but also you don’t want to use a cleaner you have to wear rubber gloves for. The reason is that it usually has chlorine or bleach or ammonia or vinegar or some other form of an acid that is caustic to porcelain, which is a glass and you can etch it over time. Most people don’t realize that kind of an acid will etch the porcelain that isn’t rinsed off well enough afterwards and that’s what causes it to dull out over time and get harder and harder to clean. You’re kind of opening the pores of the porcelain and you are deglossing the finish. It tends to trap dirt more. A lot of that stuff is OK to use on ceramic tile where porcelain is not because porcelain etches a lot easier than ceramic tile would. So anything labeled safe for porcelain. A general rule is as long as you don’t have to wear rubber gloves with it. I recommend Lysol tub and tile, Mr. Clean, Fantastic, Scrubbing Bubbles. Those are all good. I tend to stay away from Soft Scrub, Comet, Ajax, for obvious reasons. And that spray stuff that you spray on the bathtub walls and walk away from is terrible. It has usually a lot of chlorine in it and ends up putting streaks in the bathtub. I’ve had companies ask me to refinish those because they have ruined a brand new bathtub.

TVW: Is there a point when you just have to say, “Hey, it’s time to get a new tub?”
AE: I’ve actually never found a tub I can’t refinish or line. It can be done an infinite number of times. There is an additional fee to strip an old finish off a tub. I charge $150 to strip a tub to get down to the original finish. Although for some apartment buildings that want me to refinish instead of just lining the tub, I’ll actually just come in about every five or six years and redo them again. I don’t have to restrip them again. I can just sand them and go over the old finish. Yes, there is no limited amount of times.

TVW: What would you say is some of the most damaging things a homeowner can do to their tub to ruin the porcelain?
AE: Leaving shampoo bottles in the corners. That really tends to hold moisture in the corners and stain the corners over time. Really it’s the cleaners that are used on them. Most people don’t realize it’s the cleaner that has that caustic material in them. Ninety-nine percent of the time that’s why I am there redoing because the tub has lost it’s shine or it’s been ruined that way, or there is a stain in the corner they can’t get out.

Comments

very good video. help my home project.

can tubs be refinished in colors other than white?

Yes, bathtubs can be refinished in any color other than white. The coatings are opaque. People ask or wonder if the old color will bleed through. The answer is no, provided you choose a professional refinisher that utilizes the proper coatings.

We're planning a full gut on a small bathroom - what phase of the bathroom renovation should the tub reglazed and, does that process generally include new drain and overflow hard ware typically? Thanks

Cj, The refinishing of the tub doesn't usually include fixtures or drains. I would recommend a licensed plumber to do the plumbing work. Since leaks can cause a world of other damage, make sure they carry a good warranty as well.

Subtlety is the art of saying what you think and getting out of the way before it is understood.

When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.

I learned the hard way, through trial and error, 20 years later my hard paid for techniques were bought out by the most most reputable Industrial equipment and Coatings firm in Texas. Its a skill and trade like any other. The biggest enemy to this industry and I'm sure AE: will agree are the seedy suppliers selling pieces of paper for $500 a weekend class saying your now a professional Refinisher. AE would know because just like painting a car you blend, chemistry, theoretical knowledge then practical field experience just to decent automotive painter. I doubt AE could with any confidence tell anyone he spent a weekend in a room with 10 guys trying to learn the tedium and style nuances of painting a car by way of a dvd book or a $500 weekend class. I would not let them get near a yugo, much less a nice car. What AE does is actually harder than a car because he's mobile and not in a dust free 150, 000 spray booth and powerful equipmemt. Using a franchise may seem comforting but again the fundamentals of Tradesmanship apply. You can buy a $65000 franchise and get 2 weeks training but it still does not replace experience. Give me a guy like AE he'll win everytime. Good products help but all the success is 100 % basad on the applicators experience. When the products are similar the Refinisher always makes the difference. Obviously AE is just a "shade better". No pun intended.

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Jennifer Wiley

Jennifer Wiley is a videographer at Angie's List, where she shoots and edits videos for Angie's List TV partners across the United States. She enjoys getting out in the field and interacting with members and service providers.

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Bathtub refinishing

Refinishing instead of replacing your bathtub can freshen up the look of your bathroom and also keep your wallet from taking too much of a hit. Two bathtub refinishers explain the process and give tips on maintaining a tub’s finish.

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