Bathtub Refinishing Vs Remodeling

chicagoland bathtub refinishing

In our downturn economy options for remodeling your bathroom abound, doing your research is a must. In this article, I would like to compare a full gut renovation vs. bathroom refinishing. Some would say refinishing just doesn’t seem mainstream enough, others might say its just paint; I would beg to differ. Refinishing tile which is less popular than bathtub refinishing will actually hold up a lot better than a bathtub that has been refinished.

Water does not pool on your tiles rather it pools in your bathtub and overtime will begin to wear away at the finish ( A refinished bathtub should last 10 years with proper care; tile walls even longer). Most people understand that a gut renovation is essentially a new bathroom when finished and obviously the most expensive. Another thought is a partial renovation of a bathroom that can save you money instead of a complete renovation. Also, combining refinishing and renovating (most popular would be to leave the bathtub in place and have it refinished) is a great money saver and probably will give you the best look in the end.

To further the discussion of bathtub refinishing vs. remodeling; they’re both good options, in my opinion, it just depends on your budget. If you have the money for a full gut renovation that would be the way to go. There are ups and downs to both options, a full gut requires lots of demolition and downtime to your bathroom, so if you do not have a second bathroom this option can get old really quick. There are also other factors like permits, the big mess created and your life being upside down for a couple of weeks. The upside is the end result will be a brand new bathroom with all of the accessories and design changes you desire.

But if your budget does not have a full gut renovation in the near future, then bathroom refinishing might be the way to go. It’s not brand new stuff, but it looks like it is, and the upside is little to no downtime. Most bathrooms can be completed in as little as one day. You can also change the color of your tub and tiles, have the tub one color and the tiles another, or just have it reglazed the same color. Refinishing has come along way in the past ten years.

Bathtub refinishing vs. remodeling; which one is better, it all depends on what is better for your budget and needs at the time. Just make all your decisions wisely on who you hire or you could end up paying twice for the same job. I’ve heard of countless times where contractors come in and promise the world and leave you with an unfinished job. Often contractors will leave the job with the bulk of the money and your left to hire another contractor to finish up. Usually, the next contractor will not want to take on the job because there is not enough money in it and most probably the last contractor has left a mess to fix. Make sure you have a signed contract with a payment schedule and time frame!!

Also, make sure they are a legit business as opposed to fly-by-night. If you are looking for professional bathtub refinishing in Chicagoland areas, then we highly recommend the Chicago Tub Pros as the #1 service provider. An example of doing your due diligence would be to check the better business bureau or simply ask for references. That’s it for now, good luck with your next bathroom remodeling project.

How to Start a Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing and Painting Project

Remove the cabinet doors. I’ve found an easy way to assure the doors go back in the right places once you’ve removed them: number each door in an inconspicuous place on the wood (where the hinge will be) and place a piece of tape over the number (so that you don’t accidentally paint over it!) Write the same number on the inside of the cabinet frame (just inside the cabinet) placing a piece of tape over it as well.

Sand the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Take the cabinet doors outside in an open area to sand, because this will produce a lot of dust. Wear a dust mask. Place some plywood on some sawhorses then lay the cabinet door on top for a workable surface. Use a palm sander with 50 grit sandpaper to bring the cabinet door to the bare wood and ensure proper adhesive of the oil base primer.

Sand the cabinet frames. Since you have the added challenge of sanding inside, you’ll want to avoid producing lots of dust. Instead of traditional sandpaper, use a chemical solution called liquid sandpaper. It will slightly melt the varnish and clean the surface so that the oil base primer can be applied.

Apply two coats of oil-based primer to the doors and drawer fronts. Spraying a lacquer oil-based primer is more efficient as the drying time is typically 15 minutes between primer coats – lots less time waiting as compared with waiting on other typical oil-based primers. Sand between coats. Since lacquer primer does not raise the wood grain, sanding will be easier. Allow at least 24 hours before applying finish coats of paint. Then spray or brush two oil-based finish coats waiting 24 hours between coats. Spraying creates a much smoother finish.

Apply two coats oil-based primer to the cabinet frames. Brush the paint. Let the primer dry.

Then the preparation at this point will consider caulking obvious cracks in the trim and where the wall meets the cabinet frame, glazing compound works well for nail holes, alike version of painters putty, also a spackling compound needs to be applied on certain joints on the cabinet frame to slightly hiding where the cabinets are piece together Sand between coats. Apply two oil-based finish coats. Waiting 24 hours between coats.

Finally, a word of advice. Painting requires a great amount of skill, patience, and attention to detail that can only be learned through experience. The kitchen is an important focus point of the home interior. You want a factory finish, not just a coat of paint. Painting kitchen cabinets is a craft. Hiring a real craftsman to handle the project is a much less expensive option compared with purchasing and installing a new set of kitchen cabinets.

Hotel Bathtub Refinishing Buying Guide


Pick the right contractor to do the job

Experience in a hotel and industrial applications is a must. Several trades are involved in a hotel remodeling project, plumbing, electrical, drywall, mechanical systems, tile walls, and floors after these is where bathtub refinishing comes in and before wallpaper, painting, and carpeting, coordinating and scheduling is very important and the bathtub refinishing contractor must be experienced to handle this fast-moving schedule.

Manpower and equipment are also a concern; they must be able to provide enough personnel to work in 10 or 20 rooms per floor, most hotel bathrooms have no windows so the right venting is very important and be provided.

Select the right bathtub refinishing coating

Bathtub refinishing in commercial locations is a much different job than residential installations. First, there are the venting issues, if the coating is to last any longer than a year, you’d better make sure you are getting a high-quality professional acrylic urethane enamel coating. There are versions that claim to have very little smell and dry within hours, (wander products) but the reality is a good coating will have reduced VOC’s but they all smell and venting are a must regardless of what people may tell you.

The right bathtub refinishing process

I have been refinishing bathtubs for over 25 years, I have tried most of the products available and never been convinced enough about bathtub refinishing systems that do not use an acid etching process, lack a primer system to ensure bonding and rely solely on low quality, fast dry coating.

I support the tried and true method of thorough cleaning, caulking removal, acid etching, and epoxy primer system, followed by the best quality aliphatic acrylic urethane. It is really the only way to guarantee consistent good results.

Added value services

The right bathtub refinishing job is not complete without these essential services:

  • Clean-up after completion: Tape and paper removal should not be left for housekeeping or engineering to be removed, it should be removed by the refinisher after completion.
  • Non-slip finish should be included in the scope of work as a safety measure, not as an option.
  • A professional silicone caulking line around the tubs or showers is a must for a professional installation.
    Work with people you can trust

It’s always one of the most important things to consider, today in these economic times contractors come and go, a lot of people can sell you promises they cannot keep and put your reputation at risk.