bathtub refinish

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  #1  
Old 12-09-04, 06:56 AM
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bathtub refinish

hi.

I don't want to take out my current tub, but it has a few chips and two spots of rust. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Charlie
 
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Old 12-09-04, 12:55 PM
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ataririot,

This isn't for the DIY'er but you may want to read this post,

http://forum.doityourself.com/showth...ub+refinishing

Good Luck!
 
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Old 12-10-04, 08:35 AM
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I had my tub professionally refinished last year. This forum was very helpful in making me make the decesion.

My contractor offered a lifetime warranty for an extra charge and I took it. Good thing, as he's had to come back twice in the first 14 months.
 
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Old 12-10-04, 12:09 PM
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mrchris,

Thanks for proving my point on refinishing. It's nice for others to get it from the "horses mouth", no offense meant but you know what I mean.

This is something that everyone should know and really think about what they are spending money on and that it will need to be repaired sometime down the line but twice in 14 months is unusual but it happens.

In your case, if you had to do it over again, would you refinish or be willing to replace with a new fixture(s)? Was the minimal outlay of money the big factor or was it the overall labor involved if you were to do it yourself that made you consider refinishing?

Keep an eye on the postings here and provide any input. I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-10-04, 02:24 PM
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my tub is steel not ceramic. isn't that easier to refinish? I'm not sure.. MrChris did you have a ceramic or porcelin tub or steel? What is the difference in quality of refinish--i guess what i'm asking is one okay to look good for the diyer or are they all just as hard? I've read some other posts where people did steel tubs with a kit from Lowes and were satisfied.

Also, I saw on DIY Network where a couple was refinishing a bathroom and they put in an acrylic covering into their existing tub instead of replacing the tub or painting that. Anyone know more about these and where I could look into this?

Any help on this would be great.

Charlie
 
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Old 12-10-04, 04:22 PM
Bill Syms Jr.
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Bathtub refinishing

Good thing I have 2 eyebrows. One was raised over the "lifetime warranty", the other over you tub being repaired twice in 14 months.

Did you damage the coating on the tub yourself or did it fail?

In California, contractors are required to guarantee their works appearance (looks) for 4 years. Most reglazing companies warranty they tubs for 5 years, some 10. They are also specific, covering workmanship and not "man made damage". I usually shy away from lifetime guarantees (for paint) as they are more of a sales tool than anything else.
 
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Old 12-10-04, 04:26 PM
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Bill,

Good Point! I second that eye brow thing too!

Glad you're back!
 
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Old 12-11-04, 09:35 AM
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Preperation is key to refinishing anything. including bathtubs. If you had to have it repaired as you say and it wasn't because you dropped something or used the wrong cleaner,then it was probably due to prep work or outdated product. Maybe it wasn't etched, maybe some silicone wasn't removed-whatever. Some steel tubs are pretty difficult to etch as I recall[don't have many here]. There are new primers that do not need etching if you believe the advertising. BTW what caused you to call the guy back everybody wants to know ataririot. Please be specific

After reading the post that was referenced I noted a reference to lead. Please read this and Know that it is true.


http://www.lead.org.au/lanv4n4/lanv4n4-18.html

This would lead one to believe that if you have an old tub in any condition it may be wise to get it refinished if it tests positive for lead. especially if you love you kids.

Refinishing bathtubs, when done properly, is an extremely viable and cost effective alternative to a plumber,a tile setter and a new tub. The new properly applied surface is extremely durable and can't even be chisled off without great difficlty. The countertop coating is so good I think it is easier to scratch formica. They can be made to any solid color you want and an assortment of granite like colors and are all repairable unlike formica type products

Use of harsh cleaners is not reccomended even on porcelain tubs so it should not really be a concern when considering refinishing. Some good advice would be to clean it before it gets too scanky. It can also be buffed out years later to a new looking finish.

Do not confuse professional products with the stuff in the depot. Please! And before anybody puts it down in favor of a new tub for 5 or 6 times the price Please do not rely on some second hand info from someone who had a problem they probably caused or was caused by a faulty installation.
 
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Old 12-15-04, 11:32 AM
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Whoops, let this thread fly under my radar. . . .

To answer some of the follow-up questions regarding my tub refinishing experience:

I have a 1948 cast-iron corner tub. I believe the original finish is (was) porcelin. My neighborhood boasts high pressures and hard water, and I believe the combination of both lead to the gradual wearing down of the finish around the drain, almost to bare metal.

Doug, replaing the tub still makes me grimace. The 1948-era ceramic tile is at least 5' high all the way round the bathrooom, and I have a feeling it would all end up coming out if the tub was replaced. Cost, time, and likelihood of PTSD motivated me to refinish the tub as opposed to gutting the entire bathroom.

My refinisher had to honor his warranty the first time for his doing. He couldn't (or didn't try to) remove the brass fitting where the drain meets the tub, so he finished right over it, but didn't put it on thick enough so it immediately (by that I mean before the tub was first used) discolored. He applied some more product and it's been fine ever since.

(Note: Replacing the old tub drain is in my "10-yr plan", and at that time I intend to carefully cut the finish around the old drain with a utility knife)

The second time may have been my doing. His warranty sheet states "Keep tub clean as dried soap will cause peeling and void the warranty." Well, I hadn't exactly been judicious in keeping it clean as many 27-yr old bachelors are, and it started to peel around the drain. I expected a lecture, but my refinisher reparied the finish no questions asked. I'll keep it cleaner in the future. . . . And no bleach for sure.

To summarize my experience from the customer side of it:
1) It is the most cost-effective solution to a warn down bathtub, but you are getting what you pay for. Your tub is now a painted surface and should be treated with kid gloves.
2) I wasn't briefed on all the warranty disclaimers (never use bleach, no dried soap, keep it clean) until after the job was over. This is something to keep in mind if you're considering having this done in a rental or a situation where you can't control everything that happens to the tub.
3) The guy is a one-man operation. I have a feeling he spends quite a bit of time honoring his warranty commitments. There is the risk that he could go out of business at any moment.
 
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Old 12-15-04, 01:13 PM
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Seems like 100% of your probs came from the drain area. Not unusual. I must tell you that I make the trip to the house[if possible] to look at the situation. Two things I look for are is there a vanity too close to the tub to get a regular gun in there and second does the drain flange at least move. I always assume the plumbing drips. I don't know that I would do the tub if I couldn't at least move the drain and get under it with product. If I did do the tub i would give the owner the option of getting a plummer in to fix it or accepting no warrantee for problems that occur because the drain couldn't be removed by me. I am assuming that he "couldn't" turn the drain.

As far as soap residue goes I think it would take quite a while for it to peel the tub if at all. Maybe on a tub refinished over the drain where there is no complete seal. I think it had more to do with the way he handled the drain than the soap. When I leave a job and say good-bye I usually mean it. I think this refinisher does spend a lot of time on call backs. I just simply is not worth it to me to keep coming back to the same job. Especially when I know from the get go I will be back.

I wonder how much this guy made off of your job. With 3 trips to your place. I doubt he cleared much. Doesn't seem worth it to me. Some things are better left undone [at least un done by me]. Hope your problems are over,and please don't judge all refinishers by just 1. All of the good work done does not get recognition because people do not look for a site to tell the world how good their tub came out.
 
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Old 12-15-04, 02:16 PM
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joneq,

Thanks for your assessment. This guy was referred to me by a close friend whose tub has been perfect for two years after the refinish job (even after his wife dropped a shaving can in the tub).

I'm not embarrased to say charge was $300. (In Indianapolis, the prices range from $200 to $400, warranties vary.) After two trips back, I'd say his profits are at best neutralized. I have nothing against him, you, or anyone in the bathtub refinishing business based on this experience. I respect your right to say "Sorry, I can't do it if the drain can't come loose", and his to take on the project.

From what I'm hearing, in the event the refinish fails again around the drain and the refinisher disappears, I would have to address the drain prior to repairing the finish.
 
  #12  
Old 12-15-04, 02:55 PM
Bill Syms Jr.
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Bathtub refinishing

You should NEVER reglaze the drain when reglazing the bathtub. Moisture and air between the tub and drain will make the coating delaminate.

Reglazing outfits do this to save time;

a) The area around the drain is difficult to repair if acid damaged

b) If you are not good at applying the topcoat, the finish will run over the drain

c) The reglazer does not know how to remove / replace the drain

Removing tub drains can be difficult unless you know how.

If you can fit any kind of tool in the drain to twist it out, then you're in the clear. But lets say you need a tool. There are forks and dumbells that fit into the drain through the cross which enable you to wrench the drain out. Unfortunatly half the time you end up breaking the cross out of the drain (or maybe there was no cross to begin with). This is where the spud wrench comes in handy. You put the end of the spud wrench into the tub drain and wrench it out.

***DISCLAIMER***

Bear in mind I learned this the hard way. Most tub drains, in old houses are frozen solid. Although the spud wrench sometimes works, it usually twists the plumbing apart under the tub. Now you will have to replace the whole drain / overflow assembly (good news is you get a new drain). If you can't remove the drain under your own strength, you should not proceed.

OK, how does the expert change a tub drain that is frozen?

SAWS-ALL! (reciprocating saw). Leave the overflow cap installed. This will keep the drain / overflow assembly rigid while removing / replacing the drain (saves a trip under the house). Cut 1/4 of the drain out. Then with a hammer and chisel, very gently tap on the side of the drain which was cut untill it starts to loosen. Keep working it untill you can twist the drain out by hand.

When reglazing a bathtub, this should be done BEFORE the tub is coated. Remove the drain, wet sand the area of the tub under the drain and install new drain with plumbers putty.

Why? When you install the tub drain, it should be very tight. When you tighten the drain it will cut / scrape the new coating on the tub around the drain. The drain should also be installed before acid washing so you can wash the excess putty completely off the tubs surface, as the excess putty left on the tub could cause the coating to delaminate.

You can mask off the drain with masking tape and a sharp razor blade. Once the tub is coated and cured, remove the tape. As long as you did not apply too much coating, it will come out looking like a new tub with a new drain.
 
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Old 12-15-04, 03:15 PM
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I didn't mean to imply that he did a bad job or that you felt that alll refinishers were bad. It is just that a lot of people come here and look around and could get the wrong impression about bathtub refinishing or countertops for that matter. They are great alternatives to complete remodels.



As far as another failure goes. I think I would try to score around the drain and really try to get it out. Then sand the rough edges and prime and recoat. Then put the flange back It shouldn't really peel if it is under the drain and was etched and prepared right in the first place. Good luck. I
 
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Old 12-20-04, 01:30 PM
Bill Syms Jr.
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Bathtub refinishing

Sorry,

Didn't mean to give that impression either. I've personally been refinishing bathtubs for 14 years (C-61 licensed) and do it in conjuction with complete bathroom remodles.

What I am trying to point out is that refinishing outfits that refinish over the tub drain are doing it for no other reason that to save time. Just pointing out how a professional does it right.

(Look at the bright side, my wife has to put up with me every day)
 
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