Ooops I dropped a tool in the bathtub while installing new tile and now there’s a huge black chip in the porcelain – crud, now what?
First, resist the urge to curse the home remodeling gods. Yes, we know it’s ironic and unfair that you invested time, money and energy creating this beautiful new bathroom and now there is a ugly spot in your bathtub. (face palm) Let’s focus on the solution. How do you fix it? White out? Silicone? Nail polish? DIY kit? If you use any of those options, it will cover up the repair – but it will be very noticeable. There are an unlimited shades of white out there. The chances that you’ll have the correct shade on hand are 100/1. You’ll spend more time and money trying to cover up the damage vs just getting it repaired correctly from the start.
Hire a professional bathtub specialist to repair the damage (i.e. us). It will take 30 minutes – 1 hour depending on the damage/ 24 hours for it to fully cure and your set. How will it look? The specialist you hire should be using a high gloss finish to help blend the repair into the shiny porcelain/acrylic finish. Any individual that doesn’t know there was a chip in existence, will never find it. If the finish is taken care of, the repair can last a long as the life of the tub itself.
Save time, money and stress – get the chip repaired correctly, the first time.
Do you have a bathtub that’s flaking of peeling? Most of the time these issues can be fixed quite easily, at a fraction of the cost .
When your bathtub finish is flaking off, it means that it has been refinished before. If it was refinish correctly, the finish should last 10-15+ years. If it was poorly finished (i.e. improper chemicals, lack of acid etch etc.), the finish will flake and peel much faster. Irregardless, you’ve got yourself a peeling tub. But instead of applying Aloe Vera, the flaking surface needs to stripped and the bathtub refinished again. Stripping the bathtub is a very labored process, but doable.
The correct way to strip the bathtub is to put an aircraft paint remover on the finish and scrape every inch of the tub down with a razor blade. This can take 1-3 hours on average, depending on the type of material that was original applied to the bathtub.
The bathtub should then be acid etched (again if it was applied originally). Multiple times?? YES! The acid roughs up the top of the procelian finish on the bathtub. It opens up the pores in the finish, giving the primer beaultiful adhesion to the bathtub. If the bathtub was refinished before, you’ll need to reopen those pores. Some of them have been filled when the original finish was applied. The acid will be washed off and the refinish will then be completed. There is a specific proven process that needs to be follow to be sure that you new refinish surface is of good quality. To review the correct steps your bathtub refinish specialist should be completing, vista our Bathtub Reglazing blog.
If this sounds like entirely too much trouble, we’d be happy to take care of your flaking or peeling bathtub repair, and if you contact us soon, we can get it done in time for the holidays and the parties and guests they bring!
Bathtub reglazing is a very complicated process. Don’t be fooled by reglazing terminology, there are specific things to look for in your selected bathtub reglazing specialist. We will be looking at company requirements/policies, the correct reglazing process and customer feedback.
State Licensing and Registration
First, some states require specific certification to be able to provide reglazing to their customers. Call your state’s Business & Licensing Division to confirm if your area requires any special certification. Our state of CO doesn’t have any additional requirements, as of now.
Secondly, research that the company is registered and licensed with the state to preform work in that state. A LOT of companies have not completed this requirement. (State of Colorado Business & Licensing website http://www.sos.state.co.us/biz/BusinessEntityCriteriaExt.do)
Any and all contractors/subcontractor should be insured and bonded if you want to protect your home. If an accident should occur and they don’t have insurance you may need to spend extra cash to repair your home from any mishap that may occur. Accidents do happen, be sure the specialists that enter your home have coverage.
A legitimate bathtub reglazing company will provide the best safety equipment to their specialists. Full body suits, protective gloves, eye and ear protection and a full-face atmosphere supplied respirator (i.e. A respirator that covers their full face and supplies fresh are to the individual). The chemical itself is not toxic to customers, but specialist are exposed to the material on a daily basis. If the company provides inadequate safety equipment, either they are 1. Not using the appropriate materials for the refinish or 2. Not providing the necessary equipment for their specialist as they should be. Either way, take this into account.
A solid bathtub reglazer will provide you a written warranty on a standard refinish. Review the term and the maintenance requirements for this warranty. There will usually be general cleaning instructions provided on the companies website. Consider the length of the warranty. I know money talks but if you need to spend the same amount (maybe more) to strip and reglaze the surface again in another 1-3 years, it may be worth considering the longer warranty. Food for thought.
Correct Reglazing Process
Each bathtub reglazing specialist will have a slightly different process, but there are 2 things that MUST be done to expect the best results.
1. A porcelain bathtub must be acid etched. This is one of the first steps to complete and it is crucial for the adhesion of the primer coats. Now, some will call it an “acid wash”, ask for further clarification. General cleaning materials sold at your local general store have an acid in them (i.e. Scrubbing Bubbles, etc). That’s how that particular chemical cleans (which you should never use on any high gloss surface. Never ever. It eats the porcelain. But I’m jumping ahead of myself….). So when a company says it’s using an acid wash, it’s just a commercial cleaner. You want an acid on the porcelain. It opens up the pores in porcelain, removes any soap scum and body oil, eats surface rust and roughens the surface so the primes has something to grip too. You wouldn’t want to stain your hardwood floors without sanding them. Same concept here. Be sure they are using an acid. That’s crucial.
2. Urethane Acrylic top coat is the only material on the market that you should have your bathtub top coat reglazed with. If the company you are considering uses an Epoxy top coat, don’t even bother. Epoxy’s are an incredible material for the adhesion, but they are not created to receive constant water. An Epoxy top coat can flake on you within a couple months to a couple years. They aren’t proven to last in this particular industry. The Urethane Acrylic top coat mimics porcelain and is the most durable material, second to porcelain itself (which is baked on). When the finish is well taken care of, you can usually expect 10 – 15+ years out of a refinish if the company follows these 2 crucial steps.
Ask for references! Call those reference! Ask about their experience with that company. Were they on time? How was the communication? Where they educated and informed over the phone/in person? Did they feel like the company was giving them a sales pitch or actually looking out for their best interest?
Yelp, Google +, BBB, website testimonials, Angie’s List, Facebook, LinkedIn….there are many more online tools you can use to review a companies performance before you decide to hire them. Take advantage of that information at your fingertips!
I hope this helps in your search for an bathtub reglazing specialist. If you need any further assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call. This is what we do.
“Rub-dub-dub, we fix your tub.”
It never a fun topic, but today we are going to be discussing slip and fall injuries in the bathroom… Why are we going to play debbie downer and talk about this? Because it’s important and the statistics are pretty grim.
“Older people(65 and older) typically have greater difficulties with mobility, vision and balance making them more likely to fall or slip which accounted for 79% of bathroom injuries for this demographic,”
“Over a third of the elderly required hospital admission following a bathroom incident. 540,000 slip-fall injuries, requiring hospital care, occur in North America each year.”
We want to keep you (and your loved ones) safe, so let’s look at ways to reduce your odds of having a slip and fall injury.
Non-flooring related options
Grab Bars – These may be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally (see photo below) depending on the type of tub or shower, and the bathing preferences of the customer.
Shower Seat – this can be gam changing for people with mobility issues, there are a variety of materials from natural woods to non slip plastics, and they fold up very nicely as well, so the option of bathing is not eliminated.
Here’s a great example a shower that has been converted to minimize the risk of falls, we have a grab bar, converted walk in tub, shower seat, and textured floor (all of which we can install for you!)
Flooring – In our decade of experience, we have experienced several flooring options. Sadly, most of them are not that great of options. But we will discuss each one along with the pros and cons.
Bathmats – A bathmat can provide good quality support on an existing slippery surface. Two kinds are made: one with suction cups, one without.
- The bathmat withOUT the suction cup on the bottom work well, but every now and again it may scoot around on the bathtub surface. So be mindful of that. After each use, you’ll need to remove the bathmat. Water that sits under that mat will etch into the bathtub surface, causing it to become harder and harder to clean. This Bathmats can be a little more tricky to find, but are recommended over the alternative when it comes to the life of your bathtub.
- The bathmat WITH the suction cups tends to be a preference among our customers, but is one of the worst non-slip surfaces to use. The suction cups give consumers peace of mind when it comes to slipping, but the suction cups quickly destroy the bottom of any bathtub. Again, the water under the suction cups (in a concentrated area with trapped air) along with any under the mat Itself, etch into the tub. Applying weight to that suction cup area, forces the compressed air and water aggressively a crossed the surface of the bathtub, causing the water to etch into the bathtub. (Think about it, water carved the Grand Canyon, what do you think it’s doing when it’s trapped in the top of you bathtub surface) “I’ll remove it after each use.” It’s a thought, but the constant pulling of that suction cup pressure several times daily does just as much damage.
Stick On Bath Decals – The concept for bath decals is a dud. It’s basicly, sticking stickers on a slick surface that experiences constant water. Most of the negative comments made by consumers address the difficulty in getting the decals to stick. If your lucky enough to get them to stick, know after you remove them, you’ll need to get your bathtub refinished. The decals imprint the on the tub; when removed the decal is still seen in the bathtub floor. The only way to repair this is to refinish the tub.
Non-Slip Surface added to bathtub – This is the best option for avoiding a slip and fall, in our opinion. It’s built into the finish. It doesn’t need to be addressed after every use, like you would with a bathmat. There are fine granules, smaller than sand, that are mixed into the primer and placed in a uniformed patterned on the bottom of your bathtub. Primer is then sprayed and then the top coat. It creates great traction, but not enough to where laying in the tub for a bath won’t be uncomfortable. Regular cleaning will be required with this option. The small textured surface is rough and can collect dirt if it’s not cleaned regularly.
Please be smart about a bath and shower safety. If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Tile Replacement vs Tile Refinish
What are the advantages of Tile Replacement vs. Tile Refinish? Both options have advantages, but which option would be best? Well, let’s look at your situation.
1. Why are you wanting to change the tile?
2. Is the condition of tile and grout in good shape?
3. Are there any loose tiles?
Tile Replacement can be necessary. For example: If the tile is loose and/or falling off the wall, there is a good chance that the tile is not supported to the correct backerboard. Many attempt use drywall as a substrate for the shower surround. DO NOT DO THIS. There is no moisture barrier between the tile and drywall/framing. When water reaches behind the tile, it will disentegrate the drywall and possibly even the framing. That’s a whole other mess. Remove one of the loose tiles gently and be sure there is a backer board behind it. If not, it’s best to remove the tile and start from scratch. But this time, do it correctly with some backer board and a waterproof membrane. Situations like this would require the tile to be replaced. It is a more expensive option, but doing it correctly will save you more money in the long run.
Getting the Tile Refinished is a benefit in many ways. You first need to look closely at your tile and grout lines. If the grout lines are hidden or very worn, you will need to get it re-grouted before you refinish it. Small cracks or chips in a few tiles can be easily fixed. Assuming that the tile and the grout are in good shape, the dynamic of the entire room will change with a tile refinish. When the finish is done properly, you can expect 15+ years out of it, before it will need to be refinished again. It is custom too. You can select classic white, an almond to match your sink and toilet or one of 25 multi-color finishes (wink, wink). The Tile Refinish can be completed in a day and will only require 24 hours to cure. Then your set.
The BEST PART is Tile refinishing will save you:
Time (1 day process)
Money (can be 1/3 of the cost of replacing)
Showering in your teenagers bathroom for a period of days (you don’t know what’s in there)
If your unsure about which option would be best? Call us out and we would be happy to take a look.
Reglaze or Replace my outdated countertops… Which one makes sense for my bathroom?
Countertop refinishing, a fast, practical and budget friendly way to give your bathroom a facelift!
Refinishing a countertop is a fabulous way to give your bathroom a chic, modern feel. Most countertops have great ‘bones’ meaning the shape and size are right for the room, but the pattern is outdated, or the color is truly awful (remember that avocado green that was EVERYWHERE in the late 70’s – we blame the drugs.)
Replacing countertops often involves major construction, contractors, and a lot of money (usually in the 4 figures) and headaches… Vs reglazing where within one day, you can have the whole dynamic of your room change with a counter top refinish. By reglazing them with a modern multicolor finish, you’ll update the entire room, at a fraction of the cost of replacement. There are 25 amazing colors to choose from. Customize your countertops to your liking. Colorado Tub Repair is proud to be the top counter top refinisher in Denver, CO!
Okay, I’m sold, so how does the process work?
First, the large appliances will be removed, if possible. Then the entire room will be masked off. Every square inch of the countertop will be sanded with a range of aggressive sanders. The counter top is cleaned, prepped and a bonding agent is applied. Primer is sprayed, followed by the multicolor finish. It takes 1 to 1.5 hours for the multicolor to dry. After the chemical is dry to the touch, a protective sealant is applied. Wait 24 hours, have a bead of silicone applied around the edges and your all set. Go Green, save money and REFINISH YOUR COUNTER TOPS!
There are a few options when it comes to how to repair a cracked shower pan. If you don’t know your options or do your research, you’ll be throwing money down the drain (pun not intended).
There 2 important things you need to find out first:
1. What caused the crack? (i.e. Did something heavy dropped/fell? Is it from regular use? Are they stress cracks?, etc.)
This information you would need to provide to your bathtub refinish specialist. How it cracked may determine the best option for repairing the broken surface.
2. Does the area surrounding the crack flexing? If you apply weight to the area, does it bend, bow or give?
No flex? EXCELLENT!! There is a very good chance this crack can be easily fixed.
If the area flexes under pressure, your shower pan doesn’t have the proper support underneath it. You would be shocked as to how many shower pans lack some, if not all, support when they were installed during construction. Now, there is a possibility that the shower pan can be salvaged (by adding support) if the flexing area is approximately 1 foot in diameter. How is this done? The specialist will drill a hole (possibly even multiple holes) into the unsupported area or cut the area out, then apply a high density support foam. This support product will need to be special ordered. Avoid using the support foam you can find at a local general store. Those products will not hold applied weight for an extended period of time. The holes/cut out will then be filled with a water-proof filler and sanded flush. The whole area is then cleaned and prepped. The urethane acrylic color is matched to the existing color of the shower pan and sprayed in the needed areas or the whole shower pan can fully refinished; whichever is needed. TA-DA! (You may need to leave that surface alone for 1-3 days depending on the high density foam cure time.)
Now in our experience, if the flexing area is larger than a foot, replacing the shower basin is usually the best option. You can still TRY to have a specialist repair it, but it may just be putting a band-aid on a broken leg. High density support foam will only do so much. Replacing may be your best/only option. Talk to a specialist, get an expert opinion, but be cautious. An honest bathtub refinish specialist will let you know is the salvage is worth pursuing. Don’t be taken advantage of. Do your research. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
How to clean your bathtub directly effects the life of the tub itself. Common cleaners that you may find at your local general store are actually damaging to the porcelain, acrylic or gel coat finish. We are refinishing new tubs of homes that are 2 years old due to aggressive cleaning chemicals and bathmats (that will be a different blog)!
For example, AJAX, Comet, Soft Scrub, Scrubbing Bubbles, Tilex, are very damaging to any new or refinished bathtub.Why?
AJAX, Comet, etc. are very abrasive. For a porcelain tub, the high gloss finish would wear quickly using these. Regular cleanings will opening up the pores of the porcelain over time. Dirt, grim and soap scum collect in these pores and the tub becomes harder and harder to clean. We have even seen women use SOS pads to clean their bathtubs!!!
Soft Scrub is another very common cleaner, but the formula for this chemical contains acid. With regular cleanings, this chemical will strip the bathtub of it’s high gloss finish and, again, open up the pores. Then your back to aggressive cleaners. This applies to homemade DIY cleaners too. Any thing requiring vinegar (or even bleach) in the ingredients will damage your surface.
The best cleaner we have found over the years is Dawn Liquid Dish Soap. It cuts though oil, gentle on the finish and yet cuts through the dirt and soap scum. If you use dish soap to clean you brand new or refinished bathtub, you can expect the finish to hold 2 to 3 times longer than if you used abrasive or acidic cleaners. The KEY to this is, you must clean it regularly. If you let the tub go uncleaned for a period of a month or two, the dish soap will not cut through the build up.
If you tub is already to the point of needing aggressive cleaners? Stop. You need to refinish the tub, give it a new shiny high-gloss surface again. After it has that new finish, use the correct cleaners. You won’t regret it.
Why is my bathtub reglaze peeling in Denver? There can be several reasons!
We run into thousands of bathtub reglazes that are done improperly.
- The bathtub was not acid etched. Many companies in Denver use just a quick wipe on bonding agent or even just a laquor to prep the bathtub before it is reglazed! How do you expect a new finish to adhere to the old one without roughing up the surface? Placing an acid etch on the bathtub does just that. It opens the pours in the porcelain, so the primer has something to adhere too. Which brings us to our next point…
- Primer. If the bathtub doesn’t have multiple coats of primer applied to it first, the top coat won’t have the best adhesion. Primer is designed to adhere to the original surface, providing binding layer the is better prepared to receive the high-gloss top coat.
- The bathtub was reglazed with an Epoxy. Stay away from Denver companies that reglaze with Epoxies. When it comes to a surface that will receive constant water, the material yellows and brittles. An epoxy finish can last 6 months to a couples years, in most cases.
- The reglaze has served it’s purpose and is starting to show signs of wear. A reglaze, when completed properly and well taken care of can last 10-15+ years. If the new finish has lasted that stand of time, but has begun to peel, it may be time to get the bathtub reglazed again. The old finish would need to be stripped off down to the original porcelain and refinished again.
Be educated on the correct procedures when looking into the bathtub reglazing option in Denver. Before you hire a technician, discuss their process. Be aware of the time line required and chemicals they are using. Ask about warranties and maintenance instructions. Be informed.