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.”