Is Bathtub Refinishing Safe?

Anything that we, as consumers, are going to have performed in our home should be fully analyzed prior to scheduling the work.
man refinishing a bathtub
Surface Doctors refinishing technician carefully prepping surface of bathtub. Plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, etc…, these are all specified trades that carry a great degree of risk. Many may not consider the risk or “unsafe” conditions that can be created. If a toilet or faucet is not installed correctly, there could be a problem with leaking, causing mold. If a light fixtures connection does not have proper integrity or the circuit is overloaded, a fire could occur. If a bearing wall is altered or compromised, major structural problems can be created. Much of this risk is greatly reduced when professional and certified tradesman are hired for the job.
refinishing a bathtub
Bathtub refinishing is quite the same. Refinishing or reglazing involves the use of many chemicals. If the individual performing the work is not a certified refinishing technician, the results can be very “unsafe”. We refinish surfaces on bathtubs, tile and countertops. From porcelain to fiberglass, and cultured marble to laminate, the varying properties of these surfaces require extensive knowledge of what specific chemicals to use and what not to use. Some of our chemical treatments can do absolutely nothing to one surface, while essentially destroying another. Unsafe conditions can occur if an improperly trained individual is assigned to a job.
Surface Doctors refinishing technician carefully protecting the bathroom during our refinishing process.
The Surface Doctors technicians have direct interaction with chemists who create the coatings and chemicals we use. This an advantage that allows reciprocal feedback on up-to-date techniques and product improvements. All of our technicians undergo extensive factory training on spraying techniques, chemical reactions and safety,
The end result. Bathtub is safely and properly refinished by the Surface Doctors.

We use up-to-date ECO-Friendly products and thoroughly protect the work area. This helps to insure the individuals in the home we are working in are safe because of the structure of our refinishing process.

What Should You Do Before Putting a House on the Market?

First impressions mean everything, and you only get one chance to make a first impression.

As we enter the spring real estate market season, sellers have to make every effort to make a great lasting first impression to potential buyers. According to Zillow.com; number 6 on the “Top 10 Things Before You List Your Home” is to make walls as “neutral” as possible. They also state that homes that are “clean and have an up-to-date color make a huge impression”.

This goes for bathtubs, tile and countertops as well. An outdated bathroom or kitchen can make a potential buyer cross “your house” off of the list, even if the rest of the home has been updated. According to www.realestatetidbits.com: “Kitchens and Bathrooms Sell Homes”.
old-sink-blog-11new sink
Refinishing is the most economical and fastest way to update any bathroom or kitchen. Typically in one day a bathroom can go from old 70’s yellow, blue or pink to a beautiful high-gloss neutral color, such as white, bone or biscuit. Old cultured marble vanity tops or laminate kitchen countertops can be rejuvenated and brought into the 21st century with a resilient stone finish. The impact is immediate and cost effective.

All of this, of course, should be completed before putting a house on the market. Giving a potential buyer a credit at closing is taking a huge risk. Most buyers want a home that is “turn key” and “ready to move in” condition. They don’t want a list of items they now have to shop for and correct. Setting up utilities, a change of address, registering kids in new schools and coordinating movers is typically a major focus for buyers. Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression.

What is the Easiest Way to Replace an Old Tub Drain?

If your bathtub is at that point when it is looking dull, worn and in need to be refinished, your drain is probably in need as well. Having your bathtub refinished is faster, more economical and convenient than replacing the tub. But what about the drain? an old drain

Replacing a tub drain is typically a simple procedure, right? In many case yes; although removal of the old drain can sometimes open a can of worms. More often than not, the old drain has been in the current position and undisturbed for years, sometimes decades. The threadings of the new drain and old piping may not be an entirely sound fit. At this point, the old piping may have to be accessed and replaced. This sometimes requires opening up drywall in the ceiling below. If your at this point, you really have no choice but to throw time, money and inconvenience at the situation until it is fixed.

The Surface Doctors have a solution to this common problem. We can supply and install a drain sleeve.

New drain sleeve installed over existing drain. AFTER. Looks and operates the same as a conventional drain.
A drain sleeve is a device that is installed over the existing drain; therefore the piping below is never disturbed. They look and operate just like a conventional lift and turn drain and come in many popular designer finishes such as chrome, satin nickel, oil rubbed bronze and antique and polished brass. new drain

If your drain is working fine, why go through the unknown expense of replacement. This procedure can be installed in conjunction of us refinishing your bathtub. A drain sleeve is quick, easy and extremely cost effective.

Bathtub Warranty – What Does it Really Mean?

We get calls all the time from people asking “What is your warranty on bathtub refinishing?”

5 Year Warranty on Refinished Surfaces
We put a five year warranty on our refinished surfaces.
5 year warranty
To many, this is acceptable and even more reason to have the bathtub refinished instead of choosing replacement. On the other hand, there are some that feel the warranty should be longer and would rather spend hundreds or thousands more on replacing the bathtub than having it refinished.

What many people fail to fully investigate; is the warranty provided by the manufacturer of the new bathtub is typically covered for only one year against surface defects. Yes, you sometimes see “Limited Lifetime Warranty” advertised. But, that typically covers just the outer shell against defects that prohibit the tub from holding water. Even then, if the bathtub was installed incorrectly the manufacturer will not cover it, and the contractors warranty for installation is typically only one to two years for labor.

Five years of coverage for approximately 80% of the cost over replacement seems like a more reasonable decision.

Bathtub replacement is great if your upgrading to a larger bathroom, or a more elaborate whirlpool or soaker tub. But, in many cases, refinishing is a wise choice.

Do DIY Bathtub Refinishing Kits Last?

Do they last? “Last” would be the operative word here. We field calls all the time from people who have tried to cut corners and refinish the bathtub with a DIY kit themselves, and realize after the end result that they made a huge mistake.

DIY bathtub refinishing kit experiencing a coating failureThen there are the victims of previous owners who use DIY refinishing kits to save money in order to make the tub look more presentable for a quick sale. In the long run, it cost extra because we have to remove the inferior coating to get to the original surface of the tub.a worn out DIY bathtub repair kit

For a coating to truly last, the bathtub surface has to have proper adhesion. DIY kits lack necessary the preparation process of breaking down the original glass-like nature of the bathtub porcelain and allow the coatings to absorb into the surface. This is a critical step that is necessary to achieve a coating with longevity.

The application of a DIY bathtub refinishing kit is typically done with a brush, roller or an aerosol can. None of these applications can yield the results of professional spray equipment, and an experienced refinishing technician. Rough areas, runs, halos, dullness, inconsistent coverage are all common when a DIY kit is used on a bathtub.

At The Surface Doctors, we see first hand what a do-it-yourself job typically looks like. Unfortunately, the driving force behind the sale of these kits is to save money, which in the long run really isn’t the case.

What Can I Do if My Bathtub is Peeling or Chipping?

We get calls from people everyday on bathtubs that are peeling, chipping or flaking. Generally what has happened is someone has a used a do-it-yourself kit, or this is the handiwork of an inexperienced refinisher.
bathtub with a chipped floor
Peeling and chipping bathtub The DIY kits lack the proper strength that is needed to withstand the abuse that a bathtub is exposed to. The abrupt shock of the water going from hot to cold, the strength of the flow of the water in the bathtub and people standing and sitting on that area quickly contribute to a coating failure and result in a peeling or chipping bathtub.

An inexperienced refinisher will rush through, or may be unaware, of the crucial steps involved in preparing the surface of a bathtub for proper adhesion.

The Surface Doctors refinishing process involves carefully treating the surface, so the entire surface is porous and ready to accept our coatings. Porcelain, cultured marble, laminate, ceramic, acrylic, plastic and granite are all very different in their composition and require knowledge and experience to understand how to properly treat the surface so coatings have maximum adhesion. This is the key to a coatings longevity, which can be 10 years or longer with proper care.

What Can You Do if Your Bathtub Floor is Cracked?

We get calls about this problem all the time. While many bathtub or shower repairs are cosmetic in nature, what can you do if there is an actual hole in the floor of the bottom of a bathtub or shower base? Does this have to be replaced? The answer is no. We have a proven solution for this type of situation.cracked-tub-floor-blog-3

To begin, we have to address why the hole is there in the first place. Was something dropped on the surface, or was the surface under repeated “unnatural” stress from the occupants using the fixture? What I mean about “unnatural” is, when the tub was originally set in place, was the void between the bottom of the bathtub and the subfloor filled in with an expanding foam reinforcement. If it wasn’t (and many are not), over time the fiberglass or plastic based bathtub will flex and eventually give, resulting in a crack or tear in the overstressed floor area.

the floor under a bathtub crackThis end result, of course, is problematic because water can easily pool under the bathtub. This will quickly cause havoc to the subfloor and the living space to the level below the bathtub.

Typically, you would have to replace the bathtub. Bathtub spot repair cannot correct the problem that has resulted with an improperly installed bathtub.

The Surface Doctors have a solution for this situation.
First, we drill holes in the bottom of the bathtub and inject a highly-dense expanding foam that fills in the void between the bottom of the bathtub and subfloor. This method solves the cause of the crack.bathtub and shower inlays
Installation of Inlay Bathtub Repair System.We then install a custom-fabricated inlay that is adhered to the floor of the bathtub. This inlay is affixed with an industrial strength waterproof adhesive. It fully covers the original crack and the holes we drilled in order to inject the expanding foam.

Antique Clawfoot Tubs FOR SALE!

antique claw-foot tub

Antique clawfoot tubs from the early 1900’s are gaining popularity in many bathroom remodeling projects. These heavy cast iron and thick porcelain bathtubs have so much more character than today’s models made from plastic and fiberglass. These tubs from yesteryear truly capture a piece of Americana that is becoming very desirable according to several contractors in the remodeling industry.

These bathtubs have all seen years of use and are typically in need of a thorough facelift. The Surface Doctors meticuously repair all chips, nicks, dents, rust, etc.. to bring these clawfoot tubs back to there original historic state. We use ECO-Friendly “green” low VOC coatings that penetrate the surface of the porcelain and last for years to come. These coatings are rated at being 50% more impact resistant over typical coatings that are used in the industry today.

The Surface sell these bathtubs and deliver them directly to your home. The Surface Doctors has an inventory of these antique bath tubs that are fully repaired and refinished. We deliver these clawfoot tubs to any location throughout Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

These antique bathtubs are truly jems that capture the nostalgia that so many are searching for. These refinished tubs really create the WOW factor for any bathroom remodeling project. Make your next remodeling project unique by including a refinished antique clawfoot bathtub fully restored by The Surface Doctors.

Is Your Bathtub Rusting?

rusting-tub-blog-1Is your bathtub rusting? The Surface Doctors encounter many bathtubs in this condition. Rust is only a factor on pressed steel enamel and cast iron tubs. Rust does not occur on plastic and fiberglass bathtubs. When steel and cast iron tubs are manufactured,they are coated with a veneer of porcelain. After years of use, this porcelain can ware down to the original casting. With the inevitable exposure to water, the iron or steel will eventually rust.

Rust not only can be unattractive, it can be a health hazard as well. Rust, if not properly treated, can expose a person to high levels of lead. This is especially a concern because bathtubs are an item we use everyday.

When The Surface Doctors encounter a bathtub with rust contamination, we meticulously remove all traces of rust using high-powered sanders, angle grinders and oscillating tools to insure that all traces are removed. We then use a waterproof filler that seals the surface. This prevents water from entering the affected area and limits the possibility of recurring rust.

Our protective primer is then applied to the bathtub surface. This is a catalyzed product that sets up within minutes of application.

Finally, the Surface Doctors ECO-Friendly low VOC topcoat is applied. This product is applied with an HVLP sprayer and sets up within minutes, just like our primer. Our topcoat is actually rated at being 50% more impact resistant over the typical acrylic urethane coatings that are used in the refinishing industry.

After approximately two hours of cure time the surface is sealed. The bathub can be used the next day, retains a resilient high gloss finish and has NO RUST!