You can’t take it anymore. Something needs to be done about that chipped finish on the tub, those dirty grout lines in the tile and those kitchen countertops you’ve hated since you moved in. But what? What will get you the clean, sparkling new, updated look without actually having to pay for all new stuff? Well, in the world of tubs, tile and countertops, refinishing is a best bet that will restore that brand new look and feel to your bathroom and kitchen surfaces– and even jazz it up a little– for the least amount of money. Let’s consider the options:
OPTION 1: Replacement
While strolling through your local home improvement store you notice the cost of a new bathtub could as low as, if not less than, $200… “Great!” you think. ”I’ll just swap out my grungy tub for this brand new one and be done with it, and not have to spend a fortune.” Well, you’d be right in a sense- you’re not spending a fortune… on the tub. But add in the cost of contractors ripping out your old tub and tile (the collateral damage from tub removal), paying landfill fees to dispose of the tub, rearranging plumbing, replacing molding and floor support and THEN putting your new tub in, you’re well over $200… likely over $1,000, actually. And let’s not forget the headache of having a team of contractors, charming as they may be, in your home demolishing your entire bathroom for the day…NEXT!
OPTION 2: Tub Liners
Definitely less expensive than full-blown replacement, tub liners present a cookie-cutter solution to giving your existing tub an improved facade. Here’s how it works: a re-liner company creates an exact mold of your tub using the same quality of acrylic that airplane windshields and football helmets are made from. It takes 6-8 weeks for the mold to be completed and shipped, and then a contractor will come to your home, clean your existing tub, adhere the liner to the surface of your tub and rethread the plumbing, all in about 6-8 hours with no demolition required. Sounds much simpler than replacing, right? I’d say so. But a few things to consider are the following: re-lining can also be expensive, though not as costly as replacement. Also, because you’re putting a new tub surface over the existing one, it’s possible for water to get trapped between the old and new surfaces if there’s a leak or gap in the caulking, which will lead to mold and mildew build-up. Once that happens, it’s nearly impossible to get the water out short of removing the liner completely, at an additional expense…which brings us to Option 3:
OPTION 3: Refinishing
Less expensive than both re-lining and replacing, refinishing achieves the brand new look and feel you want with neither the hassle of demolition nor the time delay. Refinishing jobs can be completed in just a few hours, leaving your bathroom ready to be used the very next morning. A thing to note, though, is the process your refinisher uses. This matters for two reasons:
1. Let’s be honest, refinishing smells like a nail salon just exploded. It is extremely important that whomever you choose to do your refinishing takes care to properly ventilate the space to draw that chemical smell out of your home. If done properly, any lingering chemical smell will dissipate within the next day or so.
2. The steps taken during the actual resurfacing process will determine how long your tub will keep it’s new glossy finish. Some refinishers will repair any damage to the tub, sand it down to smooth out the surface and apply the new finish. While this is an effective process, the new finish may only last up to a year, and the you’ll find yourself right back here again. At Custom Tub and Tile, we take an extra step in prepping the tub for it’s new coating in order to lengthen the life span of the finish. After repairs are completed and the tub’s been sanded, we apply an acid etch to strip the tub of its old coating. This will help the new finish bond directly to the tub instead of to the previous enamel, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful finish that won’t bubble or peel; so you can enjoy it for at LEAST the next five to ten years (with proper care, or course).
OPTION 4: Do-It-Yourself
These days, doing it yourself is always an alternative for everything. DIY often presents significant cost savings to the adventurous homeowner who’s up to the challenge. A DIY project of this type could be either for replacing or refinishing, but to be honest, this one might best be left to the pros. Professionals come with commercial-grade equipment which will allow them to quickly execute the job and no additional cost to you. And since this is their trade, they’ll get it done pretty quickly compared to a novice. They’ll also be more prepared to tackle any unforeseen challenges that may arise during the process (and have the tools to do so). Yeah, this is a job for the guys with the fancy spray guns, grout removers and those moonman-looking suits and masks. You’d rather have the day off, anyway.
Well, there you have it. There are a lot of things to consider when looking to remodel your bathroom or kitchen, but if you’re looking to save money and have a beautiful end result, refinishing is definitely the best way to go. Call us biased, but there’s a reason we got into this industry in the first place. With each customer we serve, we do our best to ensure they receive quality solutions that fit their budget and provide the remodeled look they desire. After nearly 10 years of serving commercial and residential customers throughout the Maryland, DC and Virginia area, we are proud of our work and value the relationships we’ve built with each of our customers.
So give us a call or shoot us an email to see what we can customize for you!
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