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Bath & Tile Refinishing
Bath and tile refinishing is a procedure that gets all your dull or worn surfaces and cracks repaired with the appropriate tools and finishes. Reglazing and resurfacing are the terms essentially described in a similar way as refinishing.
Are bath and tile refinishing services worth it?
After a tiresome day from work, a soothing bath not only enlightens your mood but also relaxes your body. However, if your bathroom is ebbing or filthy, bathing will be the last thing to cross your mind. If you want to get rid of your old, decaying bathing tub, it would be wise to consider refinishing it instead.
Changing your old bathtub is not a simple task. The tub that you buy usually undergoes cutting to fit through the bathroom door, which is why if you were to install a new one, you might need to replace or remove flooring, trims, surrounds, and plumbing. This could be very costly altogether, with labor expenses exceeding $1000.
A better approach is to get your existing tub reglazed, which costs between $300 - $1000 depending on your area and process. A professional can turn your decaying and stained bathtub with cracks and rust into a brand-new tub. Bathtubs made of steel, cast iron, and fiberglass can easily be re-coated to look original or re-coat it into an entirely different color.
What does the refinishing process look like?
Firstly, the professional strips away the old finish and sands the tub to create a smooth surface. Secondly, if there are any holes, chips, cracks, or rusty spots, they are repaired to make it look new. Thirdly, multiple layers of coating along with primer and sealant are applied and let it off for drying for about one to three days. And there you have it, a refinished tub just like new ready to last for as much as ten to fifteen years.
There are DIY kits available on online stores and local markets, which costs less than $50. They can make your bathroom look a bit nicer than before, but nothing that would please you because they do not use the same technology and can look more like painted rather than smooth - making them less durable. So, it’s better leave the refinishing to professionals.
However, there are certain conditions in which replacing the tub is more suited than remodeling. Suppose you own a very high-quality tub that has a character to it compared to what you would get in the market for the same budget. In that case, you are more suited to refinishing it. However, if you own a low-quality tub, you are better off replacing it with a higher quality one. Moreover, if you are looking to get a modern tub with more features like jets or a built-in bubbling system, demolishing the old one seems to be a better choice. Furthermore, if there are many holes and overall, the tub is in bad shape, re-glazing it would not be satisfying.
What is tile refinishing?
Ceramic tile refinishing is a method which includes using suitable appliances, topcoats, primers, clear finishes, and bonding agents. Now, the question is: what differentiates painting and refinishing of the tile? The surface gloss, how long-lasting the surface is, and the durability is what will answer your question.
Painting ceramic tiles with rolled-on epoxy or simple spray enamels may be an option, but it's not the best choice. This is because they do not give a professional look in comparison to the refinished tiles. Another drawback is that painting ceramic tiles will have a short lifespan, unlike the refinished tiles.
Ceramic tile refinishing is versatile with surfaces, but one thing to keep in mind is how much wear and tear the surface will have to go through. For example, the tiles inside a shower or around the bathtub will be suitable for refinishing. Ceramic tiles of bathroom vanities and kitchen countertops are also the best targets for refinishing. Bathroom floors are the objectives for refinishing, but not the best choice for entryways as those places have to go through harsher activity, which can damage the flooring.
How do I choose the right refinisher for the job?
There are multiple ways of finding the right person for this task. After all, you want your bathroom to look new after refinishing, so there is no room for error.
1. Interview three or more bathroom contractors
Speaking to just one or two bathroom contractors can limit your scope, and their bidding can be higher than expected. So, by increasing the number of contractors to interview, you will find it easier to get the man or woman perfect for this job and a better bid to choose from.
2. Review the contractor's previous work
When contractors show up for an interview, they bring the pictures of the previous refinishing they have done to bathrooms to show off their skills and give you a better idea of their credibility. But don't be fooled by just pictures, look for online reviews. If possible, ask previous customers about their work in places they have worked before.
3. Get estimates in writing
You might ask a contractor about the estimated cost of refinishing, but you might not mark it as a permanent value and give orders to initiate the work because numbers can be forgotten or miscalculated. Later on, it can cause a state of confusion between the parties. So, you should always get a written quote so that all the costs of materials and labor are finalized before the work begins. By having written proof of the total cost, you can prevent unforeseen issues during the refinishing process.
4. Pin down the schedule
Deadlines are very important to get things done on time, which is why before you sign the contract, make sure that both parties define the start and end of the project and come to an agreement on those terms. As they say, "time is money," and therefore scheduling is very crucial. For you, it is the amount of time the contractor will spend on the project. For the contractor, it is the payment he or she will get by working on the project.
5. Clarify what the contractor will do
Although you do not have the technical knowledge of refinishing, you should ask the contractor about the details of the project and what they will be doing. Contractors perform a set of activities along with the required material. They would not simply state that the bathroom needs to be refinished; instead, this project consists of a range of smaller sub-projects.
6. Discuss supplying your own or reusing items
As individuals, we have to protect the environment around us from pollution; hence, along with new material being used, you can also recycle the existing material from your bathroom. Check for things which you feel are reusable and also ask the contractor about its reusability and tell him/her in advance on materials you wish to recycle.
7. Discuss the peripherals
If the contractor has good experience over the years, they will tell you about peripheral issues that will affect your daily routine during refinishing. For example, if there is only one bathroom in the house that needs refinishing, what will you use in the meantime? When will the workers arrive and leave your place? Will they work on weekends? An experienced contractor will address all these issues.
8. Verify licenses and credentials
Nobody wants a bad reputation to be a part of their brand name, which is why contractors try to hide their flaws and show a positive image in hopes of attracting clients like you. But you have to confirm that contractors are registered and licensed under the law of your country. Also, pay close attention to their membership status and that it is up to date with the latest rules and regulations.
9. Choose the contractor who is the best fit
After contacting several contractors, you have to choose the one who is the best fit for the job. Your decision must not only be based on the cheapest estimate because a bathroom refinish is not worth it if it only lasts for a few years. There are several other factors you must look into along with it:
- How well do you communicate with the contractor?
- What is the professional attitude of the contractor?
- What is the agreed-upon project schedule between you and the contractor?
- What feedback do previous clients have about the contractor’s work?
- Are the contractor's previous projects in line with yours?
10. Sign a legal contract
Once you have made up your mind on whom you will be choosing as your contractor for refinishing, be sure to sign a contract. Both parties should sign the contract, and it must contain the following details:
● Total cost
● Payment method and schedule
● Address of worksite
● Start and end date of refinishing
● Refinishing project
● Other details are agreed upon by both parties.
Should I do the job myself?
If you cannot afford to spend nearly $1000, you can still refinish your bathroom and tiles with the help of DIY Kits, but it is not as simple as painting your bedroom walls. Still, want to give it a shot? Here are some do’s and don'ts you might want to consider before starting
● Buy a branded tub and tile kit such as Homax & Ekopel 2K Bathtub Refinishing Kit that includes epoxies to get the work done. They also provide a complete manual that you should follow.
● If you want to make your bathroom smooth and shiny, then be prepared to sand it like a pro. The more time you spend cleaning and sanding, the more satisfying the result will be, and it will last for a longer time.
● Ventilation is very crucial during refinishing because epoxy contains methylene chloride. When it enters the human body, it affects brain functions such as concentration. So, make sure you use a fan and open the windows for ventilation.
● Use a spray gun instead of brushing and rolling. Although they can work, a spray gun gives a more satisfying finish.
● Don’t use regular spray paint. It will have the same look and feel as you would paint a pair of old chairs.
● Don’t use water-based paint because it will rupture faster than regular paints.
● Don’t start using the bathtub for long relaxing baths soon after refinishing. Read the manual on how long you need to avoid using it after applying epoxy for it to dry. If you do not want to ruin your hard work in refinishing your bathroom and tiles, then it is better to wait according to instructions before using it.
What is the cost of refinishing a bathtub?
Refinishing your bathtub is much lighter in your pockets than getting a replacement for it. This means you get to have all the perks of updating your bathroom's look under a low price.
Refinishing a bathtub on an average cost around $465, and when we talk about the standard pricing, it is between $330 to $600. The pricing includes materials of $30 to $150 and the cost of labor of $200 to $500. The total pricing can also be altered according to the type of material and size of the bathroom.
What is the cost of refinishing tiles?
It is again less expensive than replacement, which calls for a budget on an average to $1,075, and installing new materials will add $850-$3,000. Refinishing is not temporary and the best choice for giving your tiles a new look. The typical cost of resurfacing or refinishing depends on several factors, such as the expertise of the professional, project location, and the amount and tiles condition that is to be refinished. Usually, contractors charge based on the square foot. It particularly starts from $4 per square foot in between $10 per square foot. For areas that are hard to reach and are quite small, the contractors may charge more because of the added difficulty.