Yes we do repair cracked and busted fiberglass bathtub bottoms and
we repair fiberglass shower stall pans/floor !!!!!
Give us a call for a free quotation - We can solve your headache !!!!
Look at the Before and After on the next two pictures - Unbelievable!!!!!
The Process - Refinishing Porcelain Steel Bathtubs
Porcelain is a white translucent ceramic that's applied to cast iron and then fired in a furnace at over 2200 degrees. It's a lot like firing pottery and setting the glaze. Nobody can re-porcelainize a bath tub in place - period. The tub would have to be removed and sent to the factory to be re-porcelainized.
What happened to the shiny, smooth finish that was on the bath tub?
The shiny finish was removed either by using abrasive cleaners (comet, ajax or scrubbers) or the bath tub was treated with acid-base chemical cleaners such as Lime Away, CLR or any acid cleaner that you can purchase at your local hardware store.
The way we cleaned our bathtub was passed down from generation to generation. Great-Grandma showed Grandma, who showed Mom, who showed Me how to clean a bathtub. The process was to wet the tub and shake an abrasive powder like "comet" around the inside of the tub. Then scrub the bath tub clean, rinse, repeat if necessary. Remember after the tub was dry, if you rubbed your hand in the bottom of the bath tub you could still feel the grit left behind? Well that grit is like sand paper. The glossy tub surface was sanded off. We only scrubbed the inside of the tub and not the outside. That's why the shine is still on the outside of most bathtubs.
The bath tub (in most cases) is as old as the house. In fact it was the first item that was brought into the bathroom and attached to the walls. The walls and floors were built around the bathtub. So it's a huge undertaking to remove the bath tub and replace it; rarely done - if ever. The sinks were replaced and so were the toilets but not the bath tubs.
To restore the ceramic look to a bathtub requires refinishing, reporcelainizing or re-glazing; all are references to the same process.
There are many different ways to prepare the bath tub for refinishing. The process that I use has passed the test of time.
The process is:
1. Thoroughly clean the bathtub and remove all caulking. This cleaning takes at least a 1/2 hour to complete.
2. Using masking tape, tape all the way around the bathtub. Then 48” of painter plastic is applied to the surround area. The reason I use this plastic film is to protect your walls from overspray. Other companies use newspaper and only cover a small portion of the walls
3. A high-speed ventilation fan is installed and vented outside. This is done to minimize any odors associated with the refinishing process.
4. Then I apply the best bonding primer that money can buy to the bathtub. This bonding agent fuses to the bathtub surface and provides a strong foundation for the top-coat mixture adhesion. This is the similar system that National Franchises use. The use of acid and epoxy based primers is old technology (Like running Windows 95 on your pc!). Things have changed for the better with the use of modern bonding agents.
5. We do not pull the drains in your tub. Regardless what you've been told it's a marketing gimmick. Here's why. One of the reasons the tub peels around the drain is because the epoxy primer was applied too heavily around the drain and didn't have enough time to set up before the shiny coating was applied. When the bonding agent is applied there is nothing better to insure proper adhesion. Secondly, chances are good that the drain has corroded in place. Trying to take the drain out in most cases will loosen up the plumbing behind the walls and may cause leaks. Make sure in advance that if the drain is pulled, your finishers have an active insurance policy that covers their plumbing work in your home. Most of the time only plumbers can get plumbers insurance. As you know, water damage is very expensive to repair. Lastly, even though they say they will pull the drain they might have you sign a waiver stating that they are not responsible for any water leaks in the future. Be Careful!!!!
6. If there are any chipped or worn areas in the tub we fill and sand them smooth upon the customers request. There is a small additional fee for this.
7. Then drop-cloths are installed on the floor and protective covers are carefully draped over the vanity and toilet.
8. Next Twenty-Eight ounces of top-coat mixture is applied to the primed surface (3-4 coats). The number of coats required is determined by temperature and humidity.
9. After the equipment is cleaned and put away, then drop cloths and protective coverings are removed. The area is wiped down, paper-work completed.
10. The bathtub can be used the following day.
There are companies that state that they apply so many coats of primer and several coats of their top coat. I guess they feel they might gain an advertising edge by leading you to believe that more coats are better. When in fact most bath tub refinishing suppliers recommend the same amount of top coat mixture in ounces to be applied to the bath tub in order to extend a 7 year warranty.
To keep your bath tub looking great for years to come, do not use any abrasive cleaners. No comet, ajax, green scrubbers, bar tenders friend. A good "rule of thumb" is, If it can hurt your skin, that cleaner should not be used in your house - period. Purchase a cleaner that is designed to gently clean bathtubs and showers. Now that the bathtub has a new shiny surface on it, those spray on cleaners will work just fine. One point here, after you spray the cleaner on the surface, wait at least 5 minutes before you clean and rinse the bath tub. This will allow the cleaner to loosen the soap residue.
The use of bleach does not clean a bath tub. It will kill mold, make your white clothes white and wreck everything else. Bleach should not be used to clean a bath tub because it is an oxidizer (bad). Using a wash cloth, wash the inside of the bath tub and rinse out. I recommend cleaning your bath tub like your car. When it's dirty - clean it. The surface is smooth and shiny now and will clean easily with minimal effort.
I hope I have answered all your questions and concerns here about bathtub refinishing. Please call if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment
Mike - the tub guy
Look at This Beautifully Restored Claw Foot Bath Tub - Just Like New !!!!!!
Have Us Refinish your Porcelain Metal Bath Tub
We also sell fully reconditioned antique claw foot bath tubs !!!!!!
© Copyright 2013 Bathtub Solutions - Bathtub Refinishing Minnesota