Whether you’re buying an older home or you’ve lived in your current house for a while, you may notice a few chips in the surface of your bathtub. This leaves you with two options – replace the tub or refinish the surface. Bathtub refinishing is much more affordable than buying a new bathtub, but we understand that it is not right for everyone. Before you make an official decision for your bathroom, think over these 10 important considerations.
What Shape Is the Bathtub?
Not all bathtubs are shaped the same. In fact, some bathtubs are completely customized to fit the space they’re in. If you’re going to buy a new bathtub, the space available will play a big role in which tub you choose. That means that if you have a uniquely shaped tub, you may have a hard time finding a replacement that fits correctly.
On the other hand, if you do not like the current shape of your bathtub (heart shaped, shell shaped, etc.), you may want to get a new bathtub instead of getting the tub refinished. The ultimate goal is to make sure you’re happy with your bathroom remodel, and the shape of your tub should reflect that.
How Would a New Tub Get into Your Bathroom?
If your bathtub was installed while your home was being built, the builders may have had more room to work with. Decades of home remodeling can completely change the access routes in a home. Before you commit to a new bathtub, consider how the old tub would be removed and how the new one would be installed. Is there an easy path for the bathroom remodelers to take, or would they have to do major demolition to get the tub in? If demo is the only option, you will be much better off with bathtub refinishing.
Has Your Bathtub been Refinished before?
If your bathtub has been refinished in the past, the new bathtub refinishing will require a few extra preparatory steps. This will impact the cost and timeframe of the refinishing process. Having the tub refinished will most likely still be more affordable than having it replaced, but that all depends on the condition of the tub.
To get a free quote for bathtub refinishing or to find out if your tub has been refinished before, contact the experts at Maryland Tub and Tile.
Do You Need Traction Control?
Bathtub refinishing creates a smooth surface, just like the top of porcelain tile. If you need an anti-slip traction coat on the bottom, you must specify that during your installation consultation. The traction control feature is integrated as part of the refinishing process and is difficult to add after the installation is complete. Anti-slip flooring is harder to clean than smooth flooring, but it is recommended for homes with children, seniors, or people with limited mobility.
Will the Bathtub Refinishers Have Adequate Access to Your Tub?
If you have a vanity or toilet near the side of your bathtub, it will need to be removed/set aside as part of the bathtub refinishing process. This may be simple to do, or it may require quite a bit of extra work. All of this will factor in your price quote. Of course, the proximity of these devices will also impact the cost of a new bathtub, so you’ll still be better off with tub and tile refinishing.
Do You Plan to Remodel Other Elements of the Bathroom?
We usually recommend that tub refinishing be the last step in your bathroom renovation. The only exception to this rule is if a fixture needs to be moved to have access to the bathtub. For instance, if your vanity is close to the tub, you would want to refinish the bathtub first and then install the new vanity. As a general rule though, replacement tile or drywall should be in place before the bathtub is refinished.
Does the Plumbing Need to Be Repaired?
If you have a leaky faucet, you will not be able to get bathtub refinishing until the leak is fixed. The surface must be left to dry and cure for at least 24 hours before being exposed to water. You also wouldn’t want a plumber to work on top of a newly refinished tub. Take care of any plumbing issues before the bathtub is refinished, and you’ll be good to go.
Is Your Bathtub Original to Your Home?
Having an old bathtub isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, that may work in your favor. Older tubs are often made of thick, durable, heavy material like cast iron. This makes them incredibly sturdy and much more dependable than modern-day bathtubs. In this case, we definitely recommend refinishing instead of replacing your bathtub. You will end up with a higher-quality product in the end, and you will be able to honor the history of your home.
Do You Want a Custom Color for Your Bathtub?
If you want a custom color for your bathtub, that is easy to achieve with bathtub refinishing. You may struggle to find a new tub that is the right size, shape and color for your bathroom, but you can choose a refinishing glaze in any hue. If the color needs to match other fixtures in your bathroom, we can match the existing finishes or refinish all the surfaces to be the same shade. The design possibilities are endless.
Is Your Current Tub beyond Repair for Bathtub Refinishing?
In some cases, a bathtub is too damaged to be fixed and recovered with bathtub refinishing. We can correct surface scratches and even minor cracks, but major cracks hurt the structural integrity of the tub. The refinishing glaze will only last temporarily, and the old damage will show through. Then you will have to repeat the refinish/replacement debate all over again.
The best way to assess your options is to get a quote for bathtub refinishing. Contact Maryland Tub and Tile to speak with one of our local experts.