Bath Renovation

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When to think about tub or tile refinishing

Does your cherub-pink 1950s bathtub give you nightmares? Mint-green tile surround got you down? If your bathroom tub and tile are in sound condition but simply need an aesthetic makeover, you might be considering repainting or refinishing them yourself. But make sure you know all your options before you pick up that spray gun.

If you can’t stomach the idea of a full-on bathroom remodel—or you want to tone down that electric-blue surround until you can afford the bathroom of your dreams—here are your options:

Call in a professional refinisher

A professional tub and tile refinisher can evaluate whether your tile can be rejuvenated rather than replaced. If you tub or tile is in good shape, a refinishing can be worth your while, in terms of both cost and environment. A tub refinished may be one less thing in the landfill.

Depending on the surface area to be refinished and the amount of repair that’s necessary, a typical tub and tile refinishing job might cost about $1,000.

What do you get for the price tag?

  • Better results. Pros are experienced and use better products than ones you can find in big bow stores, typically blends of fast-drying acrylic resins that bond tightly with the tile surface. Epoxies designed for home use do not bond as strongly, so they won’t last as long — they’ll likely need touching up or redoing in a year or two. Epoxies also take longer to dry and turn yellow over time.
  • A shorter time frame for the job. With a pro, you’ll have less down time without your bathroom. You can generally  you can use the surface within 24 hours. Unless you’re a refinishing whiz, home kits will probably take you longer than that to prep and apply, and they require 72 hours to cure at an absolute minimum.
  • Safety. Pros have the proper equipment to reduce your exposure to chemical vapors.

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