BATHTUB REGLAZING / REFINISHING - Call 808-554-1570 to schedule a free estimate!
• Get a European-styled Arc™ curved shower rod professionally installed ($199 value) for only $99 with any refinishing service. Click HERE for details.
This is our most popular service. If you are considering bathtub or tile resurfacing, you should read our article on CHOOSING A REFINISHER and also a case study we wrote on correcting a POOR REFINISHING JOB.
Sink, tile, and bathtub reglazing developed as an industry over 30 years ago as a very cost effective and time saving measure over gutting and replacement. Reglazing, Resurfacing, and Refinishing all mean the same thing and basically describes the process of installing a new surface over the carefully cleaned and prepared existing surface. The major benefits are:
• Huge cost savings over replacement – By refinishing your bathtub, you will save unnecessary costs that will allow you to upgrade many other areas.
• Huge cost savings over any type of liner system, which often also causes many other problems down the road
• Fast – The average bathtub job takes 3-5 hours. Using our fast cure method, your tub is ready for use within only 2-3 hours. Our commercial grade resin-based coating is ready for use within 24 hours.
Refinishing sometimes has a bad reputation because there are many substandard providers out there. NOT ALL BATHTUB REFINISHING IS THE SAME. 70% of the work is the preparation. Poorly trained or lazy operators will save time during the crucial prep stage and/or use inferior coatings & supplies. If a step is skipped, it could easily have disastrous results such as complete failure of the finish. We do not rush, we do not skip steps, and we use the absolutely best products formulated specifically for bathtub reglazing available on the market.
What are your methods?
We have three primary refinishing methods:
- 2-Hour Quick Cure “Low VOC” bathtub reglazing coating
- Eco-Glaze bathtub reglazing coating
- High durability resin-based commercial grade coating
The quick cure coating is the greenest solvent-based bathtub reglazing coating on the market today. It has less than half the level of Volatile Organic Compounds allowed by the EPA, which is good for the environment. We stock this finish comes in 7 colors, which will match 90% of bathroom fixtures on the market today (most Oahu refinishers stock only one color: one shade of white). This coating will dry in 2 hours. There is a smell with this coating, which is unavoidable, but we do our best to minimize it by setting up a commercial ventilation system while we do the work. We also add a bubblegum fragrance to make the residual odor more pleasant.
Eco-Glaze is a water-based coating and is only available in “bright white” color. Because it is water based, there is very little smell. It requires a bit more technical difficulty to apply, so there is a extra charge for this coating. Water dries slower than solvents so your tub will be available for use 24 hours after we are finished.
Finally, we do offer our commercial grade coating to residential customers. You must wait 24 hours before using it, but when it is fully cured, it is far more durable than ANY residential grade coating. This coating is what we use in hotels and apartment complexes. Marriott International recently selected it to be the only coating allowed for use in all their owned and managed hotels worldwide. This coating will never peel. The odor is a little worse than our standard coating, but isn’t too bad.
All about acid etching
There are two ways to make a new finish adhere to the existing bathtub: physical and chemical. Physical adhesion involves roughing up the existing surface so that the new surface has something to stick to. With porcelain bathtubs, the only way to do this is with acid etching. Normally an epoxy primer is applied directly on top of the newly deglossed surface. With chemical adhesion, a molecular bonding primer is used to join the new surface with the old.
Some companies make a big deal about “acid etching” used in the preparation for bathtub reglazing. They do this to try to steer you toward their “spray less refinishing” methods (which we also offer). Other companies will tell you they do not need to etch because they use a silane-based wipe on primer which creates a chemical bond. Unfortunately their use of scare tactics has led to a lot of confusion and we get many questions about this topic.
The problem with wipe on primers is long term reliability and durability of the coating. Since the surface of the tub is still relatively smooth, if the chemical bond fails, there’s nothing for the coating to grip to. Over the years, we’ve learned that chips at the bottom of tubs that have had application of a wipe on primer are much more likely to start coating failure than a tub that has been etched, then primed using an epoxy bonding agent – the old school way.
Recent advances in etching compounds have resulted in chemicals that are so safe, we don’t even need to wear gloves and a respirator when we apply them. This, combined with the inherent durability benefits of using the etching/epoxy primer combo is why we etch nearly all porcelain tubs. It may take us more time to do, but in the end we know the job is done in the way that provides the absolute best bond and it will be extremely unlikely that we will ever have to go back to fix something.
Drain Trim Kits:
We aren’t big in upselling accessories and extra services we don’t think will benefit our customers in the long run. For example, we don’t try to sell people a built in anti-slip texture because we simply don’t think most people need it and it becomes a nightmare to keep clean. However, the drain trim kit is something that many people do opt for and really completes the refinished tub “look”. For more information CLICK HERE
Refinishing vs. Restoration
There’s a lot of confusion in the marketplace between traditional “refinishing” and the so called “eco” or “no-spray” refinishing. The later isn’t refinishing at all, but rather a “restoration”. Companies that solely offer tub restoration, tout their “lifetime warranty against peeling”. They can make this claim, because there is no new finish on the tub. Its a bit disingenuous in our opinion. Let’s be realistic and unbiased. And we can do this because we offer both services. There are good candidates for restoring, and there are bad candidates for restoring. Since restoration is basically a good, industrial cleaning of the tub, followed by the technician hand wiping a polymer sealant, a tub that is already in awful shape probably should just be refinished. On the other hand, a relatively new tub that is just dirty, but has the factory enamel still intact is a fantastic candidate for restoration, and we would encourage it because there’s no sense refinishing a tub that doesn’t really need it. There’s pros and cons to everything, and if a company tries to tell you different, they are probably lying. So to sum up the pros and cons of restoration:
- No odor and only mild chemicals used (although our new water-based coating doesn’t have odor either)
- You can use the fixture immediately (although our 2-hour coating is nearly as fast)
- No peeling to worry about
- Generally more affordable than refinishing
- Can’t change the color of the fixture
- Low shine, as opposed to a nice glossy new-looking shine with refinishing
- Any imperfections that can’t be removed will show through
- Owner must reapply polymer sealer every 3-6 months
Bathtub After Refinishing
Refinishing brings this bathroom back to life saving the owner thousands of dollars. The average price of replacing a bathtub in Honolulu ranges between $2400 – $2800 and takes three tradesmen 15-25 hours of total time. You will be without your tub for between 5-10 days. With our refinishing service, you will typically save over 80% off the cost of replacement, and your tub will be ready for use the same day!
Bathtub Before Refinishing
Here’s an old worn tub and tile before we refinished it. We offer several options including a rapid 2-hour cure product, a super-tough commercial-grade coating, and a no-spray bathtub restoration surface. We are the only bathtub refinishing company in Hawaii that gives you choice, because we recognize that every bathtub and every situation is different.