Click on any of the commonly asked questions below to get an answer!
Are you a local company?
Absolutely. We are locally owned and operated. Everyone in our company is from Oahu and grew up here. We understand local traditions and values and will treat you like our own family. Your satisfaction means everything to us.
How does refinishing compare with bathtub liners?
We don’t sell bathtub liners for several reasons:
1. The cost is approximately four times more than refinishing. It requires installation by a licensed plumber and takes more trips to your home to measure, fit, and install.
2. The feel of a liner will be that of plastic, as opposed to a factory-like finish of a refinished tub.
3. Liners are extremely difficult, costly, and messy to remove when they fail or get old. When this happens, we recommend people replace their tub. A refinished tub, can easily be refinished again with little mess or trouble.
4. If water gets trapped between the liner, and the original tub (very common occurrence), the liner can then rust out the tub, and the stagnant water creates an awful smell and unsanitary conditions.
Why should I use you guys?
Choice, expertise, cutting edge technology, and friendly aloha spirit are reasons to go with us. We are the only refinishing company that doesn’t take a “one sized fits all” approach. From our no-compromise 2-hour cure finish, to our water-based coating, to our no-spray tub restoration service, we have a solution that best fits your needs.
Is there a warranty?
Oahu Tub Experts offers owner occupants an industry-leading 6 year written limited warranty against peeling or other failure of adhesion for most bathtub refinishing using our commercial-grade coating. Warranties of other surfaces and circumstances such as tile, countertops, and previously refinished fixtures vary depending on the job. With your free estimate, we will inform you of the warranty you will be receiving. You will receive a written warranty upon completion of work.
I’ve seen DIY refinishing kits and I’m pretty handy with tools – why not do it myself?
The general public cannot buy the materials used for professional refinishing. DIY kits typically include epoxy paint that must be rolled on, yielding an uneven coat that will not hold up, and likely will yellow with age. The coatings we use are professional grade, made specifically for bathtubs. A trained technician using a thousand dollar HVLP system with thousands more in safety equipment and other supplies sprays the coating on. Don’t expect a refund when your DIY kit fails– and it will. The manufacturer will tell you that you did not properly follow their directions. Now the tub will need a professional to have that finish stripped off at a cost of $100 or more.
How much does it cost to refinish or restore a tub?
Every situation is different, and depends on the type of tub, and overall condition. Standard tubs that need no repair prior to refinishing are the easiest. Please contact us for a free no-obligation quote.
How does refinishing or restoration compare to replacement costs?
See the table below for a comparison of our service versus average Honolulu costs of replacement.
|$250 - $500 Tub Refinishing/Restoration||$700 - Demolition, removal & Disposal|
|$0||$300 - $600 Basic Steel or Cast Iron Tub|
|$0||$400 - Plumber & Plumbing Supplies|
|$0||$500 - Tile Work|
|$0||$300 - Flooring, Carpentry|
|$0||$200 - Permits & Inspections|
|Construction Hours: 4-5 hours||Construction Hours: 15-25 hours|
|Time Without Tub: As low as 2 hours||Time Without Tub: 5 - 10 days|
|$500 or less total Refinishing/Restoration Cost||$2400 - $2800 total Replacement Cost|
Is your process “eco” or “green”?
Our 2-hour method uses a low-VOC solvent-based finish that is far greener than EPA mandates. Our water-based coating has no odor and is not harmful in any way to the environment. Our bathtub restoration process does not use spraying and the chemicals used are eco-friendly. No matter what you decide, you are choosing wisely for the environment. Disposing of an old bathtub and replacing with a new one is costly on your pocketbook, and more costly still for the environment.
What is the difference between ‘refinishing’ and ‘reglazing’?
Nothing – they describe the same process.
I’ve heard horror stories about refinished tubs. Why?
90% of the time, a failed job can be traced directly back to the preparation, which is also 70% of the work. Fly by night refinishers can save significant amounts of time by cutting corners on the prep work. Refinishing is a highly skilled job that requires extensive training. All our technicians have been personally trained, one-on-one, by Mike Ripp in Chicago. Mike is a legend in the industry and was previously the Director of Training for a major US refinishing franchise.
How long does bathtub refinishing take?
Our refinishing process typically only takes 4-5 hours to complete. As guests in your home, we take great care in prepping the area, and cleaning up after ourselves. We will not cut corners to save time. Using our standard refinishing method, your tub will be ready for use only 2 hours after we leave.
Can you refinish a tub that has already been refinished?
Yes. A tub that has already been refinished can be refinished again. Improper refinishing, lack of proper maintenance or just old age can necessitate a second refinishing. Oahu Tub Experts will strip and clean the tub before refinishing it so the old coatings are removed. There is a $100-$150 additional charge for stripping an old refinish.
How do I prepare my bath before you arrive?
• Dripping faucets should be repaired before we can do the work. However, we do have a way to divert water from a dripping faucet into the overflow drain. After the work is finished, the faucet should be fixed as a dripping faucet will void your warranty.
• Shower curtains and doors should be removed and the bathtub cleaned as best you can of soap scum, hair, etc.
• Please vacuum the bathroom floor thoroughly
• Please remove everything from the bathtub (soap, bottles, etc).
• Please also clear all countertops, back of toilets, rugs and window treatments.
• Please make sure any new paint has had at least a week to dry before we come. We will have to use masking tape on your walls. Please alert us if masking tape will damage your wall paint or other wall treatments.
• If you are having other work done in the bathroom, or other contractors in your house that will use your bathtub to dispose of wastewater, please have us come in last.
Does refinishing have an odor?
If you choose our standard refinishing method, there will be an odor. There is virtually no smell with our water-based refinishing method. Our technicians come equipped with special ventilation fans to exhaust air from the work area outside, minimizing the odor. We also mix a bubblegum fragrance in with the coating to make the odor less offensive. We recommend leaving the bathroom fan on with the door closed for a day or two after the refinishing is complete. After a week, there should be little to no trace of a smell.
What colors are available for bathtub refinishing?
In our residential grade coating, we have seven standard colors that will match most existing fixtures. In our commercial grade coating, we have 3 colors: standard white, Kohler Off White, and Kohler Almond. We can custom match colors for an additional fee.
Can you fix existing tile chips before refinishing?
Chips and scratches can usually be repaired during the preparation stage of the refinishing process. All surface damage is cleaned, sanded, filled and sanded smooth before refinishing. We don’t charge anything extra for minor chips.
I’ve heard acid etching is bad. Do you use it?
Unlike other refinishers, we don’t use marketing gimmicks to set ourselves apart from the competition. Each bathtub is different, and the same process or product simply will not work on every tub. For example, acid etching won’t even work on plastic or fiberglass tubs. Similarly our preferred bonding agent won’t work well on an old highly damaged porcelain tub. In this case, the only way to assure you a durable and long lasting finish would be by using etching. We will use whichever method will work best in your particular situation because we are experts at doing it all!
How durable are your refinished surfaces?
Oahu Tub Experts uses the best equipment, techniques, and supplies. Your refinished tile and tub will have a deep glossy shine with a durable finish second to none among professional refinishers. OTE does offer different coatings, and the durability will vary depending on the coating selected. Our commercial coating is the hardest and most durable - even surpassing the hardness of some composite surfaces like cultured marble. Abrasive cleaners and harsh chemicals should not be used on refinished surfaces.
How long will your refinished surfaces last?
A realistic expectation of any refinished bathtub or ceramice tile job is between 5 and 15 years. This is dependent upon several factors: The coating you select to be used; The condition of the bathtub or tile before refinishing; How often the refinished bathtub or tile will be used; and the care that is taken of your newly refinished bathtub or ceramic tile. For example, a bathtub that is badly worn will not have the lifespan of a bathtub that is moderately worn. As for use, a newly refinished bathtub or tiled bathroom that serves as a guest bath will last longer than a refinished bathtub or tiled bathroom that has several uses per day. Refinished tile that gets no use and isn’t subject to bathing elements will typically have an indefinite lifespan. As for care, if you use the proper non-abrasive cleaners and supplies, and follow our recommended care guidelines, the finish will last much longer.
Will my refinished bathtub look like it has been painted?
This is a common myth in the bathtub refinishing industry. Your bathtub will not look like it was painted, since the material we use is a coating (similar to the gel coating on a racing canoe) rather than a traditional paint. In fact, our technicians pride themselves on the fact that it is quite difficult for an untrained eye to tell the difference between a brand new bathtub and one that has been refinished by us. If you opt for our commercial-grade coating, the material is actually classified as a resin, which cures to a hard enamel like material and actually has more in common with a glue than a paint.
How does refinishing work on kitchen countertops?
Formica and tile countertops can all be updated and made to look like new with our refinishing process. Our Flint-Stone granite look finish is especially attractive and durable. One benefit of refinishing Formica is that you will no longer have ugly seams at the edges. Corian is a solid surface and can be restored to look near-new. Contact us for a consultation.
How much does the Safeway Step® cost?
Each installation is different, and the cost depends on the type of existing bathtub you have, and other factors that impact the amount of labor required. Please contact us at 808-554-1570 for a free in-home consultation and estimate.