Bathtub reglazing is the process of using a new coating to redo an old bathtub, especially an older porcelain bathtub. The reglazing process is designed to repair damage and is not part of regular bathtub maintenance, but reglazing does have its problems. Homeowners should be aware of the cost of the process and the amount of work involved in creating a new glaze coating.
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Quality of Materials
While bathtub reglazing is possible with a variety of substances, some can be poor quality and fail to deliver long-lasting results. Epoxy mixtures may be inexpensive and easy to apply, but they will not protect against leaks the way that real glazes will, and over time they can yellow, ruining the coating effect. High-quality materials are more expensive, but will help you avoid such problems.
Bathtub reglazing often uses acrylic, urethane and polyurethane combinations to provide a surface that can resist water, provide the necessary grip and avoid long-term bonding problems. Unfortunately, these mixtures can be very dangerous to inhale, and homeowners generally cannot install them. You must hire professionals to reglaze the bathtub, as they have the proper spraying apparatus and safety equipment.
Bathtub reglazing requires several stages of preparation. This lengthens the time that the reglazing process takes and the days that the bathtub cannot be used. Acidic etching and chemical bond preparation coatings may be needed, adding to the total cost. Shower doors need to be removed, old caulk must be taken out and the entire bathroom must be prepared, all leading to a large amount of extra labor.
Bathtub reglazing can help you continue to use porcelain tubs and other bathroom fixtures that you prefer to keep as part of your home's design. However, reglazing is not the same as purchasing an entirely new tub. A reglazed tub will not last as long as a new one, and reglazing cannot prevent the gradual degradation of basic tub materials.