Make Your Bathroom ‘New to You’
Restoration is a budget-friendly option for homeowners
A remodel isn’t the only way to freshen up your home’s bathrooms. Something as simple as restoring your bathtub or sink or painting tiles can make a big difference without the big price tag.
So, how do you decide whether your tub needs a makeover?
Is your tub dingy or damaged? Would you take a bubble bath in it? If the thought of bathing in your tub leaves you feeling less than clean, your tub will benefit from restoration services.
Terry Nations owns Terry’s Tubs. He says restoring a tub, instead of replacing it, is a budget-friendly option for homeowners. It is also an excellent choice for antique tubs or sinks. Plus, restoration results are realized much faster than remodeling a space and getting new fixtures. (Think hours instead of weeks or months!) Also called resurfacing, recoating, refinishing and reglazing, Nations says a restoration involves acid washing the tub or sink first to remove any build-up. This is basically a deep clean and spiffs up the surface more thoroughly than using Comet, Ajax or other, similar cleaners. “We have hard water here in Shreveport-Bossier. Hard water sediment will get into little scratches, and then your tub just looks dingy all the time,” he said. “There isn’t a paint in the world that sticks to soap scum, so we always acid bath each tub at the start of the process, so it is clean and accepts the paint.”
Next Nations says he sandblasts the tub’s surface, applies an epoxy primer, and then three to four coats of an enamel topcoat. The process takes four to six hours. Afterward, the tub cannot be used for 48 hours while the paint cures. After that, it will continue to harden for an additional seven to 10 days.
A large portion of the tubs he refinishes are 1900s clawfoot tubs in existing homes or antiques that have been purchased for installation in a home. “I just got through with one,” said Nations. “There is normally a [year] stamp on the bottom of [the fixture]. The one I just finished is from 1922.”
Fiberglass tubs can also be repaired. “All it takes is dropping something heavy or denting the outside apron [to cause damage]. I can go in and put new glass on it, sand it down, and it match the color,” said Nations.
Nations says the cost savings of a restoration are huge. “Basically, if you’re redoing your bath – putting in new vanities, maybe new tile floor – the cost of refinishing versus the cost of ripping out and installing a new tub is a major plus,” he said. Terry’s Tubs’ cost to complete a refinish on a standardsize bathtub starts at $345.
Basically, if the tub is in decent shape and only has minor dings, scratches or imperfections, this is a great option to freshen the fixture and space without busting the budget.
Another economical bathroom rehab option is refinishing existing tiles. “A lot of the houses in Broadmoor have the tile surrounds, and they may be pink, blue, green or gold,” said Nations. Instead of ripping out the tile, they can be refinished to a white hue.