Refinishing a Bath Tub is NOT Always an Option

Bathtub Refinishing – When to NOT Refinish A Bath Tub

Bathtub resurfacing has for a long time been viewed as the best way to repair bathtubs. It is cheaper, less messy and really has no hassle. Most importantly it costs about half as much to refinish as it does to replace your tub. And it’s not just one of these quick temporary fixes, it will last a long time!
However, resurfacing is not a guaranteed fix for your bathtub repairs. The original surface must be in good shape because with resurfacing, nothing is being replaced. Here are issues that resurfacing isn’t recommended for fixing:

Cracks in the tubs

Fiberglass is known for cracking, exhibiting two kinds of cracks:

  1. The first type of crack is a web-like formation in the surface due to the gel coat drying out over time. This type of crack can be fixed by a simple resurfacing job. You can sand down the cracks and repair with no fear of the cracks returning!
  2. The second type of crack is the structural crack. This cannot be fixed by resurfacing. Resurfacing can mask these cracks for a while but in the long term, this solution bears no fruits. Resurfacing just covers the structural cracks but does not deal with the cause of those cracks. It only acts as a cosmetic fix, leaving the cracks underneath it. For this you need true crack, chip, and hole repair. Otherwise, you’re just asking for trouble.

Companies are now able to inject a pressure absorbing foam under the tub which helps in preventing further damage. However, this fix does not work where water begins to leak in through the cracks. In such situations, it is recommended to replace the tub.

Rust coming from behind the tub

Rust is similar to cancer. In due time, it spreads to every single part of your tub. Therefore, the best option is to cut out the area affected by rust and treat that area. Once rusting begins, it is a process that cannot be stopped. Resurfacing can extend the life span of your tub. Unfortunately, it is not a guaranteed fix in the long run. Surface rust is not a real issue. However, tubs that need body repairs due to rusted holes or rust from underneath the tub should be replaced rather than resurfaced. It is important to continuously monitor the area damaged by rust if it was an issue before the tub was resurfaced. Always call your resurfacing company when you realize that the rust problem is returning in order to treat the problem before it gets worse. Your rust issue will always be there once it has started, it’s just a matter of when you’ll have to get a new tub.

Bathtub refinishing takes approximately 4 to 5 hours. The tub will take another one and a half days to cure, usually rounding up to two days just to be safe. The cure time is critical if you want a durable and long lasting finish. Resurfacing a bathtub costs an average of $459 while replacing a tub costs an average of $3,020. Clearly, refinishing is way cheaper than replacing a tub. However, there are times when a bathtub is too old for repair and your only option will be replacing the tub. Bathtubs can last up to 20 years even after refinishing. Bathtubs have a really long span especially when properly refinished and taken care of through their life.

Refinishing Your Bathtub ISN’T Always An Option

Clearly, resurfacing is not the go-to solution for all your bathtub repairs. It is just a cosmetic fix that does not deal with the underlying issues. The good news is that a resurfaced bathtub can serve you for a long time. Unfortunately, when bathtub repairs don’t work, it is inevitable that you will need to replace the tub.

Contact us and we’ll have your bathtub looking like new.  Call 919-747-4800.