Make your old tub seem like new

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

The Honolulu Marathon will always hold a special place in my heart. Before my recent hiatus from running, I completed six consecutive Honolulu Marathons, and I am hoping to return to the sport next year. For today’s race, however, I am content to participate as a spectator with my kids by my side.

Cheering on the runners as they give it their all brings me back to my training days. Racking up the miles week after week took its toll, so one of my favorite ways to recuperate afterward was soaking in a Epsom salt bath. When I first started the sport, however, my husband and I were renting a home with a not-so-nice bathtub. Rather than relishing in a full soak, I limited it to just my feet. What I learned soon after, however, was that the owners could have easily fixed the tub with a quick refinishing. To learn more about tub refinishing, I consulted Eric Thompson, of Island Bath Works.

REFINISH OR REPLACE?

When you refinish a tub, Thompson said, you do not have to remove the existing tub. This means you also do not have to repair the tile or rework the plumbing. This saves both time and money as opposed to replacing the tub all together.

“Replacing a bathtub is a time-consuming and costly job that involves messy demolition and coordination between plumbers and tile-setters that may require up to several weeks to complete,” he said. “Refinishing a tub restores your existing tub to a like-new condition while saving about 80 percent of replacement costs.”

AFTER

MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

The beauty of refinishing a bathtub is that it can work in nearly any home.

“Refinishing can be completed in one day and ready for next-day use,” Thompson said. “This makes it extremely favorable for families with a single bathroom home or for people who cannot accommodate long remodel times.”

GET IT RIGHT

Thompson advises homeowners to do their research and make educated decisions before starting. Ensure the company you use is reputable. Keep in mind that properly preparing a tub for refinishing includes thorough acid cleaning, recoating with epoxy primer, and catalyzing a top-coat system for maximum durability, according to Thompson.

“Incorrectly applied finishes are prone to premature failure, which includes cracking and peeling,” he said. “Fixing an incorrectly refinished tub is labor-intensive and expensive. Do it right the first time.”

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.