SWH4T$: Bathroom Refinishing

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Bathtub Refinishing

Our house was built in 1925, and a few additions and renovations done in the 1980s, you know, when almond-colored fixtures were super cool. Sounds pretty, right?

So in 2009, we had the bathroom renovated. We re-tiled the shower, bumped up the shower ceiling, adjusted the height of the showerhead to accomodate for 6'4" Mizzle, re-tiled the floor, removed some old nasty shelving, new toilet, new vanity and new medicine cabinet.

We were going to replace the bathtub, but it would have cost a fortune, and there wasn't anything structurally wrong with our tub. So, we opted to refinish it ourselves, with a kit similar to this that we found at Home Depot:

I'm not sure that this was the brand that we used, so don't think
I'm slamming this company, I'm not. It's a good idea, just didn't work for us.

The contractors did it for us the first time, and then we did it the 2nd time. And the 3rd time. Yes, we had to refinish the tub 3 times. And each time, it only lasted a few months before peeling off. And the fumes were so strong, that we couldn't stay in the house while it was drying. Which took 3 days. Yes, 3 days. I think this would be great for a tub that isn't used very much, but when you have 2 adults showering daily and then a toddler taking a bath, its just not going to work.

So the last time we did it, was August 2011. And then, around Christmas, this is what we ended up with:

See the new finish peeling up and revealing that splendid almond finish? HAWT, right?

So at the end of January, Mizzle and I went to a Home Show in Boston, in hopes that we would find a cheap way to get what we really wanted: a gleaming white bathtub. One of the companies that was there was a professional refinishing company. They use a special industrial epoxy that is specifically designed for bathtubs. The only other option we found was a BathFitter thing, where they slip a custom liner over your tub. That would have cost at least $2000. Not what we wanted to spend. The refinishing guys? $300. And, since we booked our appointment at the Home Show, we got a discount, and they also threw in non-slip treads for free! So what would have normally cost us $410, we got for $300. But, the best part was that they guaruantee their work for 2 years. If there are any problems, we just call them, and they come back and fix it. For free. We spent a total of $150 on the kids from Home Depot, so this refinishing option is a little more expensive than the DIY kit, but, the combined price of the 2 of them is still less than BathFitter, and I love the 2 year gaurantee.

Amazing, right? They started at 10:30, and we were able to use the shower 24 hours later! And, the fumes were soooo much less than the DIY kit. We could actually all sleep in the house that night and not have to worry.

If you are looking for an economical way to refinish an old tub, I would highly recommend this option! If you would like more info on the company that we used, shoot me an email and I will fill you in!

What sort of thrifty home renovations have you done?