After making the decision to refinish their bathtub instead of to replace it, many homeowners find themselves unsure as to the correct way to maintain and care for their newly refinished bathtub. With the cost of bathtub refinishing and reglazing typically coming in at a much lower price point than the cost of a new bathtub install, especially an older bathtub, many homeowners want to make sure that their tub refinishing lasts for many years.
Experts recommend using gentle cleansers that will not interfere with porcelain or ceramic bathtubs. Nothing overly caustic, they caution, because bleach- and vinegar-based products can seep into the “pores” of the bathtub, eroding the new finish and causing further damage to deeper, older layers of the tub. Not only will acidic cleansers compromise the life span of the bathtub but will cause the newly reglazed finish to become less shiny over time.
Grout inconsistencies around the newly refinished bathtub also require homeowners’ close attention. Once water seeps into cracks in the grout, not only can it stain the corners of the tub but can also cause damage to a bathroom’s sub-flooring. Experts report that storing soap and other shower products on the corners of the bathtub often allows mold to collect and damages grout; homeowners may find themselves forced to reglaze the tub again, doubling the cost of the repair.
While a complete bathtub install may take more than a day to complete, the process of refinishing bathtub or shower surfaces may only take a few hours. Many homeowners choose to contract with professional contractors for tile removal, tub installation, or tub resurfacing; if they take on the project themselves, they can expect about four hours’ reglazing time and up to 24 hours’ curing time. After one day, the bathtub should be ready for regular use again.