FAQ

What is refinishing?

Refinishing is a process where a coating is applied to an existing fixture such as a bathtub or sink to give it a new like appearance.

What surfaces can be refinished?

There are a few different coatings that can be applied to porcelain, china, ceramic tile, cultured marble, Formica, acrylic, fiberglass, concrete, drywall, or wood.

Why should I refinish instead of replacing my fixtures?

Bathroom and kitchen remodeling is very expensive and can take weeks to accomplish. Refinishing is a fraction of the cost and can be done in as little as a day. Another issue to consider when replacing is the size and quality of new plumbing fixtures. The saying “They don’t make them like they use to” applies to this situation. Bathtubs and sinks are a lot smaller in size now and are made of inferior materials. With refinishing you can update the look of your original fixtures, without sacrificing the size and quality.

Why should I refinish instead of having a tub liner installed?

Tub liners are very costly and can be just as expensive as installing a brand-new tub and tile. Tub liners are made from acrylics, which can crack or dull out easily. In our experience, the average lifespan of a tub liner is around five years. When the price is compared to usage; tub liners are not worth what they cost.

I have plumbing issues. Should I take care of them before or after I refinish?

Plumbing issues such as a leaky faucet or a clogged drain always need to be dealt with before we come out to refinish. Anything else I would suggest calling the office for further instruction. In most cases, it is better to have all the plumbing removed to get a quality refinishing job. But in some instances, the plumbing should not be removed.

Does the refinishing process have an odor?

Yes. In the process of refinishing there are chemicals being used to etch, clean, repair, and refinish. It is our technicians’ responsibility to make the process as comfortable as possible by setting up a portable exhauster to ventilate the fumes, and to try to isolate the odor to the smallest area possible. In most cases, the customer can be home while we do our work with little, or no complaints regarding the smell. But in cases where the tenant or homeowner have severe allergies, are pregnant, or are sensitive to smells it may be a good idea to be out of the residence while we are working. Usually, the smell dissipates after a couple hours of our completing the job.

How long does the refinishing process take?

On average, a tub or fiberglass unit can take three to six hours to complete. Pre-refinished, dirty, or severely damaged tubs can cause the process to slow down. Basically, we will take as long as it is required to do the job right. I recommend having at least one full day set aside for us to come in and do the work. That way if there are any issues we have the time to resolve them.

My plumbing fixture has been refinished before. Can I have it refinished again?

Yes. Our technicians will either strip or sand the old finish off completely. For our refinishing process to adhere properly we need to apply it to the original surface. There is a stripping charge for pre-refinished fixtures. It is advised to tell the office that your fixture has been previously refinished. That way they can give you an estimate of cost, and make sure that the technician has enough time to complete the job.

Does Porcelain Refinishing Company offer a warranty?

Yes. We offer a five-year warranty for residential and a three-year for commercial. Some restrictions apply, so make sure to ask about the warranty when getting an estimate. Also, what the warranty covers is explained verbally and in writing before and after the job is completed.

What is the average lifespan of refinishing?

Typically, a bathtub or shower will hold up for five to ten years. It depends on how well the fixture is cared for, and how much use it is getting. We have seen some jobs last up to fifteen years. Sinks and counters can hold up just as long but are more prone to having objects dropped on them.

How long will my plumbing fixture be down for after I get it refinished?

Forty-eight hours.

Is the new surface going to be slippery?

Yes. Some coatings are slicker than others, but if you are concerned we recommend asking about a non-slip additive that is applied to the coating, or you can use a bath mat that has no suction cups. If you do use a bath mat, make sure to pull it up after each use. Leaving down a bath mat can cause mold or stains, and if left down too long can cause the refinishing to peel.

Why do some refinishing companies acid etch, and others use a bonding agent?

Both acid and chemical bonding agents are used to adhere the refinishing to the plumbing fixture. Acid is used on porcelain, ceramic tile, glass, china, and concrete; it cleans the surface extremely well and dulls it out, so the coatings can bond properly. Acids have been the tried-and-tested way of getting coatings to bond. But there are drawbacks to using an acid. Acid is caustic; if not handled properly it can cause damage to unintended areas of use, such as tile surrounds, or chrome drains. Not to mention it can be harmful to the technician. Bonding agents can be applied to porcelain, ceramic tile, china, glass, Formica, fiberglass, and acrylics. After cleaning the surface well, a bonding agent is applied by wiping it on with a cloth.

Bonding agents are safer and can work well but are susceptible to human error. Most bonding agents are a clear liquid, and there is no for sure way to tell if the surface area has been covered completely. One missed area can cause the whole refinishing job to fail. Here at Porcelain Refinishing Company, we offer both acid etching and chemical bonding agents. Our technicians are trained to figure out which method is right for each job. If you have a preference, please discuss it with the technician when he/she arrives.

What type of cleaners can I use on a refinished surface?

You want to stay away from bleach, cleaners that contain solvents or harsh acids, and abrasive powders. We recommend Scrubbing Bubbles, 409, Soft Scrub w/o bleach, or dish soap. Make sure to clean with the soft side of a sponge or a rag. For added protection, we recommend that the refinished surface be polished by hand with a carnauba car wax. The main thing to remember is to keep it up. If you let your newly refinished surface get soap scum or buildup you will have to scrub harder with harsher cleaners.

Is there any overspray or dust created during the refinishing process?

Here at Porcelain Refinishing Company, not only do we pride ourselves on the finished product, but we also are focused on providing a smooth experience for our clients. We will contain any mess that is made during the refinishing process by masking off, setting up tarps, and using ventilators to exhaust the dust and overspray outside. We are there to solve problems, and not to create new ones.

I have a cracked fiberglass tub. Can it be repaired?

Yes. Most chips or cracks in fiberglass or acrylics can be fixed. There are different processes to repair the cracks, depending on the severity. I recommend having us come out to give a free estimate. That way when the technician arrives he/she has all the materials needed to remedy the situation.

I heard that refinishing does not hold up?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of “bad apples” or “fly by night” companies out there that have given the Industry a bad reputation. Refinishing is like any other trade out there; provided that a refinishing company preps properly and uses quality materials a refinishing job should last many years. Two things I suggest when looking for a refinishing company. One: make sure they are licensed and bonded. A company that is licensed and bonded most likely plans to be around for awhile and takes their work seriously. Plus, if the job does go wrong, the customer is more likely to get a resolution. Two: usually in the refinishing industry if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Watch out for lifetime warranties, or low-ball prices.

Quality is our number one priority when we service your home. We will never be willing to sacrifice quality.