The Tub Guys Bathtub & Tile Reglazing
Three materials are commonly used for reglazing tubs & tiles: epoxies, acrylic urethanes, and polyester polymers.
Materials We DO NOT Use:
1. Epoxy: Epoxies were the only materials available to refinish bathtubs and tiles for many years. These are industrial coatings (similar to car paint) with severe deficiencies in long term appearance and safety during spraying; they typically lose their shine within 6 months to 1 year; turn yellowish-orange within about 1-2 years; normally begin to peel and flake off within the 3-5 year range; and most seriously, release toxic iso-cyanide vapours when sprayed. The technician spraying this material must wear an air-fed respiration system to avoid harm. Ideally, iso-cyanide ladened materials should only be sprayed in an approved spray booth with exceptional filtration and ventilation for the environment (like a vehicle spraying booth). All adults, pets and children must vacate the home during the spraying and for approximately 48 hours while the outer layers of the glaze cure. The smell and toxic vapours can remain for days, which may cause problems and discomfort for small children, pets and people with respiratory issues. Also, the isocyanate based hardener used to cure the epoxy is an unstable chemical that leaches into the bath water for many weeks and has been known to cause significant skin reactions for young children, pets, elderly people and those with sensitive skin.
2. Urethane Acrylics: In the 1980's, with the public becoming informed about the deficiencies of epoxy, many companies in our industry began to switch to Acrylics to retain business. Acrylics are typically sold under various names that usually try to disguise their origins as industrial coatings (such as car paint). As industrial coatings, they are not safe for residential applications. Although acrylics have a vastly improved gloss and durability over epoxies, urethane acrylic coatings cannot be sprayed to an adequate thickness when dry to maintain their integrity over prolonged time (ie. 5 years +). Also, most acrylic urethanes use the same isocyanide hardeners as epoxy and therefore possess the same health and safety risks to both the sprayers and their customers. “Iso-free” acrylics are available but these "safer" products are significantly more costly to use and are therefore rarely seen in our industry. Like epoxies, it is necessary for the safety of you family and pets, to vacate your home for the initial spraying period as well as the 48 hour curing period.
Materials We DO Use:
3. Advanced Polymer: The Tub Guys use materials that are specially formulated around a polyester base. This diverse material is able to be applied to ceramics, steel, cast iron, acrylic, and fiberglass surfaces with amazing results and adhesion. Originally developed for the U.S. space program, this polymer finds its origins as the interior coating of the space shuttle. Due to the strict requirements of the space program, this polymer possesses unparalleled properties, that include:
- ISO-CYANIDE FREE
- extremely durable
- stain resistant
- extremely high gloss
- very easy to clean/maintain
- can be applied in thick layers for maximum durability and coverage
- can be manipulated and worked on whether wet or cured
- nearly odour free during application with proper ventilation
- easily repairable even after several years
The inherent qualities of our product are just one thing that makes The Tub Guys one of the leaders in the refinishing industry.
The Tub Guys Warranty
The Tub Guys WARRANTY: We offer a comprehensive 3-year warranty on both workmanship and materials. To ensure that our high quality standards are met, we remove all tub hardware including the overflow and drain components to maximize tub coverage and adhesion. This simple step virtually eliminates the potential for peeling and glaze separation calls down the road. We have such confidence in our workmanship and materials, that we invite you to call us at any time even after our warranty has expired if you experience any problems. Even if the glaze on your tub or tiles is damaged many years later, the inherent qualities of our polymer allow us to repair it quickly and easily. Should you accidentally damage your glaze at any time during the warranty period, simply call us. We know you didn't intentionally damage your glaze and as such the repair fee, if any, is minimal. We schedule all repairs while we are in your area and as such minimize most costs associate with repair calls. We enjoy every opportunity to make our customers happy.
Time frame for Usage
TIME FRAME: A standard steel tub takes about 4 hours to refinish, providing it is clean, undamaged and silicone-free: it is ready for use in 48 hours. Cast iron tubs (usually dating from 1920 to 1959) or footed tubs (claw or ball-footed, usually pre-1940) takes at least an hour longer. These old sand-moulded castings inevitably are rusted at the drain and overflow; and require repairing. Also, we usually apply a “skim-coat” on the tub bottom to seal its porosity, thus eliminating potential contamination problems associated with embedded soap and oil deposits.
Our Extra Step
OUR FREE SERVICE CALL: Regardless of the type of tub, we remove the drain (competitors usually tape it over to save effort) and overflow to check for rusting and sealing problems. We then provide a free service call to reinstall your fittings and to apply the final caulk line ourselves.
- The caulk lines around the tub are removed with a razor blade and the area is sanded to ensure that all traces of caulking have been removed.
- All surfaces of the tub are scraped with a razor blade to remove any large deposits of soap, calcium, etc.
- The tub is thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned with our specially formulated Tub & Tile Prep. Once we are sure the tub is completely clean it is rinsed with hot water and a soft sponge. Unlike most companies, we remove the drain body and overflow hardware from the bathtub to ensure a proper end result when the glaze is applied to the tub. It is extremely important that the glaze seals the tub right to the edge under the drain body to prevent future lifting of the glaze.
- Repairs to any damaged areas of the bathtub are performed. Our repair material is the same type of material used to make repairs to damaged surfaces on cars.
- The tub is sanded to ensure that the surface is smooth and microscopically etched, so the glaze and bonding agent can have maximum adhesion to the tub surface.
- The bathroom is masked with both paper and plastic to protect your bathroom surfaces from any potential over spray.
- A fan with a long flexible ventilation tube (referred to as an "Elephant Trunk" - don't laugh we are serious) is placed in the bathroom with the tube running out the closest window. Once the fan is plugged in and the plastic masking around the bathroom balloons inward, we have created a negative pressure environment which is ideal for spraying. This negative pressure environment ensures that any over spray and odour is pulled out of the bathroom through the ventilation system.
- The surface of the tub is wiped down with IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol - Rubbing Alcohol) to remove any oils that may have been left behind on the tub from our hands as we have been preparing your tub for reglazing.
- The tub is then wiped down with a tack cloth to remove any fine dust particles from the surface of the tub.
- The entire tub is carefully and methodically inspected to ensure a high quality standard during preparation.
- Our bonding agent is applied to the tub with a lint-free cloth to prepare it for reglazing.
- The first coat of glaze called a “tack coat” is sprayed onto the tub.
- The next coats (usually 2-4 additional coats above and beyond the tack coat depending on the extent of repairs to the tub) follow a few minutes apart so that each layer has an opportunity to "tack-up" before the next layer is applied.
- Any flaws such as dust settling or runs that occur during the application of the glaze are removed and remedied. Unlike other reglazing materials used in the industry, our polymer can be worked with while it is still wet.
- After the reglazing is completed, we begin to do a basic clean while we let the ventilation system run for a few minutes to allow for aroma to dissipate. The room is usually odor-free within 30 minutes to an few hour.
- We invite you to have a look at your beautifully reglazed bathtub and wait for the "WOW!" (this step usually doesn't take long).
- We schedule your free follow-up call, usually close to 48 hours later.
- You are presented with your Care & Maintenance Instructions, Warranty Card and Invoice. At this time, we would ask that you kindly cover the amount on the invoice by Cash, Cheque, Visa or MasterCard.
- As arranged, we return for your free follow-up call at which time we recaulk the entire tub including the walls and floor if necessary, reinstall the overflow and drain hardware, install new gaskets if required (at a small charge to cover the cost of the gaskets), and do a complete cleanup. Your bathroom is left in the same shape or better that it was when we first started our process!
- We ask if you are happy, shake your hand and thank-you for your business! Now you can begin to rave about your beautiful looking tub to your family & friends!
Care & Maintenance
CARE and MAINTENANCE OF A REGLAZED SURFACE:
Our experience over the years indicates that with proper care and cleaning your tub should give you years of daily service before the gloss needs renewing; walls tend to last indefinitely. NEVER use abrasives, Vim cream, sucker-style mats. Do NOT use lacquer hair sprays near or leave soap bars and shampoo bottles, etc., on a Tub Guys surface. In fact, avoid these factors on any enameled, ceramic or porcelain surface that you wish to avoid damaging. Clean with hot water and a dense sponge. To remove scum, grease or oil deposits, spray on a mild solution of Palmolive (green) dish soap, let stand for about five minutes, then rinse with hot water as above. If you are concerned about traction, do not use a suction cup style bathmat. Mats without suction cups are available and should be used. We now stock and sell bathmats without suction cups, which have been specially designed for reglazed bathtubs.