Bathtub refinishing is being used more by hotels, apartment complexes and homeowners because of a housing downturn, a mortgage-meltdown, and overall depressed and depressing economy as a way to save money in their bathroom renovation. Another interest in re-glazing is being fueled by informed masses who have shown a continued interest in "greening" their homes, particularly in making them more energy efficient. Consumers are looking for ways to save money, and the environment and that is what bathtub refinishing does- provide savings of up to 80% over replacement while sparing the landfills.
But unlike other services like carpet cleaning, plumbing, pest control etc, where consumers know what to expect from their service contractor, tub re-glazing business is unknown to many. And because of this lack of knowledge, many don't know what the process involves, what to expect and what the the final outcome will be. Here is the bathtub refinishing process in a nutshell: A tub is cleaned, fully etched, cleaned, prime coated andtop coated.
The equipments used are a turbine, a sprayer and a big exhaust fan. The protective equipment is similar to what you'll see used in mold remediation or asbestos removal. If the fumes coming out of the bathroom are not healthy for the one doing the refinishing in the bathroom, do you think it is safe for you, your pets and especially younger and older ones in the home?
Many bathtub refinishing companies will tell you that they use a proprietary coating formulated by them and for them. Ask for their sacred MSDS. It contained enough toxic materials to make their technicians suit up as if cleaning a room full of asbestos. Water based coatings are getting better but water condenses in the bathroom and on the tub. Go figure. Every etching product contain some level of acid. The concentration of VOC's is high. Unfortunately, from the biggest bathtub refinishing companies to the small town bathtub refinishing company using exhaust fans to get rid of the fumes and their smell. They leave a lot of toxic fumes and smell that linger for days.
There are air scrubbers that can suck up those fumes and odors and still keep the environment?
These portable systems operate in a completely sealed off bathroom. They are quiet, so that guests and tenants that sleep on while bathtub re-glazing is done next room. In fact, some companies are using hospital grade air scrubbers while re-glazing a tub because of the importance these companies put on the health of their customers and the environmental impact of their work. These portable units are in the bathrooms where the re-glazing is done.
All the fumes and odors are captured and there is no hoses or cords coming out of the bathroom as a safety hazard. The technology is here. Next time you call your friendly bathtub refinishing company, ask them how they are going to mitigate the odor and fumes. If they are still using old technology with its environmental impact in this century, they are not your company. Ask questions, protect your health, and those of your hotel guests and apartment tenants.
The sluggish economy is forcing hotels and hotel chains, to find creative ways to save money and the environment as they remodel their bathrooms. Many are concerned about the effects of over-spray fumes on their guests and their health, the noise created by antiquated bathtub refinishing systems, the impact of old technology on the environment. Ask questions and lots of them before you hire your next friendly bathtub refinishing company.
Wilson Uche Ukah, is the President of Refinishing Stars, a bathtub refinishing company serving the bathtub reglazing needs of homeowners in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville and Knoxville. Refinishing Stars, refinishes bathtubs, sinks, and countertops for hotels and motels nationwide. Wilson writes regularly on green remodeling and is a consultant to other bathtub refinishing companies. He can be reached at http://www.refinishingstars.com or firstname.lastname@example.org