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How to prepare for bathtub, tile or countertop refinishing?

Before refinishing your bathtub, tile or countertops, you should have the area cleaned and then call a professional refinishing company for refinishing. Refinishing is needed when there are chips, yellowing or other imperfections on the surface. Professional refinishers use special techniques to refinish bathtubs, tile or countertops.


What should you do to prepare for refinishing?

Remove all items from the refinishing area. Furniture, curtains, wall hangings etc., must be removed before refinishing commences. This will prevent damage during refinishing processes. Heavy objects can fall or become displaced and damage the refinished surface while it is still in the curing stage.


Prior to refinishing, make sure that surfaces are clean and free from dirt, grime and soap scum. This will help you avoid any cleaning fees and in addition it will help in adhesion of refinisher's products. Use a mild cleaner or specific refinisher specified product to do this. Your refinisher will let you know the best method to use. Make sure that your refinishing service provider who refinishes bathtubs, tile or countertops has been advised of any damage so they can determine the cost of refinishing before getting started.


A refinishing company will tell you what is needed to prep your surfaces. This can be done in a number of different ways and include:

  • Cleaning with the refinisher's recommended solutions.

  • Abrasive cleaning such as mild abrasive cleaner or fine steel wool. If you choose to use a steel wool, the refinisher will tell you if this is appropriate for your surface and how abrasive it should be.

  • Wet sanding with a wet dry sandpaper from 80-400 grit can also help prepare the surface for refinishing.

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What is Refinishing?

Refinishing is the process of refinishing bathtubs, tile or countertops with a refinishing product. Before refinishing can begin there are some preparations that you need to do depending on what will be refinished. You cannot refinish surfaces without the proper preparation due to the refinishing chemicals. Other conditions need to be met for refinishing to take place such as working electricity and lighting, removing items from refinishing rooms, windows should remain open for proper ventilation of refinishing fumes etc.

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Normal requirements for refinishing.

Working Electricity & Lighting are required, especially in the room where resurfacing will be taking place. Your refinisher will tell you if there are any special requirements for your refinishing project.


When refinishing bathtubs, tile or countertops refinishing companies may need you to remove the faucets, shower heads and other plumbing fixtures that might be in the area where refinishing will take place if you plan on replacing them.


Some windows should remain open during refinishing period to allow ventilation of any vapors created by refinishers' products. This is especially true if refinishing is being done during high humidity seasons when smells and vapors seem to take longer to dissipate.


In the fall or winter, set the temperature to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the air to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. These are the ideal temperatures for ensuring that your refinishing solution cures properly. The refinisher must have access to the nearest window outside of the bathroom for the air extractor/exhaust fan during bathtub & bathroom tile resurfacing.


During bathtub and bathroom tile resurfacing, hot water from the tub is necessary. For bathtub and bathroom tile resurfacing, the tub must be adequately drained with no water backing up. Before resurfacing, leaks in faucets, bathtub/shower handles, and overflow drains must be fixed.


Finally, do not caulk before the refinisher arrives; you won't be able to refinish over wet, uncured caulking.

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Follow these steps.

Areas should be clean and ready when refinishing your bathtub, tile, or countertops upon arrival of the technician. Remove all items from areas that will be resurfaced such as floormats, shower curtains, towels, appliances, wall décor, et cetera. Warranties will not cover damage caused by fixture replacement after resurfacing.

  1. Make grout and tile repairs first! Grout and loose tile repairs should be completed prior to resurfacing.

  2. Move large appliances, for example, a stove or refrigerator blocking kitchen wall tile or countertops.

  3. Areas should be clean prior to the technician’s arrival. Thoroughly clean the areas that will be resurfaced, removing any soap scum, dirt, grease, debris/residue left over from other contractors, et cetera.

  4. No debris, residue, or excessive buildup present on or in the areas being resurfaced.

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Have a plan!

Make sure you have planned out the refinishing process thoroughly so you can keep any inconveniences to a minimum. For instance, in most cases you cannot use the resurfaced area for 48 hours. You'll want to make sure your schedule aligns with this. Typically, refinishers require all pets and people to be out of the home during the refinishing process. If refinishing has to be done when you are away from the home, having a neighbor care for your pets is very important.


The refinisher will have an idea of how long it takes for each step-in refinishing. Make sure that you give them enough time to do the job right and if refinishing needs to happen while you are not around, make sure you give them a key to your home or leave a lockbox on-site. This can be especially important if refinishing needs to happen, and you will not be returning to meet the refinisher.


All residents, including animals, are advised to remain out of the home during the resurfacing process. If you remain in the home, you can be exposed to highly toxic refinishing vapors. The technician is required to use an air extractor/exhaust fan for ventilation, they are also required to wear a respirator mask and a protective suit.

  • As the refinishing product cures the vapors will dissipate

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Are refinishers insured and licensed?

Before refinishing your bathtub, tile or countertops, you should find out if refinisher is insured. It is the refinisher's responsibility to inform you of this information upon request. In most states bathtub refinishers are not required by the state to have a "license". Make sure the refinisher has proof of insurance if they tell you they have it.


You can check with Better Business Bureau to find out if refinisher has any complaints against them or check if their company is legitimate. You can also check the refinishers online reviews on Yelp, Google Reviews, BBB and Facebook to see how they treat their previous clients. If a refinisher has shady reviews or complains that they don't have insurance, then you might want to look for another refinisher.


It's also very important to check refinishers reviews and ask for references from past clients. If refinisher has all positive reviews, that's a good indicator they must be doing a great job refinishing bathtubs or other surfaces. If refinisher has no reviews and no one in your local area uses them, then you may want to look for another refinishing company. Trust your gut.


Steer clear of refinishers who pressure you into refinishing bathtub or any other surface. If a refinisher doesn't have insurance or can't provide their past client references, you may want to be weary. This is a common thing some less than reputable refinishers use when refinishing bathtub. They pressure you into refinishing your bathtub or countertops and don't have the proper insurance or business registry in case refinish goes wrong.


Refinishers with no insurance and no warranty are more likely to cut corners in order to save time and money refinishing your bathtub or other surfaces. With no insurance or warranty a refinisher can just walk away from a botched refinish job if refinishing goes wrong. Nothing is worse than having a refinisher who doesn't have insurance or a warranty to refinish your surface and then walks away when there is a problem with nothing resolved.


That's why you should only use "trusted refinishers" with full insurance and warranties to refinish yours or your clients' surfaces. Trust only "skilled refinishers" with positive feedback from past clients. This is the easiest way to refinish your bathtub or other surfaces without any problems.


The takeaway.

Refinishing your bathtub or countertops can be a mentally daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. It's important that you do your research before selecting a refinisher to ensure the job is done right. We've outlined some key points to look for when choosing a refinisher, including insurance and licensing, reviews and references from past clients, and pressure tactics used by less-than-reputable companies. If you're looking for a refinisher who will do the job right the first time, we suggest sticking with those who have positive feedback from their previous clients.


We hope this information was helpful. Thank you for reading!






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