LESLIE: Brad in Alaska has got a bathroom project. How can we help?
BRAD: Hi. Yeah, I’ve got a bath tub that if I tried to take it out, I’d have to destroy the wall taking it out. And I was wondering if there were any type of finishes that I could possibly put onto it; an epoxy or something like that, that I could just change the color with.
TOM: Well, you can refinish a porcelain bathtub. The problem is that the finishes that are available – and they are epoxy-based finishes – are not as durable as the original porcelain because, of course, the technology is completely different. It’s not baked on. It’s air cure or it’s cured with a heat lamp, depending on the formulation. So you can change the color. It will look good for a while but it’s kind of like – I’d say a five to seven-year finish and even amongst that time you may get some chipping.
Another possibility is what’s called a bath insert, where they make sort of like a skin that fits inside the bathtub and surrounds it and that’s fairly expensive but probably just a little bit less expensive than tearing the whole thing out and I’m certain that that price structure is designed to bring it in there just short of the demolition but that’s another way to do it. Basically, it fits inside the tub and it’s custom made and the only complaint I have about that is that the inserts are pretty thick; usually about a half-inch thick, so your tub ends up being that much more narrow when you’re done.
LESLIE: There’s actually a good website that’s – it’s called TubbyUSA.com and they sell a product that’s really a series of many products and many processes and many steps but it does give you a somewhat really durable and good-looking finished product for the bath. But keep in mind, like Tom says, it’s not going to last as long as you want it to.
BRAD: OK, then. Well, then maybe I should reconsider and I’ll look up Tubby.com and see what’s on there but I thank you for your time.
TOM: You’re welcome, Brad. Good luck with that project and thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.