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Options for Refinishing an Old Bathtub

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Diane, you have a bathroom issue? What’s going on?

    DIANE: Yeah, I’d like your advice, please. My bathtub is getting to look old on the bottom. It has a soft, gray, cloudy look in parts.

    TOM: OK.

    DIANE: I’ve seen this in, for example, my – in the bathtubs of older people. My condo is about 40 years old and I imagine this might be the original tub. Would it better to glaze it or to get one of those – they have a company that puts a tub over it (inaudible at 0:14:08.9) sheet.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Right.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Like a refinishing.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s an insert. Is this a metal tub or a fiberglass tub?

    DIANE: It looks like porcelain.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Porcelain. OK, it’s metal.

    DIANE: It’s a regular, white bathtub. That’s the best I could describe it. I guess it’s porcelain; I’m pretty sure.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s probably a cast iron tub. Now Diane, you can reglaze it but I will tell you that it won’t be nearly as durable as it was 40 years ago and so, that is one option; and the second one is an insert. The thing about the inserts is they’re pretty costly and they also reduce the actual volume of the tub because they’re about a half-inch thick plus they never quite fit exactly perfectly right so they end up taking more room than when you started with. So those are two options to repair or resurface in place.

    LESLIE: Now Diane, since I’m not seeing the stain in person but it sounds almost like it could be a mineral deposit.

    DIANE: No, I’ve seen this in bathtubs before. It’s just old.

    TOM: She’s suffering from old stain here.

    DIANE: It really …

    LESLIE: It sounds like you want a new tub. Because I was going to say if you gave it a try with some white vinegar just to see if that …

    DIANE: I’ll try that but I don’t think I’ll be lucky on that score. I think it needs to be – would you suggest the refinishing?

    TOM: Well, I think that that’s probably going to be a good first step because it’s not very expensive; it doesn’t require a big commitment of time and money and it’s something that you can do yourself.

    DIANE: I can do it myself?

    TOM: Yeah, sure. Just like painting. 

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