THE RESURFACING PROCESS
Bathtub resurfacing (sometimes called "refinishing" or “reglazing”) has been around for many years with bathtub and tile being the primary application focus. Due to advances in chemistry and coatings knowledge, the resurfacing process has now evolved into a highly effective, multi-layer coatings application. A wide variety of surfaces can now be effectively and efficiently resurfaced, including bathtub, tile, shower wall and base, vanity, countertop, walls, floors, etc.
Resurfacing is a cost-effective alternative to renovation and replacement of a bathtub, countertop or tile wall. HomeAdvisor, estimates that the average cost of a bathtub replacement is $2,800. Resurfacing a bathtub typically costs a fraction of this and the consumer also avoids the mess and hassle of a renovation project. In most cases, resurfacing a bathtub can be completed in one day, requires no remodeling and your tub is available for normal use in as little as 24 hours. Resurfacing is also the preferred process over bathtub or shower liners where a molded plastic form is installed over the existing structure, simply hiding problems such as mold, leaks or other damage that may already be present.
The keys to a successful resurfacing project:
- Quality Coatings
- The Resurfacing Process
- Skill Level of the Resurfacing Professional
1. Quality Coatings
There are several suppliers of resurfacing coatings to the professional resurfacing market, but not all suppliers or products are equal. Some suppliers are focused on other coatings applications like automotive, marine or general architectural. They may market the coatings for those applications for use in resurfacing, but those products are not suitable for the resurfacing process. Suppliers may also source lower grade raw materials or employ questionable manufacturing (such as dilution with solvents) and quality control processes leading to inconsistent coatings quality and potential product failure.
Hawk Labs has focused exclusively on the development and sale of resurfacing coatings and supplies to the resurfacing professional since 1979. Our Research & Development lab is led by an industry veteran PhD Chemist. We have a robust quality process which includes quality control of all incoming raw materials used to manufacture our products and quality control testing of the final product before it is sold to the resurfacing professional. We utilize only high-quality packaging to ensure the integrity of our products while they are being stored or transported to our customers, and we back up our products with industry leading Customer Service, Technical Support and Regulatory and Compliance expertise.
2. The Resurfacing Process
There is no single, agreed application process which represents the “industry standard”. Like many craftsmen, individual resurfacing professionals tend to develop their own application processes and personal preferences. But care in preparation and attention to detail during the process separates the true professional from the pretender.
In general, the resurfacing process can be broken into the following steps:
- Site assessment and preparation: staging materials and equipment, clearing the work area, setting up exhaust equipment, masking the surfaces
- Cleaning and surface preparation: several steps to ensure that the surface is clean and prepared to receive and bond to the resurfacing coating
- Primer coating applied: the primer coating is sprayed in typically two or three layers. Standard primers or low odor/low VOC primers may be used depending on preference
- Multi-color coating applied: optional coating may be applied in typically two or three passes. Many colors and designs are available, depending on preference
- Top coat applied: the choice of suitable topcoat will depend on the application, desired performance and cure time. Standard topcoats or low odor/low VOC topcoats may be used depending on preference
- Clean up: remove masking, pack up equipment, complete any last clean up. Hawk Labs has developed specific resurfacing processes for different applications. Please see the application pages for more details.
Like any trade, the resurfacing professional market has a wide variety of skill sets and experiences. Hawk Labs offers our customers and potential new resurfacing professionals a comprehensive multi-day training covering the fundamentals of the resurfacing process. This investment in training by Hawk and the resurfacing professional enables the resurfacing professional to approach each project in a methodical way. Hawk then backs up this training with technical and applications support, safety training and support, and regulatory advice and know-how. As with any project in your home, it is wise to do some homework - obtain references, inquire about experience and training, and understand the source and quality of the materials that will be used on the project.