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Question DetailsAsked on 2/10/2012

How do I choose a bathtub refinisher??? Should I go with one that uses "acid etching" or one that says they don't? Is there a difference?

I've researched 3 companies (all rated well). One is a national franchise that says their finish is better because they don't acid etch. Another one says that the previously mentioned company is just using creative wording and that their process is actually the same. There's also a difference with how the 3 companies are going to handle the transition between tub and tile (we're having both refinished). Is it better to fill in the gap before finishing or to finish and then caulk?

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Voted Best Answer

There's a reason why tile is not grouted to the tub and caulk is applied instead. Movement of the tub and/or wall cracks the grout between the two surfaces. For this reason I would follow the same logic and have the two finished independently and then caulk the ajoining seam to allow that movement.

As far as whether to acid etch or not the tub needs a good surface for the finish to bond to, free of any deposits or impurities. Ask the other companies what the do to prepare the existing tub if they don't etch it. I suppose it could be scuffed up with heavy sand paper but that would be more mess than the acid etch would. In my experience refinished tubs do not have nearly the life of the original factory finish. Go with the one that provides the best and longest warranty for the finish and who has a good track record of honoring that warranty. Also, do NOT let them apply the new finish over the drain flange or overflow. I can't stress how much of a pain that is to deal with when trying to get access into a drain to address a major clog or when remodeling in the future. It's a short cut I've seen too many times and makes it very difficult to get the drain loose later.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Answered 8 years ago by Todd's Home Services

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