The question can be answered from the point of a customer asking "How much does it cost to have a bathtub refinished in the Dallas,Tx. area.
It can also be taken as a question by either a customer or a professional possibly wanting to know how to price a bathtub refinishing job. Simply wondering How much does it cost in material to refinish a bathtub?
From the point of a customer I can tell you that you will definitely get what you pay for.
I have always tried to offer packages so suite the needs of my customers. Not feeling proud of the fact that I was offering less than my very best product for the discounted prices I offered but competing with those professionals that were merely painting a bathtub or tile to get it ready for the house or apartment to lease or sale. This is why on the low side you will see bathtub refinishing prices around $250 to $300. These tubs that I refinished at these prices were lightly etched and I would use a molecular bonding agent to help the finish coat stick and last as long as possible. However, they were never part of my "best work" practices and although I could either do the job that cheap or loose the work I have learned in my more established years to loose the work. To simply pass on it.
Let me explain what goes into refinishing bathtub and tile the correct way which is often called RESIDENTIAL QUALITY REFINISHING so it is a permanent fix and not just a painted fixture that will start failing sooner than later.
Lets start with the process I use and this process is also outlined on my price list page
I start by using a chemical rinse (undiluted) to wash the surfaces of any oil or soap residue.
During this process I will be wearing a charcoal respirator.
Next using a woven spun fiber disc called an etching stone I apply a mild abrasion which operates at 2600 RPM. This creates microscopic scratches and pores into the old surface.
Next is another washing of the surface with the chemical wash (undiluted) to not only remove the loose dust particles but to remove any oils that would have gotten on the surface through skin contact (oils from the skin will not allow proper bonding) Now it's time to use a molecular bonding agent (undiluted) which cost $335/quart! It is the very best on the market and you can not be afraid to skimp on this part. first application is mopped on so it can be worked in a circular pattern then switched up to left / right and top to botom scrubbing to work this solution deep into the pores and scratches cause by the etching process. At this point The Bathtub or Tile being refinishing would look relatively untouched to the untrained eye. However, in actual cost there is approximately $135.00 in product used so far. Also time wise about one hour has passed and maybe even an hour and a half. all the time working and wearing the charcoal respirator. Now, is the time to use the dry air heat to dry the molecular bonding agent so there are not any "wet" areas that dilute the finish coating that is about to be applied.
After everything has dried to a matte finish a small amount of molecular bonding agent is applied to cheese cloth and worked into an area about 8" X 8" the is flash dried but just before the drying process is completed the first coat of synthetic porcelain is laid down on the area. These 8"X8" areas are worked across the entire surface until the entire surface has one coat of synthetic porcelain. This is allowed to air dry so it is drawn into the pores created through etching. I know have a great base to start building on and will lay down 2 more layers of synthetic porcelain before air drying the entire surface using the super heated air of the H.V.L.P. applicator. The air passing out of this machine is heated so no moisture can pull through and hit the freshly coated area. At this point I have about $155 to $170.00 of product on the bathtub ... you can easily see how those with the intentions of doing inferior jobs would want to use cheaper coating, diluted products and still technically call it refinishing. In fact I could stop at this point (which is what the apartment grade work would be and to be honest since the products are used at strength it is still much better than most apartment grade refinishing). However, for Residential Quality this is the point in time that I would flash dry the coatings and using more of the prohesion molecular bonding agent I wipe the entire surface down again. Yes it adds an easy $50 in supply cost but allows the coating to melt giving me a nice smooth base and allowing the last layer to melt into the next layer That is being applied. It is only being built up about 2mm in thickness during this entire process but by crosslinking the coatings I am building a very strong, good looking surface for my customer and coming in with a profit of just under $200 for the standard size bathtub. Through experience I have been able to do this entire process in about (3) hours. This gives my customer a very durable, glossy, smooth surface and makes the fixture look and feel new again for far less than replacement.
Yes many of the steps could be diluted and corners cut but all that will do is cause trouble and provide an inferior job. Keeping in mind that with residential quality yields permanent solutions when it is completed in a synergistic way that integrates the new surface into the old surface. Restoring the bathtub and tile to a like new finish.
Bathtub Refinishing Dallas
22+ years in business and I complete all projects myself. I never over book! So I'm never in a rush!