How To Refurbish A Bathtub

Is your bathroom outdated? Does it feel used and abused? The problem might be your old bathtub, or more specifically, the old tub’s drab finish. Even if you clean the bathtub regularly, the tub’s finish can still make the whole room look dingy. Your tub might need to be refinished. Refinishing a bathtub is the process of applying a hard epoxy coating over a tub’s existing fiberglass, enamel or acrylic surface using a paintbrush or airbrush. Let’s look at the signs and symptoms of a tub that needs to be refurbished.

Signs Your Bathtub Needs Refinishing 

  • Your old tub is no longer shiny. New bathtubs are freshly glazed and typically boast a light-catching, glossy shine. However, over time and after plenty of everyday use, that finish can wear away, leaving a dull, drab appearance. Not only is shine gone, but the protective surface has probably worn away, too. Refinishing it can help refresh the shine and the protection.
  • Your old bathtub always looks dirty. That’s because it is Your tub might have been sparkling white, but over time it might look splotchy and beige. A properly finished tub is glazed, creating a non-porous finish. Once that finish wears away, however, the tub becomes porous, and the dirt and grime can settle into the surface. Scrubbing with harsh bathroom cleaners doesn’t always help and might make the drab finish look worse. You want a soak in your tub to help you feel clean, fresh and hygienic, not grimy.
  • The finish of your old bathtub is scratched, cracked or chipped. Life happens, and a lot of that life has probably occurred in your bathroom. Your children probably grew up playing with toys in that tub during bath time, but perhaps not all of those toys were soft and tub friendly. Maybe you give your dogs their baths in that tub, and the claws on their paws have scratched the surface. Maybe you’ve even dropped something heavy, such as a shower wand, and damaged the surface. If you chip the finish of a tub, it might reveals the steel or cast iron beneath the surface, which can rust and look terrible.
  • Your vintage tub needs an update. A house from the 1950s might be solid as a rock, but that pink, baby blue or mint green tub can make the rest of the bathroom feel outdated. Resurfacing the bathtub can give it a brighter, white surface to complement the rest of your bathroom.

Before You Begin

It’s important to note that refinishing your bathtub yourself won’t necessarily give the tub the appearance of being entirely new. Depending on your experience and capabilities, your work might not be as good as that of professionals. However, if you’re handy around the house, you enjoy learning new home-improvement techniques, and your tub’s surface needs attention but is otherwise in good condition, refurbishing your bathtub could be a straightforward weekend project. Still, it might be a good idea to get contact information for professional tub refinishers, in case the job becomes more than you can handle. This is especially true if you don’t have a second tub or shower in the house, and your housemates will need to bathe in the next few days.

How Do You Refinish a Bathtub?

Learning how to refinish a tub yourself can be done by watching home-improvement tutorial videos online. You can also check your local home-improvement stores to see if they offer classes that teach how to refinish a bathtub. Before you begin your project, make a list of the supplies you’ll need and purchase them in one trip to the hardware store. You won’t want to be in the middle of the project and realize you need to make another trip.

Bathtub Refinishing Supplies 

  • Bathtub refinishing kit
  • Screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Abrasive pad
  • Rubber gloves
  • Breathing protection
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Paint roller and roller cover
  • Paint sponge
  • Roller tray
  • Caulk gun
  • Chemical caulk remover
  • Bleach
  • Abrasive cleanser
  • Drop cloth
  • Painter's tape
  • #400 to #600 wet/dry sandpaper
  • Paper towels
  • Tack cloth
  • Tub and tile caulk

Bathtub Refinishing Process

  1. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions that were included with the refinishing kit. Use only as directed.
  2. Ventilate the room. Even though many tub refinishing kits claim to be odorless, it is in your best interest to keep the room ventilated while you work. Open nearby windows and run the exhaust fan.
  3. Wear personal protective equipment, including rubber gloves and breathing protection, especially when sanding the tub.
  4. Unscrew and remove all the metal hardware from your tub. This includes the faucet spout and cover plates. Use a putty knife to clean dirt and caulk residue from openings.
  5. Thoroughly clean the tub. Remove the caulking from the joints around the tub. You might need to use a chemical caulk remover to rid the tub surface of all traces of caulk residue. Use bleach to remove mildew. Thoroughly scrub the tub surface with an abrasive cleanser. Rinse completely with clear water.
  6. Cover areas around the tub — including the floor and walls — using painter's tape and drop cloths.
  7. Etch the tub’s surface by combining the kit’s etching powder with water and applying it to the surface of the tub. The etching powder should help prep the old finish so the new coating will adhere to the tub’s surface. Scrub the tub surface using an abrasive pad. Rinse the bathtub completely with clear water.
  8. Use #400 or #600 wet/dry sandpaper to sand the bathtub while the tub is still wet. This will roughen the tub surface further, allowing the new coating to better adhere to the surface and not peel away after all your hard work. Sand and roughen the entire tub, including the corners and edges. Rinse the tub and let it dry.
  9. Wipe down the dry tub to remove dust, lint or paper residue.
  10. Apply the kit’s primer to the tub surface using a foam brush and paint roller. Follow all label instructions. Let the primer dry.
  11. Follow the kit’s label instructions to mix the epoxy coating by blending the hardener/catalyst into the epoxy resin. The epoxy coating will begin to harden once mixed, so be prepared to apply the coating to the entire tub in one session.
  12. Use a paint roller to apply the coating to the sides of the bathtub. To prevent lines and drips, alternate using horizontal and vertical roller strokes. Use the sponge paint brush in the corners and other hard-to-reach areas.
  13. Follow label directions regarding timing of the second coat’s application.
  14. Allow the second coat to dry and cure, as per label directions. Curing might take up to three days. Keep the area ventilated.
  15. Seal the tub with fresh silicone caulk and allow it to cure. Reinstall hardware.

Bathtub refinishing can add new protection to your tub while making it look better. The project can cost a few hundred dollars, depending on which supplies and tools you already own, but refinishing is typically an affordable way to improve the look of the entire bathroom. On the other hand, if you’re not a do-it-yourselfer and learning how to refurbish a bathtub just isn’t on your to-do list, upgrade to your dream bathroom, starting with a new tub. Learn about Modern Bathroom’s exciting tub and shower options here.        

5 Bathroom Trends To Avoid This Year


It’s easy to get caught up in the popularity of bathroom remodeling trends, especially when those trendy elements look so gorgeous in magazine photos. However, it’s important to remember that no one uses the bathrooms in those glossy photos in the same ways that you and your family use yours on a daily basis. Before those magazine photos are taken, the rooms are professionally lighted and perfectly accessorized. Those magazine bathrooms don’t need to be practical; they just need to look amazing for a few hours.

Your needs, however, are probably different. You want your remodeled bathroom to look beautiful, but you also need it to be practical for every member of your family who will be using it. There are plenty of remodeling trends that look fabulous in magazine photos but might not be right for you and your family members in real life. If practicality is important to your budget, here are five bathroom trends to avoid.

Trendy Sinks and Vanities

1. Vessel sinks: These focal elements can look magnificent in the right surroundings, such as in an extra-large bathroom or a fancy hotel restroom. However, they can be impractical for many home bathrooms. Their higher-than-usual faucets and taller-than-expected bowl sides have been known to splash unsuspecting patrons if the water pressure is too high, and no one likes to emerge from a bathroom looking splashed. A vessel sink can also be difficult for small children to reach. Plus, if the adults are not used to a bathroom sink being raised several inches, it’s easy to knock belongings into the bowls, possibly cracking the basins. Before you install a vessel sink, see a few models in use to be certain they’re right for your household.

2. Pedestal sinks: A pedestal sink is essentially a sink without a vanity. They consist of the sink basin and its matching stand, and they are usually made of porcelain or ceramic. Pedestal sinks can be lovely focal pieces in bathrooms, but remember that they do not provide storage space. If you are considering a pedestal sink because your powder room is small, that plan might backfire because you will need to add a cupboard or other type of storage area for toilet paper and other guest essentials. This could crowd your small bathroom and leave you and your guests feeling cramped and dissatisfied.

3. Floating vanities: Wall-mounted vanities or “floating” vanities are elevated off the floor and attached directly to the wall. They typically have clean, modern design lines, which can look fantastic in contemporary, streamlined bathrooms.

Floating vanities can be a blessing and a curse, depending on the ages of your family members. If you have small children who tend to routinely splash water out of the tub and all over the bathroom floor, a wall-mounted vanity can stay high and dry. However, if your family members are getting on in years and tend to drop their belongings, those items can roll or get kicked under a wall-mounted vanity.

Plus, floating vanities don’t often provide as much storage space as traditional vanities. If you opt for a floating vanity, see if the manufacturer offers a matching, wall-mounted storage unit. Finally, if you are considering removing a traditional vanity and replacing it with a wall-mounted unit, remember the previous vanity’s footprint. That floor space will become exposed and will need to have flooring added, which could be an added expense to your remodeling budget.

Dreary Colors

4. Gray walls with gray floors and white trim: This color combination is a polarizing palette — people either love it or they hate it. Gray on gray is popular in living rooms and family rooms but can make small rooms seem cold and dreary, especially if those small rooms are windowless bathrooms or rooms that have only a north-facing window. On a cold, winter morning, you typically want to feel warm and cozy, not drab and dreary. If you’re a fan of this gray-on-gray color combination, consider reserving it for a larger room that has more windows instead of your bathroom.

Extra-Large Bathtubs and Showers

5. Oversized tubs: Not everyone enjoys taking bubble baths. Plus, as home prices increase, many people look at the amount of floor space that an oversized tub or shower takes up and imagine all the other things they could do with that space, such as install a stackable washer and dryer. A giant tub may not be a great selling point if you’re looking to relocate in the next few years.

As you collect photos for your bathroom remodel inspiration board, be certain to take practicality into account. Visit a Modern Bathroom showroom in person and get a feel for how a vanity, sink, tub and shower might work together in the daily lives of your family members. Doing so could save you money and a few headaches in the long run.

Bathroom Safety Tips For The Elderly

Creating a safe home environment for seniors starts with the bathroom — the place where, for the elderly, most at-home accidents occur. Whether it’s a slip in the shower or tripping on the way to the toilet at night, falls and injuries are especially common in this part of the house. That’s why, when you want to improve bathroom safety at home, you need to know how to handle bathroom hazard concerns. Here are some important modern bathroom safety tips for keeping you or your loved ones safe while at home:

  1. Install grab bars. Grab bars give you something to grab when you’re getting in and out of the shower, and they also offer a way to catch yourself if you’re about to fall. Add grab bars and safety rails to the shower/tub as well as near the toilet. Make sure they’re anchored well enough to support an adult’s weight.
  2. Add non-skid surfaces. While skidproof decals are a step in the right direction, they don’t cover the entire bathtub surface, so slips are still likely. Look instead for a mat that covers the surface of the bathtub floor. Likewise, you may want to add a mat with a rubber backing to the bathroom floor, too.
  3. Put in nightlights. For those middle-of-the-night trips back and forth to the bathroom, nightlights add illumination that can make all the difference between seeing your way straight to the toilet and tripping on something along the way.
  4. Lower the water temperature. Set your whole-house water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower so that, even if an elderly person can’t notice the hot temps, he or she is less likely to be injured.
  5. Provide seating. Extended periods of standing to brush teeth, wash up for bed, etc., can be wearying to an elderly body. Add seating to the bathroom that makes it possible to sit while getting ready. Likewise, consider adding a shower chair with a rigid back that allows for a seated position while showering.
  6. Raise the toilet seat. To prevent overexertion from having to go to the bathroom, add a raised toilet seat that makes sitting down and getting up much easier. For anyone with knee pain, hip pain, joint pain, etc., this can be a great, practical way to improve bathroom safety.
  7. Have items within reach. Whether it’s shampoo and conditioner easily reachable in the shower or toothpaste and soap easy accessible at the sink, keep items in the places where you use them. This helps eliminate unnecessary reaching, searching and standing, and the potential for accidents that comes with them.
  8. Provide supervision. In some cases, the best and most important way to protect a senior in the bathroom is through the care of a loved one. Whether it’s a relative, friend or home health aide, having someone nearby greatly reduces the chance of serious injury.

As you or your loved ones age, it’s only normal to start thinking more about safety at home. You want to rest easy knowing that daily tasks like going to the bathroom won’t cause harm. Because, while staying in your own house can be a wonderful comfort, it’s vital that you remain safe. Use the eight tips above to make the bathroom a safer place where accidents are less likely to occur!

These products and more can be purchased at Modern Bathroom. Browse our site today to help safeguard your bathroom.

Re-Caulking Your Bathroom

When it comes to modern bathtubs, and entire bathrooms, caulk is king. It’s vital for sealing the grout lines between your wall and tub, preventing mold and mildew, minimizing leaks and more. This is why keeping caulk in mint condition is so important. From time to time, caulk will crack, and it needs to be replaced. To help you know when and how to handle this bathroom renovation, here’s a look at signs it’s time to re-caulk; specific areas to be on guard about; and tips for how to caulk bathtubs, sinks and other areas well.

Notorious Problem Areas

Major bathroom problem areas for caulk damage are places that are regularly wet: e.g., corners, edges, bases and other parts of the shower/tub, stand-alone shower or sink where water always hits. In the shower/tub, for example, you’ll usually spot issues along the seal between the tub and the wall. In the stand-alone shower, you might see caulk damage along the floor where the tile meets the wall.

Signs it’s Time to Caulk Again

Whenever you notice bathroom caulk is showing serious signs of damage, it’s time to do something. Whether you’re talking about caulk on the tub or bathroom vanities, key warning signs include:

  • Cracks
  • Discoloring
  • Shrinking caulk
  • Black mildew stains in the caulk

When any of these problems occur, your best bet is to remove the damaged caulk, remove any mildew/mold damage, and start again.

How to Re-Caulk

When you know you have a problem to fix, here are the simple steps to treating caulk damage:

  1. Remove old caulk. Don’t skip this step and apply new caulk on top of old caulk! It is much harder to get caulk to meld with existing, damaged caulk than it is to put it on a fresh surface. There are several methods you can use to remove old caulk, including scraping it with a razor blade, softening it with a specially designed caulk product, or a combination of the two. You need to get the old caulk fully removed before moving to any of the additional steps.
  2. Clean the area. Use a bleach solution to get rid of any mold/mildew damage lurking beneath the old caulk, and use a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe off the area after that. You want a fully cleaned, smoothed area to which you’ll apply new caulk.
  3. Apply new caulk carefully. Use a high-quality caulking gun to apply new caulk to the area you’re repairing. You can use either latex (easier to apply, cleans easily) or silicone (harder to apply, harder to remove). If you’re worried about messing up, feel free to put down tape, like you would when painting, to expose only the areas that should be caulked. Wipe the tip of the tube after each application.
  4. Clean and smooth the new caulk. Check for any extra splotches of caulk remaining here and there, and smooth them out with a wet finger, wiping your finger clean after each touch-up. Caulk sets quickly, so you’ll need to work fast. If it has already dried by the time you realize a mistake, use a razor blade to cut off excess.

A clean and mold-free bathroom is worth the extra trouble that re-caulking requires. Use the tips above to caulk bathroom sinks, the shower, the tub or wherever you need repairs. When you properly remove and replace caulk in the bathroom, you set yourself up for years of better protection from water damage.

If you have questions about bathroom renovation and the products we offer, contact Modern Bathroom today!

Toddler Safety For Your Bathroom

It won’t be long after your baby starts walking that he or she is opening drawers, reaching up to shelves, grabbing things and getting into all kinds of mayhem. That’s why safeguarding your home for a growing toddler is so important — especially in the bathroom. Because of medications, cosmetics, appliances and reachable water access that tend to exist in the bathroom at home, it’s a place where your child is particularly vulnerable to danger. With that in mind, to help prevent injuries, protect your toddler and create better bathroom safety, here are a few tips for securing the bathroom.

  1. Always be near. Bathtub safety is a serious concern — so when the doorbell rings during bath time, either ignore it or scoop your toddler up in a towel to take with you to the door. Never leave your toddler alone during bath time, not even for a moment. Likewise, anytime your child is in the bathroom, it’s a good idea to be nearby. Keeping the door closed can prevent unsupervised access.
  2. Always empty the tub. As soon as a bath is over, empty the tub of water. Leaving standing water in the bathroom means leaving bathtub dangers where toddlers could topple into and drown, so keep it dry.
  3. Install anti-slip features to tub. Whether it’s a rubber mat or non-skid decals, help prevent bathtub slips and falls by making the floor less slick.
  4. Lock the toilet. The same principle applies to the toilet, where even the small amount of water that sits in the bowl is a drowning hazard. Always close the lid when you’re not using the toilet, and install a child-safe lock that prevents toddler access.
  5. Lower the water temperature. Protect against potential scalds or burns by lowering your house’s water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You could also get an anti-scald device for added protection if desired.
  6. Childproof knobs. There are childproof doorknobs, sink knobs and tub knobs on the market today, so it’s incredibly easy and convenient to pop them on your faucets and doorknobs to prevent kids from running water or gaining access when they shouldn’t.
  7. Keep hazardous materials high and locked. Your hairspray, mouthwash, makeup and even medications may not seem like hazardous materials at first glance. In the hands of a toddler, however, they become objects to taste, touch, open and explore. From cleaning products to everyday toiletries, keep hazardous materials high out of reach so that your kids can’t access them.
  8. Keep meds in childproof containers. Whether you’re talking about aspirin or prescription drugs, any medication you keep in the bathroom should be stored high and have a childproof lid.
  9. Always unplug. When you use blowdryers, curling irons, flat irons, electric razors or any other bathroom appliances, make sure you unplug them after using and store them out of the way.

When it comes to modern bathroom safety for your child, you can’t be too careful — so to protect your little one from injury, follow the nine tips above. Learn more about the top-quality bathroom products at Modern Bathroom, your resource for the best prices on tubs, mirrors, accessories and more!

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