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Sprucing Your Shower Tub

Last modified: 2022-10-11 | Approximate reading time 5 mins

Cynthia Pigeon

Time is rarely in your favour when it comes to sanitation facilities, and it is to be expected that your bathtub will start to look dull, the stains harder to remove and the scratches more apparent.  

Whether you are hoping to give your bathroom a little sprucing to motivate potential buyers or simply give it life after the 20th century for your own sake, sooner rather than later, you will have to tackle the eye-sore that is your shower tub, crowning the room in all its glory. 

To remodel or restore, that is the question! Are you willing to pay for hired hands or are you more DIY? Keep reading to find out more!

Remodelling Your Shower Tub

1- Coverup your shower tub

If you have landed on a complete remodel of your bathtub, know that there are turnkey solutions that will save you time, labour, and worry down the line. Without needing much of your time, other than choosing amongst the many available models, select companies such as Bain Magique® will gladly revamp your shower tub without tearing out the current. 

The acrylic coating products used—the most commercially-used product nowadays for its heat-retaining capabilities—are easy to maintain and can be shaped into various designs, benefiting buyers who prefer custom-made designs. In a nutshell, there is something for everyone, and most often, these companies offer a lifetime warranty. You can also switch from a shower tub to a shower only. 

2- Remove your shower tub altogether

If, after careful consideration, you choose to remove your shower tub for the purpose of putting in a new one, before starting any work, be sure to measure the space carefully, then select a new bathtub, ensure its compatibility with the space, and inspect and look over all new materials received. Taking these precautions will save you the trouble of having an unusable bathroom for a period longer than expected. 

rénovation de bain_Que faire avec un vieux bain-douche?_Soumission Rénovation

Source: Flickr 

Here again, you can choose to either remodel yourself or hire a professional who will take on your project. By opting for the latter, it will be highly beneficial if you cannot find someone to help you remove the old bathtub, if you do not think your remodelling skills are up to par, or if you think problems will arise that are outside of your comfort zone. All these are unfortunately par for the course, especially with old houses. Furthermore, by contracting out to a professional, any breaks or accidents will be completely covered and most contractors offer post-installation customer service.  

Are you up for the challenge? Take into consideration ahead of time that removing a shower tub is not as easy as it might seem, especially if it is embedded behind the ceramic on all sides. With a bit of luck, there will be leftover tiles from the installation and any damage will be minimized. On the off chance that this does not match your current situation, you will then have to remove all of the ceramic tiles in order to avoid a discrepancy in style or wear. 

Before jumpstarting anything, it is imperative that you cut the water supply and measure the bathtub in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line. If you happen to have neighbours, warn them ahead of time of upcoming clamouring work. Take it from us, they will appreciate your consideration!

Get ahold of appropriate tools such as a wrench, pliers, screwdriver, crowbar, sledgehammer, and hammer. In order to avoid any unnecessary trips to the emergency room, protect your eyes, hands, and feet. Once equipped, you can remove and disconnect the plumbing by removing the overflow cover, faucets, and bottom opening (drain), as well as disconnecting any related pipes and rods. Remove all tiles and the section of the wall giving access to the bathtub fixtures as they will need to be removed as well. Cut the caulking surrounding the bathtub, and with a crowbar, loosen the bath from the wall a little bit. 

If you can make it out of the bathroom in one piece, the more power to you! Otherwise, contact a professional about removing a cast iron bathtub. Note that is it possible that you will have to temporarily remove all bathroom cabinetry to extract the bath. 

Now comes the time to choose the fate of your old bathtub! You can either bring it to an Ecocentre, sell it, or make it into your next DYI project.

bain art_Que faire avec un vieux bain-douche?_Soumission Rénovation

Source: Pexels

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Restoring your shower tub

There is something for everyone and every budget! By restoring your shower tub, you can use the existing hardware and simply spruce up the plumbing and revamp the other surfaces. Not only are you acquiring new and better items, but if you have a cast iron bathtub, you can also opt to repaint it or re-enamel it. In either scenario, you will have to remove and replace the caulking seal.  

1- Repaint your shower tub

The advantage of painting your shower tub is that it gives you the freedom to be creative, provided you stay away from using colours that are too dark if your water supply is hard, as traces of limestone will eventually ruin your handiwork. Be sure to clean and sand the surface of your bathtub, otherwise, the paint will not adhere. Make sure to let the paint dry completely; a fingerprint or a hair will ruin your efforts.

2- Changing your shower tub enamel

When it comes to re-enamelling, it goes without saying: it consists of applying a new layer of enamel on top of the old one in order to give it a new shine. We recommend seeking out a professional in the field as this technique is much more complex than the former. This technique involves the use of chemical products, like hydrofluoric acid and primers containing catalyzed epoxy that will harden due to an infrared system.

The bottom line is that no matter what you choose to do with your old shower tub, there is a solution that coincides with your esthetic, schedule and budget. 

Have you decided to replace an old shower tub with a new bathtub? Check out our related article How to Choose a Bathtub.

Looking for a cost estimate for your bathroom remodelling project? Try out our cost calculator!

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