There is a quiet revolution in the world of bathroom remodeling. Every
day, more people discover the miracles that can be achieved with a 1/4 inch thick sheet
of acrylic. Say hello to the bathtub liner.
Typically, when your bathtub is tired, worn, dulled, scratched or cracked, you are left
with two alternatives - either buy a new bathtub, or get it your existing bathtub liner
reglazed. Both of these choices have significant downsides.
Buying a new bath is expensive, and it means taking out the old bath, breaking tiles
and plumbing. Reglazing needs doing every ten years or so, if done properly. Generally,
it requires the use of strong odorous chemicals to remove the old enamel.
Bathtub liners are very different. Installation is clean and quick, and involves no
demolition or plumbing. A contractor comes to your house and takes photos and measurements
of your bath. With this information he returns to the factory where the right mold for
your bath is identified. Typically, bathtub liner companies have molds of all the bathtubs
manufactured in the US during the last 20 years.
The mold is then used to create a thick sheet of acrylic that will be used to line your
bathtub. The advantage of acrylic is that it can be given a high gloss finish and is
very durable. The material is the same as that used in the manufacture of football helmets.
It is difficult to scratch, but any surface damage that should occur can be easily repaired.
This is because the color goes all the way through the acrylic sheet, rather than being
sprayed onto the surface.
Finally, the contractor comes to your house, fits the bathtub liner over your existing
bathtub, caulks and seals it. This job is done in less than a day. Liners are also available
for shower bases.
Another great thing about bathtub liners is that the same manufacturer can usually offer
you custom acrylic wall surrounds too. These will match your bathtub and can be installed
directly over the top of your existing tiles, without the need for a messy demolition.
Butyl rubber strips and a silicon adhesive are used (preventing leaks), and small gaps
are left to allow the acrylic to expand and contract.
With acrylic wall surrounds there is no grout and the surface is non-porous, meaning
there is very little cleaning required. Most manufacturers will offer floor to ceiling
options as well as three quarter height.
The result is custom remodeled bathroom at a fraction of the cost of traditional remodeling.
© 2005 a-home.net
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