Refinishing VS. Liner Systems
There are two major liner material systems for your tub and shower walls. Fiberglass liner systems and Acrylic Liner systems are the two common systems in the Maryland and Washington DC areas. Fiberglass is the cheaper of the two and less durable than acrylic systems. Unlike Acrylic systems, they are very porous, scratch easily and can be cracked fairly easily as well. Because of there inexpensive price point, most customers who chose a plastic system have this one. However, they are usually surprised as it begins to fade very quickly and loose its gloss. Also, we see many of these systems begin to crack in as little as a year in places like the soap dish and on various bending points. Using our company to seal in cracks and refinish fiberglass is a great option. It will usually cost twice as much for the cost of materials and the cost to have one install a new fiberglass system, than to have our company refinish one. Also, with our new finish, the surface will not be nearly as porous, therefore lasting much longer than a basic fiberglass system in proper cared for. The glossy shine of our finish and smooth touch can last a few lifetimes of a fiberglass system with proper care.
Acrylic systems are good because they do not crack as easily as fiberglass systems, will not stain and will not discolor over time in most situations. However, the cost for these systems is much more than refinishing. In many instances, it could cost 10 times as much as our refinishing packages. Also, with proper care, our tub and tile reglazes can last up to 20 years! Many of us will no longer be living in the same house after 20 years, due to life expectancy or simply moving to another location. This is a simple justification for utilizing the cost savings in a refinishing job vs. an acrylic liner system. Also with refinishing, you have a much larger selection of colors from which to choose. We have 40+ colors from which to choose from. Refinishing is also done in one day, whereas a complete acrylic liner system for the entire bathroom may take a few days from start to finish. You will be able to enjoy your new bathroom in 24 hours when having it refinished.
With any liner system, another very important concern are the seals and water barriers. It is important that one understand the risks involved in that an opening for water to penetrate at any point in the shower surround or tub will result in a major damage under or behind the liner system. Water will destroy the subfloor, possible lower level beneath and could cause the wall behind the surround to begin to deteriorate and fall apart. This could lead to extensive structural damage to your home and a huge contractor bill in not installed properly! Walls may have to be replaced and your investment in the liner system will obviously be lost. One has to consider these risks when deciding on a liner system. In the scenario of a tub and tile refinishing job, there is no added risk in doing so. If the shower walls and your tub in your home are leak proof and water sealed before the refinishing job (no problems currently exist), the water seals will only be that much stronger when the surfaces are refinished. In many situations, refinishing can actually add to a stronger seal and will never result in a weaker one or possible liabilities as in the case with a liner system. View pictures of our refinishing jobs on fiberglass surrounds (link to fiberglass gallery)