Renewing a Bathroom Suite

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If you have a bathroom suite which is no longer looking its best, or perhaps is a colour that you don’t like any more, then instead of ripping it all out and replacing, another option is to have the entire suite resurfaced or re-enamelled as it is often referred to. This is a more eco-friendly approach to renewing a bathroom suite and the process is a lot less stressful than replacing the whole suite and having to redecorate etc.

Resurfacing, re enamelling, refinishing and reglazing are all terms used to describe basically the same thing. Each is a process of restoring the bath or bathroom suite to its original condition. Any chips or damage are repaired and then the bath is resurfaced.  Making the bathtub look and feel new again. This is generally done in situ. The whole suite can be resurfaced in the same fashion. So the toilet and wash hand basin are resurfaced or re enamelled in the same fashion.

Great Roll Top claw foot bath re enamelled by The Bath Business. Original taps.

A dated avocado bathroom suite can now be restored to white and, depending on the style, made to look ultra modern. Or if you are a bit adventurous you can even have the whole bathroom suite re enamelled to BLACK!

The entire suite can be resurfaced in situ. Often grey or green suites are being resurfaced to white. Some people are having their whole bathroom suite resurfaced in pastel shades of blue, pink or yellow. If need be the suite can be delivered to specialist bath resurfacers and done off site whilst you finish your other bathroom renovation projects.

Any style of bathroom suite can be resurfaced or re enamelled. Traditional Victorian bathroom suites, 1920’s Art Deco bathroom suites and modern bathroom suites, including jacuzzi and corner baths. The outcome is a suite that is rejuvenated and once again looking attractive as well as being very easy to clean.

Any type of bathroom suite can be resurfaced or re enamelled. Most bathroom sinks and toilets are made of porcelain. However the bath can be cast-iron, pressed steel, acrylic, fibreglass etc. A common question is “Can a Plastic Bath be resurfaced?” Absolutely it can.

Corner baths can be tricky but only due to their size. Some corner baths are really large and the dimensions can be difficult for the Bath Re enameller to access the whole bath. It’s best to make specific enquiries from a specialist if you have a corner bath.

The fact that the resurfacing is normally done in situ means that the entire suite can be done in a day, and would be usable the next. None of the fixtures need to be removed. There is no need to replace any tiling or flooring. None of the plumbing is disconnected when the suite is re enamelled so there is no need to remove the bath panel (if there is one). etc. It is a lot less hassle than ripping out your suite, getting in different workmen and then re-fitting a new suite that often is nowhere near the quality of the suite you just threw away because it was grimy or  a strange shade of mustard.

Re enamelled bath with original taps. North London

If you are considering having your entire suite resurfaced then there are a few points to bear in mind:

The suite will be usable the day after it is resurfaced. If the WC that is part of the suite is the only one in the house, then you may need to make other arrangements for the period it is out of action.

Also, if the toilet seat in your bathroom is one which is likely to get treated roughly (i.e. you have children who may throw the seat down onto the pan), then you may wish to consider replacing the WC as the new surface may well chip were the toilet seat impacts on it with such force. Normal wear and tear however should not result in the toilet chipping.

It also important to note that chips or defects will show up more easily if the bath or suite is having a colour change. For example a recently resurfaced green bath in London was quite badly chipped around the plug hole but the owner had not noticed. The chips were not right down to the metal so it wasn’t really obvious. As the owner was having her bath changed to white the same chips would be clearer. As soon as the plug chipped the bath it would be obvious. A new plug in the style of a chrome plug but made of rubber can be used to replace the plug and prevent future chipping.

Traditional bathroom suites or Art Deco style 1920’s style suites often have elaborate or original taps. Often the bath is in need of re enamelling due to these old taps dripping constantly over the years. It would be a shame to have to get rid of these because the local plumber doesn’t have the part anymore to repair the dripping tap.

Lovely original Jacob Delafon Wall Mounted basin taps

Nowadays you can even send your old taps to a specialist to have restored and then either have the brass polished up to a beautiful finish or re chrome plated or nickel-plated. The overall effect is really lovely.

Contact The Bath Business , Bath Resurfacing and Enamel Bath Specialist about any bathroom improvements you wish to carry out.

Resurfacing a Roll-Top Bath

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Here at the Bath Business we resurface a lot of Victorian Roll-Top Baths. This isn’t really surprising when you look at how expensive they are to buy, even second hand. Many people like the classic look of these baths, and in the right setting they can be truly spectacular.

ultra-roll-top-bath

And that keeps demand for them high. So if you have a roll-top bath or any cast iron bath, then getting it resurfaced if it’s not looking it’s best is a very cost effective solution compared to replacement.

Resurfacing or re enameling,  a quality bath breaths new life into it. It looks and feels new. The fact that it is done in situ by The Bath Business in less than a day makes it not only economical but also a lot less disruptive than replacing the bath.

The Bath Business can resurface cast-iron and modern baths. We can re-enamel claw foot baths, classic antique baths, slipper baths, roll top baths etc. We can resurface and re-enamel cast-iron, plastic, acrylic or fibreglass baths as well as porcelain.

Recently there has been a move to using roll-top freestanding baths in very contemporary surroundings. This can work surprisingly well.

A recent customer had had his bathroom completely re-done, but wanted to keep the roll-top which was original to the house. So he decided to have The Bath Business come and resurface his bath.

He’d had taps installed which were on a stand-pipe, separate from the bath itself. The taps were a mono-block design, done in chrome. The stand pipes were in chrome too. (Another way to achieve a similar affect would been to have  the taps coming out from the wall above were the bath was to be positioned.)

So the bath was not going to have any taps on it at all, which gave it a very uncluttered, modern look

However, this left the problem of what to do with the old tap holes. The Bath Business were able to fill the tap holes and resurface the bath. The end result of that was a bath which looked like it had never ever had taps, thus giving him a bath which was both original but also thoroughly in keeping with the bathroom make-over.

A bath with the taps holes made to “disappear”.

Services include: bath re-enamelling, bath chip repairs, bathroom suite, enamelling, bathroom renovation, re-enamelling, resurfacing, bath re-surfacing, enamel repairs, chipped enamel, cast iron bath, bathtub refinishing, bath tub resurfacing,

A Bath Resurfacing project in Bridge of Allan

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05/03/09

I went to Bridge of Allan to do a job. The main thing the customer wanted was a chipped area of the bath repaired. Apparently it had just had a little chip originally, but one time he was in the bathroom,  the area around the chip just started flying off the bath until there was a large area that was just exposed cast iron.

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I went and had Lunch in Bridge of Allan itself. It’s not a huge town by any means. Just one street with shops and restaurants on it. Lots of restaurants. They were all very upmarket. I was quite surprised by this. I mentioned it to the customer and he said that Bridge of Allan had rail and road links to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, good schools and a rural location and as such was much in demand as a place for the affluent to live.Not fitting into this category I was unaware of this haven in the countryside. It certainly is a beautiful place.

It also started snowing again. I was planning to go to Helensburgh to visit some family after I’d finished work and wasn’t sure I was going to make it if the snow kept up.

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Snowing in Bridge of Allan.

The Customer and his wife run a company called Bouvrage. They produce all natural berry drinks from raspberries and European Blueberry. You can visit their website at www.bouvrage.com if you’d like to know more.

Got the job finished and did make it to Helensburgh. Scottish weather can be a bit unpredictable and annoying at times but it never got in the way of getting the job done and seeing the family. That makes a nice wee change.

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Finished job.

An Interesting climate change – Edinburgh to Melrose

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04/03/09

I was in Edinburgh and travelled down to Melrose to resurface a bath. In Edinburgh it felt quite spring-like (as it should be) but as I travelled down you start to climb a bit and it eventually got quite wintery.

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View from A68 looking down to the Firth of Forth.

Melrose itself is a very typical Scottish Borders town. Pretty but small. Lots of independent shops doing their own thing.A great place to visit and like most of the Borders town a very pretty place as well.

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Melrose

The bath I was resurfacing was in a house that dated from the 1880’s, and the owners thought that the bath was original. It was a plunger bath and these are very old baths. It seemed very likely this bath was original to the house as there was a button above the bath that you could push to ring a bell for a servant. If the bath was original then it was one of the very first cast iron baths. It has the unusual feature of the plunger for the bath also acting as the overflow. You don’t see this in later baths.

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Melrose Abbey

Dedicated services in Scotland and England which include:bath re-enamelling, bath chip repairs, bathroom suite resurfacing, enamelling, bathroom renovation, re-enameling, resurfacing, bath re-surfacing, enamel repairs, chipped enamel, original cast iron bath sales, bathtub refinishing, and bath tub resurfacing.

 

A day of work in Sheffield

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04/02/09

I travelled all the way to Sheffield today. It looks like they had had a lot of snow. We have employed a chap to cover this area specifically but I do like to do the odd job myself, especially when we are really busy. Sheffield is really rather nice.

sheffiledsnow

I got to the job. A very pretty roll-top bath from 1928 was the bath to be resurfaced. It was in excellent condition too. But the customer wanted the holes for the taps filled and that area to look like it had never had taps. He had the new taps coming in over the side of the bath from above. So I filled the holes and resurfaced the bath. Can you tell where the tap holes where? I hop not.

tubbeforetubafter

The house was having a lot of work done to it; an extension being added and so on. One of the sparkies said something to me I didn’t catch. I asked him what he’d said. He laughed and said (refering to my Scottish accent), “Tha’ talks worst than ma!”  “Black”, “kettle”, “pot” and “calling” are some words which spring to mind. And most people think i sound American!

Heading back to the motorway from Sheffield, you pass a church with a crooked spire. I hope you can make it out in the picture. I am pretty sure the spire is meant to be like this.Quite a sight. Does anyone have any information on that Church spire?

spiresheffield

Snow!

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2/2/09

Like a few million other people, I didn’t make it to work today. At the start of my journey, the snow didn’t seem that bad. Headed up the M23 to get onto the M25. Couldn’t get onto the M25. Believe there had been a number of jack-knifed lorries which had closed the road completely.

motorway

Decided to try using smaller roads. At first this was fine but gradually the tarmac was disappearing under snow and eventually it was getting hard to see where the road actually was. But I still thought I would make it to the job.

driving

Then came to a queue of cars. There was quite a steep hill up ahead, and people were trying, and failing to make it up. It was now about 10:30am and I had been travelling for over 2 hours and had failed to get 20 miles from home. So I turned around and headed home. I ended up playing in the snow with my son, Arran. As you can see he thought it was great fun!arran

Changing the Colour of a Bath

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We can change the colour of your bath. Or restore the colour of an existing bath that has gotten worn or damaged.

Generally the colour required is made on-site, matching it to an existing coloured fixture. This is quite a time consuming process so it adds a little bit to the price compared to restoring a bath to white.

If you don’t require or need you bath resurfaced to match existing fixtures, but just want it coloured (for example, someone requested their bath be resurfaced in black) then the colour can be obtained ready made and this brings costs down.


If you have a roll-top style of bath, then usually the outside of the bath is painted, often in a strong, bold colour. The specialist materials we use for the inside of the bath are not required, although if we do the outside for you in white we will use these materials.

This is something you can do yourself as the finish on the outside is not as critical as on the inside. After all, you are not going to be sitting, naked, on the outside. Nor is it going to be getting immersed in water.

If you do plan on doing the outside yourself, I’d recommend not using a high gloss finish as the outside of a cast iron bath is often quite rough and pitted and a glossy finish will just highlight this. A satin finish should look much better.

Also, doing the feet in a different colour helps to draw attention to them, and if you have clawed feet or the like (some of these baths can have quite impressive feet with a surprising amount of detail) then a different colour is really worth considering.

Or, if you prefer, we can do it for you.

Services include:Bath Re-enamelling bath chip repairs, bathroom suite, enamelling, bathroom renovation, re-enamelling a bath, resurfacing, bath re-surfacing,enamel repairs,chipped enamel, cast iron bath, bathtub refinishing, bath tub resurfacing,

When Should One Look at Having a Bath Resurfaced

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Bath tub refinishing, Bath tub Resurfacing

The majority of the baths we resurface are done because the bottom area of the bath has become dull, rough stained and hard to clean. These are, almost all of them, cast-iron baths.

Pressed-steel baths and plastic/acrylic don’t usually have this problem to the same degree because their finish is tougher and more resistant to chemical attack by modern cleaners, acidic water and so on.However they can become patchy and look bleached as well as suffer from lime-scale and off course they can be chipped or damaged in some way. As far as repairing a bath is concerned we do more repairs to pressed steel and plastic baths but not so many repairs to cast iron bath.

We also get asked to do baths to handle things like chips in the bath or to change the colour of a bath or cover in tap holes when taps have been moved (onto the wall, for instance).

We do also resurface some pressed-steel and plastic baths, particularly when removing them would result in expensive redecoration. Pressed-steel baths are prone to chipping but apart from that they usually last very well. They can become discoloured and a bit rough. Once in a while you come across one that has had damage done due to corrossive cleaning agents, but compared to cast-iron baths this is relatively rare.

So of the pressed-steel and plastic baths we resurface, the main reason for resurfacing tends to be to change the colour (currently the trend is to get a coloured bath changed to white) or to give the coloured bath a new lease of life.

Resurfacing versus replacement?

I suppose as it’s my business I ought to say it’s better to resurface. However, I think there is a valid case for both depending on what kind of bath you have and where it is fitted in the bathroom. Also it depends on what you are planning to do with your bathroom. Another factor is what will be what is the most cost effective. And finally there is the age of your home.

For example, if you are planning to completely change around you bathroom, moving the fixtures and so on, I would replace the bath if it is a pressed steel or plastic bath, as these are quite inexpensive, easy to get hold of,  and you are already going to be redoing the plumbing, plastering, tiling and so on.

If you have a cast iron bath then it may be more sensible to keep it and get it resurfaced, especially if it is a roll-top or 1930’s style of bath. These are not easy to replace and costly to buy even second-hand and are very desirable. If you are planning to get rid of a roll-top, then don’t throw it out. Sell it! People want these.

If you have one of the plainer cast iron baths from the 1950s or ’60s (these baths are usually large and boxed in) and you are planning to completely change around your bathroom then you may well be better to replace it with a plastic or pressed steel bath. I think in this instance it comes down to personal preference. Some people like the fact that a cast iron bath feels substantial when they are in it and these baths tend to be a bit deeper and wider. Others like the modern designs you can get with plastic baths. If you are a bit bigger like myself then a cast iron bath is a must have. But as i said it is down to personal preferences.

If you just want your existing bath to look better and are not planning to change things around in the bathroom (and this is the scenario in the majority of the jobs we do) then resurfacing becomes a good option because it will generally be cheaper, easier to organize and the bath will be out of commission for a shorter period of time (with us you will be able to use the bath the next day).

But even in this scenario, if you live in a modern house, it may be as cheap or cheaper to replace your existing plastic bath as it will be a standard size which is easy to get hold of and not expensive. It should be quite straight-forward for a plumber to change the baths around so his costs will not be great. You shouldn’t need to re-tile as the new bath ought to slot right in where the old one was.

But even with new-build houses there are exceptions. I recently did a plastic bath in a new-build flat for a single guy. He wanted it resurfaced because he worked all week and didn’t want the hassle of trying to source a new bath and organising a plumber and having to take a day off work to let the plumber in. As I was willing to work on a Saturday then resurfacing, for him, was a better option.

If you are not sure what would be best for yourself in terms of resurfacing you bath or replacing it, please feel free to e-mail me and I’ll do my best to help you out.

The Bath Business –
Repairing chips in a bath
We can repair chips in a bath. If the bath itself is in pretty good condition and just has a chip or two, then rather than having the whole bath done, the chip itself can be fixed. It is cheaper than resurfacing the whole bath. This repair service works best on a relatively new bath where one or two chips exist. Also we can repair small cracks or holes in the bath.

I wouldn’t recommend doing a chip repair if the bath is starting to feel a bit worn and rough, especially if the chip is in the worn area. The area repaired will have a different texture to the surrounding area and as the old surface is rough it will tend be hard to clean and discolour, making the repair very noticeable.

Another point to make in relation to chip repairs is that even if your bath is white, we will still need to colour match the repaired area to the existing bath otherwise you have two different shades of white right next to each other and the repair stands out like a sore thumb.

Probably the majority of  repairs we do are on pressed steel baths, as these are especially prone to being chipped.

The Bath Business –

What Kinds of Baths Can Be Resurfaced

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There are three main materials baths are made from: Cast-iron, Pressed steel and plastic/Acrylic.

We can resurface all of these.

CAST IRON BATHS.Cast iron is what baths have traditionally been made from. Baths have been made this way for a long time so you come across many different styles from Victorian roll-top baths with clawed feet, 1930’s art-deco style with broad, square shoulders and boxed in with cast-iron panels in matching colour (the most common colour of these baths is green/avocado) through to the much plainer baths of the fifties and sixties which are boxed in with panels made from ply or the like. Then as you get into the 70’s and 80’s you come across baths where the enamel is coloured again, the baths often have handles and again, usually the are boxed in.  The baths themselves are heavy. They do not flex when you get in them. A cast iron bath is very good at retaining the heat from the hot water. So a long soak in a deep cast iron bath is very desirable.We do resurface these baths regularly.

PRESSED STEEL BATHS. These baths are quite common today and are often still used in new-build houses. Generally they look very similar to cast iron baths from the fifties and sixties but are much thinner and lighter. If you rap them with your knuckle you can hear a “ring” from a pressed-steel bath which you won’t get from a cast-iron bath. Usually they are boxed-in. A pressed steel bath is quite easy to transport so, as mentioned earlier, it is quite popular to fit this kind of bath in a new build. We do resurface pressed steel baths.

PLASTIC/ACRYLIC BATHS. Very common from the seventies through to the present. A lot of the bathroom suites you see with strong colours such as burgundy, blue, mustard, green and so on tend to (but no always) have plastic baths. Also these baths tend to come in a wider variation of shapes than the cast or pressed steel baths. You can easily have a reproduction Victorian Roll top made from acrylic or you can have a luxury jacuzzi bath. It is a versatile material. This kind of bath is also very light and easy to install therefor. It can be damaged in transit or whilst fitting. We get called out to repair these fairly frequently.

These baths flex more when you use them and have a layer of plywood or chipboard under the base of them to stiffen and add strength.

A modern trend with plastic baths is to make them from much thicker material so they don’t flex and to do them in a roll-top style rather than boxed in, so you see the outside and feet of the bath.

– The Bath Business –

Bathrooms Sell Houses

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Bathtub refinishing, Bath tub resurfacing upgrade bathroom to sell home

Bathrooms have lost their plain utility status and are fast becoming a deal maker or breaker in real estate sales. In the current economic climate it is well worth while investing some time and money restoring or improving your bathroom. And if you decide to stay put all the better.The reasons are not hard to find says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the Homenet estate agency group.

“It all started with the retreat of homeowners into their private space — a trend known as ‘cocooning’ in the lifestyle industry.

candellit-bath

“The trend has gathered momentum as the pace of modern life speeded up and consumers started expressing a need to relax at home, and in keeping with this the bath ritual has gained a faithful following with an attendant emphasis on the layout, finishes and fixtures of the bathroom. Although a lot of people do shower rather than bath most of the time, they still want the option of having a luxurious bath. And anyone with a young family will want to retain a family bath. “Indeed, many prospective homeowners now attach as much value to bathrooms as they have previously attached to functional and stylish kitchens.

“The trend is very evident in new developments where bathrooms can be baronial or resemble Roman spas, to say the least. And while that may not be encouraging news to owners who want to market older properties with functional bathrooms there is much that can be done to spruce up the look and feel of older bathrooms. Ideas that will not cost much, but will add value to the home and enjoyment to daily ablutions include:

* Replacing outdated floor and wall tiles as well as countertops while choosing co-ordinated materials that will tie the whole room together and create a more spacious look.

* Untiled wall surfaces can be painted in a light,fresh colour to enhance the new scheme.

* Large mirrors with clean lines above the vanity unit or on a blank wall will further increase the illusion of space.

* Baths and basins that have seen better days can be re-enamelled at reasonable cost.

* Tired old light fittings, taps and towel rails can be replaced with sleek alternatives.

– The Bath Business –

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