"Must Read!" - the Answers to your Questions are HERE
You've got questions. We've got answers. From who we are to what we do is listed below in a question and answer format. But if after reading these questions and answers, you have more questions, we welcome your email (Debbie@SharpRefinishing.com), call (817.305.0300), or chat!
What makes us different from others?
We are a small family-owned-and-operated husband and wife team business, and have been serving the refinishing needs of the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex for over 37 years - since 1980! In fact, we are the oldest family-owned-and-operated bathtub refinishing and chip repair company in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
One of the things that make us different from other refinishing companies is that we are not a franchise. We have a vested interest in our business, and since our last name - Sharp - is also part of our company name, we put it on the line day in and day out. We refinish nearly every day of the week, all year long, and have for the past 38+ years.
My husband, Jim, and our associate, David, are the only ones who do the refinishing. Work is never sub-contracted out to anyone else. I am Debbie, Jim's wife and the office manager, the one you will speak to when you call. I'm also the one who will respond to your emails and online chats 🙂
Other than this website, most of our business comes from personal referrals. We aren't the cheapest or the most expensive out there, but we are the best in what we do. From the high quality refinishing products that we have found and chosen to use, to the meticulous care we take with every single job, you will never be disappointed with our work.
Just take a look at our long list of satisfied customers. In addition to those testimonials, our highly-rated customer reviews at Angie's List have won us the prestigious Super Service Award for 8 years.
If you can buy a new bathtub for about the same cost as having one refinished, why not just buy a new tub?
You can buy a brand new bathtub for as little as $350, but you can't replace it for that same $350. Why? Because houses are built around bathtubs, and the most expensive part of replacing a bathtub is definitely not the cost of the new tub. As a matter of fact, most of the expense of replacement is initially hidden.
What are some of these hidden costs? Removal and disposal costs: Can you physically remove the tub yourself, then get it out of the bathroom or through the front door at all, and if you can, how will you dispose of it?
Even if you do get that far, in the process of removing the tub, part of the bathroom tile will surely be torn away, and the hardware for the new tub may not fit the old plumbing fixtures at all. So now you may need to hire a plumber and a tileman as well, and on and on it can go. That's how you could easily end up spending thousands of dollars replacing a $350 bathtub, and THAT'S why refinishing is such a great alternative to replacement.
How long does the bathtub refinishing process take?
From start to finish, it takes about 6 hours to refinish a bathtub. The process will dry to the touch in about 12 hours. The protective masking paper can be removed and the tub re-caulked in as little as 24 hours. The bathtub is ready for use 48 hours after refinishing, but will take 30 days to totally 'cure'.
To put the "downtime" into perspective: If we're refinishing your tub on a Monday, you can use the tub that morning before we come out, and then you can use it again on Wednesday morning, so you're really only without the use of the tub for one full day.
Will a refinished bathtub look or smell like it has been painted?
Ours won't! In fact, it is impossible for an untrained eye to tell the difference between a brand new bathtub and one that has been refinished by us. Regarding the smell, we use ventilation and filtering systems to reduce the fumes that naturally occur with the use of solvents. Although you may notice a slight odor during the spray time or after we are finished, this is typically gone in a few hours. Some people (about 1%) are hypersensitive to smells and may choose to leave the area while the work is being done.
What needs to be done before we arrive to refinish?
If we're refinishing the bathtub, remove the bathtub shower curtain (and rod, if it's removable), soaps, and shampoo bottles from the bath area, as well as anything on top of the countertops, because we will be laying drops on the countertops and floor and putting up paper and plastic to protect the immediate area from overspray. If there are shower doors on the tub, they will need to be removed before we arrive (this is not a service we offer).
If we are refinishing a countertop, you will need to have the hardware (faucets, handles, and drains) removed before we arrive to refinish. Also, electricity, a climate-controlled, semi-sterile environment, and access to water are required to do our work.
What kind of product do you use to refinish?
The reason I'm even listing this question is because so many people ask this question when doing their research to determine which refinishing company to hire, and they are asking us this question because not all refinishing companies use the same kind of product for refinishing. So which is the best?
All we can tell you is that in our 38+ years experience, we have learned that there are three things that ensure successful refinishing: (1) the type of product used, (2) the preparation, and (3) the skill of the refinisher.
We have chosen to use the very best refinishing coating available. It's more expensive than other coatings, but the end result is magnificent in terms of the way the refinished tub, looks, cleans, feels, and holds up over time.
The process we use is a two-component urethane, however, it is not an epoxy. Epoxy dries brittle and yellows over time, but our coating does not. Not only that, our product has a vinyl base which allows the refinished surface to expand and contract in hot and cold water without cracking out, because all tubs have a tendency to "flex" when you step into them.
It can be refinished again ... and again! The existing coating will have to be stripped off ($150) before a new finish can be applied, and because we will not be able to determine whether there is any damage beneath the existing refinished surface until it's stripped off, we cannot accurately estimate the cost of repairs if damage is found, so we always give a wide range of $25-$150 for repairs in case the tub has to be skinned.
We have learned over the past 38+ years that the bottom of older cast iron tubs (versus steel-based tubs) develops pinholes that can't be seen with the naked eye. However, when we begin to spray on the finish, these pinholes appear. Skinning (filling in holes and worn areas with bondo to help build up the surface that has worn off) the tub during the prep phase helps eliminate that.
Yes! We've been doing chip repair for homebuilders and homeowners across the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex for many years. From hammers dropping to soap dishes and towel bars falling off the wall and into the tub, chips can happen in homes under construction, in homes just built, and in homes lived in for years!
The good news is, just because a tub or sink has chips, nicks, or scratches, it doesn't necessarily mean it has to be completely refinished. If the damage is located above the water line, it can be repaired without the tub being refinished afterward.
However, if the damage is located below the water line, the tub must be refinished after the repair in order to seal the repair. That's because we airbrush the repair to apply and blend the color, which means there are exposed edges around the repair that would be susceptible to lifting when under water, enabling the repair to eventually loosen and float away. In cases like this, we recommend refinishing, so the repair can be sealed and the work can be guaranteed. There is a $125 minimum charge for chip repair.
Can you refinish tubs and sinks that are not yet installed?
No. We do not have an off-site refinishing facility. All of our work is done in the home because we need electricity and water for the prep, and a semi-sterile, climate-controlled environment to do the work.
How long should a refinished bathtub last?
The durability of a refinished bathtub is very similar to that of a brand new bathtub, although new tubs are only guaranteed for one year. If properly maintained (see care instructions below) and no abrasive chemicals or bleach are used for cleaning, our refinished tubs could potentially last 10+ years. How do we know that for sure? Because we have had a handful of customers whose tubs have lasted 20 years before they call us back to refinish again 🙂
At what point should the work be scheduled?
Contrary to popular belief, if any other remodeling work (tiling, painting, flooring) is going to be done in the bathroom where the refinishing is to take place, we prefer to be the last ones in - after all the other work is finished. Why? Because we know how to protect what's already there, and experience has taught us that other workers are not as careful as we are.
If painters or tile installers come in after us, they may drop a tool in the tub or otherwise damage our work. We will be able to fix the damage, but our minimum repair charges ($125) must then apply, no matter how soon after refinishing the damage occurs.
Are there special care instructions for a refinished surface?
Care Instructions for refinished surfaces are easy to follow. A professionally refinished surface looks, feels, and cleans like brand new, so be sure to use only mild, non-abrasive products without bleach when cleaning, because as with any new surface, the finish or shine can be dulled or damaged by abrasive cleaners or bleach. Most liquid and foam 'green' cleaners will work, but read the label to make sure they do not contain bleach or abrasives. We recommend Simple Green, diluted 50/50 with water.
For optimal results, maintain a non-silicone caulking around all refinished surfaces, especially bathtubs. We recommend Loctite's Polyseamseal Ultra (found at Lowe's), or DAP's Kwik Seal caulk (found at Home Depot).
- Do not leave soapy bottles on the bathtub ledges.
- Do not allow children to play with metal or hard plastic toys in the tub.
- Do not bathe animals in the tub, as their claws could break the seal.
- Do not use a suction mat in a refinished bathtub, and if you use a non-suction mat, you must remove it after each use to avoid moisture build-up between the mat and the tub, which can lead to peeling.
We warranty our refinishing work for 3 years against bubbling and peeling due to workmanship or product defects. If there is a problem with the product itself or the workmanship (application of the product), it will show up within a week of refinishing, and it is very rare.
There are only three warranty exclusions - bubbling or peeling due to chipping, moisture entrapment, or unrepaired leaks. Here’s why:
Bubbling or peeling due to chipping: A refinished surface can chip just like a non-refinished surface, so if your refinished surface does get chipped, keep the area as dry as possible and contact us to schedule a repair (charges will apply). Timing is especially important if the chip is located below the water line, because water can eventually work its way beneath the refinished surface and cause it to bubble and peel.
Bubbling or peeling due to moisture entrapment: Setting and leaving items like wet or soapy bottles, washcloths, or soap on a refinished surface can cause moisture to get trapped between these items and the refinished surface, causing it to bubble and then peel when picking up the item. We recommend a shower caddy or soap dish.
Bubbling or peeling due to unrepaired leaks: Constant dripping or leaking water on a refinished surface, especially near the drain, may cause it to eventually bubble and finally start to peel. Don't let a leaky faucet go un-repaired.
What other types of surfaces can be refinished?
There are times when the walls of your shower still look good, but the floor you stand on looks really bad. That's no problem, because we can refinish just the shower floor without having to refinish the shower walls.
Please note we do not refinish tile shower floors. Why? Because it's the nature of a shower pan to hold moisture, and that moisture can work its way up through the grout lines and eventually cause the surface to bubble and peel.
When sending pictures of your shower floor, please include the measurements, which usually range from 3x3 to 3x5.
What colors are there to choose from?
Our pricing is based on refinishing in a white or off-white finish, but if you want another color, choose from our solid color finishes, as we can special order ($75) our refinishing process in any of these colors. Please note that we do not refinish in dark colors. Why? Because even in the semi-sterile environment we try to create, there are still minute dust particles that float through the air that are easily seen on a dark surface.
If you don't need a special order color and are just trying to match the color to an existing toilet or countertop that is some variation of white or off-white, Jim has a great eye for color, and can tint the pure white color he starts off with to closely match the white or off-white color you already have.
For bathroom and kitchen countertops, we offer the hugely popular MultiSpec colors, which give the appearance of granite and stone.
Is there any plumbing work involved during refinishing?
On all bathtubs before refinishing, we prefer to remove the drain and overflow cover so that we can get a complete surface to spray. That's why we ask the homeowner to make sure the existing drain can be removed long before the scheduled refinishing appointment, which will ensure it can indeed be removed by us when we get there to refinish. Another reason to make sure the drain is removable is that you may discover you have a leak or some other issue that will need to be fixed before the tub can be refinished.
How do you do remove the drain? Look down the hole where the water goes out - you'll see a crossbar. The tool shown here is called a drain removal tool (commonly called a drain puller and available for $10 at Home Depot).
Either use a drain puller or get some pliers to unscrew the crossbar (counter-clockwise, like you would a jar lid). The entire drain with the little silver ring (not the plumbing beneath the drain) will lift out. You may have to use some muscle to loosen it - it might even break if it's been in there for more than 40 years, but you'll want to know that beforehand so it can be fixed long before we arrive to refinish.
If you do not want to risk breaking the drain when trying to remove it, there is a workaround for that. We can install a glue-in drain ($50) that covers the existing drain, but please let us know if that is your decision at time of scheduling, because this will have to be done the day after refinishing. In any case, because your bathtub is going to look brand new after being refinished, you will definitely want to replace an old dingy and scratched drain and overflow cover with a brand new shiny set.
Before bathroom sinks, countertops, and cultured marble/acrylic bathtubs can be refinished, the plumbing fixtures (spout, handles, and drain) must be removed. Why? Because these items are sitting on the surface that will be refinished and it's impossible to refinish the surface properly with them still in place. Since we do not have the plumber's tools or expertise to do this type of work, you may choose to do this work yourself or use your own plumber.
Also, if you have shower doors on your bathtub, you will need to have them removed before refinishing. Because there are so many different types of shower doors and we do not have the expertise to provide this service, you may choose to do this work yourself or hire a handyman to do it.
What about anti-slip surfaces?
A newly refinished tub is going to look, clean, and feel like a brand new tub, which means it is going to feel slicker than what you've been used to. Because of this, you must exercise some caution when stepping into the tub. We're not saying it is overly-slippery. We're only pointing out that it will be more slippery for a few weeks than before it was refinished.
Having said that, you may want to opt for adding an anti-slip treatment ($75) to the tub bottom the day of refinishing. As the word 'treatment' suggests, this is not a traditional glue-down mat. It is an anti-slip surface that is applied to the tub bottom between the primer and top coats. It can be detected visually at certain angles, depending on the light, but is basically barely noticeable.
If your tub has never been refinished and you're looking for an anti-slip solution, we can apply a treatment to the tub bottom that you cannot feel or see until it gets wet - then you will feel the grip of the anti-slip surface. Cost is $175 for this service.
The TURNKEY Option
Part of the preparation before refinishing includes (1) cleaning and/or trimming the caulk line between the tub and last row of tile, (2) protecting the immediate surrounding area with paper and statically-charged plastic, and (3) removing the drain and overflow cover in order to get a complete surface to spray.
The day after refinishing, you have the option of removing this plastic/paper, re-caulking the tub, and re-installing the new or existing drain and overflow cover ... or we can come back to do it for a return trip charge of $95. Although most homeowners can do those 3 things, many still prefer that we do it for them so it is a turnkey project. It's totally up to you, but for scheduling purposes, we need to know at the time of scheduling is you will require it, as it is an option.
Regarding the drain and overflow cover, if your existing set is dingy and old-looking, you will want a shiny, new set for your shiny, new bathtub. If you choose the Turnkey Option, you can purchase the set yourself that you want us to install, or we can buy it for you. If you want us to buy it, the cost of the drain and overflow is determined by the type of finish you choose (chrome, brass, brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze, etc.), but the most common finish is chrome, which is $50 for the drain and overflow cover set. Most other finishes are $75 per set. The drains on tubs that are over 40 years may have "seized up", causing them to break when trying to remove them. We never want to risk that, so in those cases, we install a fully-functioning drain that fits on top of the existing one to avoid removing it.
Can I get a FREE estimate?
YES! The quickest and easiest way to get an estimate is to send us a picture with your camera or phone. Sending us digital pictures via email at Debbie@SharpRefinishing.com helps us greatly to determine a cost range for refinishing and/or repairs, which eliminates an extra trip for assessment - and saves time in receiving your bid and scheduling the work. When emailing for an estimate, please include your zip code and how quickly you need the work to be completed! On all pictures, please send an overall picture of the tub, as well as a close-up of any damage. On the close-up, get close enough so I can see the damage, but far enough away so I can gain perspective of the size and location of the damage in relation to the rest of the tub.
For cultured marble or fiberglass and acrylic oversized bathtubs: When sending pictures of a cultured marble or oversized fiberglass or acrylic tub, please include measurements for length, width, and height.
When taking these measurements, do not dip down into the tub. Instead, measure straight across the tub from front to back for length; side to side for width; and lastly, for the height, measure from the outside of the tub starting at the floor and go straight up vertically to the top of the tub.
With pictures and these 3 measurements, we will be able to give you a good ballpark bid to see if it fits into your budget. The best pictures will include an overall image of the tub, along with specific shots of any damage we should be aware of.
For standard size porcelain, fiberglass, and acrylic bathtubs: Although some porcelain, fiberglass, and acrylic bathtubs can be odd-sized or oversized, the most common type are just 5-foot rectangles, so the cost for refinishing is $350. However, because porcelain tubs are the most common type found in almost every home and usually lasting for many years before needing to be refinished, they can come to us with everything from just a minor blemish to a grayed-out bottom because they have been used so much.
Because of those variables, it's best to send an overall image of the tub, along with specific shots of any damage in or on the tub, whether that is just a chip, a rusted-out area near the drain, or a grayed-out bottom. Pictures of damage will enable us to give you a range for repairs.
For bathroom countertops: Most countertops are the same depth and usually have a 4" backsplash, so the only measurement we usually need to determine a price for refinishing a countertop is the length, plus the number of bowls in the countertop.
What kind of payment methods do you offer?
No money is due until the work is completed, but because we are a small, family business, payment is due upon receipt of work done. We do not accept credit cards, and we cannot extend payment terms. Our only accepted method of payment is by personal check or cash, and is due at time of service.
By email (Debbie@SharpRefinishing.com) phone (817.305.0300), or chat here on the website (bottom right corner of your screen). We personally answer all of our emails and telephone calls, but if you do happen to reach our message center, it means that we are on the other line with another customer or are temporarily away from the office. Please leave a message, because we will call you back in a timely manner!
Have you/will you train others on how to start a Bathtub Refinishing business?
Yes, we have and we will, as long as you are no where near the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. We are featured as a professional trainer in Andrea Scott's 'tell all' book entitled "Staying Afloat in the Bathtub Business - How to Break Into and Succeed in the Refinishing Industry" (click here to view or purchase on Amazon).
Our 2-week training is extensive, intensive, and thorough in every way. You will go with Jim every day on jobs so that he can teach you absolutely everything there is to know about refinishing - but most importantly, how to do it right the first time, every time. He is meticulous - no shortcuts - and that's why we've been in business for so long.
You will have the opportunity to see him refinish bathtubs, countertops, showers, etc. What we've done in the past is when we know what dates we'll be training, we set jobs up so that we have the maximum amount of variety. Usually during week two, you will start to spray. Not only will he show you how to do the work, he will also show you how to deal with customers. Jim is a very gentle soul, and people just love him. It makes a difference, and we get many, many referrals because of how he treats our customers.
Office-wise, I will show you how we do business, from having a website to bidding jobs over the phone to follow up, which includes our documentation for sending estimates by email, confirming jobs a week before, and thanking customers after the job. We are a well-oiled team and love what we do. We'll do everything we can to teach you to do and be the same. Part of the fee includes acquiring a list of all our suppliers that we have found and chosen to use over the past 38+ years, which is priceless in itself.
We are Entrepreneurs!
We started our energy business way back in 2005, and it is one we continually build by saving people money on their energy bills. It's also a great way to make residual income on a part-time basis, since now that energy has been deregulated, anyone can financially profit from it.
If you'd like to know how you can be paid a dependable monthly residual income on a life-essential service like electricity and gas, visit our website at www.SharpEnergyGroup.com.
And of course, the most important thing in our lives is sharing our love for Christ and pointing others to him for eternal salvation. If you haven't received that free gift from God, click on the cross to read how. If you have any questions, please let us know!
Our service areas extend to most of the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex including Addison, Argyle, Arlington, Bedford, Benbrook, Blue Mound, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Cockrell Hill, Colleyville, Coppell, Corinth, Dallas, Dalworthington Gardens, Denton, DeSoto, Double Oak, Duncanville, Euless, Farmers Branch, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Haltom City, Haslet, Highland Park, Highland Village, Hurst, Irving, Justin, Keller, Kennedale, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mansfield, Mesquite, North Richland Hills, Northlake, Plano, Richardson, Richland Hills, Roanoke, Saginaw, Southlake, The Colony, Trophy Club, University Park, Watauga, Westlake, and many others.
These cities indicate our maximum travel range. Call Debbie at 817.305.0300 if you're unsure whether we travel to your area without an additional travel charge.