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posted: 6/15/2013 4:30 AM

Insulated tub, shower liners update bath in one day

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  • A liner that slips over the existing tub, as well as wall panels, create a near-instant update of an aging bathroom.

      A liner that slips over the existing tub, as well as wall panels, create a near-instant update of an aging bathroom.
    Photos Courtesy of Phoenix Bathtub Renewals Inc.

  • This bathroom was updated by Phoenix Bathtub Renewals Inc. As porcelain tubs and bathroom tiles show their age and wear, they can be very difficult to keep clean.

      This bathroom was updated by Phoenix Bathtub Renewals Inc. As porcelain tubs and bathroom tiles show their age and wear, they can be very difficult to keep clean.

 
By Jean Murphy
Daily Herald Correspondent

Taking a shower or bath in a tub or shower stall that is less than pristine doesn't enhance your feeling of cleanliness. It can even make you feel squeamish, if it is ugly or dilapidated enough.

Solving this issue and making Chicago area homeowners' tubs and showers more aesthetically-pleasing without breaking the bank has been the business of Phoenix Bathtub Renewals Inc. of Cicero since 1984.

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"We offer an economical alternative to tub or shower stall replacement," said Ed Kaminski, owner. "With our custom-molded tub liners, we can remodel your tub and shower in one day, including the faucets and rods and covering old tile with acrylic wall panels."

What happens with tubs is the porcelain wears away over time and the tub loses its shine, he said. "When that happens, the tub becomes porous and difficult to clean, so the only way to get it clean is to scrub harder. It becomes a vicious cycle, making the tub look worse and worse."

The tub liners that Phoenix Bathtubs installs are nonporous, so this problem does not recur.

"We install them right over the existing tub so that old tub provides the support. It fits like a glove so you don't get any of the bounce that you can get with a newly-installed fiberglass tub or shower stall that doesn't have that support," Kaminski said.

And because the tub liner is insulated, it also keeps your bath water warmer longer than a porcelain tub does.

Kaminski said an average tub liner, complete with a new drain and overflow plate, costs about $850 including installation. If you choose to include acrylic wall panels with soap dish, that generally adds $910 to the bill. Several shelving and color/pattern options are available, too, from solids to simulated tile, granite and marble.

Window trim kits for tubs with windows are also available and everything is made locally so it only takes about two weeks after you place your order to have a totally new look.

"These tubs are beautiful and remake the look of your bathroom in one day. There is nothing for the customer to do and they can begin using their new tub the morning after we install it," Kaminski said.

The acrylic tub liners and wall surrounds were added to the Phoenix business in 1992. Prior to that, Kaminski and his father, Cy, who is now deceased, exclusively refinished old tubs by spraying a coating over bathtubs and ceramic tile, in order to restore them to like-new condition. This durable, high-gloss coating is still offered by Kaminski and his crews as an alternative to acrylic tub liners. The spray coating comes in a wide variety of colors; is easy to clean and maintain; and will last for years.

For more information about Phoenix Bathtub Renewals Inc., call (708) 863-3600 or visit www.phoenixbathtubs.com.

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