ARK’s Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of questions commonly asked by ARK customers.
Should you require additional information, please contact an ARK representative using the contact information found at the bottom of the page.

Q1) My bathtub is highly eroded down to the cast iron due to chemical abuse. Can ARK restore a bathtub in such poor condition?

A1) Yes. Having been in the business since 1946, ARK technicians have refinished thousands of bathtubs in various states of disrepair. Our highly skilled technicians will employ a variety of surface preparation techniques such as erosion grinding, filling and contouring to restore your bathtub to glossy, durable, like-new condition.

Q2) Can ARK refinish my bathtub if it has been previously refinished?

A2) Yes. ARK can refinish a bathtub regardless of how many times it has been previously refinished. The additional step of stripping the existing finish will be undertaken as part of the surface preparation work. A stripping fee will apply.

Q3) Is the refinishing procedure safe, and can my family and pets remain in the home while the work is done or immediately thereafter?

A3) Actually, the entire process is really quite non-invasive. Our technicians will utilize a high exhaust ventilation system which is designed to control the air flow in the work environment. This is effective at minimizing odors as well as controlling dust and overspray from traveling throughout the home. After job completion, the odor is similar to that of a freshly painted latex wall for about 12-16 hours.

Q4) Why must I wait one week to use my ARK refinished bathtub while other companies claim that the tub may be used anywhere from 4 hours to 48 hours after refinishing?

A4) ARK utilizes an Epoxy finish which does not rely on the use of primers underneath. This allows us to spray additional, heavier coatings or layers, which result in a thicker, glossier, and more durable finish. This is the reason that ARK customers enjoy a much greater lifespan. Many refinishers utilize commercial acrylic enamels which rely on a primer to bond to the bathtub surface. As primer and water are not compatible, many of these surfaces begin to peel if the tub is chipped or the primer comes in contact with water. Acrylic enamels are applied in a much thinner manner and dry very quickly. Unfortunately, this quick drying results in a matte like, painted appearance rather than the glassy, shiny finish of a new tub as one would enjoy with an ARK refinished bathtub. The thickness of the ARK finish therefore requires a sufficient curing period that will result in greater beauty, durability and prolonged life span; a truly greater value.

Q5) Is it necessary to spray underneath the drain, and will the ARK technician remove the drain to do so?

A5) No, it is not necessary to remove the drain for refinishing. Approximately 97% of bathtubs are refinished with the drain in place. The technician will mask the drain and bring the enamel up to the drain. Proper cleaning and preparation around the drain area will ensure that the enamel will maintain its bond with the tub surface. Should a client desire that the area beneath the drain be refinished, we ask that the client arrange for removal of the drain prior to refinishing. As our technicians are not licensed plumbers, we do not perform this function. If removing the drain, please keep the drain readily available in sight in order that we may re-insert to perform our preparation work, which involves the use of running water.

Q6) Are reglazing, refinishing and resurfacing the same and do you apply actual new porcelain to the tub surface?

A6) Clients seeking our services will typically reference the above terms in their search for a service provider. While refinishing and resurfacing would both refer to the same service that we provide, reglazing would not be an accurate description, as it involves firing of the bathtub in a kiln or oven. Despite claims on some refinisher’s web sites, the application of actual porcelain cannot be performed; this too would require that the bathtub be placed within a kiln or oven.

Q7) I currently have a white bathtub that has never been refinished before.  The inner tub walls are pinkish in color, while the manufacturer’s non-slip safety surface at the tub bottom appears grayish-black.  The non-slip bottom has lost its’ effectiveness and is now quite slippery. Overall, the interior of the tub has a dull appearance. Will refinishing prevent these discolorations in the future, and is this a part of the warranty?

A7) It would appear that your bathtub has a build up of soap or chemical film. The original white bathtub does not have the ability to turn pink, gray, or black, as you have mentioned. However, it can become stained through chemical damage, or have an off color sheen due to a build up of soap, shampoo, dirt and body oils, for example. The slippery aspect of the non-slip safety surface would further indicate a soap build up, which would negate its effectiveness. I would recommend a thorough cleaning of the bathtub interior. Mineral spirits may be required to remove the soap residue. After the cleaning, you will be in a better position to evaluate whether or not the bathtub is a candidate for refinishing. A refinished bathtub is no different than an original manufacturer’s bathtub; it will require proper cleaning to avoid the appearance of discoloration, dullness, or soap build up as well. Cleaning of the bathtub, along with  removal of external stain damage, such as dyes, is not included in our refinishing warranty.



ARK Porcelain Refinishing Servicemade in the usa

Tel: 773.763.6600 Tel: 847.836.1872
Fax: 847.836.1896


Serving the greater Chicagoland area, Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana (travel fee may apply for Wisconsin & Indiana points)