Tub Liners "Some people collect art, others collect old cars, but my boss collects tubs," says John Heckenlaible, marketing director for Re-Bath, a Mesa, Arizona—based company that has been making tub liners since the 1970s and today is the nation's largest franchiser of tub-lining products, with almost 100 installers in 47 states. Another national company, Luxury Bath Systems of Bensenville, Illinois, has its own collection. With these old tubs reliner companies create exact molds, which they use to make liners that fit tubs perfectly, wherever they're installed and whatever shape they're in.
Here's how the process works:
A local installer sends precise measurements and photographs of the tub to company headquarters. The company identifies the model, pulls it off the shelf and with a sheet of 1/4-in. ABS acrylic—the same material football helmets and airplane windshields are made of—vacuum-forms an exact mold of the tub. The result is a 35-lb. liner that slips over the tired tub like a new glove. To install it, the local rep cleans the old tub with denatured alcohol, removes the drain and overflow and trims the liner so it fits snugly against the walls. Then, using a combination of two-sided butyl tape and silicone adhesive, he attaches the liner to the old tub. He finishes up by installing a new drain and overflow, and caulking the seams. Once the liner is delivered, which can take four to eight weeks, a single workman can install it in six to eight hours, and the homeowner can bathe in it that same evening.
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