Bathtub reglazing, also known as bathtub refinishing, can restore your worn bathtub to a like-new appearance for less than the cost of a new tub, but you need to be careful about what type of mat you use in your tub after the process. To reglaze your bathtub, the refinisher etches the surface with an acid and then applies a thin coating or porcelain. Though this surface looks much like the original, it's a very thin coating, so you need to take care not to damage it. Treating the tub gently with proper bath mats and other care will help the finish last longer.
Use a soft, cushioned mat without suction cups on your reglazed tub. Remove the mat after each use to avoid trapping water underneath it.
Reglazing Warranty Requirements
Before choosing a bath mat for your reglazed tub, check with the company that reglazed your tub. Using certain types of bath mats could void your warranty on the work. If the mat causes damage, the company won't cover it. Your reglazing company might offer safe mats that won't void the warranty.
Wait for Curing
A freshly reglazed tub needs to cure for a set amount of time before you can touch it or use it in any way. Wait until that curing period passes before you use a bath mat in the tub. Check with the company that does the work or review the information you received to learn when it's safe to use a bath mat in your tub.
Bath Mats for Reglazed Surfaces
Bathtub mats help you keep a firmer footing in the tub or shower. If you have a reglazed tub, don't use plastic or vinyl mats with suction cups. The suction cups could scratch the tub or even remove some of the finish.
A better choice is a mat with no suction cups, a cushioned vinyl mat, a cork mat or even a cloth mat or towel you can hang to dry after each use. You want something that is soft enough not to scratch the tub and something that doesn't suction to it.
Remove the Bath Mat
Once you find a safe bath mat for your reglazed tub, get in the habit of removing it as soon as you're done showering or bathing. Leaving the mat in the tub all the time traps water against the reglazed surface. That excess moisture can affect the finish, making it look less uniform or causing it to bubble.
Other No-Slip Solutions
You can purchase various decals and tub strips designed to reduce slipping. These may work well in your tub; however, if you try to remove them at some point, they may damage the reglazed surface. So if you plan to use this solution instead of a bath mat, you should consider them a permanent addition to your tub, not something you can change without risking damage to the reglazing.
Cleaning a Reglazed Tub
You should clean your tub with a nonabrasive liquid cleaner. Use a small amount of cleaner, and rinse the tub thoroughly afterwards. Avoid any cleaners containing bleach or ammonia, and don't use harsh chemicals such as dishwasher or laundry detergent in your tub. Avoid any cleaner that leaves a slick residue. Wipe the tub surface dry after cleaning, which will reduce the slipping hazard in the tub and may allow you to use the tub without a bath mat.
Other Reglazed Tub Considerations
Some reglazing manufacturers recommend you wax your tub regularly to maintain the glaze. Waxing helps to repel dirt and maintain shine, but it also makes the tub more slippery. If you're concerned about a child or the elderly or someone with balance problems using the tub, installing grab bars can add extra stability. You might also ask the reglazing company about spraying the bottom of the tub with a coating to make it less slippery.
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.