Why Your Bathtub Feels Like Sandpaper & How to Fix It

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

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No one wants a bathtub to feel rough or gritty as it can make taking baths uncomfortable and feel dirty even when you just cleaned it. The most common reason why this happens is after resurfacing your bathtub. Sometimes things happen in the resurfacing process that can leave your tub feeling like sandpaper, but there are some things you can do to fix it.

In this article, we are going to break down why your bathtub is feeling like sandpaper and what you can do to fix it so you can get back to taking relaxing bubble baths whenever you want to.

Why does my bathtub feel like sandpaper?

Most people experience a bathtub that feels like sandpaper after having an older bathtub refinished.

In this process, the bathtub is sanded, cleaned, and then a coating is applied to make the bathtub feel new again. Although the goal of this process is a smooth surface, sometimes dirt, dust, or air can get trapped in the coating and cause a textured, sandpaper-like feeling.

What is bathtub refinishing?

When you refinish a bathtub, the original surface is sanded down and deep-cleaned to prepare it for new layers of a protective coating to give the bathtub a new finish. This is a popular thing to do if your bathtub needs a refresh and you don't feel like shelling out the cash for an entirely new tub or surround.

Once the original tub is prepared, the new coating is applied in thin, even layers. Each layer of coating should be allowed to dry fully before sanding and cleaning to apply the next layer.

With just a few layers of coating, you can bring an old, dirty bathtub back to life.

Can I refinish my own bathtub?

If you have time and patience, bathtub refinishing is absolutely a project that a DIYer could do. The materials are easy to purchase at your local home improvement store and you don't need much in the way of tools.

While it's certainly possible to do it on your own, many people choose to hire someone to refinish their bathtub. This is because the process is time-consuming and requires attention to detail when making sure the coating goes on even and that there is no debris trapped in it, which would cause that sandpaper-like feeling we want to avoid.

What can I do to fix the gritty feeling in my bathtub?

If you recently refinished your bathtub (or had it refinished professionally) and you're noticing that the surface is anything but smooth, you can fix it. There are a few ways you can fix this issue and be back to relaxing in your bathtub in no time.

Add another layer of finishing material

If you did the refinishing yourself, one of the easiest ways to get rid of the gritty feeling in your bathtub is to add another layer of coating.

Thoroughly sand and clean the tub to get rid of any imperfections and then apply another layer of coating per the instructions. This should smooth out any rough texture in the original layer and make your bathtub feel smooth and like new again.

Clean the tub per the manufacturer's instructions

If the tub only feels a little bit gritty in certain spots, you may be able to get rid of it by just cleaning your tub again. Closely follow the manufacturer's instructions to get the best results and ensure you are using the correct products to clean it.

A good clean will get rid of residual dust or debris sitting on top of the coating. In most cases, this might be enough to make your tub feel soft and smooth again.

Call the refinishing company to fix it

If you had your bathtub professionally refinished and you are noticing that the surface feels rough, you might want to call the company that did the initial job and ask them to fix it. Usually, they are more than happy to come over and assess it and can quickly fix it for you.

As awkward as this may be, most reputable bathtub refinishers should guarantee their work for a certain period of time. Most of the time, they want to know if there are any problems so that they can fix them before you leave them a bad Google review or tell your friends to stay away from them.

Final thoughts

Refinishing your bathtub is a great way to revamp your bathtub without spending a lot of money completely replacing your existing bathtub. It's easy to DIY or can be done by professionals if you prefer. When it's done right, your bathtub should be smooth, clean, and comfortable.

If you notice that your bathtub feels like sandpaper after refinishing it, you might just have a little bit of debris trapped in the coating or sitting on top of the coating. A thorough cleaning or another quick coat of the refinishing material should be enough to smooth out the surface quickly and easily.

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