It's Wednesday. I'm going to whistle-blow. I'm sitting in my sub-compact car, on my way to a job-site for an inspection, and I was listening to the local AM News Radio station. A commercial came on that perked my ears. It was for a company called "Bath Fitter" and they were claiming they had a cure for "Bathroom-reno-phobia" (a phobia where the "husband" claims to be jittery and panicked at the sound of a hammer hitting a nail) and they could do a complete bathroom renovation in one day. Apparently, they have locations across North America, and more apparently, they knew a couple things that I didn't.
- Bath Fitter is a different kind of bathroom remodeling company
- They offer quick and clean bathroom renovations that last a lifetime
- They train their personnel on leading bathroom trends
- They make it a priority to stay on-top of consumer trends in bathroom remodel and renovation
- They manufacturer in ultra-modern facilities in U.S. and Canada
- They offer a free in-home estimate
- They have an online software that allows you to design your own bathroom
- Lifetime Warranty
Here's their video:
Well, that was enough for me to almost want to throw-up. This is what I found:
- Bath Fitter doesn't remodel or renovate anything. They offer a acrylic liner product to cover the existing tile and/or bathtub. The problems do not go away. They are just covered up with a bit of lipstick and mascara.
- The acrylic liner is quick and simple to install, it takes a day for sure, but the renovation will hardly last a lifetime. As I said, the problem is still behind the liner so if it's mold, mildew, or cracked tiles that are the problem, it is a biological hazard and costly disaster waiting to happen. I'm not sure what to say about the 9 complaints at Better Business Bureau for the Lower Mainland location either, which Bathfitter claims are the work of saboteurs.
- I couldn't find any personnel that were trained kitchen or bathroom designers at Bath Fitter, so I'm not clear how or whom is being updated on what trends.
- As I said, no training program found. The product line up is no where near current bathroom trends. In fact, their line-up is about 20 years behind.
- I'm pretty sure that the liners are moulded in North America... but I have no way to verify the claim.
- A free software to design your bathroom? Really? SIGN ME UP! This could make all those renovations, dimensions, construction plans, specifications and plumbing plans so much easier... right. No where close. The term "design" is used loosely to refer to visualization on the likelihood of the products one selects and what it might look like installed.
- The Lifetime Warranty, I would say, is implied at best. It doesn't cover the issues being covered up, it only covers the liner product itself and it's installation. I hope it's understood that when Bath Fitter claims a "complete bathroom renovation" that it's not true, and the bathroom isn't under warranty after installation.
I didn't know any of this until I began to read Bath Fitter's website. Just because they advertise it, doesn't make it true. My counter points to Bath Fitter's claim that are made on their website are formulated thru experience, education, and knowledge on the subject of bathrooms in general. As an Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer, I look for the correct way to solve or resolve a problem with a bathroom renovation or remodel.
But you know what really ticks me off? The fact that this product seals moisture between the acrylic liner and the vapor barrier in your wall. This product is the food storage container that you forgot about in your fridge BUT WORSE because it's your house! The increased potential for mold, mildew, and other indoor air quality contaminants is so huge, so great, that I am feverishly typing this sentence! Auto-immune system problems, respiratory problems, and even digestive problems are all linked to indoor air quality in the home. People and animals can get really sick if the moisture issues in a bathroom are sealed in like last Christmas' dressing that grandma made. This product has a large variance in the claims that are being made and the results received. The only way, only way, that this product will truly never cause an additional issue is if you have never ever showered or bathed in your bathroom.
Now, these opinions are, of course, my own and I did find the other claimed saboteur sites and complaints - but I didn't read them. I'm not influenced by their claims, this is my professional opinion.