I prefer porcelain

Today the mood to scrub out my bathtub struck me. It’s a rare mood, so I took advantage of it.

For some time I’ve been meaning to at least smack down the rust ring caused by my shaving cream can with some Barkeeper’s Friend. Today when I went to shave my legs I was finally disgusted enough by the ring to do something about it. And while I was at that task, I realized the entire tub could use a scouring.

Our apartment was renovated before we moved in. While we weren’t explicitly told this, I’m pretty sure no one lived in it before us after the renovation. The appliances were brand new, and there were no obvious signs of wear and tear anywhere. (A few non-obvious signs had been patched up and painted over.) Further, the bathroom tile, sink, and tub had the look of having never been used.

Another piece of evidence that makes me think we were the first to live here after the renovation is the fact that over time, whatever sealant the contractors had put on the tub and tile actually started stripping away.

It first started on the soap dishes in the tub. The act of simply keeping soap there apparently degraded the coating, such that it broke and flaked off. Then the bottom of the tub started to discolor; washing had no effect. Today, while scrubbing at the corner of the tub where my shaving cream usually sits to get at the rust ring, I realized my brush had knocked some sealant off the very tiles. Even the tiles had been coated over with something! (I also noticed that the inside front of the tub, which one doesn’t normally look at, is spanned by a line of dry drips from where the sealant was originally applied.)

I am not a fan of plastic tubs in general, and this rapid degradation–we haven’t even lived here a year and a half!–is really disappointing. If I ever own a home (which seems unlikely), I will eschew plastic entirely in my bathrooms. And renovations will not consist of simply spraying a coating over everything.

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