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So you’ve decided it’s THE time to renovate your hotel. Maybe you’re doing a complete overhaul… New floors, new suites, new and luxurious baths. Or maybe you’re renovating strategically: doing complete renovations in key, strategic areas like the common spaces, and “freshening up” your guest suites, with baths that shine and sparkle.
Whichever direction you’re going, picking the right professional to help you accomplish your vision is critical.
Before you hire your bath and tile refinishing contractor, take some time to ensure you address the following:
Who are they? Are they local? Does the firm have a long-standing contact and web presence? Using local contractors can be critical to your project: they often know local building officials by name (or even on speed dial!), and those built in relationships can mean the difference in terms of getting things done quickly and efficiently.
How long have they been in business? Remodeling isn’t a trade that’s picked up in a day. And you certainly don’t want inexperienced trades doing bathrooms that your guests will be seeing and using (and reviewing online!) for years. Choosing a contractor who has stood the test of time is a sure step in the right direction.
What is their industrial experience? Hotel and industrial remodeling is VERY different from renovating your home bath. There’s different laws, different demands, more attention to longevity/durability (after all, we’re talking about a bath that will be used and abused by hundreds if not thousands of people each year, for 5-7 years before the next renovation.)
Is the contractor insured? This is a non-starter. Your contractor HAS to have a certificate of insurance specifically addressed to you or your hotel.
What certifications do they have? Particularly, is the contractor EPA certified? You want a contractor who is aware of (and abides by) laws are specific to construction, alterations and paint removal.
What is their reputation? Everyone is going to have wonderful testimonials on their websites. But ask around. Do you know people who have used the firm? What do they say? Pay attention to those who “have a reputation that
precedes them” (both good and bad.) You want someone who has a strong reputation.
What are their resources? Different than a standard home remodel, a true hotel renovation expert can supply enough experienced professionals to do 10-20 rooms per floor, and do the job superbly: one beautiful caulking line right after another. They should have the proper equipment (and enough equipment) to do proper ventilation for the rooms being worked on. This is often where you will see the difference in your contractors: so pay attention to this detail.
Do they understand your business? Some people just don’t “get it.” You run a hotel. You have guests. Guests are demanding, change plans and complain. But guests are why you are in business (and why you want an amazing contractor). If you are renovating with guests in your hotel, then you’ve got to have a contractor who can improvise and adapt to guests who complain about noise, smells or just general traffic. What plans can your contractor put in place to address these common issues up front, but then ALSO adapt if more needs to be done? Further, the contractor has to be able to work with and around housekeeping and your other staff. Can they integrate themselves seamlessly into not just the renovation team, but also your operations team?
What’s included in
the job? Look for:
You’d think this would go without saying, but clean-up after the job is done. Of course you want your surfaces taped/masked to protect them. But those materials should not be left for housekeeping or engineering to be removed: that’s the contractor’s job.
Safety should not be optional: Non-slip finishes should be included in the scope of work as a safety measure.
Is the previous paint being removed? (The answer should be yes.)
Ensure the tub and tile is etched to remove shine and promote the new surface bonds properly.
Make sure you are getting high performing, top quality epoxy primers and Aliphatic acrylic enamels.
Attention to the details: make sure your contractor is committed to scraping all the grout lines, repairing chips, loose tiles and cracks and holes, finished by completely re-grouting all of the bath and tile areas to perfection. (Note: There is nothing more lovely than a flawless grout line.)
If you take each of these elements under consideration as you look for the right contractor for your hotel baths, you’ll be well on your way to a successful — and dare we say possibly even enjoyable – renovation experience.
If you liked this article about managing your hotel renovations, try:
Having survived the last six years of economic recovery, your hotel may finally be ready to consider renovations. But hotel managers and operations directors often find themselves overwhelmed by the considerations that go into renovations. For many, it’s not a case of “do we renovate?” it’s “where do we start?” Or “when can we get this done?”
After 40 years in the renovation industry, the pros here at Hotel Tubs Pro have seen a lot. Here’s a few of our best pieces of advice for hotel management as you consider your options for renovating your hotel.
Can you afford to close down? There certainly are pros and cons to this. Staying open during a remodel can inconvenience guests (if you don’t plan your renovation well). But if you close – you’ll be imp
acting staff. If you need the short-term cash flow, then of course you’re going to stay open. However, “if long-term revenue and profit generation-or even repositioning the hotel at a different service or star level-are the key motivators behind the property refresh, it would be best to close the whole property while the refresh is undertaken.” Shutting down to do a complete overhaul, can create a marketing opportunity for the Grand Re-Opening: “A major re-opening of the property then elevates visibility and interest: similar to the project undertaken by the Savoy in London.”
Pick a Slow Time. Of course if you decide that staying open is your best bet (cash flow, size/scope of renovation, not repositioning the hotel, etc), then of course your next choice is when? While anyone will tell you “pick your slow time..” when is that for YOUR hotel? Not all hotels have the same “slow time.” If your hotel is a major wedding site, then June is not likely a good time. If your hotel hosts a lot of conferences – is there a nice gap between busy streaks
Prioritize your renovations. While renovating the whole hotel during one time period might be ideal, some hotels will need to renovate in stages. One way to approach this is to consider which parts of the hotel need the most attention when you consider who your most profitable target markets are. “For instance, if meetings business brings you the most revenue, focus on updating your meeting space. Or, if weekend leisure business is driving your customer base, you’d want the latest and greatest in spa design and services and start your renovations there. On the other hand, if your restaurant brings in a lot of business, but needs a facelift, this may be the section of your property that you’d want to renovate first.”
One way to handle this is to, quite literally, go room by room in your hotel, and have either your engineering staff or an outside firm and do an evaluative census of all your rooms. This can pinpoint precisely which rooms need how much of an overhaul (and ultimately, save you money.)
During that phase, a renovation expert can also point out how you can save money in other areas. For example, if the hard tile surfaces are all in good shape, you may be able to simply refinish your surface areas (including the tile, bath, sink, etc) rather than to an entire rip out and replace.
Count Everything Twice. Now that hotels are renovating again, some items – like furniture – are becoming harder to get, creating wait times or particular items being unavailable entirely. Double check all of your counts: do you need 352 guest room work tables. Or is it 353?
Source Locally. This is a common mantra in a lot of industries right now: grocery/produce is a great example. But the same advice can be said for hotels. There’s a lot of great reasons for doing this: You may find using local artisans for furnishings, art and tile work can create a unique and local presence in your hotel ambiance. Local production means you aren’t waiting weeks and months for shipments to come from overseas. And quite frankly, it’s putting much needed cash back into your local market.
Minimize the Impact to Your Guests. Manage how and when you tell guests about your renovations. Manage where the renovations will be taking place and ensure that you close off multiple floors between guest floors and those under construction. “Once they are at your hotel, do something special for them. If there are noise and jackhammers around your lobby, offer guests a free drink at the temporary front desk that you have established.” Have some fun and name a special drink after your renovations: “The Jackhammer Special?” “The Renovator? Guaranteed to pick up your attitude after a long day?” Share a “Happy Hour” of light hors d’oeuvres and limited cocktails for guests to “celebrate” the workmen going home for the day: after all, both you and your guests are in this renovation together.
Manage Your Reviews During Renovation. “Renovations will likely result in changed reputations scores — hopefully for the better. This impact will be apparent both during renovations (potential complaints about noise or availability of rooms) and post renovations (will guests like the new rooms?). When making strategic decisions about repositioning a hotel in line with its major property refresh, it is crucially important to factor in reputation scores and the current and future impact they may have. Pricing correctly will help to find an appropriate balance, whether it be short-term promotional pricing to overcome negative reviews due to noise or inconvenience, or long-term rate premiums as a result of positive scores from the renovations.”
Coordination is Key. While you have renovations going on in your occupied hotel, be sure to keep tight control over the project plan: which trades are going to be working in which rooms? Who’s getting done early? Do they need another block of rooms to go to? In turn, ensure your employees know what’s happening so that customer-facing staff can answer guest questions confidently.
With some additional attention to detail, surviving a hotel renovation is indeed possible – even likely! — if you take just a few of these tips to heart.
Terminology, especially when starting a remodel or renovation, can often be confusing to customers. One common set of terms you will hear people use interchangeably are “refinishing” or “reglazing” in relation to tiles.
The real term is a process called “refinishing,” but can also be called “resurfacing” or “surface restoration.” Many customers will call it “re-glazing:” they think you are re-glazing because the tiles look so shiny and new after the refinishing process is complete. Yes, your tiles look amazing by the time we’re done, but really, we aren’t re-glazing your tiles.
Refinishing is an affordable and faster alternative to remodeling – especially when you are happy with your existing bathroom configuration and your tiles are in good shape. In short, refinishing is a multi-step process of applying layered coats of primer and pigmented acrylic urethane. Once that’s done, we buff the surface area until it shines like a freshly glazed tile.
You can refinish surface tiles as well as your bathroom fixtures – provided they are in good shape. Porcelain, fiberglass and cast iron items are usually good candidates for refinishing.
While refinishing may seem like it can work miracles – and in the right situations we can – it is not a miracle worker. The raw materials – tiles, baths, etc – themselves need to be in good shape. If your fixtures are cracked or severely pitted, you may want to replace your items. *See our decision-making guide article on how to determine if refinishing is a viable alternative for your situation.
Renovations can be exciting opportunities. But they can also wreak havoc on your budget –as well as impact your room revenues – if not handled well.
Let’s face it – your bath and floor tiles take a beating. Hundreds – sometimes thousands of guests can pass through your rooms year after year for 5, 6 sometimes 7 years before your next renovation. But how do you remodel or renovate your hotel without breaking the bank?
One of the fastest, most economical, efficient ways to renovate is actually to refinish (rather than replacing) your tile work.
Here are some things to think through when you’re deciding whether to refinish your guest baths or to “go all in” with total renovation:
Are the baths in “good shape” whereas other parts of the rooms are in serious need of help? For example, sometimes refinishing (rather than totally gutting and remodeling) the bath is just “enough” – thus allowing funds to be directed towards furnishings or soft goods purchases
Are the baths “ok” – structurally still good – but have seen better days? It’s sometimes enough to get your rooms just enough of the “sprucing up” needed to get by until the next major renovation. One way to trim your budget without substantially diminishing the look of “luxury” or visual appeal is to refinish the tiles you currently have.
Are the tiles, themselves, in good shape – but could use a facelift? Refinishing can allow you to change colors – even textures such as a stone or wood look – of your tiles, as well as bring back the luster of new tile. When done professionally, refinished surfaces will have the same luster as they did when they were originally installed and are often under warranty.
Refinishing isn’t appropriate in all situations. But a reputable professional will give you an honest assessment of your situation by looking at the condition and quality of your tiles and grout, noting any cracks and chips – and if they can be repaired well enough for refinishing.
Refinishing your tile areas can’t take away all of your renovation pains, but it can shorten project timelines as well as lighten the impact room revenue losses.
“We pride ourselves on our stature as a respected partner to our clients. We are results oriented when it comes to our reputation, ambitious to earn the designation of an elite and dependable resource, known not only for the quality of our craft but also for our discretion. We aspire to great heights and expect our clients to demand that of us.” Orlando Salazar, President -Bathtub Doctor.
Refinishing will save you time and resources on your hotel bathrooms, since 1986 we’ve been helping hotel managers and engineers achieve their goals of clean, appealing bathrooms thereby maximizing room occupancy, simple things done well can be beautiful. We would love to hear your comments.