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Bathtub crack and hole repair

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:03 am
by 00Slevin

I have an issue with my Bathtub in my home. For the past few years the bottom of the tub has been "rotting" for a lack of a better word. There is a large patch (about 1\3rd of the bottom of the tub) of discoloration and it's full of cracks. Some were through the tub causing a leak.

For a quick fix on the bad cracks I filled them with a waterproof A\B compound and it stopped the leak for now but I want to get rid of the issue altogether. Money is a problem so buying a new tub or using a service like bathfitter won't be an option right now.

I have been looking online and there are not any examples of what I am experiencing. Basically I was thinking of cutting out the entire section that's rotting, putting some support in the hole that's left behind using an expanding foam or something and finishing it with a body filler or something along those lines.

Because it is such a large section I am not sure if I should approach it this way. Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Also any brand names of products that I should use would be so great.

Thank you for your time.

Re: Bathtub crack and hole repair

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:05 am
by A. Spruce
Can you post some pictures of the problem?

There used to be a Bondo brand tub repair kit that gave you resin, fiberglass mat, and colorants to be able to make small repairs. In lieu of finding this, get any fiberglass repair kit, then automotive paint colorants can be used to match your existing tub color. If you can salvage a color sample from the tub without causing further damage, that would be a good way to go to an automotive paint store to get the right selection of colorants for the match.

I would not recommend doing any more damage than necessary to do this repair. Remove what is loose/flaking, but DO NOT cut a hole in the tub. Follow the instruction on the repair kit. You will definitely want a window open or exhaust fan running in the bathroom while this work is being done, and having a vapor respirator is a must when working with a large quantity of fiberglass resin, it is VERY smelly, and it WILL result in altered state of consciousness, i.e., you'll get high, without a respirator.

An alternative would be to contact a tub refinishing company that will come out and do the repair and respray the entire tub, it's been a while since I've used a service like this, it used to run $500 to $1000, depending on a few different variables.

Re: Bathtub crack and hole repair

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:48 pm
by 00Slevin
Hey thanks for the reply. Here are some photos. You can see the discoloration is absolutely filled with cracks. It's not dirt it's the coloring of the bathtub going bad. The gross spots are the old A\B compound I used to fill the through wall cracks.

It's gonna be one hell of a fiberglass job that's for sure. After seeing this would you change your strategy?

Re: Bathtub crack and hole repair

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:45 pm
by Shannon
Is this a large corner tub or what?
Unless you are going to fiberglass and finish this yourself it’s going to get pricey I would guess?

Re: Bathtub crack and hole repair

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:21 pm
by A. Spruce
The only real fix for that will be replacement.

I would recommend watching some vids on how to do fiberglass work in general, all the better if you can find some involving working on tubs, but with the extent of the damage, you're going to be re-glassing most of the tub just to do the repair, so general body work glassing will tell you most of what you need to know to do this job.

After watching the vids to know what's involved, you're then going to need materials, I would guess an automotive paint shop or online sources to procure enough materials for the job. This is well beyond any "repair kit" you'll find in a big box paint department.

With the fiberglass work done you will need to apply a new finish and gel coat, I would assume that fiberglass resin can be colored with automotive paint pigments, but this would definitely be a question to ask your supplier.