How to Repair a Bathtub

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How to Repair a Bathtub

A chip or hole in a bathtub is not only unsightly, it can lead to leaks that may damage the underlying floor covering and even damage the structure of the floor. A leaking bathtub can also lead to the growth of mould or mildew. Rather than replacing the bathtub, it is often possible to repair the tub, extending its usefulness and saving the family budget. There are Bathtub and Shower Repair Kits on the market that provide all the materials needed for a professional looking repair or the consumer can purchase the supplies separately. Owners can find Bathtub and Shower Repair Kits at a home improvement store or online at a site like eBay to help them repair their bathtubs.

How to Repair a Fibreglass Bathtub

Before beginning a bathtub repair, owners should mask off all surfaces in the area that they are not repairing, including floors and walls. They should also clean and remove all oil, soap scum, dirt, and debris from the bathtub, and then sand the tub lightly to remove rust and crystallisation from hard water build up. Working in a well-ventilated area is important as is wearing old clothing, a dust mask or respirator, gloves, and goggles.

Prepare the Damaged Area

Wash the surface with bathtub cleaner, and, for areas with holes or breaks, cut any jagged fibreglass away. Then, sand the area lightly with a medium grit sandpaper and rinse with acetone.

Prepare the Patch and Resin

If the crack is more than 0.5 cm wide, or is a hole, cut a piece of fibreglass mesh or cloth slightly larger than the hole. Larger holes or cracks may need more than one layer of cloth. Owners should read the Tub and Shower Repair Kit manufacturer's directions carefully for mixing the resin and cutting the mesh before proceeding.

Measure the polyester resin into the mixing container and add the colourant, according to the manufacturer's directions. Mix thoroughly, checking the colour against the bathtub before adding the hardener. Mix thickener into the resin and colourant to the desired consistency. Then, mix hardener into the resin and colourant. Stirring longer is better.

Apply the Patch and Resin

Using a putty knife or a wooden tongue depressor, scoop up some of the mixture and apply it to the damaged area. If using fibreglass cloth, place the piece over the damage and press it into the repair mixture. Spread the mixture evenly and to a level that is slightly higher than the original surface, allowing for sanding and feathering.

Allow the mixture to harden according to the manufacturer's directions, usually about 2 hours. Once the hardened, sand the patch, being careful not to scuff adjacent areas. Begin with a coarse grit sandpaper and move gradually to a very fine sandpaper until the area is smooth. Buff the finished repair with the buffing compound provided in the kit to restore the gloss finish to match the rest of the bathtub.

How to Repair a Porcelain Bathtub

Be sure to wear old clothing when working with epoxy because once it gets on clothing, it cannot be removed. Using dishwashing soap and water, scrub the bathtub and rinse it well with warm water. Mix vinegar and water and spray the bathtub according to the directions on the bathtub repair kit. Scrub lightly with a sponge and rinse well.

Prepare the Damaged Area

Sand the damaged area, starting with a medium grit sandpaper and followed by a fine grit sandpaper until the repair area is smooth.

Apply the Epoxy

Mix the two- component epoxy according to the manufacturer's directions. Use a wooden matchstick or small paintbrush to fill the chip. Deep chips may require several application of the epoxy. Allow drying time between applications. After the epoxy dries, sand the area lightly and feather the repair into the surrounding area. Buff the tub lightly to restore the shine to the entire tub.

How to Buy Bathtub Repair Tools and Materials on eBay

Finding any or all the items needed to repair a bathtub on eBay starts with going to any page of the site. In the Search box, type in the name of the item you need. If the results are too broad, click on a category. You can also try searching the deals in Home and Lifestyle for bathtub repair materials and tools.

Owners can repair both fibreglass and

porcelain bathtubs

at home with a few tools and average DIY skills. To make a professional repair, having the correct materials on hand, and understanding and following all of the necessary steps can result in a repair that homeowners can be proud of.

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