Here’s a Smart Way to Make Your Fiberglass and Acrylic Bathtubs and Shower Pans Look New Again Refinishing-Reglazing is An Excellent Solution for a dull scratched up, damaged or cracked Fiberglass-Acrylic Bathtub.
Fiberglass and Acrylic Surfaces are easily dulled up by harsh or abrasive cleaners. If the dulling of the surface is light, we can sometimes simply buff it out. Using fine grits of sand paper called wet sanding and buffing it out as you would an old car.
But often, the damage the Bathtub has seen over the years is too much for this and we would need to Refinish the surface with a new coating.
We often see that the Bathtub and Surround are one piece. The Bathroom was built around it. Removal and replacing of the fixture, becomes difficult and expensive.
Whether the whole unit Bathtub and Surround needs to be done or just one or the other is not a problem. There can be a slight color variation and we need a cut off point. Sometimes there is a natural point to tape off, other times we simply use the turn where the tub meets the wall. Be sure to let us know if you want just the tub done or wall section or both.
Bathtubs with water jets can be done as well. We remove or unscrew the jet covers, so the new coating can get behind the water jet cover plate.
Bathtub & Surround Crack or Hole Repair Problems.
Here’s the Right way to Solve your Problem.
Fiberglass Bathtub Crack Repair and how to do it Right, what we must address is why did the Bath Tub Crack before the Repair is made or it will Crack again!
These types of Bathtubs are not really self supporting. Fiberglass type fixtures flex a bit when stood on, over the years a crack forms and can leak water. Should you wish to save a bundle, consider having it repaired.
What we see is, during the installation the fixture should have been set in place on top of a “mud base” trade term for cement or plaster. By doing so the Bath Tub bottom is resting on a firm surface taking the loads and preventing the flexing that caused the problem you now have.
To Repair the crack without re-supporting the Bathtub would be a waste of your time and money.
For Crack Repair the Best Solution we have found is to Inject Expanding Polyurethane Foam under the Bath tub. Either thru an access panel, or by drilling several holes thru the Bathtubs bottom and injecting it, thru the tub.
You cannot use the Hardware store foam that comes in a can for foaming around windows and such. Should you over apply this product it will buckle the Bathtubs bottom, and if you under apply it, it does not properly support the tub.
We use a Two Component Foam that mixes in the nozzle, the foam density is set for this application and does not continue to expand once it makes contact between the tubs bottom and sub flooring. It sets up firm in 4 to 5 minutes and creates a really strong foundation for the Bathtub to sit on.
Only then can the Repair be made. The Crack and any Hole’s drilled are prepared for a fiberglass patch to fill in the damaged area and sanded smooth to the Bath tubs contours.
Now we need to prepare the rest of the Fixture for Reglazing. Once completed your Bathtub will look brand new, have a durable coating, and be set in a strong foundation.
Some of the Issues we run into are:
Some Fiberglass Bathtubs and shower pans have a pebbly surface molded into the tubs bottom for anti-slip. Should the Crack form in this area we are sometimes unable to duplicate the texture around the repaired area.
No sub floor under the Bathtub, only open flooring joist. Subflooring needs to be placed under the Bathtub for the foam to push against.
Bathtubs bottom is too close to sub flooring but not touching; say a ¼ inch gap or so. Enough too cause flexing, but sometimes too tight to foam properly.
We don’t run into this a lot but corrugated cardboard used as a stiffener under the Bathtub from the manufacturer. Once it gets wet and becomes mush, it no longer supports the Bathtub and can interfere with the foaming.
Without an Access Panel for the Bathtub, we are working blind. One: add an Access Panel. Two: Should the Tub Plumbing be on an outside wall or installed in such a manner as to prevent an Access Panel then we must go in blind. I would say we have a 98% success rate. For the 2% that don’t, well……they get there money back. So it’s definitely worth the try. Wouldn’t you say so?
Bathtub Hole Repair
Hole Punched in Fiberglass Tub
Large hole patched with fiberglass from the backside of the tub.
Hole fully patched and ready for final sanding before being refinished.
Repair Completed and Tub Refinished
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