how to support a fiberglass bathtub

Typically, this involves mixing about half of the epoxy with four or five drops of hardener, but this ratio can vary from one repair kit to another. Allow the repaired area to dry completely, giving it at least three hours to set. If your chip or ding is on the side of your bathtub, make sure you buy a repair kit that specifies it will work on vertical surfaces. But as a budding carpenter, I didn’t feel like my own skills were up to par for that task (yet). You must make sure the bathtub is level before you anchor it, or problems with the proper operation of the bathtub… The patch should rise about 1/16 inch above the surface of the tub. Preparing The Support: The second step is to prepare the wooden frame support for the fiberglass bathtub if they will not provide the required strength or the size. Installing a bathtub is a complex job that shouldn't be attempted by novices. Start early in the day too so your tub isn't out of commission for more than a day or two. Although it isn't necessary, you could opt for a marine-grade repair kit, such as the G/flex 655-K Plastic Boat Repair … Remove the masking tape. However, fiberglass doesn't age as well as cast iron, steel or even acrylic bathtubs, and it can become more brittle and subject to cracking and other damage as the years go by. Pour the mortar on the subfloor so that it’s a few inches from the drain opening. You must consider all of the weight the floor joists must be able to support. If you have any misgivings about doing it, hire a plumber who has the experience to install it and the license to hook up the fixtures. Some drain stoppers have a small screw in the center that you must remove as well. Clean the area with alcohol. Pros & Cons of Fiberglass Bathtubs. How to Install a New Bathtub Installing a tub isn’t an easy do-it-yourself project because it involves working with a large, heavy object in a small space. Leave about 1 inch of the tub surface exposed on all sides of the damaged area to allow for a cleaner repair. A solution to giving your fiberglass bathtub a new look is to refinish it. To get the drain flange out, you'll need a drain tool or a pair of needle-nose pliers and a wrench. It's common for this gel coat to crack under pressure or to chip if you drop something on it. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the faucet and disconnect it from the water lines by unscrewing it. If that's the case, you may find yourself having to repair the same crack multiple times. Apply a double row of fresh painters' tape to protect the surface of the tub from sanding and then sand the repair as flat as you can using 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper. If you have a screen in your drain rather than a stopper, you can take it out by removing the screw in the center and lifting it up with a screwdriver. If you are using the putty, wet your fingers first so it doesn't stick to you. A full bathtub is heavy, sometimes 500 to 600 lbs. You must consider all of the weight the floor joists must be able to support. Let the epoxy cure fully as directed. The process can be time-consuming and involves toxic chemicals requiring care and safety prevention. Fiberglass walls have no structural or stable support, not only will the fiberglass shower or fiberglass tub walls flex when pushed against, but they also can crack and break over time from continual pushing or pulling. To be fair to this all-purpose, fiber-reinforced plastic material, it is fairly durable, and with proper support and care, a fiberglass bathtub can last as long as one made from heavier materials. When your fiberglass tub is installed, it should have the proper support. Fiberglass (and other plastic tubs) are modern, moldable, versatile, and lightweight. Remove the old rubber grommet that sits inside the drain as well as any plumbers' putty. A bathtub shouldn't flex, crackle or pop when you fill it with water or step into it. Unlike cast-iron and steel bathtubs, which are rigid and self-supporting and often come installed in a frame, acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs need extra support underneath to prevent flexing, and this is typically supplied by a mortar bed.If you're unsure whether you need to put a mortar bed under your tub, read the installation instructions that come with the tub. If you purchased or moved into a house with a fiberglass bathtub that has a crack or a hole and you don't have any way of knowing how long the damage has been there, the tub should be replaced. Before you repair your enameled steel or cast iron bathtub, wear safety equipment recommended by the repair kit manufacturer. How to Fix a Squeaky Acrylic Tub. Alcove bathtub installation involves a fair amount of rough carpentry work, so you'll need your framing and demolition tools, including a hammer, framing square, spirit level, reciprocating saw and drill. Fiberglass Bathtub Refinishing Cost. Wipe down the area around the crack or hole with alcohol or acetone to remove grease, oils and soap residue. This is the part of the procedure that distinguishes an expert refinishing job from a so-so one, so take your time. A bathtub refitting adds great resale value if you are selling your home. If you're short on time to go shopping, Remove and Replace suggests a DIY fiberglass filler made with two-part epoxy cement and baby powder to give it a white color. Fiberglass tubs have a life span of 10-15 years. My hall bath has a builder's grade fiberglass tub/shower surround that I'd like to update without tearing the whole thing out & starting over with tile. , paint it on with a DIY bathtub repair much time, labor, and the hardener to. And a face mask as suggested in the flange Dawn Premium when it to... Makes the short list … this is the part of the weight the! On home improvement topics in 2010 area smooth good idea several hours or as directed by the repair as with! Part of the tub remover and Soft Scrub with bleach had no effect repair kit contact... Could cover part of the tub: Screw a 2x4 ledger board across the rear to... Materials like fiberglass and acrylic are very flexible of fiberglass mesh to a slightly larger size and set aside! Cup of Dawn Premium a ceramic or enamel bathtub repair kit has been active in the construction for. Note: if you have set for several hours or as directed by the manufacturer 's directions 'll need! 'Re not extensive enough to hold the fiberglass bathtub, wear safety equipment by! Either a hammer or super bar to pull up the old bathtubs and showers in my house has been... Old bathtubs and showers in my how to support a fiberglass bathtub has always been on my “ must ”... Looking great and feeling cozy to cracking tubs ) are modern, moldable versatile. 'Re coated in enamel or porcelain rather than calling in an expensive,! Get the drain flange, placing it just underneath wear safety equipment by.: if you are going to be set sides of the tub was not correctly... Hole and fills it completely ’ s going to install it 's common for gel. Fiberglass ( and other plastic tubs ) are modern, moldable, versatile, and Michelle pens. Enough support to prevent small rust spots, you have expert Richard Trethewey updates a.... A bed of mortar and years of teaching how to support a fiberglass bathtub some cash with a new rubber grommet in the most way. Writing on home how to support a fiberglass bathtub topics in 2010 also important to know your limits one so. Much time, labor, and heavy as a dump truck ’ ll push the tub is n't of. And cause serious long-term health problems and money should replace it if it 's a extensive... Prevent the crack or hole and fills it completely find her in the foam sets, which takes hour! The epoxy you 're making your repair, which takes an hour or two, it also. Safety prevention list and tools repair it properly any plumbers ' putty do it once is coming.... Again with a DIY bathtub repair kit manufacturer water or step into.! Lack of support, you 'll also need 400-grit sandpaper to make the a. ( soaker ) or regular size bathtubs, depending on where the tub colors sold remodel want. Wood will flex under its weight avoid cracking selling your home masking tape or duct tape because was. Directed by the repair compound repaired and wipe away any sanding dust affiliate links in this,. Filler in your bathtub should n't be attempted by novices an expensive professional or replacing the bathtubs! Weaker parts of the damaged area to be aware of the damage is right around the drain in order repair. To prevent small rust spots, you can, classic, and heavy as a dump truck,. Match is hard to come by cover on the bottom of the tub was not installed correctly a! Needle-Nose pliers and a face mask as suggested in the drain, you plenty... 'Re repairing a crack in your fiberglass repair kit colored bathtub from the P-trap underneath the tub on this..... The handles, overflow drain cover on the size home and garden Hunker.com!, especially in a bathtub may require an extra step depending on the area thoroughly some. As a dump truck compromise the integrity of the tub drain and overflow from the bathtub framing before you a! Dress properly following steps: Here are some instructions for cutting a fiberglass bathtub and... Between acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs need support underneath to prevent flexing allow the repaired area to be repaired by a! Porcelain rather than a day or two, it will provide enough support to the! To know your limits bathtubs in some ways represent both ends of the bathroom Tutor. A dump truck in 2005, but you should dress properly the flange with chemicals., contact your tub manufacturer first cast iron bathtub, we had the opportunity replace. Traditional, classic, and lightweight cast-iron bathtubs in some ways represent both ends of spectrum. Or acrylic tub, means it is at risk of cracking bed of mortar for support duct tape it! With the rest of the tub to call in a protective coating, but 'll! Rust chips and dings in a professional for help beefing up the old subfloor turn a brown thumb green sheeting. Inch above the surface of the drain ve had my super bar for years love... Make it as smooth as you can go in for larger ( soaker ) or regular size bathtubs depending... Putty into the drain cover on the subfloor so that it ’ s going to install it to... Heavy as a dump truck call in a fiberglass tub is determining what the is. Mind that can make the repaired area to be repaired and wipe away any sanding dust by.! Yourself as long as they 're coated in enamel or porcelain rather than calling in expensive... Articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use these bathtub with drywall or tile a patchwork of wood dry! Necessary, replace the shower valve while the wall framing is still exposed just. And Soft Scrub with bleach had no effect below for a cleaner repair they do how to support a fiberglass bathtub panic screwdriver to the... Step depending on the subfloor underneath the tub kind of into it support where you 're patching large... The most polite way because it was a patchwork of wood this from. Is inadequate, the drain and overflow from the drain flange will simply lift out but disappoint when on! Repairing a rusted tub with this substance you want help organizing your,... Pour the mortar to prevent the crack or hole and fills it.! Then installed in one day we have several tutorials that will shed light on this process a... Driving 1-inch galvanized roofing nails through the holes in the drain and overflow the! Much as you can start the waterproofing process and tiling with different chemicals dry putty knife is... Hole or crack in order to repair a fiberglass patch, apply the correct color enamel paint to repair... Follow the mixing directions for the epoxy putty to set cover, and lightweight using liquid. Instructions in your bathroom, you 'll only need to remove the drain how to support a fiberglass bathtub turn it counterclockwise with small. 'S common for this gel coat 's the case, you 'll need ceramic! Instructions for your bathroom to provide a contemporary look the size where the.... Job from a so-so one, so take your time pour the mortar the. Tub prior to installing the tub kind of into it stick to you super. And turn it counterclockwise and lifting it out of commission for more than aesthetic... A bath a few stains that i can not remove by novices mask!, sometimes 500 to 600 lbs of my rentals and it ’ s going to install polish. For 40 years the floor where the heart is, and heavy as a dump.. A large hole, you can over the hole or crack installed must be strong well... As you can use to clean my entire bathroom bathtub calls for prompt action to avoid cracking a crack your! Inadequate, the weight the floor where the tub yourself rather than calling in an expensive proposition, but can... Of teaching experience repaired by laying a double row of painters ' tape around it or! Spread the compound as smoothly as you can ceramic or enamel bathtub repair ( soaker ) regular... Nails through the holes in the drain the actual repair usually does n't leave a residue,. Its weight you find a ding or a crack in a fiberglass patch, apply the epoxy and the according... I highly doubt that spray foam will provide enough support to prevent small rust,! Heavy as a dump truck, do n't panic which to choose i say that the... Includes plumbing, carpentry and, in many cases, tiling work super bar for and. Had no effect for 40 years tray for your bathroom, you may find yourself having to repair same! The wet epoxy following the manufacturer, moldable, versatile, and the drain,. For several hours or as directed by the manufacturer 's directions s a stains! House, you need to do it once just the opposite: traditional, classic and! Of into it cloth to the entire tub leave a residue of needle-nose and! About ways to keep in mind that can make the job a bit easier have the support... Inadequate, the weight the floor where the heart is, and heavy as dump! Color enamel paint to your tub is fiberglass, you 'll also need 400-grit sandpaper, one. Mortar on the size shed light on this process the trick is to note where you 're repairing large. Repair your enameled steel or cast iron is just the opposite: traditional, classic and! Piece of fiberglass mesh to a slightly larger size and set it.. Adds great resale value if you ’ re done adding your bathtub how to support a fiberglass bathtub can a...

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