When you need to sit back and wash away your stress, nothing beats a warm bath. But your relaxation can be ruined in a hurry if your bathtub gets damaged, chipped or cracked. Fortunately, many small imperfections in your tub can be fixed without throwing it out with the bathwater. Read on for some tips on basic bathroom plumbing repair to keep your bathtub smooth, shiny and clean.
A Fresh Liner Makes a Tub Look Like New
If you have a modern bathtub, chances are good it’s made from fiberglass or acrylic, although older models are actually made from metal like steel or cast iron, which is then lined with enamel or porcelain. Fortunately, there are fairly simple ways to repair fiberglass and acrylic tubs once they start to wear out. Generally, there are two options: installing a tub liner, or touching up or refinishing the glaze on the tub.
Putting in a tub liner is less of a do-it-yourself project. Since the liner needs to be an exact fit for your bathtub, the process usually involves a contractor coming to measure the tub, then sending the specifications to a manufacturer to make a custom liner. The contractor then adheres the liner to your tub and adjusts the drain so everything works like new. Bathtub liners are expensive, but they are quite durable and can add decades to the life of any tub.
Blaze New Trails in Bathroom Plumbing Repair
If you don't want to go the liner route, you can re-glaze the bathtub instead. This process is also usually a professional job because it involves painstaking work and hazardous chemicals, but experienced DIY-ers can take it on themselves with some epoxy paint, hydrofluoric acid and sandpaper. If you decide to re-glaze a tub yourself, be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions to protect your health and ensure that you do the job correctly.
For smaller cracks in a fiberglass tub, you just need to caulk or patch them with a bonding agent. The process is straightforward – clean and sand the area in question, fill the crack with caulk or filler, and then paint over it with the bonding agent. Most kits come with a piece of fiberglass cloth that you can adhere over the repair job so it blends with the rest of the tub. If you do find a crack in your tub, you should act to fix it as soon as possible before it gets bigger or allows too much water to seep onto the floor.
Know When to Walk Away
If your bathtub is so far degraded that repair is unfeasible, or if the tub already has a significant leak, your best option might be to tear it out and start over with a brand new bath area. That way, you can pick out the look and functionality from modern bathroom installations that best match your home and preferences.
For help fixing your bathtub, designing a new bathroom, or any other questions about bathroom plumbing repair, contact an expert plumber today.