how to support a fiberglass bathtub
Went over the manual for Kohler bathtub (we got Hourglass) today and learned about two options for securing the bathtub to subfloor - one is with cement/mortar bed, the other is with construction adhesives. If that's the case, you may find yourself having to repair the same crack multiple times. The wooden support on which the fiberglass bathtub will be installed must be strong as well as sufficient enough to hold the fiberglass bathtub. However, fiberglass often makes the short list … In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey updates a bath. The floor framing for bathtubs requires special attention. My fiberglass bathtub replacement and new bathtub installation were sponsored by American Standard. Before you can purchase a fiberglass bathtub you should know the area of the space available in the bathroom for fixing the 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. Acrylic is one of the most common because it is easy to create and uses plastic-based materials that are cheaper in comparison to the others. Fiberglass (and other plastic tubs) are modern, moldable, versatile, and lightweight. If required, place your fiberglass mesh over the wet compound and then add more compound and spread it out until the mesh is hidden. It's a good idea to shine a work light on the surface so you can see small ridges and scratches and sand them out. Before you give up on trying to scrub away the stains, try the cleaning process Home Depot recommends for tough stains on fiberglass: Smear on a paste of … They are molded bathtubs that can be fitted snugly in your bathroom to provide a contemporary look. Unfortunately, fiberglass can become dull after only a few years, and worse yet can develop unsightly stress cracks or even structural cracks resulting in water leaks. A bathtub crack can continue to spread even after you patch it, and to prevent this, Badeloft recommends drilling a 1/4-inch hole, called a stop-drill hole, at either end of the crack. How to Make a Bathtub Tray. Sand the epoxy until it's smooth and blends with the rest of the tub. Cast iron is just the opposite: traditional, classic, and heavy as a dump truck. 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. If the crack occurred because of a lack of support, you can use these holes to spray high-density foam behind the crack. If the tub is fiberglass, drill holes at each stud. 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. And I say that in the most polite way because it was a patchwork of wood. Has any… The tub was installed in 2005, but we saw the stains only recently. Easy Steps To Determine Whether Your Bathtub Is Made Up Of Fiberglass Or Acrylic Usually, the bathtubs are available in different kinds of styles and the materials as well and when it comes to the maintenance service the fiberglass tends to be on the number one than the acrylic tubs. It has a few stains that I cannot remove. Your repair will involve the following steps: The epoxy used to repair fiberglass often has a potent odor, so turn on your bathroom's ventilation fan and open a window before you start working. A full bathtub is heavy, sometimes 500 to 600 lbs. The most expensive solution for refinishing your fiberglass tub is a bathtub refitting. Mix per instructions and apply in a layer about 1 inch higher than the feet on the tub, so the tub snugs down into the mortar and squishes the excess out. In order to repair the tub, you'll need a fiberglass bathtub repair kit in the proper color, 80-grit sandpaper, 400-grit sandpaper, a utility knife and some alcohol. When you're done, switch to 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper and sand the area as smooth as you can. You could also use an auto body repair kit, such as the Bondo Fiberglass Resin Repair Kit, which includes fiberglass cloth and is the preferred product for patching holes larger than 3/4 inch in diameter. Always use eye protection. Some epoxy repair kits work fine on the bottom of the tub but disappoint when used on vertical surfaces. Installing a bathtub is a very involved process that includes plumbing, carpentry and, in many cases, tiling work. What’s Next. Sand the area to be repaired and wipe away any sanding dust. You must consider all of the weight the floor joists must be able to support. After you attach the flange directly to the studs, you can can finish the walls next to the bathtub … The cloth should be large enough to overlap all sides of the hole by about 1/2 inch, and you should tape off a larger area to make it easier to sand down the edges. Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Acrylic and fiberglass bathtubs need support underneath to prevent flexing. 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. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. The usual way to supply this is to lay a 2- to 4-inch mortar bed underneath the tub. ... First, unscrew the tub drain and overflow from the P-trap underneath the tub. Floor Framing for Bathtubs. 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. Fiberglass Bathtub Refinishing Cost. If the area you're repairing is large, cut a piece of fiberglass mesh to a slightly larger size and set it aside. If you're sanding so much rust that you're considering just grabbing the belt sander to make quicker work of the job, it's probably another sign to go pro. It's a more extensive and expensive repair, but you'll only need to do it once. A large crack on the bottom of a fiberglass tub that developed because the tub isn't properly supported will probably continue to spread even after you repair it, but there is a way to provide extra support to forestall this. Floor Framing for Bathtubs. Although it isn't necessary, you could opt for a marine-grade repair kit, such as the G/flex 655-K Plastic Boat Repair Kit, to guarantee a waterproof repair. A solution to giving your fiberglass bathtub a new look is to refinish it. I highly doubt that spray foam will provide much support. If the bathtub repair kit you're using comes with cleaning wipes or pads, you can use these. When reinstalling the drain, place a new rubber grommet in the drain. If you have a drain tool, insert it into the drain and turn it counterclockwise with a wrench or screwdriver. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. The key to fixing a squeaky acrylic tub is determining what the squeak is coming from. Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. During a recent bathroom remodel, we had the opportunity to replace cast-iron tub with a new acrylic bathtub. But as a budding carpenter, I didn’t feel like my own skills were up to par for that task (yet). After you’re done adding your bathtub you can start the waterproofing process and tiling. 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. After you attach the flange directly to the studs, you can can finish the walls next to the bathtub with drywall or tile. When it comes to selecting a tub for your bathroom, you have plenty materials from which to choose. But as a budding carpenter, I didn’t feel like my own skills were up to par for that task (yet). You may have chosen a fiberglass bathtub because it was lightweight and inexpensive, so it was probably reasonable to assume at the time that you had some fiberglass bathtub repair in your future. Replacing a shower pan is a major project. Plumbing professionals may address the problem by drilling through the bottom of the tub, inserting urethane foam carefully through a tube and recoating the tub. Small rust spots are an easy DIY fix, but tubs that are rusted through probably need professional help to make sure they don't leak. The patch should rise about 1/16 inch above the surface of the tub. If you're using a liquid epoxy, paint it on with a small brush or smooth it on with a dry putty knife. If you're using a fiberglass patch, apply the cloth to the wet epoxy following the manufacturer's directions. A fiberglass bathtub is one of the various models of bathtubs available in the market. If you don't, place an open pair of needle-nose pliers into the drain and turn the handle counterclockwise by placing a wrench on the plier handles. Although it isn't necessary, you could opt for a marine-grade repair kit, such as the G/flex 655-K Plastic Boat Repair … So, I have my fiberglass tub/shower enclosure installed, and I want to add support and some insulation to keep the tub water warm. Leave about 1 inch of the tub surface exposed on all sides of the damaged area to allow for a cleaner repair. The first is to note where you're making your repair. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, Remove and Replace: How To Fix A Hole In The Bathtub DIY, Badeloft: Why Do Bathtubs Crack? If doing so disrupts your putty, smooth it out again with a wet finger. The trick is to layer plastic sheeting over the mortar to prevent it adhering from the tub, making future replacement simpler. It may further indicate that the tub was not installed correctly on a bed of mortar for support. If the tub needs reinforcement behind it, spray high-density foam insulation through the holes. Dress for Success. Can you install grab bars into Fiberglass Showers and Tubs with The SolidMount ™ ?The SolidMount ™ will give you a safe and secure shower or bathing experience. If it's too late to prevent small rust spots, you can repair them using this method as well. You'll replace these when you reinstall the drain. If you can, get a kit from the bathtub maker for a more discreet repair. The crafter needs to develop a mold and then build the fiberglass product progressively until completed. Secure the flange to the studs by driving 1-inch galvanized roofing nails through the holes in the flange. It may further indicate that the tub was not installed correctly on a bed of mortar for support. If a crack or hole develops while you're using a fiberglass bathtub or a fiberglass shower pan, perhaps as a result of flexing or impact from a heavy object you dropped, your chances of a successful repair are better. Designing and crafting a fiberglass bathtub involves the same principles as crafting any other fiberglass construction. Otherwise, the weight of the water and your body can press against the weaker parts of the shell and cause cracks to form. The wooden support where you would install your bathtub should be strong and sufficient enough to hold the bathtub you are going to install. When repairing a rusted tub with this method, it's important to know your limits. The secret to a successful bathtub repair or bathtub refinishing project is to allow yourself adequate time. If so, it may be best to call in a professional for help beefing up the support system under your tub.
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