A friend of Markdown Mom is currently planning a renovation of his split entry home, bumping out the entryway and adding a one car attached garage. In the process, he plans at a future time to bump part of the small main bathroom into the new entryway, and using the space underneath for storage. However, that is somewhere down the road after the initial shell of the new entryway and garage is built this year. MDM will bring you more on this project as it proceeds. Right now though he has a problem since the current bathtub, a plastic prefab has developed holes from a shower chair as a result of a disabled family member. Since he will eventually replace the tub in the new addition with a whirlpool, accessible tub, for now he does not want to go through the expense of demolition and retrofit only to change it at a later date.
What to do? The answer MDM came up with was a process of filling and repairing the tub sufficiently to restore the integrity of the structure to prevent any leakage plus making it cosmetically acceptable.
As you can see in Photo#1, the depth of the holes varied from a slight indentation and cracks on the right to deeper ones on the left and middle to the wooden support structure beneath.
Step 1. In visiting a local home improvement store, a clerk suggested to use a plumbing filler such as the one in photo #2. Now MDM has had experience with another product, an epoxy, however, that has to be applied in layers with drying in between application. With the deep holes this would involve more time to achieve complete filling and repair of those holes.
MDM did try the filler as a first step, but the plumbing filler proved not to be an ideal material repair since it never did fully dry and therefore had too much give to achieve a hard surface.
Step 2. With the failure of the plumbing filler, MDM went back to applying coats of Marine Epoxy and slowly building up the holes and indentations until level with the surface of the tub.
Marine epoxy can be applied with a putty knife, slowly layering and filling the holes. Mix the epoxy per the instructions and apply with stick and putty knife. Use sandpaper between applications.
Step 3. The final 1-2 applications can be smoothed out with a foam brush, sanded with medium and then a fine grade of sandpaper to achieve smoothness. Be sure to steam or wash any grit left from the sandpaper.
Step 4. Cosmetics. After the sanding has achieved the desired smoothness, use a white spray primer for the undercoat. Rustoleum was chosen by MDMfor this application. Be sure to follow instructions about venting the area. After the initial application, leave the room until the paint smell dissipates. Apply 1-2 coats of the primer.
Step 5. Follow the primer with a gloss or semi-gloss spray paint. Your eye will determine the number of coats you will need to achieve the best results.
These were unusually large deep holes and required time and patience, but this technique is applicable for any crack or hole that a tub or tub enclosure may develop.
Plus MDM recommends to prevent holes or scratches from a shower assisted stool consider purchasing a Tiki stool by Offi from Amazon. Because of its’ round shape, it’s stable–distributing weight evenly, durable, and another plus is that it is slightly higher than regular shower stools. Oh so chic, too!