Tue Aug 01 2023

Bathtub Repair – An Ultimate Guide for Your DIY

Bathtub Repair – An Ultimate Guide for Your DIY

Let’s be honest, bathtub repair is such a headache, both literally and figuratively. A small bathtub repair can lead to a bigger one and in a flash you are spending hundreds of dollars. According to a Forbes article, the cost of an average bathtub repair (retouching or reglazing) can cost anywhere from $400 to $500, which includes the labor. Sometimes, this repair can cost up to $1000, depending on the type of bathtub and the measures taken to repair the bathtub. 


In a nutshell, bathtub repair can be expensive if you go with professional help. Admittedly, sometimes, there is no other way than to seek the help of a professional. But in some cases, it is possible to take care of the problem by yourself as a DIY project. 


If you are having trouble with your bathtub, and want to repair it so you can have the best relaxing session in the comfort of your home, this is the guide for you.


In the upcoming sections, we will discuss the different types of bathtub repair scenarios, so that you are equipped with the right information and tools to easily tackle the problem.

Types of Bathtub

Types of Bathtub

Before we move on to the actual repair process, it is important to know the types of bathtubs and the bathtub material available on the market. 


One of the main reasons to know the types and materials of the bathtub is to take the necessary steps in the repair and get the best result possible. Because each material has different physical properties that can greatly influence the repair process. 


Not knowing which materials and types you are working with can do more damage than repair. 


First, the types of bathtubs. There are a handful of bathtub types and they are as follows:


  1. Freestanding bathtub
  2. Clawfoot tub
  3. Slipper tub
  4. Corner bathtub
  5. Soaking tub (Japanese Ofuro tub)
  6. Roll-top bathtub


Each bathtub has its perks and plays a different role in its functionality. For example, the clawfoot tub has four legs that support the entire weight of the bathtub. The presence of legs eliminates the need for reinforcing your bathroom floor. But when it comes to freestanding bathtubs, the absence of the legs may require floor reinforcement, which may affect your budget. But the clawfoot tub may not be as comfortable as you think, and that is where the slipper tub comes into the picture. Thanks to its unique, high-heeled design, the bathtub provides the best comfort to the user. 


The deep soaking bathtub is better than the other standard tub to get the spa-like experience and soak comfortably for a long time without discomfort. 


These physical differences can help you to understand the problem with the bathtub and help you on how to solve the problem.


For example, if one of the legs of the clawfoot break, you can take the necessary measures to rectify the problem as soon as a problem by finding the right product/parts. 

Bathtub Material

Next is bathtub material. Bathtub material plays an important role in repairing the bathtub. If you do not know which material your bathtub is and continue with the repair process, you can meet with issues that take a big hit on your repair budget.


So, there are a handful of bathtub materials that you should know before starting the repair project. 


  1. Acrylic
  2. Cast-iron
  3. Copper
  4. Natural wood (deep soaker tub)


First, the most popular bathtub material is acrylic. One of the main reasons is the versatility of the material and its surprising durability. Another reason is its price. But, acrylic does have some disadvantages, such as the need to reinforce the pressure points during the installation, and the surface is much more prone to scratches if you use abrasive cleaners. 


Next on our list is the cast-iron. Now, this is our recommendation. If you are planning to get a new bathtub for your household, it is better to go with the cast-iron due to its high durability, excellent heat retention, and affordability (compared to high-end materials). 


Also, maintenance is easy, which means repair is also easy compared to copper and natural wood.


The third material is copper. When it comes to heat retention, copper is the king. But maintenance is one of the most tedious among all bathtub materials, which makes it difficult to repair. It needs specific parts and products in order to repair correctly.


The fourth material is natural wood. If you want a spa-like or an onsen experience, natural wood is the way to go. It has great heat retention and provides an experience that cannot be matched with other bathtub materials. As same as copper, natural wood suffers from its maintenance. 


Now that you know bathtub types and materials, it is time to see the repair steps

How to Repair a Bathtub

How to Repair a Bathtub

Two main common issues in bathtubs are:

  1. Chipping 
  2. Drain clogging


One of the most common issues seen in the bathtub is the chipping. The main reason for chipping to occur is the frequent external pressure on the bathtub surface. 


You can see the chipping frequently in the acrylic bathtub due to the gel coating present on the surface of the tub. Down the line, the gel coat gets destroyed and exposes the surface of the bathtub to external pressure. Even a small force can greatly damage the surface and cause chipping. 


So, it seems like a great danger, but it can be easily mitigated with a few steps. There are acrylic repair kits available online, and even in the local hardware store. 


It comes with sandpaper and some alcohol solution to repair the surface. First sand the area and makes sure you remove all the debris from the area. Then use the alcohol to wash the area completely and dry it off with a paper towel


This helps to remove the chip from the bathtub completely.


NOTE: Chipping is a common issue in all types of bathtubs and the dedicated repair kits help you to effectively eliminate the issue.

Drain Clogging

The next common issue is drain clogging. Clogging in the drain is uncontrollable, but it can be easily mitigated by using the right tools. Usually drain clogs consist of your hair and dead skin and sometimes the chip of the bathtub. In order to remove the clogs, first you have to remove the drain stopper. Once you remove that, take a plunger and start to remove the drain dirt.


Repeat the process until you have completely removed the dirt from the drain plate. Now, clean the area with water. After that, take hydrogen peroxide, mix it with water, and push it into the drain line. This removes the remaining dirt in the dirt line. 


Now push the water down the drain line again to ensure there is no blockage. 


The bathtub should be clean, free from clogs, and ready to use.


  • Can you repair an acrylic bathtub?
  • Yes, you can repair an acrylic bathtub. Chipping can be frequently seen in the acrylic bathtub due to the gel coat present on the surface of the tub. Down the line, the gel coat gets destroyed and exposes the surface of the bathtub to external pressure. Even a small force can greatly damage the surface and cause chipping. There are acrylic repair kits available online that can get the job done. 

  • Can you use epoxy to fix the bathtub?
  • Yes, thanks to its quick-drying property and affordable price, epoxy makes the great repair method for bathtubs, and that too in a short cooling period. 

  • What is the best glue to seal the bathtub onto the floor?
  • Silicone-based glue is the best sealant for a bathtub. It is also waterproof, meaning there is a low chance of getting water damage to your bathtub. 


    Suggested Reads:

  • How to Repair a Solid Surface Bathtub in 2023 - Important Tips
  • Important 5 Warning Signs That Tell You to Replace a Bathtub – How to Identify?
  • 3 Best Materials and Approaches to Clean Bathtub in 2023
  • Final Thoughts

    Accidents do happen, and it is not always in our hands, but we can take certain precautions to avoid them. In bathtub scenarios, damage can happen down the line. Instead of replacing the whole bathtub which can be quite expensive, you can go for the alternate route which is to repair it yourself. It takes a little effort from your end, but look at the bright side, you are saving a lot of money, which you can use for other important things in your household. 


    This article hopes to have provided you with insight into bathtub repair. 


    But sometimes, bathtub damage can be irreversible and irreparable. In those cases, our only option is to replace it. Magnus home products offer great deals on bathtubs in various styles and designs. You can access the collection here