How should I deal with my bath problem?
June 7, 2012 8:56 AM   Subscribe

We are having bath trouble. The bond between the structure of the bath and the acrylic surface has broken, and when you step in the bath, the acrylic warps/bubbles. The acrylic is definitely going to crack at some point! What can we do?

There are potentially three options...

1. Fix the bath - Is this possible? Maybe by drilling a hole in the fibreglass and injecting the gap with something?

2. Replace the bath - It's surrounded on two sides by tiled walls and at one end by a tiled shelf level with the bath. There are tiles down the side of the bath that isn't attached to the wall. I'm in London - what sort of price range am I looking at for replacing the bath? Would a lot of tiles need to be pulled out and replaced? Obviously money is an issue or this would be my immediate choice!

3. Live with the bath until it breaks - I could check weekly under the bath for leaks. How long do you think it will/could survive?

I do have accidental damage insurance -- this isn't something that would be covered under this, is it?

Thanks all!
posted by Jacqulyn to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A basic acrylic bath can be had for less than £100. Fitting is a different matter, and the cost really depends on whether you're prepared to do some of the work (e.g. removing the old bath, replacing the side panel/shelves) yourself, or whether you want a professional to do the work for you.

I don't think you've got much hope of rescuing your old bath. It sounds like it probably wasn't very well supported, leading to stresses in the material. Acrylic baths are very strong, but only when supported properly both underneath (with the supplied legs/frame) and (ideally) at the sides.

The tiles on the side of the bath are probably stuck onto a panel of some kind. If the person who installed the panel had any sense, they'll have made it detachable - have a look for any screws etc. (maybe under plastic caps), and check whether it will pull away easily. Depending on how it was all constructed/installed, you may be able to remove the side panel and shelves without damage, or they may need to be ripped out destructively. Either way, you'll need to gain access to the underside of the bath if you want to remove it, so that you can disconnect the pipes and unscrew the supports from the floor.

You shouldn't have to do anything destructive to the walls. It should be possible to just cut through any silicone around the bath and it'll pull free. As long as the new bath is installed at the same height as the old one (and is the same size), the existing tiles ought to be ok.
posted by pipeski at 9:16 AM on June 7, 2012

If you're moderately handy with DIY, and have ever removed a radiator or installed a tap, replacing a bath yourself is entirely possible, and doesn't require a lot of tools or skill. Borrow a copy of the Readers Digest or Collins DIY manual and read through the section on fitting baths and sinks if you want to get a feel for the ease of that sort of project.
posted by pipeski at 9:19 AM on June 7, 2012

Best answer: There are guys who do Acrylic repair. If you're not into a DIY project where water getting behind your walls is the downside of not doing it right, google Acrylic Tub Repair and see what comes up!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:31 AM on June 7, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks both. Unfortunately my DIY skills are lacking (although improving!) and this is beyond me. I will check out acrylic repair!
posted by Jacqulyn at 9:59 AM on June 12, 2012

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