There are three main kinds of bathtub materials; porcelain, cast iron, and fiberglass. Most modern tubs are fiberglass, but you could have an older tub in your home made from one of the other two materials. Overall, you might think that repairing a fiberglass tub is the easiest. Actually, porcelain is the easiest. Here is why.
Fiberglass Fillers Can Just Split Again
Fiberglass tub splits and cracks are usually filled with, well, fillers. The fillers have to remain dry for up to seventy-two hours, depending on what you use, which means no baths or showers during that time. They are also not permanent, as the fillers themselves will eventually break down and split too.
Some fillers can cause further damage by expanding to fill a crack too much, and splitting open the crack farther in your fiberglass tub. Usually, if you are trying to buy yourself some time before you have to replace your fiberglass tub entirely, fillers are fine. Long-term tub repair usually involves replacing the tub entirely.
Cast Iron Tubs
Cast iron tubs suffer a lot of rust and chipping. Because they are made of iron, you have to constantly burnish them to keep them rust free, and then regularly coat and seal them. This is a never-ending battle that usually results in homeowners buying a drop-in fiberglass insert that fits the cast iron tub perfectly, or replace the cast iron tub with a fiberglass copy.
Porcelain tubs, if well-cared for, can last a very long time. Avoiding harsh abrasive cleaners and bleach products is the way to go. If you do have to do a bathtub restoration on your porcelain tub, you only need to sand away the smooth glaze and the pitted and stained areas. Once the whole tub has returned to a chalky surface, you vacuum away all of the porcelain dust, wipe the surface smooth with a cloth, and then apply a nice, thick, couple of coats of porcelain tub sealant. It is done and good to go for another five to ten years.
If the tub has a crack, this is usually sealed in sealing process. If there are pieces busted loose, you can use plumber's adhesive to put the pieces back into place, sand it smooth, and seal it again. All of these processes may require a little elbow grease and time, but then your porcelain tub holds together better than the other two types of tub material. For more information, contact companies like Stanley Avenue Tub Co.