repair? replace? chipped porcelain tub...

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redneckmodern
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repair? replace? chipped porcelain tub...

Postby redneckmodern » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:05 am

we'd like to keep the tub in our eichler -- the previous owners had 9 kids, so i consider it to be part of the "soul" of the house (weird, perhaps)... and considering its age, it's in great shape save the dime-sized chip that occurred when tearing out the old tile/backer ... (insert red-faced, angry emoticon here).

the area is at studs presently. i'd like to save money by not putting in a new tub (and the hassle), but is that foolish? is taking out and putting in a tub in an existing location that hard? it seems the weight of the tub and the tight fit would make it hard, but maybe that's a myth.

the tub is white and the chip is on the top edge/lip/bend, so it'd not see a lot of water, but it's in a pretty visible spot. i'm wondering what repairs other folks have made and what were the results... either DIY or pro. i'd rather fix the chip than re-glaze/re-paint the entire tub.

on the DIY from there seem to be a few options:

porc-a-fix: one part epoxy/enamel paint
homex: 2-part epoxy paint
off-brand: 2 part epoxy filler and topping epoxy/enamel spray

on the pro front, miracle method comes up in the google rankings, but unsure of others.

then there's replacing the whole thing -- a 5ft. tub.

thanks for your input.

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:01 am

we have discussed this quite a bit in the past, so previous discussions should be helpful for you.

we refinished our tub in our guest bath 6 years ago and we have used it daily since. We used Bathcrest and they did an OK job for about $250. we did not have to remove the tub either. it's help up fine.

for us, replacing the original tub just wouldn't be right :?

redneckmodern
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Postby redneckmodern » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:18 pm

thanks joe. i did see one thread (only) where you discussed your tub-refinishing, however, i didn't see anything on spot-repairs... which is ideally what we'd like to do as the rest of the enamel is in good shape (and original enamel would be sturdier than any refinishing).

given the state we're at (studs), i'd replace before i refinished -- a new american standard is $300 at lowes. somehow, though, i've got it stuck in my head that lifting it out and lifting a new one in would be troublesome -- or more trouble than a good spot repair.

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Udo Min
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Postby Udo Min » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:25 pm

Maybe a car chip repair kit:
http://www.langka.com/
Worth a try...

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johnnyapollo
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Postby johnnyapollo » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:23 am

I believe someone good working with enamel could repair the chip - the trick is to build up the enamel in layers being careful to coax it into the seam of the existing, baked on finish. Generally when the tub is re-enameled any divots are either ground so there isn't a hard edge or filled with bondo and worked out (depending on the severity). The final spray of epoxy provides a consistent surface. Working with the enamel on a spot repair is difficult, not due to the process but due to the variations in the enamel color - there are many "whites" and the real difficulty is in matching the patch to the existing enamel, which has had time to "mellow" - even when the color match is close, time can separate the colors further so it becomes noticeable once again. It puts you back in the situation where spraying the whole tub was probably the best solution.

If you haven't priced a new metal tub I think you'll be shocked at how much they are, especially when you factor install - depending on the room you have to navigate around in your house, you may not be able to put one back in (often old tubs are cut in half to remove) - the tub was originally placed during framing when walls weren't an issue. It's why re-surfacing is such a good option.

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