The spectrum of shower repair ranges from ignoring it to ripping it out and starting over. But showers can be repaired in other, less costly ways.
What Is It?
Fiberglass and acrylic showers, particularly the pan area (where you stand), tend to get a lot of wear and tear. The walls get scrubbed with harsh chemical cleaners, and the pans receive the weight of one or more people every day. Shower pans were not meant for this kind of abuse.
One way to repair these types of showers (or baths) is to install a liner. This essentially relines the entire bath area with a new, inner bath area: a pocket inside a pocket. Or you can tear it all out and install a new shower or bathtub.
Fiberglass/acrylic repair kits are a sort of lesser option but certainly much cheaper. They allow for spot-repair of cracks and holes that may have been plaguing you, much in the same way one might repair a boat or car. In fact, one company that makes shower/tub repair kits is Bondo, best known for its automobile body repair compounds.
How Do They Work?
It's not difficult, though the odor can stink you out. The basic method:
- Clean the areas to be repaired thoroughly. Make sure all cleaning products are off the surface before you begin the repair.
- Apply a special fiberglass tape to the cracked area.
- Mix resin, hardener, and tint together.
- Spread compound over taped area, smoothing it as carefully as possible.
- Allow compound to harden.
- Sand down surface.
How Does It Rate?
Fiberglass/acrylic repair kits are a good stop-gap if you plan on a complete repair or relining in the near future. But you're almost sure to be disappointed by the repair job. Tints come in basic one-size-fits-all colors, like white or almond.
Your shower/tub surface will never quite match the repair compound. Bondo's tub/shower repair kit is cheap and lets you get the job done in a day. (Buy Direct - Bondo #20186 Tub/Shower Repair Kit) Don't look to Bondo for any customer support, though. Their main product line is still cars and boats, and they pretty much ignore their home repair line.