Home Improvement--General/Bathtub Repair


In response to my question concerning a bathtub repair, you requested some information I omitted.
I'll first repose the question as originally submitted to refresh your memory, then I'll furnish the missing and additional information:

During construction of our new home, screws and nails were left in our bathtub for a period of time.  They left rust marks as well as it appears where they laid, they 'melted' the area they touched.  

So we not only have the removal of rust stains but the repairing of the 'melted' area.  CLR did not remove the rust.

Can I sand the bottom smooth and apply a commercially available epoxy?  Then apply a rough textured spray to avoid slipping in the tub?

I'm not sure my thoughts will work.

Need your help.

Thanks, Jim

The tub is a composite tub by Sterling, using Vikrell materials.  I talked to Sterling and the materials are fiberglass and a polyester resin.

If you need any additional information, please let me know.

Thanks, Jim

Hello, Jim.

Since you've established communication with Sterling, I'd recommend that you contact them again, and ask for their feedback about your situation, because you have two distinct (but connected) problems: the stain, and the "melting". They may be able to refer you to a professional in your area who can repair the tub. Or they may be able to suggest which products to use.

If you don't get satisfactory answers from Sterling, then I recommend that you contact the supplier who sold the tub to you. If it's not a "big box" store, but a plumbing dealer, they may have resources to help you resolve your issues.

The staining issue can probably be resolved with epoxy paint, as you mentioned. If the "melting" problem is mostly on the surface, then the epoxy paint may cover it. If the "melting" is more serious, and goes deeper, the tub may need to be patched, then coated.

It sounds like you're intending to fix the tub yourself. If this is the first time you've ever attempted anything like this, I recommend that you hire a specialist to fix your tub. You'll get better results, and most companies offer a warranty. Use a search engine with the terms "refinishing a fiberglass polyester resin tub". I just did it, and the search yielded 1,720,000 results! On the first page, there were D-I-Y how-to's and professional companies offering their services. If you decide to fix your own tub, do research before tackling it, and follow instructions.

It's perplexing to have a new tub that isn't perfect. Been there! The same thing happened to my husband and me, when we built our new home. Only the problem was more serious: the electrician cracked and punctured the tub with his ladder. I called the showroom where we purchased the tub, and they referred me to a specialist who fixed the tub, and matched the dark green surface perfectly. Yes, it was expensive -- about $550, but it's been over six years and we haven't had any problems. That's about $91 a year. Well worth the investment!

Good luck with this. I know it will be resolved.

Diane Plesset, CMKBD, C.A.P.S., NCIDQ
D. P. Design

Home Improvement--General

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Diane Plesset


I will answer questions about anything to do with bathroom remodeling: design considerations, safety, function, materials (cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures and fittings, lighting/switching, heating and ventilation, tile, stone, concrete, tub and shower enclosures, flooring, etc.), saving water, trends, ROI, and appearance.


25+ years as a bath-kitchen design specialist, hundreds of completed bathroom projects (all styles, all investment ranges). Author of "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling," co-host of a home improvement program on a local radio station for over three years. Currently hosting "Today's Home" on Lifestyle WebRadio every Sunday afternoon (http://www.todays-home.com).

NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association), NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), PRO (Portland Remodelers' Organization), IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council).

"THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" (my book, published in 2003), Designers' Illustrated Magazine, Gentry Magazine, Kitchen-Bath Business Magazine, Kitchen-Bath Design News Magazine,Interior Coordinator Magazine (Japan); San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Statesman Journal, Portland Tribune, Oregonian.

Multiple degrees: Bathroom Design, Residential Interior Design, Kitchen Design, and Lighting Design. Regularly attend classes and seminars to maintain current knowledge about codes, trends, sustainability, new products, etc.

Awards and Honors
Awards: Henry Adams Designer of the Year, CoTY, Master Design, Best of the Best, Chrysalis, Excellence (best home in its category), and NABE (best how-to book, 2003). "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" received #1 listing in the City of Chicago publication, "Hiring The Pros".

Past/Present Clients
To see photos of completed projects, visit my website: http://www.dp-design.com/portfolio

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