New Fiberglass Bathtub!

Old 12-22-04, 10:01 AM
hth is offline
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Question New Fiberglass Bathtub!

I am about to replace a bathtub in my house. How durable is the one made of fiberglass? It's price is kind of lower but I wouldn't trade off the life of the tub with low price. What do you think? Thanks for your input.
Old 12-23-04, 06:57 PM
Bill Syms Jr.
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New fiberglass tub

I'm assuming that you are installing a fiberglass tub / shower unit (1 pc tub and 3 wall fixture)

Most time these are installed it is to save time and money. However I've seen these in houses 20 years old just looking a little worn out. I've also seen these abused in much less time. It all depends how much you use it and how you take care of it.

The biggest problem with these fixtures is not properly supporting them when installing. When you install these you need to set them in thinset to support the bottom (usually a 5 gallon bucket full is plenty). Otherwise in time the bottom will develope play and eventually crack.

Another problem you have with these is they will develop "spider webbing", fine stress cracks. This happens when these are installed to the studs and the studs are not plumb (which is why these are used so often in construction). These stress cracks are cosmetic imperfections in the gel coat. They are not a serious problem, just unsightly.

You must keep these fixtures clean. The gel coat these are coated with is simular to a automotive finish. It's very durable, yet it will loose it shine if you continually have to clean it with abrasive cleaners or scouring pads. There are many liquid cleaners on the market today that clean these great without scrubbing them.

And obviously, during construction you want to take extra care when working around these fixtures as they scratch rather easily.

Also if the fixture gets worn out, you can a bathtub refinishing company come out and recoat it. It will look like you installed a new one all over again.

If you set and install these fixtures properly and maintain them, you will get many years life out of them.

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