fix crack in plastic shower base

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Old 12-14-09, 10:20 AM
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Question fix crack in plastic shower base

I have an approx. 36"x36" plastic shower base that has a hairline crack approx 3" long, this has developed from give under the base as apparently the pea gravel fill has settled out. Before I would have to remove the base,(a long and tedious job) I want to know is there a way repair this by filling the gap so there is no give. I would imagine I would have to drill a hole and get some sand or something to fill the gap so there is no give before sealing it with something that is durable and waterproof. Any suggestions as to whether this is the proper approach would be appreciated. Also what products to fill the gap and seal the plastic are best.
 
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Old 12-14-09, 02:29 PM
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I hate to be negative, but I don't think there is any way to fix this. That base was set wromg in the first place, you can't use pea gravel or sand to support the bottom of a base, it will move.

Even if you manage to repair the crack the movement of the base will cause it to open again is a short period of time, sorry.
 
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Old 12-14-09, 05:00 PM
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the perimeter of the base approx. 4" is resting on solid concrete. If I replace the base I will have to take out 2 walls, I did this two years ago and don't want to go through it again if I can avois it. I have to order stall parts from Canada and redrywall it is a pain.
 
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Old 12-14-09, 08:01 PM
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The shower base should have been set in mortar and fully supported so that there was no movement. As you have seen, over time the movement will cause the base to crack. Anything you use to repair the surface crack is not likely to hold up for very long before the crack will resurface.

You might try low expanding foam under the base, if you can gain access to do so. Im not sure it will work, but it would seem that you have nothing to lose by trying.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 01:20 AM
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I should have explained that when I did the work two years ago the showerhead had leaked inside one of the walls and I replaced the the walls and stall but used the old base. The base is approx. 28 years old. the expanding foam sounds like it might be worth a try but wonder is there a glue or epoxy that will hold ---thanx to respondents HeresJohnny and Shacko so far.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 02:44 PM
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If the bottom of the stall is not stuck to the foundation, you could try something a friend of mine a while back:

Cut out the bottom of the shower stall using an angle-grinder or similar, leaving a couple of inches around the edge.

Remove the piece you cut out and then pull out as much of the gravel underneath as you can.

Fill the resultant void with concrete or similar to form a solid base.

Go to your local sheet plastic supplier and have a piece of 3/4 acrylic cut to a size that will just fit in the floor pan, leaving about 1/8" around each side. You'll want an opaque acrylic for this.

Use a waterproof adhesive to stick the new plastic to the pan (this is why you left a couple of inches around the sides), then caulk around the edges. Leave the caulk to cure.

This is not the most elegant solution, but so long as you can find plastic and caulk that matches the colour of the existing stall it means you can avoid pulling the whole bathroom to pieces. My friend's shower is still holding together, and unless you knew that it was there you don't notice the caulked joint. You might want to consider using a non-slip mat or those stick-on grip things - wet acrylic can be slippery stuff. You can pick these up in most home stores, Bed Bath & Beyond, that sort of place.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 02:24 PM
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I don't think I'd try that for several reasons.

I'd not depend on a caulk joint to keep the pan water tight. Any pan movement at all will cause failure in a short period of time. Additionally, caulk is always a maintenance problem in showers.

Shower pans must have a slope to the drain. How would you accomplish this with a flat piece of "acrylic"?

How would you seal the drain to the acrylic patch and make it water tight and functional?

Last but not least, I cannot imagine this looking good with a combination of different materials, original pan, acrylic patch and caulk. Exact color match will be impossible.

Tim, I don't want to spend your money, but after 28 years, you got your moneys worth out of that plastic pan. Maybe time for a new one ehh?
 
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Old 12-18-09, 05:41 PM
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fixed

I drilled two holes at each end of the crack to keep the crackt from propagating. I used a drill bit the same diameter as the size of the spray tube for the expanding foam sealer that Heres Johnny recommended. I shot a whole can of foam. It filled the void so well that it is solid to even stand on it with no movement. It even pushed up an the crack so that it is flush and wont open. I sealed this crack with appliance paint an put some clear epoxy over that. Got the idea from the vinyl flooring section of this site. It looks like I'm good to go for some years of usage. This is a great website for help as I have used it in the past for another problem that I had with the upstairs bathtub. Thanks again for all the help.
 
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Old 07-30-11, 06:19 PM
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It's been a year and a half since you repaired the shower. How is it holding up?
 
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Old 09-06-11, 09:18 AM
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Sorry for the late reply but I finally ripped the old base out as there was a little give when you stepped on it and I feared that there might be leakage under the base plus all the non slip tape was beginning to discolor. I ripped the base out and had a plumber friend of mine install it properly with mortar.When I took the base off i found the sprayfoam had made a good seal. It turned out it was a good repair and would have held. The sprayfoam repair had lasted for a long enough time to call it a good TEMPORARY repair. One more note: before I put on the acrylic panit and clear epoxy to cover the drill holes for the sprayfoam. I had to seal the drill holes with a non-toxic plastic cement that did not eat into the foam and let it dry and topped this off using plastic airplane glue to adhere to the shower base.
 
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Old 05-22-12, 09:17 AM
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Can anyone recommend a specific brand of low expanding foam?
 
  #12  
Old 05-22-12, 09:21 AM
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Great Stuff is the line in the stores around here.
 
 

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