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I have a 20 year old fiberglass tub/shower combo. It evidently lays over a wood support in a 3rd story condo unit. That wood is now wet from a leak as the neighbor below had a plumber cut a hole in their ceiling and say they can see the wet wood support and evidence of water coming from my tub somewhere.

The tub developed cracks and also "puffed up" in the middle from moisture due to a bath mat being left over the cracks and not removed for a year ( tenant caused ) making a fiberglass "inlay" repair -over the bottom of the tub impossible- because the inlay is flat and now the tub bottom is not.

I need to get this tub repaired or replaced immediately now. The tech who tried to do the inlay but could not- said replacement is the only option. A new tub\surround, demo and plumbing will cost 3.500.

I had a company come out who cuts out the tub bottom, reinforces or replaces the wood and uses cement to create a new bottom, then uses fiberglass to connect the new to the old and then refinishes the entire tub and surround. They warranty for 5 years and say they have had little failure with this method and have been in business for 20 years with 5 locations in my state. This costs 1,000.

They said the only failures they used to have was when work was done over wet wood or only a partial cut out was made of the tub bottom and then joined. They said that now they will not work until the under- area is dryed out and they only do entire tub bottom cut-outs which eliminated the failure.

I cannot find anything about this method on the internet and folk's experience with it. I do NOT have the money for the replacement but am very concerned about going with something I cant find info on. I must act immediately though.

Can any one advise regarding facts and experience with the method described?

ASAP would be appreciated. I have to do something fast!

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I know nothing about this concrete thing, but I don't see how that would be an improvement over just cutting away the bulge and then dropping in the insert... and if you're concerned about what's supporting the tub, I'd suggest the right answer is to pull the whole thing, examine/reconstruct that appropriately, and put a new tub in.

STRONG recommendation to get a second/third opinion and estimate.

This is almost certainly not covered by insurance -- ordinary repair is the owner's responsibility -- unless you have a "home warranty" policy in effect from when you bought the place.

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$3500 sounds like a lot to pull out a fiber glass tub surround (assuming there's no structural damage), you can get a replacement shell for about $500 and it's a days work to replace tops (plus paint touch up if any). In fact, now that I think about it, my mother just had a tub/shower unit replaced in one of her rentals and it cost $2200 and that involved replacing/moving a window.

I know what it feels liked to be under the gun for time but slow down and get some other estimates. As far as the concrete repair idea goes, I've never heard of it but to be honest, the general concept sounds like bunk.

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I don't know about their cut-out method being bunk, but don't try to call them 6 years from now and complain, either. If ceramic tile and a porcelain tub were part of the $3500 quote we may have something there. Correctly installed, it will last the rest of your life.

What's the rush?

  • If you live there (and plan to for the foreseeable future) don't you want to do it right? (and avoid paying your downstairs neighbor's plumbing bill, again)?

  • If you rent it out, shouldn't you do it right? (because this place does nothing but make you money).

  • If you are trying to sell... well, go small and go home.

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