The shower tray is cracked; what should I do?

The shower tray was cracked – a seemingly hopeless situation. But this is only at first glance. Pallets often need to be repaired. In some cases, this can be done without the involvement of professionals on your own. Therefore, the need to purchase a new expensive element can be avoided. But initially, it is worth understanding the cause of the defect to prevent such a situation in the future.

Features of acrylic pallets

The most common material for making shower trays is acrylic. Due to its properties, it has become widespread in the plumbing industry over the last 30 years.

If necessary, replacing the shower tray is easy, unlike cast iron bathtubs, due to their lightweight. The material can maintain its original appearance for a long time, is smooth and pleasant to the touch, does not become covered with plaque, does not turn yellow, and is not afraid of rust and corrosion. Such pallets are lightweight and have low thermal conductivity. They absorb sound well so that an object dropped in the bathroom will not resonate, as happens, for example, with a cast iron counterpart. The material is plastic and can withstand heavy loads without forming dents. The products are given additional strength by reinforcing the frame with fiber reinforcement and epoxy resin for the shower tray. Such support increases the service life several times.

Unfortunately, acrylic, like any other material, has its nuances. For example, there is a maximum weight load limit. With a one-time overload, the risk of damage is small, but with regular excess load, cracks may appear from surface to through. In addition, the acrylic surface is inferior to steel or cast iron in resistance to impact point loads. There are situations when a relatively small impact in the form of a falling shower head leads to the appearance of a crack in the acrylic tray.

Types and causes of defects

The most unpleasant thing can be the appearance of a crack in a completely new shower tray. There may be several reasons for their appearance:

Even renowned manufacturers with all the necessary certificates admit a small percentage of manufacturing defects. This may be due to voids in the acrylic mass, which impair strength. In rare cases, the plant produces elements with microscopic delaminations, which subsequently increase due to exposure to moisture. There may also be geometry irregularities.
The second and most common reason for a crack in the bottom of a shower stall is an installation error. Inexperienced installers often need to install a pallet on an uneven base. Even a minimal, invisible to the eye, misalignment after some time leads to the appearance of defects due to improper distribution of loads. Also, internal stress may appear in the plastic base if the fasteners are insufficiently or excessively tightened.
Even a completely new shower tray can become deformed due to one unsuccessful point mechanical impact. If struck by a heavy or sharp object, a crack will inevitably appear and require repair of the acrylic shower tray.
Suppose you hear an unpleasant crunch or crack during operation and feel the bottom sagging. In that case, it is necessary to immediately level the structure and strengthen it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the operation will lead to cracking, which can rarely be repaired, even by specialists.

What will be needed for repairs?

If you notice a crack, you have three ways to solve this problem

  • Contact a repair company.
  • Repair yourself or the most expensive option.
  • Replace the element with a new one altogether.
  • Repairing a cracked shower tray will also cost you a pretty penny. Therefore, you can restore it on your own.

Many building materials stores offer ready-made repair kits for repairing small problem areas of an acrylic bowl. Major balcony repair in Melbourne manufacturers include such kits as a bonus when purchasing a shower cabin. The composition usually includes:

  • hardener;
  • enamel;
  • polishing paste;
  • rubber spatula;
  • sanding paper;
  • napkin.

What to do if the shower tray is cracked and similar ready-made kits are unavailable for sale? With this option, you can save money if small-volume formulations are on sale. You will need the following materials:

  • two-component liquid acrylic;
  • epoxy resin;
  • acrylic varnish or paint;
  • alcohol;
  • fiberglass

Useful tools include a brush, knife, scissors, screwdriver, wrench, level, sandpaper, rags, rubber spatula, drill, 2mm drill bit, polishing attachment, safety glasses, respirator, and durable rubber gloves.

Repair stages

It is worth starting to eliminate cracks in the shower tray immediately after discovering the problem without allowing it to increase.

The first step is preparation:

  • Remove all personal hygiene items from the bathroom to avoid contamination.
  • Rinse the acrylic bowl thoroughly and degrease its surface.
  • Ventilate the bathroom, and dry all elements from moisture. This is especially true for the pallet itself.
  • Remove the decorative panel to gain access to the drainage system if necessary.

If the reason for repairing the shower tray with your hands were to fix a minor crack, scratch, or chip, in an economical option, it would be enough to purchase a reinforcing and putty compound and resin. However, experts strongly recommend not to neglect the additional coating of the bowl with enamel to reduce the likelihood of recurrence of defects.

In case of minor damage, the injured area must be cleaned with a knife, degreased with a solvent, and covered with enamel or a double layer of acrylic paint. After complete drying, it is necessary to sand the restoration area with sandpaper and polishing paste.

Repairing a deep, but not through, crack in the shower stall on your own is also possible. To do this, clean the surface, degrease, and ream with a drill.  Once completely dry, sand off the excess and apply a second coat of enamel to remove roughness and create an even color.

A through or puncture crack can cause significantly more difficulties. If you try to repair yourself, you can seal the gap in the shower pan using specially prepared patches. You must completely dismantle the shower stall and remove and turn over the tray. On its backside, glue two or three layers of pieces of fiberglass impregnated with epoxy resin. This type of work requires increased accuracy. The patches must be cut to size before preparing the adhesive since the epoxy, after dilution, hardens very quickly and becomes unusable. After complete drying:
Place the bowl in place.
Secure it.
Upon installation completion, repair the shower tray’s crack using one of the methods indicated above (using enamel and sanding).

Also Read: Why the Flooring Installation Scene in Dubai is Getting the World’s Attention

Conclusion

if you regularly exceed its limit, as well as when delivering targeted strikes, you may encounter damage in the form of chips, scratches, or cracks. If the first two shortcomings bring instead aesthetic discomfort, the latter will make the shower operation impossible.  The easiest way is to purchase a special repair kit and perform the restoration according to the instructions. You can buy everything separately if there are no similar ones in the nearest store. The work requires precision but only causes significant difficulties, even with experience.

Be careful if complete disassembly is necessary. Subsequent installation requires a perfectly level installation to avoid new problems. The only material whose quality is worth paying particular attention to is liquid acrylic for the shower tray. It is this that provides strength and aesthetic beauty. With simple procedures, you can keep your cabin attractive and usable for several years. It is this that gives strength and aesthetic beauty. You can keep your house beautiful and functional for several years with simple techniques. It is this that provides stability and aesthetic beauty. With simple procedures, you can keep your cabin attractive and usable for several years.

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