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Bathtub Repair: Homeowner-Friendly or Call a Contractor?

Owning a home means learning how to cope with the occasional repairs that renters call the landlord to fix. Many simple repairs can be handled by a homeowner with basic do-it-yourself (DIY) abilities, but others are best left to the experts.

Bathtub Repair: DIY or Speed-Dial the Experts?

Just about every home has at least one bathtub and sooner or later it's going to need some sort of repair. The bright spot is that bathtubs have been around for a long time and it's rare to have a problem that hasn't already been encountered by someone. A few common bathtub repairs you may undertake while owning your home include:

  1. Tub Leaks--Most bathtub leaks are due to caulk or grout coming loose along the tub edge. If you have grout at the top edge of the tub, it should be removed and a good-quality silicone caulk installed. Caulking already there that has cracked or is missing in spots should be dug out and re-caulked. Make sure your tub and walls are dry before doing any caulking.
  2. Pipe Leaks--Leaking supply, drain, or overflow lines can usually be reached through an access panel behind the head of the tub and tightening the connections can normally stop the leak. If there's no access panel or the leak is large, you may want to call a plumbing contractor.
  3. Dripping Faucet--If you have an older faucet that uses rubber washers, they often wear out with age and can usually be replaced by removing the screws that hold the faucet handles in place.
  4. Chips--A tub that has a small chip or crack can be unsightly and may develop into a leak. A bathtub repair contractor can not only repair the problem, they can usually make it invisible. Depending on the size of the repair and the color of the tub the repair might range from $100-$200.

Keep in mind that neglecting a small bathtub repair can potentially lead to expensive damage in the room beneath it.