TO: Multi-Tech Products:

I am a repair technician; I have inspected a cultured marble whirlpool with a 4″ vertical crack on the tub. The crack is on the bottom radius around 12″ from the drain. The tub has leaked through due to the crack.  Do you have a method/product that we can use to repair cultured marble and guarantee that the tub would no longer leak.

Any help you can give us would be greatly appreciated.  We look forward to hearing back from you.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Otherwise, have a wonderful day.

All the best,
Maureen

TO: Maureen

You describe a thermal stress crack created by the shock of hot and cold water.  I have seen this type of crack go completely around the perimeter of the tub.

In order to repair it, and prevent future propagation of the same crack, you need to drill a hole at each end of the visible crack.  Be sure to drill through the entire depth of the tub with a ¼ drill.   Then grind a deep slot into the structure along the entire length of the crack. Just grinding an 1/8th inch groove in the top surface is insufficient since it will continue to crack. This is because the crack goes through the complete structure. The surface will continue to expand and contract as it is exposed to hot and cold water. This expansion and contraction will lead to a new crack directly through the repair. Cultured marble bathtubs aren’t reinforced with glass fibers, so they have less strength to resist failure from expansion cracks.   If there is access to the back of the bathtub, you should attempt to add reinforcement using fiberglass mat.  The combination of reinforcement on the back side and grinding the crack open through the structure will provide the best permanent repair.

The fact that this is a relatively short crack improves the probability that this crack can be satisfactorily fixed.

If there is no way to get glass on the backside, aggressive grinding and heavy glass reinforcement from the top side will achieve a good repair. The repair procedure should be:

  1. Grind the crack to create a recess in the top surface along the crack wide enough ( probably 2 to 3 inches) to accommodate the fiberglass mat.
  2. Using a heavy duty die grinder, grind a slot channel that would hold a recessed layer of heavy duty stitch mat. The stitch mat would be about an 1/8th of inch thick. A slot grove would need to be ground ¼ inch deep to hold the mat and the resin while leaving enough room for the poly filler after the mat and resin application. The slot groove would not go through the structure, but leave enough structure to bond to. The slot groove would hold the width of the Stitch mat to straddle the crack a little over an inch on each side of the crack. If the crack is 1/16th inch by 12 inches. The slot groove should straddle the crack by 1 ¼ on each side and extend past the end of the crack the same. Total groove over the crack 2 ½ inches x 14 ½ inch long by ¼ deep.
  3. With the groove and the crack prepared to except the fiberglass application, apply catalyzed Iso resin to the glass first and place it in the groove.  Smooth out and remove bubbles.
  4. Force cure with a heat gun.
  5. Fill with Poly-filler.
  6. Use our Quick Glaze system with the Clear Coat to achieve better color match and appearance.

You should charge your customer between $350 to $450 for this best-practice job, and it should take 3-4 hours to complete.

Hope this helps.

Rob Clos

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