How to Repair a Hole in a Damaged Bathtub

Scrub a dub without a hole in your tub

Conroy Baltimore
Written by Conroy Baltimore
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi
Updated June 21, 2022
A bathroom with white roll top bath
Photo: Perry Mastrovito / Image Source / Getty Images


Perfect for handy homeowners.

Time to complete

36 hours

24 to 36 hours



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What you'll need:


  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Utility knife
  • Popsicle stick
  • Fiberglass cloth
  • Protective gloves
  • Mask
  • Safety goggles


  • Painter’s tape
  • Alcohol
  • Epoxy filler
  • Polishing compound
  • Hardener
  • 80 grit wet or dry sandpaper
  • 400–600 grit wet or dry sandpaper
  • Disposable cardboard

There’s nothing like taking a hot bath after a long work day. You get to set the mood with candles, music, and your favorite scented bath bomb. As you’re getting ready to wash your cares away, you accidentally drop something in your bathtub, creating a large hole. 

Rather than paying $1,400 to $7,000 for the cost to replace your bathtub, you can fix the hole with a bit of elbow grease.

Buying a Bathtub Repair Kit 

Note that if you purchase a bathtub repair kit, you may not need all of the tools and supplies above. Since fiberglass is one of the more common materials used for home bathtubs, this guide explains how to fix that type of tub. But it’s important to know which type of bathtub you have, so you can get the correct tools and supplies for your repairs. 

You’ll likely find most items you need in fiberglass bathtub repair kits, which you can pick up at any home improvement store. Follow the instructions listed on the packaging, and your tub should be as good as new. But if you’re unable to find one, you can use the tools and materials listed above. 

A bathtub in custom designed bathroom
Photo: David Papazian / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Take time to assess the damage. You may have to replace your bathtub If you think the hole is too big to repair, in which case a fiberglass bathtub costs between $200 and $800

Follow these steps for DIYers with a minor repair job on their hands.

  1. Prep the Area

    Before you begin, make sure that your mask, goggles, and gloves are on because you’ll be working with substances that can cause slight irritation. Open windows to increase ventilation as you’re working.

    Wipe down holes using alcohol and a soft cloth to remove any soap residue or grime. Sponges and a mild detergent will help remove dirt too.

    Be on the lookout for smaller fiberglass fragments sticking out from the holes. When fiberglass gets damaged, these fragments tend to appear, hindering repairs. Use your utility knife to strip away loose fiberglass pieces around the holes to make them easier to fill. 

    “When prepping the hole, be sure to cut out all the fibers and anything higher than the tub surface,” says Bob Tschudi, Expert Review Board member and Raleigh, NC-based general contractor. “For the best repair, you don’t want to feel the slightest bump when the project is complete.”

  2. Patch the Holes

    Now it’s time to patch the holes. If you’re using a bathtub repair kit, it’ll come with resin and a hardening liquid that you’ll mix to create the compound. You can also buy a two-part epoxy kit, which will come with directions on how to make the filler substance.

    Create a workstation by mixing the ingredients on disposable cardboard with the applicator. Put down painter’s tape to create visible guidelines for the repair areas. However, you’ll need to remove it after applying the epoxy, so it doesn’t stick to the tub. 

    Use a tool like a small popsicle stick or spatula to smooth the epoxy into the holes and push it down further, filling the entire gap. It’ll be easier to use smaller amounts of the compound because excess can be difficult to remove. 

    “We like to use a flexible putty knife to smooth the epoxy, which you can find in all automotive supply stores,” says Tschudi. “I’ve seen some contractors use a credit card or retail-rewards card with great results.”

    Keep timing in mind—once the compound is mixed, it dries pretty quickly. So you’ll need to work at a reasonable speed to make sure that doesn’t happen, or you might have to mix more filler.

  3. Let the Patch Dry

    Don’t be too hasty; although the compound hardens quickly, the repair area still needs time to dry. The timing will depend on the size of the hole or the epoxy manufacturer’s guidelines, but it could be a few hours to an entire day. 

    As hard as it may be, it would be best not to shower during this time because you’ll mess up the repair job.

  4. Sanding the Area

    Once the patch is dry, it’s time to break out the sandpaper. Again, put down painter’s tape to give yourself some guidelines because sandpaper can create visible scratches on your tub. The lower the grit, the more coarse the sandpaper. Start with coarse, then finish with fine.

    Using 80 grit wet or dry sandpaper, thoroughly rub the patched area to smooth out the filling, removing bumps or ridges. As you’re sanding and the compound gets smoother, use 400 to 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper to finish it off. You’ll know you’re done when you can’t tell the difference between the repaired area and the rest of your tub.

  5. Apply Polishing Compound or Paint

    You’re finally at the finish line—but there’s one more step left: Applying the finish. Since most tubs are white, your repair kit may come with paint similar to your tub’s color. Follow the listed instructions, and apply the paint with a paintbrush or roller. Or, if you don’t have a repair kit, buy a small can of white paint.

    If painting isn’t your forte, some repair kits also come with polishing compounds. Apply it to the repaired area and buff with a soft cloth until it matches your tub’s sheen. Let it dry for another 24 hours before showering.

Repairing a Bathtub Yourself vs. Hiring a Pro

Repairing a hole in your bathtub is an excellent opportunity for you to flex your DIY skill. Whether you choose to buy a repair kit or gather materials separately, it’s a doable job, but it will take time to complete.

However, there might be more damage to the underlying structures of your tub that you weren’t initially aware of, increasing the project's difficulty. If you’re not comfortable completing the repairs yourself or think you’re better off getting a new tub, contact a local plumber who can help you get your tub back in working order.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.