How to Fix a Dip in a Bathtub: A Step-by-Step Guide

Picture this: you step into your bathtub after a long day, ready for a relaxing soak, only to feel an uncomfortable dip beneath your feet. That sinking feeling isn’t just in your mind; it’s in your bathtub. A dip in a bathtub is not only annoying but can also be a sign of potential damage that needs your attention. This guide highlights the process of fixing a dip in a bathtub – from diagnosing the issue to the triumphant finishing touches.

How to Fix a Dip in a Bathtub in 7 Simple Steps

Repairing a dip in a bathtub depends on the severity of the dip and the material of the tub itself. Here’s a general breakdown of the two main approaches:

DIY Fixes (For Minor Dips):

  • For acrylic or fiberglass tubs: You can attempt to fill minor dips with a two-part epoxy putty specifically designed for bathtubs. Here’s a general process:
  • Clean and dry the area thoroughly.
  • Sand the dip lightly to create a better bonding surface for the putty.
  • Mix the epoxy putty according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Apply the putty to the dip, smoothing it out to create an even surface.
  • Allow the putty to cure completely according to the recommended drying time.
  • Sand the cured putty smooth and even with the surrounding tub surface.
  • (Optional) You can repaint the repaired area with bathtub paint designed for the specific material.

Important Note: This is a temporary solution for minor dips and might not be very durable.

Professional Repair or Replacement (For Major Dips):

For larger dips, structural cracks, or extensive damage, attempting a DIY fix is not recommended. The best course of action is to:

  • Hire a professional bathtub repair specialist: They can assess the damage and determine the best repair method. This might involve reinforcing the underside of the tub or using a more substantial filler material.
  • Consider bathtub replacement: If the damage is severe or the tub is old and worn, replacing the bathtub entirely might be a more cost-effective solution in the long run.

Diagnosing Dips in Bathtubs

Why does this dip even exist? Well, there are a few potential culprits in this suspenseful mystery. Structural issues, water damage, or poor installation could all be lurking beneath the surface, conspiring to create this pesky problem. To get to the bottom of this bathtub drama, we need to play detective.

Start by carefully examining the affected area. Is there any visible cracking, warping, or sagging? Are there leaks or other telltale signs of water damage nearby? These clues can reveal the true nature of the problem. Sometimes, water leaks or persistent moisture can weaken the subfloor beneath the tub, causing it to sag.

Other times, a poorly installed bathtub may have settled over time, resulting in an uneven surface. Regardless of the culprit, addressing the issue promptly is crucial to prevent further damage.

How to Fix a Dip in a Bathtub 2

Tools and Materials Required

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of the repair process, let’s gather our tools and materials. Think of this as assembling your team for a daring mission. You’ll need support beams, wedges, adjustable supports, shims, saws, pry bars, a level, safety goggles, gloves, a measuring tape, and a pencil. Each of these items plays a crucial role in helping you successfully fix the dip in your bathtub. Remember, preparation is key, and having all the necessary tools and materials on hand will make the process smoother.

Preparing for the Repair

Now that we’re armed with the necessary tools, it’s time to prep the stage for our grand repair performance. Begin by removing any fixtures, accessories, or rubber duckies from your bathtub. Safety should always be a top priority, so make sure to turn off the water supply and electricity if necessary. We don’t want any unexpected plot twists or shocking developments during our mission.

Repair Methods

Here are a few ways you can fix the dip in your bathtub:

Fixing Structural Issues

Our first challenge: the villainous subfloor. Think of the subfloor as the foundation of our story, the backbone holding up the entire bathtub. To confront this antagonist, we need to locate it first. In most cases, the subfloor lies beneath the bathtub and is responsible for supporting its weight.

Begin by removing any access panels or fixtures that might be hiding the subfloor. Once you have a clear view, assess the condition of the subfloor. Is it sturdy and level, or is there evidence of weakening? If it’s the latter, it’s time for some reinforcement.

Consider using additional support beams or wedges to lift the sagging portion of the subfloor. These support beams can be positioned strategically to distribute the weight of the bathtub more evenly. Wedges can also be inserted to provide additional support and help level the bathtub.

How to Fix a Dip in a Bathtub 3

Repairing Water Damage

Water damage – the unexpected twist in our tale. To tackle this challenge, we need to assess the damage like true experts. Start by identifying water-damaged areas around the dip. Look for signs of rot, discoloration, or soft spots in the subfloor or surrounding structure. These areas are indicators of moisture infiltration.

Now, evaluate the extent of the damage. Is it confined to a small section, or has it spread to a larger area? If the damage is minor, you might be able to repair it. However, if the subfloor is extensively compromised, it might need to be replaced.

Begin the repair process by removing the damaged portions of the subfloor. This might involve using saws or pry bars to carefully extract the affected areas. Once the damaged sections are removed, measure and cut a replacement subfloor piece to fit snugly into the void. It’s essential to ensure a secure and level fit to prevent future dips.

Correcting Installation Errors

Sometimes, the dip is the result of a poorly executed installation. In this case, we need to take more drastic measures. Removing the bathtub from its current position is akin to hitting the pause button on our story to set things right. Begin by disconnecting the plumbing fixtures properly – we don’t want any leaks to muddy up our narrative.

Now, for the grand reinstallation spectacle! Secure the tub in its place, making sure it’s level and evenly supported. Reconnect the plumbing fixtures with precision, ensuring that everything fits snugly and functions properly. This time, our installation won’t be a cliffhanger – it’ll be a triumph.

How to Fix a Dip in a Bathtub

Finishing Touches

As our story approaches its climax, we need to add those finishing touches. Check the levelness of the bathtub – we don’t want any surprise dips in our sequel. Use a level to ensure that the tub is balanced and stable. Reattach fixtures, seal any gaps, and apply finishes to the repaired area for that polished, cinematic ending.

Preventive Measures

But our adventure doesn’t end here. To avoid a sequel with more dips, let’s take some preventive measures. Regular inspections are our guardians, catching potential problems before they escalate. Make it a habit to examine the area around your bathtub for any signs of damage, leaks, or weakening subfloors. Addressing these issues promptly can save you from more extensive repairs down the line.

FAQs: Fixing a Dip in a Bathtub

Can I fix a large dip in my bathtub myself?

For large dips, structural cracks, or extensive damage, it’s not recommended to attempt a DIY fix. The tub’s structural integrity might be compromised, and a professional can assess the best course of action to ensure a safe and lasting repair.

What are some signs I need a professional repair over a DIY fix?

  • The dip is large and clearly visible.
  • There are cracks radiating from the dip.
  • The tub feels soft or spongy when you step on the dipped area.
  • You notice water leaking underneath the tub.

These signs indicate potential structural issues that require a professional’s expertise and might involve reinforcing the tub or using specialized materials.

How much does it cost to hire a professional bathtub repair specialist?

The cost of professional bathtub repair varies depending on the extent of the damage, your location, and the repair technique used. It typically ranges from a few hundred dollars for minor repairs to over a thousand for major structural repairs.

Is it always cheaper to replace the bathtub entirely?

Not always. Replacing the bathtub involves removing the old tub, installing the new one, and potentially adjusting plumbing or fixtures. For minor to moderate dips, professional repair might be a more cost-effective option. However, if the tub is old, damaged in multiple areas, or you desire a complete bathroom renovation, replacing the tub entirely might be more economical in the long run.

What should I do if I’m unsure about the best course of action?

If you’re unsure whether to attempt a DIY fix, hire a professional for a consultation. They can assess the damage, recommend the most suitable repair method, and provide an estimate for the cost.


And there you have it – the epic saga of fixing a dip in a bathtub, from the initial mystery to the triumphant conclusion. Remember, the dip might seem like a small annoyance, but it’s a plotline that could lead to more trouble if left unchecked. So, gather your tools, don your safety gear, and embark on this DIY journey with the confidence of a seasoned protagonist. Your bathtub will thank you, and you’ll relish your well-earned victory every time you step in for a soak.


Leave a Reply