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How to turn a jet tub into a soaker tub - affordable DIY bathroom reno!

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

Let me show you how I turned our jetted tub into a soaker tub with household tools and a few items from Amazon!

A couple of years ago when we purchased our home, the housing market was highly competitive. After losing out on several homes, we put an offer on our current home and prayed.... never having stepped foot inside! While a beautiful home, it needed a few updates, some of which turned out to be very expensive. My first project was the bathtub.

I saw from pictures that there was a large tub which was a huge bonus for me. My bathroom is my own personal oasis. Most days it's the only time I have just for me. However, when I saw the tub in person and turned it on, I was horrified at what came out!

I had dreams of my own personal spa dancing in my head and I was determined to run as many cleaning cycles as necessary until the water ran clear. I usually begin any project with what I have on hand. First, I tried mixing a few cups of chlorine bleach in and running it through the jets for a while. Next, I came across a post that suggested using a solution of vinegar and baking soda to break up what was inside the lines. I tried this multiple times, running several cycles of just water in between.

After using every household chemical I could think of, a friend of mine came across Oh Yuk and read excellent reviews. I decided to give it a try. Even this solution that has helped literally hundreds of others couldn't fix my issue. I reluctantly gave in to defeat. There were still black flakes coming out of the jets and the smell after running all of those chemicals was something like perm solution if you're familiar. Not a smell that was welcome in my oasis! The jets I decided, were too far gone for my level of bathing comfort.

Seeing the horrors of what can come out of a jetted tub (not to mention the fact that salts and bubbles are not recommended what?!) I decided that a soaker tub was the way to go. However, I knew there were many projects that took financial precedence over what I imagined would be a very expensive bathroom renovation had we outsourced it. I had the idea that I could somehow plug the jets; not as a permanent solution, but just temporarily until we could afford the extra renovation cost.

After reading about many DIY solutions, I came across a comment on one of the posts suggesting removing the external valves and placing doorknob blockers over the holes. I tried unscrewing the valve covers manually and with tools but they did not budge. I then tried breaking them off with a flat head screwdriver but this was a long slow process. I dusted off my trusty Dremel tool and began cutting away at the valve covers. This did the trick although I did create a couple of little blemishes in the bathtub around where a couple of the valve covers were.

After cleaning up the dusty mess left on every surface, I was glad I put away anything on the counters. I put spray foam insulation in the holes, waited one hour, and trimmed off the excess. I removed the paper backing from the doorknob blockers and glued them on using waterproof adhesive. I held this for several minutes then applied painter's tape in several directions over the doorknob blockers. I let that cure for several days before removing the tape and giving them a gentle tug to make sure they were adhered well. I then used waterproof sealant to seal off the edges around the doorknob blockers.

I allowed a week or so for the sealant to dry completely before using any water in the tub. It has been holding strong for about a year and a half now (with daily use) but may be in need of a little sealant touch up.

List of tools:

List of supplies:

Fun Bath Extras:

Disclaimer: I am not a professional nor an expert. I am just offering a DIY alternative to expensive renovation that worked for me. I may earn a small commission from items purchased through affiliate links at no additional cost to buyers.

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