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Bathtub Removal

If you are planning to move to a new house or renovate your home, there are many things that you need to do. Some of these things you can do on your own or with the help of professionals. Some of the things that need a professional touch can be done by you. While a DIY might save you some dollars and keep you busy for a while, the outcome may not be up to professional standards.

One such project is removing your existing bathtub. If you want to renovate your bathroom yourself, one of the main steps is to remove the old bathtub. There might be copious reasons why you are planning a bathtub replacement. Whatever the primary reason is, if you have decided to do it yourself, we are here to assist with the best tips on going about it.

This article will give you all the necessary details about the removal of an old bathtub. We recommend that you do not try this if you do not have basic information. If you think you can do this by yourself, follow the steps below for removing your bathtub.

Tools And Materials

If you plan to remove a fibreglass tub, you need the following tools and materials.

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pipe wrenches
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Chisel
  • Rags
  • Hammer
  • Gloves
  • Knife
  • Safety goggles
  • Metal blade saw
  • PVC glue
  • PVC cleaner
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Rust removing solvent

Steps To Follow

To remove your old bathtub, you need to work step-wise. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you complete the process.

Step One: Gather the necessary tools

The step before removing the bathtub is to gather all the necessary materials and tools. This step is often overlooked. If you want the work to pan out smoothly without interruption, you should always do your homework first. Determine what tools and materials you need, and then gather them together in preparation for the project.

We have already mentioned all the required items in the list above. All you need to do is check for the availability of these tools. If you do not have all of them, borrow what you need from your friends or neighbours instead of buying new ones. However, if there are some that you can’t find within your circle of friends, just buy them.

This step will help you complete the following steps fast and properly. When you have all the tools and materials within reach, you can do a job in half the time. One fundamental thing to remember is that you should get a plastic sheet or old bags to use as a cover. Tape plastic sheets over vents. This will protect the rest of your home from dust.

Step Two: Shut off and drain water

This is also a pre-step. You have to do some quick preparations before you tear the bathtub out. You will need to cut the water supply to the bathtub. Firstly, proceed to turn off the water supply to the bathroom from the main water shut-off valve of the home. Then, proceed to turn on the faucet of the tub. It will drain out any leftover water through the pipes.

This step will ensure you do not cause a mess due to water leakage after removing the bathtub. Otherwise, the dust and water will accumulate in the bathroom, creating mud.

Step Three: Remove the tub’s hardware

Now it is time to remove the tub from the bathroom. This is the actual work you are supposed to do. Start by stripping the faucet and the drains from the tub. There is no proper arrangement to do these steps. You can do either one first. However, it is easier to start from the top and work your way down.

Remove the faucet

To remove the tub faucet, follow these simple steps:

  • Use a utility or putty knife and remove any caulk between the wall and the faucet.
  • Check the underside of the faucet to see if a screw is present.
  • If there is a screw underneath, you can use an Allen wrench to free the faucet. Pull the spout away from the wall.
  • If you don’t find any screw there, grab the faucet with both hands, turn the tap clockwise and keep on turning until it detaches.
  • Check for an adopter on the exposed pipe. The adopter looks like a piece of threaded metal at the end of the line.
  • You can use an Allen wrench to disconnect the adopter. The adopter is fastened to the pipe with a screw. The Allen wrench will help you remove the screw and allow you to detach the adopter.

Remove the drain covers

Once you are done with the faucet, remove the drain covers and the drains. You can follow the procedure below in this regard. Follow these instructions step-by-step to get the best possible result.

  • Use a screwdriver or Allen wrench to eliminate all the screws from the drain cover.
  • Now pry up the cover and pull it from the tub.
  • The screws are usually present on the cover’s face or under the bottom edge of the faceplate. Remove them as well.
  • If you don’t find any screws, you can easily remove the cover using a putty knife or a screwdriver by lifting it straight up. Try twisting the cap clockwise if you face difficulty removing it linearly. Sometimes, the cover is threaded, so it removes by turning.
  • Find the access panel for the pipes of the bathtub. They are usually located on the other side of the wall behind the tub.
  • If you do not find any access panel and the bathroom is located on the ground floor, you can check the basement ceiling under your bathroom. If you can still access it through the basement, you will have to cut through the wall behind the tub and find the pipes.
  • The next step is to find the main drainpipes and the overflow drain pipes.
  • When you have located them, disconnect both of them with the help of a wrench by moving the nuts counterclockwise.

Step Four: Take down the tiles

Before removing the bathtub, remove the surrounding tiles. It might seem like a rather complicated task, but you can easily do it by following these steps:

  • Utilise a utility knife to score the tile grout. The scouring can be up to almost 20 centimetres or 8 inches from the rim of the tub.
  • Next, use a putty knife to pry off each tile you want to remove.
  • The tile might not go off on the first try, so repeat the process until the tile removes completely.

Step Five: Cut through the drywall

Now that you have removed the tiles, the next step is to get rid of the drywall. You can perform this by following the steps below.

  • Use a saw to cut the drywall into smaller, manageable pieces. You might cut into the studs if you sink the saw too deep into the wall. Make sure that you do not drop the saw in deeper than 1.3 centimetres or half an inch.
  • Pull the drywall pieces from the stud. You can use a prybar for this purpose.
  • Carry all the debris to your dumpster. It will get you a cleaner and safer work area for the next step.

Step Six: Remove screws from the tub

This is the part where you will get to work on the bathtub. Something is holding the tub in its place. So, it would help if you got rid of it first. To remove the screws that secure the tub in its place, follow these steps:

  • First, locate all the screws that secure the tub to the wall studs.
  • Detach the caulk that is covering the top of the screw.
  • Then, remove the fasteners. You can use a screwdriver or a prybar.

Step Seven: Cut away caulk

You might be wondering why you can’t remove the tub physically from its place. There is more than likely still one thing that is holding your bathtub in its place. Yes! It’s the floor. It is straightforward to detach the tub from the base. Locate any caulk between the tub and the floor. Use a utility knife to cut through it. To ensure that the caulk seal has been broken, push on the tub gently.

Step Eight: Pry the tub out

For this step, you will need to ask for help from a friend because it’s time to lift some heavyweight. Use the prybar to move the tub a few centimetres or inches away from the back wall. Check the space from behind to ensure that it is completely detached from the wall.

Step Nine: Saw the tub into smaller pieces

Bathtubs are cumbersome to carry. You can easily do this job by cutting the bathtub into smaller pieces that are easier to carry and dispose of. You can cut the tub with the help of a jigsaw near the drain. This will give you two pieces. If you are still not comfortable carrying these pieces, you can continue cutting the tub until it’s easier for you.

Step Ten: Remove and dispose of each piece

You are now done with all the work. It’s time to get the job completely done and get the tub out of the bathroom. When you have cut the tub, pry each piece up and pull it out of the space. Avoid damaging the pipes while removing the elements with the drain hole. Now carry everything to the dumpster, and you are done with the job.

Hire Professionals To Remove The Bathtub For You

It can be fun and less expensive to remove a bathtub yourself. However, if you do not have the basic knowledge you need to take on the task and see it to completion, you might cause damage that might be expensive to repair. Often, it is best to hire professionals to remove a bathtub for you.

They understand how to do it, have the knowledge and experience to ensure that it is done properly, and they are responsible enough to clean out waste material that results from the process. Plus, they will complete the task in the shortest time possible. Reach out to local professionals and have the job done to standard.