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Your bathtub is probably the biggest single object in your bathroom and the most lavish bathroom fixture. Despite these facts, too many homeowners neglect to give the bathtub proper attention. Rather than being an afterthought, updating your tub must be your priority.
If your bathtub is leaky, damaged, or simply looks old, it might be time to replace it. A typical bathtub substitute can be bought at your local home store or bathroom shop and fitted by a plumbing specialist. However, removing your old tub and replacing it with a new one might be time-consuming or rather costly. Therefore, you should get the finest bathtub you can purchase to guarantee you will not have to redo it again for at least another 20 years or so.
If you want to do it by yourself, this article has a step-by-step guideline on replacing your bathtub so that you can safely uninstall your bathtub on your own. Bear in mind that it is handier and faster to have a professional do it for you.
What Is The Purpose Of Replacing Your Bathtub?
Is your bathtub in need of replacement because it is damaged, discoloured, or chipped? If that is the case, you can opt for bath and basin refinishing instead. You may restore even a heavily chipped or scratched tub to its former glory with the help of a skilled bath refinishing expert.
Are you renovating your bathroom completely? If this is the scenario, take a look at your current bathtub and think about how it fits into the area, how efficient it is, and what may be improved. Then, consider how your new bathtub replacement would fit into your bathroom and better fulfil your requirements.
Tools And Supplies Needed To Remove A Bathtub
Since you are replacing an existing tub, your selections will be restricted. These restrictions can include the proportions of the existing tub and the spacing of the doorway in your bathroom. Therefore, you will have to take some measurements to know the precise width and length of the tub.
Before purchasing a replacement tub, you must also find out where the drainage is located. Below is a list of the things that you will need to remove your bathtub:
• Drop cloths
• A screwdriver
• Utility knife
• 2-3 1*4 pieces of wood
• Adjustable wrench
• Measuring tape
• Drain removal tool
• Drywall saw
• A pencil
• Straight edge
• Pry bar
Procedure For Removing A Bathtub
The process of removing a bathtub is divided into two parts. The first step is disconnecting the plumbing, including the drainage and water supply lines, and then removing the tub. You can choose to remove the plumbing lines entirely once the tub is gone, but it is better to keep them in most circumstances. This allows you to use them again, even though you do not have another bathtub renovation job planned in the near future.
Because the faucet is located in the wall and not physically linked to the bathtub when uninstalling an alcove bathtub, you may not need to remove it. However, if you are replacing a bathtub, the substitute bathtub can utilise the same faucet as long as it is in excellent working order. If your faucet has to be replaced, you may call a plumber to do it once you are done removing the tub.
Removing a standalone bathtub is a little easier. After you have detached the plumbing from a standalone tub, all you have to do now is cap it someplace under the floor, move the tub to its new location, and repair the floor. Other bathtubs need more work since they must be freed from the sidewalls, a tub enclosure, or whichever structure it relies on for support.
Alcove bathtubs are commonly just like fibreglass, acrylic, and enamelled steel. The bolts that keep them in place are not noticeable until you do some dismantling, so the technique for uninstalling one may not be evident and requires the most explanation. Both drop-in and undermount tubs are easier to remove from their enclosures. However, if you do not plan on reinstalling the tub, the process may require you to destroy its enclosure.
Below are the critical steps to follow while removing a bathtub:
Step One: Uncover the drain
Unscrew and remove the overflow plate from within the tub. Pull off any drain assemblies that are attached to it. If there is a mounting bracket, unscrew it and remove it.
Step Two: Unplug the drain
In order to unhook the drain, you might have to unscrew a bolt or two and detach the strainer. A stopper and a rocker component may also need to be removed. Disconnect the drain flange with a strainer wrench.
Step Three: Disconnect the waste-and-overflow unit
Unplug the waste-and-overflow (WO) unit from the drain line using an access panel located either behind or beneath the tub. Depending on the installation, you may need to loosen the screws or remove a slip nut on a no-hub connection. You will have to cut through the piping if the parts are composed of cemented plastic.
Then, take the WO unit out of the tub. However, if the old WO unit is an exact fit for the new bathtub, you do not have to remove it. To be certain about this, take the measurements carefully.
Step Four: Disconnect the tub spout and tiles
Remove the bathtub spout as well as the tub's surrounding wall surface to a height of roughly 20 centimetres. You do not have to remove the tub faucet handles if they are approximately 20 centimetres above your bathtub. You can either use a flat pry bar or a putty knife to remove the tiles. For drywall, use a drywall saw to cut through it. If your bathroom wall is plastered, use a reciprocating saw but avoid cutting into the studs. Remove nails or screws with a pair of pliers.
Step Five: Remove the tub
It is now time to remove the tub. Simply remove any screws or nails holding the bathtub flange to the studs by prying them out or unscrewing them. In the event that there is a bead of caulk where the tub rests on the floor, cut it out with a utility knife. Then, pry the tub an inch or two away from the rear wall with a crowbar.
Step Six: Lift and slide the tub
You can now find a helper to assist you in sliding the tub out of its enclosure. However, if it is not a standalone tub, be careful while sliding it out as it could be fit tightly between the studs. Therefore, first ensure that you pry it out on one end using a crowbar, put it in an upright position then slide it out.
Typically, an old fibreglass tub is made up of one continuous component. It is placed into position and secured to the wooden stubs in your bathroom during installation. The tub’s surrounding edges are then covered with drywall, which hides the fasteners.
In order to remove a fibreglass bathtub, you have to cut and eliminate the drywall, remove the bolts, and cut the tub’s surround to make it simpler to carry. You can use a reciprocating saw to quickly cut the fibreglass surround. As a protective measure, ensure that you protect the fixtures and the flooring in the bathroom before you can begin the removal process.
Now, let's dive into the process of removing a fibreglass bathtub:
Step One: Protect surfaces with plastic
Cover the countertops, the vents, or any other fixtures in the bathroom using plastic to prevent dust build-up during the bathtub disassembly. You can use blue painter's tape to secure the plastic to your walls.
Step Two: Protect the floor with cardboard or fibreboard
To protect the finished surface of the bathroom’s floor, you can lay down cardboard or thin fibreboard across it. Then, to avoid slipping while walking, seal any gaps together using duct tape.
Step Three: Turn off the water supply
Now, shut off the water to the bathtub using the valves. The valves could either be located behind an access door in your bathroom or the basement. Then, disconnect the bathtub faucet’s handles, escutcheons, showerhead, and spout. Plug the bathtub drain, then cover the flooring with cardboard, plastic, or tiny bits of thin fibreboard to preserve the tub finish.
Step Four: Take measurements
Using a tape measure, measure around 15 cm back from the bathtub surround perimeter, at the outer margins of vertical sections, and close to the top and bottom of horizontal sections, and make lines on the wall. To outline the full bathtub surround, draw lines between every mark. Remove a part of the drywall to reveal the bathtub surround edge by cutting along the lines using a utility cutter or saw.
Step Five: Undo the fasteners
Undo the fasteners that hold the tub surround to the wood structure within the wall, which could either be drywall nails or screws. Then, remove the tub surround from the tub's top edge and somewhat away from the wall's wood framing.
Step Six: Cut the tub
Now, connect the reciprocating saw to the wood-cutting blade. Cut the tub surround into two portions for easier removal, starting at the top, then working your way down.
Tips For Buying A New Bathtub
When purchasing a new bathtub to put in place where you removed your old one, it is crucial to consider the material used. Tubs made of acrylic or fibreglass are affordable, lightweight, and simple to install. Some have long-lasting finishes, although they might grow dull with time. An enamelled steel tub has a more durable surface, but it lacks insulation, so bathwater cools rapidly. The most costly and heaviest material, enamelled cast iron, may be worth the investment since it maintains a radiant finish for years, fills silently, and keeps water heated the longest.
Standard bathtubs are often white, biscuit, and cream, with various colours such as black, vivid blue, or pink finishes offered on mid-range and higher-priced tubs. Check your fit and convenience level in the bathtub. Rectangular tubs can have rectangular, oval, or hourglass interiors, so try out each option. You can lay down in the tub to check its comfort level and whether it is a good fit.
Does the tub come with cushioned head or armrests, non-slip flooring, and enough rims to carry toiletries or bath toys? Integrated chairs are offered on some mid-range tubs, and bathtubs with a curved apron wall provide more bathing room.
Why Hire A Professional To Remove Your Bathtub?
Make no mistake; substituting an old tub with a new one tests the limits of your DIY abilities. The project encompasses nearly every aspect of a significant bathroom renovation, requiring a wide range of demolition, carpentry, piping, and finishing abilities, as well as familiarity with a variety of hand or power equipment. If you do not feel confident in any of these aspects, you should hire a professional for the work.
Hiring a contractor is highly suggested if you only have one bathroom, as this renovation might leave your bathroom useless for a few days. A project that might take a week for a DIYer could just take a day or two for a professional team. Above all, hopefully, this article has helped you understand the principles that will help you get rid of your old bathtub.