How Do You Remove an Old Bathtub?
Carefully. All kidding aside, removing an old bathtub can be a messy job that’s typically best left to the professionals. However, some tried-and-true DIYers are willing to try anything once. If you count yourself among these brave souls, read on! If not, simply scroll to the bottom of the page to learn about the benefits of hiring a professional for the job as well as some recommendations.
Prep the Area
To remove an old bathtub, you will need to prepare the area to contain the dust and protect the rest of your bathroom/home. Tape plastic sheeting over your vents to keep the dust from distributing throughout the rest of your home. If you have a tile floor, lay some plywood on the floor next to the tub to prevent the tiles from being damaged. It might also be worth considering investing in a tarp for the flooring outside of your bathroom as well as some shoe covers to keep the dust contained.
Remove the Hardware & Faucet
Turn off the water to the bathroom at your home’s main shut-off valve. Next, turn your tub’s faucet on to drain out any water that’s left in the pipes. To remove the faucet, check the underside for a screw. If there is a screw, remove it and the faucet should come loose. If there is no screw, turn the entire faucet counterclockwise to unscrew it from the wall.
To remove hot and cold water knobs, use a Phillips head screwdriver. The screws are usually located in the center of the knob, underneath the “plugs” (the front part that often has an “H” for hot and a “C” for cold). To remove the plugs, pry them out with a flathead screwdriver. If you have a lever-style handle instead of knobs, the screws will likely be located under the lever. To remove the drain, simply unscrew the drain cover and pry it up with a screwdriver or putty knife. Next, pry up the drain ring.
Remove Surrounding Tile & Drywall
To remove the bathtub, you’ll likely need to tear out the surrounding tile and drywall. First, score the grout between each tile using a utility knife. Do this for all the tiles around the tub going about 8-10 inches up the wall. Next, use a crowbar or putty knife to pry the tiles away from the wall. Once the tiles are removed, use a drywall saw to cut away the drywall panels. Be careful not to sink the blade of the saw too deep into the wall, as you run the risk of cutting into the studs behind the drywall. It’s also important to wear protective gear throughout this process: goggles, gloves, and a mask!
Remove the Tub
Use a screwdriver to remove any screws that are securing the tub to wall studs. If there is any caulking between the tub and the floor, use a utility knife to cut this away. Next, use a crowbar to pry the tub away from the wall just a few inches. Use a jigsaw to cut the tub into two or three pieces. This will make it easier and safer to carry the pieces out to the trash.
Why You Should Hire a Contractor
Removing your own bathtub sounds like a piece of cake, right? Wrong! Reading through these directions was exhausting enough; you can only imagine how complicated things can get in real-time. Leave the dirty, complex home renovations to the professionals. Not only will hiring a bathroom contractor help you stick to a schedule, but it will likely save you money in the long haul. Why? DIY projects almost always end in disaster, especially bathroom remodeling projects. In older homes, this risk is often heightened as is the likelihood of hidden water damage which can lead to pricey patch-ups.
Bathtub Removal Cost
To keep costs relatively low, partnering with an experienced bathroom contractor is a must. A typical removal can cost anywhere from $125 to $400, but homeowners must also consider the price of waste and haul, which can add roughly $100 to the total. A professional, like BathWraps, can take care of all of this for you—including the installation of your new tub or shower system.
If you, like many homeowners, are overwhelmed by the idea of doing your own bathtub removal and installation, click here to locate a BathWraps contractor in your area.