Replacing my bathtub (couple questions)


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Old 06-16-05, 01:23 PM
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Question Replacing my bathtub (couple questions)

First, thanks for the great site.

I'm going to be replacing my tub next weekend and I'm wondering how to get my current tub out. First, the existing tub is very old and either cast iron or steel. I know if it's cast iron I can break it up with a sledge, but how do I determine if its cast iron? Also, how big of a sledge will I need? If the tub it steel, do I have to remove it in one piece?

From what I've read so far, I get the impression replacing a tub is fairly easy (skill wise), but really labor intesive. Is that true? The reason I ask is this is the only bathroom in the house, and I want to make sure this is something I can do myself in 2 days. (I am handy, but not a pro by any means).

Thanks for the help!

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Old 06-18-05, 09:51 AM
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Im not sure how to determine if its cast or steel..but if its old, my guess is cast.
I would serious Not want to take a sledge to it, if possible. Could be pretty messy and you could do some damage to the drain line. (possibly).
The only time I pulled a tub, was a royal PITA. Not a 1 man job, imo. Those suckers are HEAVY....
You will also have to remove part or all of your surrounding walls some, as the walls come down over the tub lip.
When I did it the 1 time, I had to remove about a foot of the wall above the tub to get the tub out of the enclosure, which in this case the tub was surrounded by walls on 3 sides, basically a 5' wide enclosure.
If you try to get the tub out in 1 piece, I would certainly recommend getting help to pull that sucker out.
Something I would not want to do again...or solo.
Good luck.
 
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Old 06-18-05, 01:47 PM
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If it's freestanding it might be cast, otherwise not.

I would not break it. Cast tubs can probably be sold to the folks who refinish these things. They may even cart it away for free.

Smashing at the glazed interior would be messy and dangerous. From the outside cast tubs can be broken - the key is to deliver sharp raps with a sledge made of hard (not tough) steel. You might need a large sledgehammer, and room to swing it.

If this is a normal built-in tub then as jatco said it has a lip on three edges rising up behind the wall. That's where most of your work will be. And it'll take you much much longer than a weekend.
 
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Old 06-24-05, 08:54 AM
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thanks! (more questions)

Thanks guys for the suggestions. So you say its more than a weekend job? I have 4 days off for the 4th of July, do you think that should be enough time?

I will plan to take out the tub in 1 piece. Other than the thing being extremely heavy, is there any other challenges to getting the tub out? I am doing a new tile surround, so I have to remove the existing drywall anyway. Once that's out, should the tub just slide out?

Thanks again for your help!

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Old 06-24-05, 12:24 PM
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You can't imagine the difficulties you might encounter, and I hesitate to guess. I'm sure you can do this job, and well, but 4 days seems... a very optimistic... timeframe. Sometimes just getting hold of some tool or material I discover is needed, can take half a day.

New tile surround needs caulk (at least 48 hours before OK to wet) on cured grout (72 hour) on set tiles (about 48 hours, depends on adhesive) on firm backing that may have been filled/levelled (another 24-48 hours likely). Now, these are box recommendations, and we do bend them at times. Given you a clue how long this all might take?
 
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Old 06-27-05, 11:35 AM
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Sounds time consuming....

I think the goal for this weekend is to only replace the tub, and put up the new backerboard. Then do the tiling the following weekend. We'll have to figure out how to shower during the week, but I think splitting up the project over 2 weekends should be doable (at least I hope) . One more question: I'm looking at having someone retile our bathroom and hallway (currently its vinyl). We currently have what appears to be MDF as our subfloor over the top of our floor boards. I understand this has to be replaced with ply for the tile. Is it okay if the tub continues to sit on the MDF-appearing subfloor? It's been like that for a while and the tub hasn't fallen through the floor yet, so I'm assuming that's ok.

Thanks again for all your help, I really appreciate it!
 
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Old 06-27-05, 12:25 PM
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In theory the floor under a tub doesn't get wet or worn; the tub could sit on sugar cubes. Condensation from cold pipes, leaky grout and caulk joints, lack of ventilation beneath the tub, gnawing insects, and general house humidity can join to sink a bathtub though so it's up to you.

The new tub is likely designed to hang from the walls, not sit on the floor, anyway. A non-cast tub is structurally more like a bag of water than a big cauldron. You can imagine what would happen if the flexible tub basin was supported from below.
 
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Old 06-27-05, 05:23 PM
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...and just make sure that the old will come out..and the new one go in, through the door way/frame.
May sound 'trite'...or presumptuous...but Ive encountered that b4.
 
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Old 07-01-05, 02:48 PM
Corrie Johnson
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Jacuzzi tub

We want to replace our Jacuzzi tub. We have the surrounding tile removed already. I read how to take the drain plug out and down inside is an x shape to put the pliers into and twist counterclockwise and it should come out. I looked and the x shape is larger than I expected. It is as thick as a pencil. Do we really twist that & break it?
Also we have the side of the tub off and can see the motor underneath. How do you disconnect the motor to pull it out.
It is a small Jacuzzi. Same size as regular tub.
 

Last edited by Corrie Johnson; 07-01-05 at 02:50 PM. Reason: misspelled words
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Old 07-06-05, 12:35 PM
bats
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I have contractors working on the bathroom today -- and they just pulled the 80-year-old cast iron tub out of the wall. Our problem is that the tub is too large and heavy to get out of the room, around the hallway corners, and down 2 flights of stairs. The tub has to be busted up.

So they drilled pilot holes every 3-4 inches and are using a large sledge hammer to break it in two. The house is jumping with every swing but it seems to be working.

The other option they suggested was to use a torch to slice the tub. Since they are more like Moe-Larry-Curley than Bob Villa, I am hoping it won't come to that :-D
 
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Old 07-06-05, 12:52 PM
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It worked. With pilot holes and a long sledge, the tub eventually broke in two. The pieces are small enough to haul out.

And can confirm that it is better to hammer from the unglazed side of the tub. Working from the other side sent ceramic shards in every direction.
 
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Old 07-07-05, 06:21 AM
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Congrats, Bats. That mustve been a nightmare. Glad it worked out for you.
 
 

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