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frogger 07-26-2007 04:26 PM

cast iron tub removal help
Hello, I have a 1950s ranch with a nice tall crawlspace.

BACKGOURND: Some of the subflooring (and one joist) have become rotten due to a leak at the corner of my bathtub (where it meets the vinal flooring) and under the toilet (damaged ring maybe?). So, I need to remove the tub and toilet, fix the subfloor, and put them back.

QUESTION: I've been doing a lot of research because I can only afford to do this myself and haven't before. My question at the moment is for some hints about how best I can remove the tub, which is cast iron, and then put it back in later. Time is not an issue.

Thank you in advance!

redline 07-26-2007 05:49 PM

Will you be replacing the tile?

Ron6519 07-26-2007 05:56 PM

Toilet is easy. The tub is incased in tile. Wall tile and floor tile. The tile needs to be cut back enough to free the tub. Since this is a 1950's era house, that's alot of tile. The tub is 60 long. If you measure tile to tile across the back you'll get about 57-58 " You will need to take out on one side abour 2-3" of tile. The other side about 12-16" so the tub can be lifted out, stood up on end ,rotated , picked up and removed. You will need to take out a few inches of floor tile also.
Can you match the current tile. Unless the previous owner has a stash that came with the house, the answer is no.
You will need to go out and find a complementy tile. It can't be the same size because the 4x4 tile of 1950 is not the 4x4 tile of today. Today's tile is thinner and shorter.
Personally, I would gut the bath and redo it . The plumbing is old, the waste pipes are like clogged arteries. You will put all this effort in, maybe it will look good. That depends on you skill level, but the core will fail and you'll have to rip out the walls to get to the plumbing.
Do it once and do it correctly.

frogger 07-26-2007 06:19 PM

Eventually, this entire bathroom will be completely changed. The only thing I'd afford to do now is fix the subfloor/joist and change the sheet vinyl on the floor to tile.

redline: Good question, because money is a big issue here, I do not want to buy anything new unless i have to. So, if I can do this without replacing all of the tile, I will.

Ron6519: There is not any tile on my floor, it is sheet vinyl. I am not worried about matching new wall tile, I hate what is there now anyways. I would love to gut the entire bath and replace everything, but I simply cannot afford it now. All I am worried about now is the fact that the subfloor is rotten and it is my only full bath.

NEW QUESTION: I take it the tub is simply sitting there where it is, in other words, the only thing that actually attaches it to the floor or walls is silicone so once I chip away some of the tile as Ron suggests (and detach the drain/pipe), it's just a matter of muscle power to lift it out. Correct? Are there any tricks like cutting around the edges with box cutter or something like that to make it easier?

Thank you both, I really appreciate it.

redline 07-26-2007 06:20 PM

What floor is this bathroom on? (1st, 2nd...)

frogger 07-26-2007 06:47 PM

My house is one story.

clasact 07-26-2007 08:40 PM

just from that photo I cant really tell how big the room is but if its a small room you may want to remove the sink also to give yourself some room to move that tub and get a few good strong friends ( promise them lots of beer)I recently removed a cast iron tub and just cut it up and it was still a pain their was not much holding it in place except pure dead weight

redline 07-26-2007 08:42 PM

Is there a basement below this bathroom?

frogger 07-26-2007 09:29 PM

Thank you clasact, The room is very small, notice in the photo that you can see the entry door. It is only as wide as the tub is long.

redline: There is not a formal basement under the bathroom, but there is a +5ft tall crawlspace, so it's very easy to get under the bathroom to see the damage. Note that there is not any insulation under floorboards and no plywood either.

warnerww 07-26-2007 11:41 PM

I do not like to tell you this but your chances of getting that tub out without major construction is not good. If money is an issue you might be better off to wait a year until you can get enough together. In a bathroom that small I do not see a way a DIY can do the work you need to do. I know this is not what you want to hear but some times the truth hurts. Please let us know how it goes. I have been wrong before but this looks like a tough job with a limited budget.

elementx440 07-27-2007 01:04 AM

A sledge hammer will make easy work of a cast iron tub. Everyone told me to "oh just trim and lift one edge up, it'll come right out". It never worked out for me and I got the sledge. Problem solved in 10 minutes.

Maybe you could put a new tub/shower kit in, then you wont have to retile around the tub and you will be able to access your plumbing and fix that as well.

But in all honesty, you're going to be doing like 40% of that bathroom remodel with this, so just suck it up and do it all! The way I see it:

floor tile $100 (there's always clearance stuff in your small quantity)
tub/walls $300
sink/vanity $200
toilet $200
misc: $200

That's a $1000. Come on who doesn't have $1000 for something this important.

clasact 07-27-2007 05:44 AM

any chance you have a construction salvage place near you.They buy stuff from contruction sites that was ordered wrong or the HO changed their mind at the last min.You can get windows doors sinks sometimes tub and toilet for about half the price as going to a store.That would save you alot because I really agree with Warnerww and in such a small area it is going to be one heck of a job to get that out and you will end up tearing up most of the room anyway.If that just not a option at this time you may want to just get under it so as to get some suport on the joist or sister in a new one for the time being until you get the money to fix it all or should I say tear it all out.Sorry but I have been where you are going

RippySkippy 07-27-2007 06:07 AM


Originally Posted by frogger (Post 54702)
Eventually, this entire bathroom will be completely changed.

NEW's just a matter of muscle power to lift it out. Correct?

I am not a big fan of what I'm about to suggest...but given that you you have listed the $ as a constraint at the may get you by temporarily.

What if you fixed the source of the leak now. Shore up the damaged sub-floor from the bottom and when you get ready to remodel the bath do it right and do it once. Most likely you'll be doing more damage with the tub removal than what you may be thinking. In a demo situation it's an easy removal, smash and go, salvage is a whole 'nother story.

Does your tub go from wall to wall? If it does, my experience tells me it is more than muscle power to remove. Unless you have complete access no tile, no drywall etc. to the full length of the tub it'll not come out easily. Remember, the tub goes in right after the framing and everything else is ran up to or sits on top of the tub edge. So the minimum space you probably need to get the tub our is from stud to stud, not wall to wall.

redline 07-27-2007 07:00 AM

Can you post a photo taken in the crawlspace of the damage near the tub and toilet?

There may be a few different ways to do this without removing the tub.

redline 07-27-2007 07:06 AM

Is this the only bathroom?

Or do you have another one that you could use if this one is being repaired?

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