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Old 11-14-2010, 12:16 PM   #1
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Removing an old steel bathtub


I'm trying to put in a new bathtub in place of an old worn out steel tub. It's a 5' tub, wall to wall. The problem is: The bathroom was dry-walled and tiled since that tub was put in. If I take it out in one piece, I'll just about have to gut the bathroom. Any ideas about the best way to cut it up and take it out in pieces?

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Old 11-14-2010, 12:22 PM   #2
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Removing an old steel bathtub


Sledgehammer. They're usually made from cast iron and are really easy to break apart, in place, with a sledge hammer. Just be sure to disconnect all the plumbing first. The cast iron is very thin. Wear long sleeves, gloves, eye protection and hearing protection.

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Old 11-14-2010, 06:23 PM   #3
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Removing an old steel bathtub


I recently busted up my old cast iron tub with a sledge hammer. Luckily, i did it before refinishing the rest of the bathroom. Make sure to cover the tub with a blanket, tarp, or similar to contain the shards of cast iron and porcelain that will end up everywhere. Even so, if the tub surround is tiled, you are going to have a hard time avoiding damage to it.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:32 PM   #4
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Removing an old steel bathtub


My tub is actually steel, it needs to be cut into 2 or 3 pieces to be removed. I wonder if the OP's is steel too instead of cast iron.

My plan was to use a grinder and sawzall, see which one works best.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:21 PM   #5
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Removing an old steel bathtub


You need to remove the bottom row of tiles so you can remove the old tub, and more importantly, install the new tub.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:05 PM   #6
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Removing an old steel bathtub


Forget beating it up with a hammer, steel tubs don't break apart. To remove the old tub you will need to unscrew the drain or cut it off. It will likely have to be replaced any way as the chances of it lining up with the new tub is slim. Typically the tub will sit on a ledge that will be fastened to the studs just under the rim. This supports the weight of the tub on the back side. The tub itself will be screwed or nailed under the bottom row of tiles, so if you plan on using the existing tiles carefully remove the bottom row. Worse comes to worse you may have to replace one row. Once the drain has been removed and the screws are out the tub should be loose but it still won't come out if you have drywall on both ends which almost all tubs do. You will have to cut a foot or of the drywall away so you can slide it out. Once it is out and the drywall is removed you try standing it on end between the studs. I have had times when it was necessary to cut the drywall right through to the adjacent room to get it tipped up enough. You think getting the old one out is bad wait until you put the new one in. Good luck
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:24 PM   #7
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Removing an old steel bathtub


Thanks for your input, everyone. As it happens, it turned out to be an old cast iron bathtub instead of an old steel tub like I thought. I don't know how much it weighed, but I sure couldn't move it. I did wind up breaking it into manageable pieces with a sledge hammer. It took about 45 minutes and I didn't damage any of the tiles. Just thought I'd let you know how it turned out.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:32 PM   #8
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Removing an old steel bathtub


I find the old pick axe makes the job that much faster.

With the smaller impact point and added weight a Pick Axe will demo a tub in under 20 minutes flat...

Remember to remove the paintings in the neighboring rooms. On our last demo we broke a picture from vibration...

Glad to her it came out easy...
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:45 PM   #9
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Removing an old steel bathtub


John,This one is a steel tub

He just has to remove the drain and overflow covers and pick it up
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:48 AM   #10
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Removing an old steel bathtub


Just out of interest, several people have mentioned removing one row of tile. It is obviously cheaper to do that than retile the whole area, but the chances are there's drywall, not backer board behind them. I wouldn't put a warranty on my tile work if I patched it up!
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:15 AM   #11
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Removing an old steel bathtub


Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeBarbarian View Post
Thanks for your input, everyone. As it happens, it turned out to be an old cast iron bathtub instead of an old steel tub like I thought. I don't know how much it weighed, but I sure couldn't move it. I did wind up breaking it into manageable pieces with a sledge hammer. It took about 45 minutes and I didn't damage any of the tiles. Just thought I'd let you know how it turned out.
Getting the new one in will be the challange.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:23 AM   #12
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Removing an old steel bathtub


Some times we use the sledge hammer for installs as well....



We like to call this tool the "Russian Cordless"!

A sledge hammer is a framers best friend for "Fine Tuning" walls and such...

Send a lay out of your bathroom as sometimes you will need to remove some drywall to get the tub installed...

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